Tag Archives: Nonfiction November

Nonfiction November 2022, Week 5

This week we are concentrating on the books that are new to our TBR list. I have really enjoyed the posts of the other bloggers that are participating in this challenge, and there are many books that I have put on my TBR list. Thanks everybody for sharing!

But before I share all my new books, I wanted to tell you abut a fantastic book that I just started to read. “Mushrooming: The joy of the quiet hunt” written by Diane Borsato and illustrated by Kelsey Oseid is not a traditional mushroom guide. Borsato encourages you to hunt mushrooms not to eat but for pleasure. Each entry includes not only identification features but also cultural notes. For example, did you know that Paul Stamets wears a mushroom hat made of hoof fungus? Yes, you can buy hats made out of mushrooms. I was into mushroom hunting last year, and I think I am going to pick it up again.

Now onward to this week’s prompt.

I have really enjoyed theocbookgirl’s IG feed (@theocbookgirl). I put several books on my TBR list including:

“Easy Crafts for the Insane” by Kelly Williams Brown
“These Precious Days” by Ann Patchett
“Novelist as Vocation” by Haruki Murakami
“The Hiking Book from Hell” by Are Kalvø
“Sacred Nature” by Karen Armstrong

Also from theocbookgirl’s blog, I really want to read:

“Fastest Thing on Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood” by Terry Masear

From Pillow Fort:

“Affluence without Abundance” by James Suzman

From She Seeks Nonfiction:

“For Small Creatures Such as We” by Sasha Sagan

I’ve actually already started reading this book.

From Beverley A Baird:

“I’ve Been Thinking” by Maria Shriver

I love how Christopher from Plucked from the Stacks included children’s books on one of his lists. This are the ones I put on my TBR list:

“The Curious Story of Edward Gorey Nonsense! by Lori Mortensen; illustrated by Chloe Bristol

“Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks” by Suzanne Spade; illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera

I’ve already read this book, and I highly recommend it.

“16 Words: William Carlos Williams & ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’” by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink

From Falling Letters:

“The Great Northern Canada Bucket List” by Robin Esrock

From What’s Nonfiction:

“Tunnel 29” by Helena Merriman

There are also a new to me category called “foodoirs” on another of What’s Nonfiction’s posts.

From Words and Peace:

“Revenge of the Librarians” by Tom Gauld

I’ve already read this book, which is in cartoon form, and I highly recommend it.

There’s a couple of books that I cannot remember, so I know that next year I need to do my information gathering weekly during the challenge.

I’m planning on participating in the 2023 Nonfiction Reading Challenge that Book’d Out is hosting. So maybe I’ll see you there too!

Happy reading!

Shoe’s Seeds and Stories
@Copyright 2022 Linda Schueler


Nonfiction November, Week 4

This week in Nonfiction November, we are looking at “worldview changers”. I’m going to suggest three books that I have read or been reading this year, but certainly my mindset has been changed by a vast plethora of books over the years.

“How to Make a Plant Love You” by Summer Rayne Oakes
This book is the latest in the books I have been reading over the past few years, which have given me a different view of the plant world. Focussed on the plants that we take into our homes, there is a practical exercise at the end of each chapter to help you understand your plants and plants in general more deeply. The book is scattered throughout with ideas that made me pause, such as ‘…one of the more common inquiries from aspirant urban plant owners is, “What plant is hard to kill?” I want to get there by positing a different question…Next time you go to a plant shop, or purchase a plant online, don’t just ask what plant you’d like to live with, but ask what plant would like to live with you.’

“Rebirth” by Kate Brenton
This is a book that I am going to be reviewing this weekend for a WOW blog tour, so be sure to stop by again, if my description piques your interest. Rebirth is Brenton’s “mosaiced memoir” of her own rebirth. Every chapter has a theme with an example of someone’s life journey. I was struck many times by key points in the book, such as “…the more we consume, the more bloated and extended away from ourselves we are. The modern pace leaves little time for digestion.” This to me was an appropriate metaphor of what is happening in our society. You wouldn’t eat food all day long and never allow it to digest, but many of us are doing that with information, including me. It’s a good reminder to sit with whatever you have recently read or seen or listened to, and allow yourself time to process it, instead of moving immediately onto the next thing.

“Native Wisdom for White Minds” by Anne Wilson Schaef
Written in 1996, this is a book that I picked up at a little library, which has a daily reading related to indigenous wisdom. I am mainly exposed to North American indigenous teachings, so it’s interesting to read perspectives from other indigenous cultures, such as Maori or Aborigine, and, interestingly, they tend to be similar. Some of the language is outdated in this book, but the concepts are not.

So another three books like my post from last week. I hope you’ll leave a comment about which of them you have read or which books that you would recommend to me.

See you next week for a wrap-up.

Shoe’s Seeds and Stories
@Copyright 2022 Linda Schueler

Nonfiction November 2022, Week 3

This week in Nonfiction November it’s “Stranger Than Fiction”. This week’s host is “Plucked from the Stacks”.

I’m starting with a recent book that my book club partner Bev and I just finished reading, and that’s “The Year of Living Biblically” by A.J. Jacobs. A.J. Jacobs is a master of doing personal quests and then writing about them. Jacobs’ books all seem to be in the line of “stranger than fiction”, and you might have read “Know-it-all” about Jacobs’ quest to read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica, but I have not. However, I cannot wait to read Jacobs’ latest book, “The Puzzler”.

