Nonfiction November: Sign-Up, Week 1 & 2 Discussion Prompts

Nonfiction-November-2018

Yes, I know, I’m a little late to the party but, having realised that I had a couple of nonfiction books on my reading schedule for November already, I’ve decided to participate.

Nonfiction November 2018 runs from 29th October to 30th November (now you see what I mean about being late to the party).  This year’s hosts are Katie of DoingDewey, Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness, Rennie of What’s Nonfiction, Julz of JulzReads and Sarah of Sarah’s Bookshelves.

As in previous years, they’ll be posting a discussion question and link-up on the Monday of each week.  Check out this post for the full schedule.


My Nonfiction November Reading List

Although realistically I won’t get through all of them, here are the nonfiction books from my TBR pile I hope to read in November.  Click on the title to view the book description on Goodreads.

In My Life: A Music Memoir by Alan Johnson

Christmas at War by Caroline Taggart

Memory-Hold-the-Door by John Buchan

Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire by Andrea Stuart

Song of Praise for a Flower by Charlene Chu and Fengxian Chu


I missed the first discussion question last week and the second one is under way so you’ve got a two for one deal here.

Week 1: (Oct. 29 to Nov. 2) – Your Year in Nonfiction, hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness

Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions:

Darkest HourWhat was your favourite nonfiction read of the year?

The list of nonfiction I’ve read so far in 2018 is pretty sparse so I have limited choices to select from. However, the book I most enjoyed is probably Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought Us Back from the Brink by Anthony McCarten as I was inspired to read that by seeing the film starring Gary Oldman.

The Long and Winding RoadDo you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?

Not really but I did enjoy The Long and Winding Road by Alan Johnson, the third in his series of memoirs which I reviewed on my blog.

I was also lucky enough to hear Alan speak about his latest book, In My Life: A Music Memoir at Henley Literary Festival recently.

The Million Dollar DuchessesWhat nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

I shared my review of The Million Dollar Duchesses by Julie Ferry as part of the blog tour earlier this year which I guess counts as the widest recommendation.

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

Focusing on reading more nonfiction, reading some of the books in my TBR pile and getting involved with other readers taking part in Nonfiction November.


Week 2: (Nov. 5 to 9) – Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairing, hosted by Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves

This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story.

My literary pairing is a historical fiction novel I read recently, A Ration Book Christmas by Jean Fullerton, and a nonfiction book I’m currently reading, Christmas at War by Christine Taggart, that provides the real life background to the fictional story.

A Ration Book Christmas is set in World War Two London at the height of the Blitz.  It tells the story of the Brogan family as they and their East End neighbours struggle with the challenges of rationing, air-raids, loved ones away serving in the military and the threat of Nazi invasion.

Christmas at War uses the testimony of those who lived through the Blitz to bring to life their experiences of Christmas during the Second World War.  As the book description says: ‘No turkey. No fruit to make a decent pudding. No money for presents. Your children away from home to keep them safe from bombing; your husband, father and brothers off fighting goodness knows where. How in the world does one celebrate Christmas?’


Are you taking part in Nonfiction November?

6 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: Sign-Up, Week 1 & 2 Discussion Prompts

    1. Yes, I read Sugar Money last year and you’re right. I hadn’t thought of that pairing. I came across Sugar in the Blood when I was looking for books about Barbados. I’ve been there on holiday quite a few times – in fact I got married there! – and had been planning to read it on my next trip in February. Nonfiction November has given me an excuse to bring that forward.

      I found Darkest Hour very readable and a great companion to the film.

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