Nonfiction November: My Year 2018 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:


Hosted by Kim @ Sophisticated Dorkiness

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) or will finish for sure before the end of the year.
A pathetic 9 compare to 22 last year!! And I’m not sure I will read more nonfiction this year, besides these titles.

Why so few this year?
The reason being mostly that I really wanted to focus on reading books taking up dust on my shelves, and most were novels. And also the fact that I have read less this year, so the percentage fiction/nonfiction may end up pretty close to that of 2018, my end of the year statistics will tell.
Here are the titles:


  1. Monet, Itinerant of Light, by Salva Rubio (and EFA) – graphic nonfiction
  2. Conan Doyle for the Defense, by Margalit Fox
  3. Elder Sebastian of Optina, by Tatiana Torstensen

About trips:

  1. Journal de mon voyage d’Amérique, by Louis-Philippe
  2. The Ship, the Saint, and the Sailor: The Long Search for the Legendary Kad’yak, by Bradley G Stevens

About politics:

  1. Democracy in Chains, by Nancy MacLean- audiobook
  2. Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward

About music:

  1. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, by Thad Carhart

Orthodox spirituality:

  1. Modern Orthodox Thinkers: From the Philokalia to the Present Day, by Andrew Louth


What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

Conan Doyle for the Defense

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Democracy in Chains

Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to
more this year?

Current issues, which is totally new to me

What are you hoping to get out
of participating in Nonfiction November?

Get acquainted with more nonfiction readers and good titles unknown to me




Fear: Trump in the White House and Democracy in Chains

  Fear  Democracy in Chains  

Fear: Trump in the White House


Democracy in Chains


short reviews


I usually refrain from reading about politics. But recently, two books called my attention:
Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward,
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, by Nancy MacLean.
Click on the book covers to know more about them

One day, I saw the name Nancy MacLean treading on Twitter. I was curious who she could be and ended up listening to her book, published a year ago. The reason she was trending now was that the night before, she had been invited at a TV show – I don’t have TV and didn’t know about that.

MacLean’s book was very enlightening, showing how the current situation in American politics has roots back in the 1950s.
She also talks at large about school segregation, based both on races and money. Enormous college fees are one aspect of efforts made to limit education to the wealthy. Scary.

Even more scary is MacLean’s presentation of where the Koch brothers’ ideas are coming from and what Libertarians are all about. I was curious to see exactly what they wanted to change in the current U.S. Constitution, and are supposedly close to realizing, but unfortunately, I didn’t find these details explicitly mentioned, even though that’s what I had heard advertised about the book.

Despite this absence of details in this specific point, I thought the book was a fascinating research on the origin of what’s going on now. I learned a lot!
Besides, the narrator of the audiobook is very good, with a good pace for nonfiction.


Now to get a closer look at the current situation, I decided to read Fear, only because of the seriousness and reputation of its author.
I was hesitant, thinking I didn’t need to get more depressing details that we already get through the media – even though I avoid most of them.

Actually, I came out of the book (devoured in a couple of sittings) quite admiring of the staff who do all they can to salvage the situation and try to do something with what they have.  This excerpt from page 226 gives a good idea:

Fear p226

Some have criticized actions such as staff members taking a paper off the presidential desk, to be sure a dangerous document would not be signed, and to avoid catastrophic consequences. Indeed these acts don’t seem normal, but the book shows that in desperate situations, desperate acts are needed.

I liked the style of the author, presenting daily vignettes with as much objectivity as possible. The book is extremely documented and tries to just state facts. Quite an unusual and refreshing perspective these days.



2018: September wrap-up

September wrap-up

Seriously, September already over?!
I just celebrated my 8th blogiversary this past Saturday, September 29. I knew it was coming, but it came too fast and I didn’t have time to do anything special for it!
It was not a stellar month for reading, though better than the summer.

Here is what I read in September:

6 books:
5 in print and 1 in audio 
with 1,441 pages, an average of 48 pages/day
1 in audio
with 10H54, an average of 21 mn/day

3 in nonfiction

  1. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, by Thad Carhart

  2. Democracy in Chains, by Nancy MacLean – audio

  3. Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward

2 in mystery:

  1. The Lady Killer, by Masako Togawa – ebook, for review

  2. Point Blank, by Anthony Horowitz

1 in literary fiction:

  1. Love and Invention, by Benjamin Constable – for review


My favorites in September

Love and invention Point Blank

Reading Challenges recap

Classics Club: 24/50 (until end of 2020) or 36/62!
The 2018 TBR Pile Challenge: 3/12, but not none reviewed yet !!
Where Are You Reading?: 21/50 – to be finished in ??

Total of books read in 2018= 46/100

Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 31

Most popular book review this past month

Love and invention

click on the cover to access my review

Most popular post this past month
– non book review –

Born a Crime
chapters 1-3 read-along at
Book Bloggers International

Book blog that brought me
most traffic this past month

That Artsy Reader Girl

Top commenters of the month

Kristyn at Reading to Unwind

Karen at Booker Talk

Judy K.

Blog milestones

8th blogiversary on September 29!
1,823 posts
over 4,490 subscribers
over 160,350 hits

Plans for October

  • Catch up with a few long reviews, and start doing short reviews posts!! Possibly experiment with weekly wrap up.
  • I have tons of quotations from books I read this past year, I would like to start scheduling some of that.
  • Possibly also a meme based on top Google search queries and my Goodreads shelves! 

Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in October!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of September?

Month in Review

Kathryn at The Book Date
has created a Month In Review meme
I’ll now be linking my monthly recap posts
Thanks Kathryn, great idea!