In the “Year of Living Biblically”, Jacobs decides to follow the bible as literally as possible—so long as it’s not dangerous—which includes following some of the most perplexing rules, such as not wearing mixed fibres. His journey takes him on some truly jaw dropping adventures, including wearing a white robe in public, which Jacobs discovers is a “polarizing garment”. I highly recommend this book, as it discusses biblical history and different takes on the bible from a wide range of Jewish and Christian faiths.

Our current book club read also has some jaw dropping moments, and I am sure many of you have already read “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls. Barely into this memoir, I am already shocked by the contents. Chapter 1 gives us a glimpse of Walls as an adult, as she avoids her mom who is rooting through a dumpster. In subsequent chapters, she sets herself on fire while cooking hot dogs at age 3 and learns how to handle her father’s gun at age 4. Truly a life I cannot imagine!

A book I am reading on my own is Emily Urquhart’s latest, “Ordinary Wonder Tales”. Urquhart had me hooked with the first line: “The year that I turned three I slept in a bedroom that was known to be haunted.” Urquhart is a folklorist, so she weaves folklore throughout her own stories, and the result is a beautiful patchwork of personal stories, folk stories, and history. Jaw dropping moments come in not only in the stories themselves, but also when we see how Urquhart is treated whether it is being shamed after relating her haunted story or during some perplexing medical encounters.

I leave you with three books, and hey! Three is supposed to be a satisfying number in literature.

What about you? Have you read any of these books? What nonfiction have you read this year that is stranger than fiction?

See you next week!

Shoe’s Seeds and Stories
@Copyright 2022 Linda Schueler

Nonfiction November, Week 2

It’s time for week 2 of Nonfiction November, which is hosted this week by “What’s Nonfiction?”

This week we are concentrating on book pairings. I find pairing books to be a very challenging exercise, so it took me a while to come up with one. Next year I will be sure to think ahead and make pairings throughout the year.

If you loved “To Speak for the Trees” by Diana Beresford-Kroeger…

From Goodreads:

“When Diana Beresford-Kroeger–whose father was a member of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy and whose mother was an O’Donoghue, one of the stronghold families who carried on the ancient Celtic traditions–was orphaned as a child, she could have been sent to the Magdalene Laundries. Instead, the O’Donoghue elders, most of them scholars and freehold farmers in the Lisheens valley in County Cork, took her under their wing. Diana became the last ward under the Brehon Law. Over the course of three summers, she was taught the ways of the Celtic triad of mind, body and soul. This included the philosophy of healing, the laws of the trees, Brehon wisdom and the Ogham alphabet, all of it rooted in a vision of nature that saw trees and forests as fundamental to human survival and spirituality.”

…then read “Pursuing Giraffe: a 1950s Adventure” by Anne Innis Dagg

From Goodreads:

“In the 1950s, Anne Innis Dagg was a young zoologist with a lifelong love of giraffes and a dream to study them in Africa. Based on her extensive journals and letters home, Pursuing Giraffe vividly chronicles Dagg’s realization of that dream and the year she spent studying and documenting giraffe behaviour. Her memoir captures her youthful enthusiasm for her journeys–from Zanzibar to Victoria Falls to Mount Kilimanjaro–as well as her naïveté about the complex social and political issues in Africa.”

I have connected these books in several different ways. Both women are pioneering scientists, both reside in Canada, and both have a lot to say about sexism in the field of science.

I had the pleasure of interviewing zoologist Anne Innis Dagg, who lives fairly close to me. That interview led to a picture book manuscript that made it all the way to acquisitions but ultimately was rejected. I was disappointed for myself but also for Innis Dagg, whose story had been long ignored.

So I was thrilled when years later a movie called “The Woman who Loves Giraffes” debuted, finally giving Innis Dagg the recognition that she deserves. More recently a picture book about Innis Dagg written by a more famous Canadian writer has been released, which I greeted with mixed feelings (and a few tears).

Innis Dagg also has a more recent memoir called “Smitten by Giraffe”, which is on my TBR list.

I admire both Beresford-Kroeger and Innis Dagg for their groundbreaking studies and feminist activism, and I recommend that you read about both.

Have you read either book? Do you have a related book you’d like to share? I love to read your comments.

See you next week.

Shoe’s Seeds and Stories
@Copyright 2022 Linda Schueler

Nonfiction November, Week 1

I love reading nonfiction books. So I was excited to see that there is such a thing as Nonfiction November. Who knew?

The challenge I am taking part in starts at Doing Dewey’s blog.

In week 1 we are asked to answer the following questions:

  1. What was your favourite nonfiction read of the year?

Ah so many books…I have read a lot of nonfiction this year, and it is hard to choose, but my favourite is “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness” by Ingrid Fetell Lee.

From Goodreads:

“In Joyful, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the seemingly mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, she explains why one setting makes us feel anxious or competitive while another fosters acceptance and delight–and, most importantly, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.”

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

In general I prefer to read memoirs, but I will also read self help books.

  1. What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

That would be “Joyful” (see above). I also follow and recommend Ingrid Fetell Lee’s blog.

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

I am hoping to reflect on my year of nonfiction reading and also find some new nonfiction books to put on my TBR list.

So, what’s your favourite nonfiction book this year? Leave me a comment.

I am looking forward to seeing what the other weeks bring in Nonfiction November. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Shoe’s Seeds and Stories
@Copyright 2022 Linda Schueler