Nonfiction November: My Year 2021 in Nonfiction

Nonficnov 2021

#NonficNov
#nonfictionbookparty: Instagram Daily Challenge
Click on the logo to see the detailed schedule

POST EDITED on 11/06: 
After visiting another blogger who mentioned Mary Oliver, I realized I forgot to include poetry, and I did read some awesome ones!!

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

Here is the topic for Week 1 (Nov. 1-5):

YOUR YEAR IN NONFICTION

Hosted by Rennie at What’s Nonfiction
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 43 nonfiction, which is already 22% more than last year (I read 35 nonfiction in 2020).
And I may read a couple more before the end of the year.

Here are the titles. Obviously, most of these are Biblical books, as I finished my project of relistening to the whole Old Testament.

Bible and religious books:

  1. The Book of Psalms
  2. The Book of Job
  3. The Book of Proverbs
  4. The Book of Ecclesiastes
  5. The Book of the Song of Songs
  6. The Book of Wisdom
  7. The Book of Sirach
  8. The Book of Hosea
  9. The Book of Amos
  10. The Book of Micah
  11. The Book of Joel
  12. The Book of Obadiah
  13. The Book of Jonah
  14. The Book of Nahum
  15. The Book of Habakkuk
  16. The Book of Zephaniah
  17. The Book of Haggai
  18. The Book of Zechariah
  19. The Book of Malachi
  20. The Book of Isaiah
  21. The Book of Jeremiah
  22. The Book of Baruch
  23. The Book of Lamentations
  24. The Book of Ezekiel
  25. The Book of Daniel – so all the above were audiobooks.
    They count for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge
  26. The New Testament, by David Bentley Hart
    I read this new translation.
    It counts for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge
  27. Less Than Fully Catholic, by Trisha Day

About words and authors:

  1. Le Jourde & Naulleau, by Pierre Jourde and Eric Naulleau
  2. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, by George Saunders
  3. Languages of Truth, by Salman Rushdie
  4. Living With a Dead Language, by Ann Patty
  5. Sur la lecture, by Marcel Proust
    It counts for The Classics Club 
  6. History in English Words, by Owen Barfield
    It counts for The Classics Club 
  7. Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, by Alice Kaplan

About science:

  1. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson

About history:

  1. The Romanov Sisters, by Helen Rappaport

About Japan:

  1. In Praise of Shadows, by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki
    It counts for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge

On contemporary issues:

  1. The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, by Roger Duncan & Michael E. Webber

About nature:

  1. A Bird Watcher’s Guide to Blue Jays, by Katherine Ponka

Poetry:

  1. The Half-Finished Heaven, by Tomas Tranströmer
  2. The Lost Spells, by Robert MacFarlane & Jackie Morris
  3. Alphabet, by Paul Valéry
  4. Haiku: This Other World, by Richard Wright

I also reviewed 8 books published by Rockridge Press, but I didn’t read these books from A to Z as I would read other books, so I didn’t count them in my statistics.

So really, this was a big nonfiction year for me.
I’m very happy for the diversity of topics as well.

***

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

A Swim in the Pond in the Rain    Languages of Truth

I had to choose two. And it was very difficult. I actually loved a lot titles 2 to 7 in my “words and authors” category above.

What nonfiction books
have you recommended the most?

The Code Breaker

Haiku This Other World

Do you have a particular topic
you’ve been attracted to more this year?
Besides religious topics, words and authors

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

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE NONFICTION THIS YEAR?

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Recap on my 20 Books of Summer 2021

20 books of summer

#20booksofsummer21
#20booksofsummer

Once again, 746books.com organized the 20 Books of Summer challenge from
June 1-August 31.
I’m not going to be able to finish another book today, so time has come from my recap.

I’m super happy with my results:
I ended up reading 37 books (22 in print and 15 in audio). I had read 28 in Summer 2020, so that’s a lot more.
That’s a total of 6,646 pages, actually 10,053 pages if I convert my audiobooks in print, which is an average of 109 pages/day.

Of these 37 books, 13 were from my original list!
From my original 20 titles, I DNFed 3 books and decided not to read one, as I realized it was actually horror, not thriller, and I don’t like horror as a genre.
I’m planning on reading my last 4 books from that list very soon.

A few more stats from the books I read this summer:

  • manga: 3
  • literary fiction: 3
  • historical fiction: 3
  • nonfiction: 9
  • mystery: 20

19 titles were classics.
4 audio books were from the Old Testament – I’m done listening to all the books of the Old Testament.
9 audiobooks were for my project to listen to all of Hercule Poirot,

The biggest issue is that I reviewed very few of these books. I’m planning to do short reviews of them these coming weeks.

