Nonfiction November: My Year 2019 in Nonfiction



Click on the logo to see the detailed schedule

As every year, a bunch of really cool bloggers are co-hosting Nonfiction November.

Here is the topic for Week 1 (Oct. 28 to Nov. 1):


Hosted by Julz of Julz Reads
Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions:
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Here is the recap of the nonfiction I have read (the links will send you to my review when it’s posted).
So far, I have read or listened to 17 nonfiction, nice, compared to only 11 last year. And I plan to read at least 3 more before the end of the year.

Here are the titles:


  1. The Years, by Annie Ernaux
  2. Walden, by Henry David Thoreau – audio, classic

About travels:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle
  2. Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck – audio, classic
  3. The American Dream? A Journey on Route 66, by Shing Yin Khor
    graphic “novel”
  4. Travels with a Donkey, by Robert Louis Stevenson – audio, classic

About technology:

  1. Talk to Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Think, by James Vlahos

About language/books:

  1. Dictionnaire des idées reçues, by Gustave Flaubert – audio, classic
  2. Book Love, by Debbie Tunggraphic “novel”


  1. Oh, the Meetings You’ll Go To!: A Parody, by Dr. Suits – graphic “novel”
  2. Secret Agent Brainteasers: More Than 100 Codebreaking Puzzles Inspired by Britain’s Espionage Masterminds, by Sinclair McKay

Orthodox spirituality:

  1. Prayers by the Lake, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
  2. Earthen Vessels: The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Tradition, by Gabriel Bunge
  3. Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer, by Catherine de Hueck Doherty
  4. If You Love Me: Serving Christ and the Church in Spirit and Truth, by Matthew the Poor
  5. Elder Leonid of Optina, by Fr. Clement Sederholm
  6. Alexander Schmorell: Saint of the German Resistance, by Elena Perekrestov

I actually also reviewed a few cookbooks, but I don’t feel like it counts here.


What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

The YearsThis is really hard,
there are so many on this list I loved a lot!

What nonfiction book
have you recommended the most?
Talk to me

Do you have a particular topic
you’ve been attracted to more this year?
Apart from books related to Eastern Orthodoxy, I notice a lot of travels!

What are you hoping to get out
of participating in Nonfiction November?
As usual, to get acquainted with more nonfiction readers
and good titles unknown to me.



Read or skip #5


Inspired by book blogger Davida, at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog, herself inspired by a couple of other bloggers (see here for instance). I plan to post about it on Saturdays, except the 1st Sat of the month, when I usually feature another meme.

The rules are simple:

  1. Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf from oldest to new
  2. Pick the first 5 or 10 (or whatever number you choose, depending on how large your list is) books you see
  3. Decide whether to keep them or get rid of them.



12, 13: skip
14: I’m actually reading it right now!
15 and 16: keep. I was not going to keep 16, but you convinced me to keep it




As there may not be many to skip here, I am considering 8 titles today.

14) Desert Solitaire

  • “Written while Abbey was working as a ranger at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah, Desert Solitaire is a rare view of one man’s quest to experience nature in its purest form.
    Through prose that is by turns passionate and poetic, Abbey reflects on the condition of our remaining wilderness and the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the natural world as well as his own internal struggle with morality.”
  • I think I started this years ago, and I think I should get back to it
  • What do YOU think?

15) We

  • Classic scifi and dystopia

16) An Artist of the Floating World

  • I like Ishiguro
  • BUT: “In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.” Is there a lot about WWII? (I have read way too many on the topic) Would it be better to read another book by him and skip this one?

17) Manazuru

  • I really enjoy Japanese fiction, but I need to acknowledge that I cannot read all Japanese novels available in English or French translation…
  • Have any one of you read this one? There seems to be a lot about relationships, not sure that’s my thing.

18) Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words

  • Same as above, I need to acknowledge that I cannot read all books about language…
  • BUT this one does sound good, right? “Wierzbicka seeks to demonstrate that every language has “key concepts,” expressed in “key words,” which reflect the core values of a given culture. She shows that cultures can be revealingly studied, compared, and explained to outsiders through their key concepts, and that the analytical framework necessary for this purpose is provided by the “natural semantic metalanguage,” based on lexical universals, that the author and colleagues have developed on the basis of wide-ranging cross-linguistic investigations”.

19) Travels with Charley

  • Steinbeck!

20) The Book on Fire

  • About the Alexandria library
  • BUT the synopsis seems to point to too much romance.
  • Also some readers consider it as a Fantasy. What fantasy element does it contain?? I often don’t do too well with romance nor fantasy

21) Physics of the Future

  • This author has been intriguing me
  • The topic sounds fascinating

What do YOU think? Please help me with 16 and 21. Am I doing the right choice for the others?



Bout of Books 24: Day 3 challenge

boutofbooks 24


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Today, the challenge is based on an idea I submitted.


Six degrees of separation from Bout to Books
Find an original way to connect the two words (Bout and Books) through six books
Thanks to Emma (Words and Peace) for today’s challenge.

I submitted this idea, based on the quirky way I do the monthly meme Six degrees of separation. I tried something similar but it didn’t work as expected, so here is what I came up with, based on titles I have read – click on covers to see my reviews

bob challenge

The Blue   our thoughts



of mice and men The Book Artist Kingdom of the Blind Syncopation

Did you do this challenge?
Curious to see what you came up with!

Be sure to enter my giveaway

Check my Bout of Books 24 ultimate goal