Nonfiction November 2019: New on my TBR



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Here is the topic for week 5:


Hosted by What’s Nonfiction?

It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books!
Which ones have made it onto your TBR?
Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book

Here are the nonfiction books I discovered this month and have added to my TBR.
Last year, I added 19 books in November, but as I try to reduce the height of my TBR, I have been drastic in my choices, and added only 9:

From #Nonficnov participants:

Reading With Jade:
The Wild Remedy: How Nature Heals Us – A Diary by Emma Mitchell

From bloggers who commented on my posts – they may not all be Nonfiction November participants:
Adventures in Reading, Running, and Working from Home:
The Seafarers: A Journey Among Birds, by Stephen Rutt

Brona’s Books:
Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World, by Tim Low

Just One More Page…:
The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London, by Christopher Skaife

Hmsgofita [sorry, the blogger has an incorrect wordpress ID, and I was not able to find them]
Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds, by Bernd Heinrich

Found somewhere else:

Fabulous Monsters: Dracula, Alice, Superman, and Other Literary Friends, by Alberto Manguel

Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions, by Alberto Manguel

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts, by Joshua Hammer

My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer, by Christian Wiman


Thanks to all my fellow book bloggers who gave me the idea to read the books above listed. And to those who helped me reduce my TBR on birds.




2013: November wrap-up

November was  a very good reading month:

12 books, with 2825 pages, that is,  91.1 pages/day.

Among those, 3 were audiobooks: 20:06 hours as a whole, that is, an average of 41 mn/day.

I read:

3 fiction:

  1. The Lover’s Dictionary, by David Levithan
  2. Le côté de Guermantes, by Marcel Proust – ebook upcoming review
  3. Botchan, by Natsume Soseki –upcoming review

4 historical fiction:

  1. The Harlot’s Tale, by Sam Thomas –ebook, review scheduled for Jan 6
  2. The Conversation, by Jean d’Ormesson 
  3. The Pagan Lord, by Bernard Cornwell – ebook upcoming review
  4. Mistress of the Revolution, by Catherine Delors upcoming review

2 non-fiction:

  1. The Library At Night, by Alberto Manguel
  2. Badluck Way, by Bryce Andrews –ebook – review coming very soon, the book is released on Dec 3!

3 mysteries:

  1. Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle, by Dorothy Gilman – audiobook
  2. Mrs. Pollifax and The Second Thief, by Dorothy Gilman – audiobook
  3. Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station, by Dorothy Gilman – audiobook – all these will be combined in 1 review

My favorites this month:

The Pagan Lord    The Library At Night


Reading Challenges recap

Around the World in 12 books:  12/12   COMPLETED
Audiobook: 16/12 –  COMPLETED
Books on France: 33/12 – COMPLETED
Cozy Mysteries: 10/10 – COMPLETED
Ebook challenge: 26/10 – COMPLETED
European reading challenge: 13/5 – COMPLETED
Historical fiction: 33/15 – COMPLETED
Japanese literature: 2/2 – COMPLETED
New authors challenge: 62/25 – COMPLETED
TBR challenge: 12/12 – COMPLETED
What’s in a Name: 6/6 – COMPLETED
Where Are You Reading?: 10/50
Australian Literature: 1/1 – COMPLETED

Total of books read so far in 2013 = 94

Number of books added to my TBR in October = 39


Blog recap

  1. 4 of the 12 books mentioned here were received for review by the publisher/author
  2. 33 readers signed up for my Books on France Challenge, and 116 reviews have already been posted. Don’t forget to post your reviews, and now is the time to post your recap, with a giveaway coming! 3 readers have already posted their recap.

  3. Talking about Reading Challenges, I have completed all the ones I intended to, so only one left that I plan to go on with next year: reading the States: as I had to finish the 52 countries, I knew I would not go too far on that one, so 10/50 so far makes me happy enough.
  4. To my now regular memes Mailbox Monday, Teaser Tuesday, First Chapter First Paragraph (on France Book Tours), WWW Wednesday, I Love France, and Friday Finds, I have added in November Book Beginnings, that I combine with Friday Finds, and two on France Book Tours: Wordless Wednesday and Friday 56.
  5. I launched Swap Saturday. Even though lots of bloggers came to visit, very few have been posted books they are ready to swap, so I will now do it only on the 1st Saturday of each month.

  6. And did you notice? I have slightly changed the formatting of my reviews: do you like it, or did you prefer the former way?
  7. Every month, France Book Tours has a giveaway for the book(s) of the month. Have you checked yet the December giveaway? There are 2 books to win!

  8. France Book Tours already completed 21 book tours, and there are 7 already scheduled, with 2 authors coming already for the 2nd time on FBT ! If you are interested in reviewing books on your blog for France Book Tours, just fill in this short questionnaire. You can find all kinds of genre: historical fiction, romance, mystery, LGBT, nonfiction, etc. And France Book Tours has now over 1,000 followers. Thanks to all of you!