I would like to highlight a few favorites from this list, though so many were so good:

  The Code Breaker Midaq Alley  

  Tension extrème The Madness of Crowds  

Here is the detailed file with the books I read:
Feel free to copy the format if it’s of any help for you.

How did YOUR summer of reading go?
How many of these have you read?

Which one is your favorite?

Six degrees of separation: from a postcard to a riddle

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
from a postcard to a riddle

I was going to enjoy the nice weather and read outside, and then neighbors started mowing their lawn, and I just can’t stand that noise. So then, I’m back on the computer and posting for this meme!

Using my own rules for this fun meme hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest (see there the origin of the meme and how it works – posted the first Saturday of every month).

Here are my own quirky rules:

1. Use your list of books on Goodreads
2. Take the first word of the title (or in the subtitle) offered and find another title with that word in it
3. Then use the first word of THAT title to find your text title
4. Or the second if the title starts with the same word, or you are stuck

  Postcards from the Edge Too Close to the Edge  

  close-to-destiny-cover-3D Physics of the Future  

  The Code Breaker The Riddle of the labyrinth  

Links will send you to my review or to the relevant Goodreads page

1.  Postcards from the Edge, by Carrie Fisher

I have not read this book, and seeing the synopsis, I’m not planning to:
“Carrie Fisher’s first novel is set within the world she knows better than anyone else: Hollywood, the all-too-real fantasyland of drug users and deal makers. This stunning literary debut chronicles Suzanne Vale’s vivid, excruciatingly funny experiences—from the rehab clinic to life in the outside world. Sparked by Suzanne’s—and Carrie’s—deliciously wry sense of the absurd, Postcards from the Edge is a revealing look at the dangers and delights of all our addictions, from success and money to sex and insecurity.”

 

2. Too Close to the Edge, by Pascal Garnier

Pascal Garnier is an impressive French author, who passed away too early, alas.

VERDICT from my review:
The great author of French noir bluntly looks at the seemingly quiet life of a senior. Opening your door may lead you to unexpected ominous horizons and possibly to revealing a new you dormant behind a façade all these years.

3. Close to Destiny, by Adria J. Cimino

I read this book six years ago and apparently enjoyed it a lot (4 stars), but alas, even after reading my review, I don’t remember a thing about it!! Sign of old age?

VERDICT from my review:
A hat may have more to it than it looks! Evolving in between the blurred lines of reality and past experiences, Cimino focuses on relationships between people. Rich literary fiction with a twist.

4. Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, by Michio Kaku

I haven’t read this one, but am planning to, definitely the type of topics I enjoy. Proof is I recently read and appreciated another book along the same lines, actually also with future in is title.
“Imagine, if you can, the world in the year 2100.
In Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku—the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible—gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics.
In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world’s information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism.
Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically.
In space, radically new ships—needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion—could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth’s atmosphere at the push of a button.
But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg. Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper?
All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution.”

5. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson

My favorite biography so far this year.
VERDICT from my review:
Essential, fascinating, and easily accessible presentation of Jennifer Doudna. A must if you want to stay up to date on CRISPR and its moral questions. 

6. The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code, by Margalit Fox

I was very impressed by Fox’s book on Sherlock Holmes, so I really want to read this one as well: 

“In the tradition of Simon Winchester and Dava Sobel, The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code tells one of the most intriguing stories in the history of language, masterfully blending history, linguistics, and cryptology with an elegantly wrought narrative.
When famed archaeologist Arthur Evans unearthed the ruins of a sophisticated Bronze Age civilization that flowered on Crete 1,000 years before Greece’s Classical Age, he discovered a cache of ancient tablets, Europe’s earliest written records. For half a century, the meaning of the inscriptions, and even the language in which they were written, would remain a mystery.
Award-winning New York Times journalist Margalit Fox’s riveting real-life intellectual detective story travels from the Bronze Age Aegean–the era of Odysseus, Agamemnon, and Helen–to the turn of the 20th century and the work of charismatic English archeologist Arthur Evans, to the colorful personal stories of the decipherers.
These include Michael Ventris, the brilliant amateur who deciphered the script but met with a sudden, mysterious death that may have been a direct consequence of the decipherment; and Alice Kober, the unsung heroine of the story whose painstaking work allowed Ventris to crack the code.

My post is done, and the neighbor is done with his mowing, so now to enjoying my current read in the sun!!

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Visit other chains here

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HAVE YOU READ AND ENJOYED ANY OF THESE BOOKS?