Most popular recent book review

Graciannaclick on the cover to access my review

Most popular recent post – non book review

Swap Saturday

Book blogger that brought me
most traffic this past month

Should Be Reading

please go visit!

Plans for December

  • Dec 1-7: Dreamy December Days Read-a-thon
  • I plan to read a few books already scheduled for January, and then finish the month with fun relaxing books, with no challenge in mind – probably a few mysteries by Agatha Christie.
  • I plan to post early all my reading challenges recap, as they are done – but lots of reviews to go!
  • I will also post very soon my own challenge for you in 2014!
  • And I will announce the reading challenges I plan to tackle in 2014

How was YOUR month of November?
And what are your reading plans for December?

Book review: The Library At Night

The Library At Night

The Library At Night

The Library At Night
Alberto Manguel
Publisher: Yale University Press
Pub. Date: 2006
ISBN: 0300139144
Pages:  373
Nonfiction/book on books and libraries
Public Library
Literary Award:
Bronze medal winner
of the 2008 Book of the Year Award
in the category of Architecture,
presented by ForeWord magazine.

Buy Link

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:
New Authors 2013 2013 TBR Pile


Rating system



1)      The Library As Myth
The Tower of Babel vs. the library of Alexandria. Reality or myth?

2)      The Library As Order
 How do you classify your books on your shelves? The importance of Dewey.

3)      The Library As Space
The problem of space on your shelves and in a library. How do we store knowledge? Fun reaction to extreme weeding in an American library in the early 1990s!

4)      The Library As Power

5)      The Library As Shadow
Explicit censorship, but also implicit censorship: what’s NOT in your library is the fruit of your own censorship

6)      The Library As Shape
Architecture of libraries. How do you feel reading in a different shape of room?

7)      The Library As Chance
How books end up together in garage sales, etc

8)      The Library As Workshop
Place where you read and place where you write

9)      The Library As Mind
Tell me what you read, and I’ll tell you who you are. Your library is a reflection of your mind

10)   The Library As Island
Do we venerate literature or do we venerate books? Question of the book enthroned or the book read

11)   The Library As Survival
How some books managed to survive, and how books help survive in extreme situations, eg in concentration camps

12)   The Library As Oblivion
Books we read and then forget. And forced oblivion of books by totalitarian regimes

13)   The Library As Imagination
Imaginary books and collections

14)   The Library As Identity
How our library reflects our identity. Likewise, the identity of a society can be mirrored by a library that serves as our collective definition.

15)   The Library As Home
Timeless and without borders


In the sixteenth century, the Ottoman poet Adbüllatif Çelebi, better known as Latifi, called each of the books in his library “a true and loving friend who drives away all cares.”

Every reader exists to ensure for a certain book a modest immortality. Reading is, in this sense, a ritual of rebirth. p.28

In a library, no empty shelf remains empty for long. Like nature, libraries abhor a vacuum, and the problem of space is inherent in the very nature of any collection of books. p.66

Every book is autobiographical.  Chap.9

For the cosmopolitan reader a homeland is not a space, fractures by political frontiers, but in time, which has no borders. Chap.15


Inspired by the process of creating a library for his fifteenth-century home near the Loire, in France, Alberto Manguel, the acclaimed writer on books and reading, has taken up the subject of libraries. “Libraries,” he says, “have always seemed to me pleasantly mad places, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been seduced by their labyrinthine logic.” In this personal, deliberately unsystematic, and wide-ranging book, he offers a captivating meditation on the meaning of libraries.

Manguel, a guide of irrepressible enthusiasm, conducts a unique library tour that extends from his childhood bookshelves to the “complete” libraries of the Internet, from Ancient Egypt and Greece to the Arab world, from China and Rome to Google. He ponders the doomed library of Alexandria as well as the personal libraries of Charles Dickens, Jorge Luis Borges, and others. He recounts stories of people who have struggled against tyranny to preserve freedom of thought—the Polish librarian who smuggled books to safety as the Nazis began their destruction of Jewish libraries; the Afghani bookseller who kept his store open through decades of unrest. Oral “memory libraries” kept alive by prisoners, libraries of banned books, the imaginary library of Count Dracula, the library of books never written—Manguel illuminates the mysteries of libraries as no other writer could. With scores of wonderful images throughout, The Library at Night is a fascinating voyage through Manguel’s mind, memory, and vast knowledge of books and civilizations. [Goodreads]


Alberto Manguel on Reading Pictures


Alberto Manguel

Alberto Manguel (born 1948 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine-born writer, translator, and editor.
He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980) and A History of Reading (1996) The Library at Night (2007) and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008), and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991).

Manguel believes in the central importance of the book in societies of the written word where, in recent times, the intellectual act has lost most of its prestige.
Libraries (the reservoirs of collective memory) should be our essential symbol, not banks. Humans can be defined as reading animals, come into the world to decipher it and themselves.