Nonfiction November Week 3: Be The Expert #nonficnov

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This week’s Nonfiction November prompt is hosted by Rennie @What’s Nonfiction. As Rennie explains, there are three ways to join in this week. You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (Be The Expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (Ask The Expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (Become The Expert).

Although I can’t – and won’t – claim to be anything like an expert, I’m happy to share some memoirs I’ve enjoyed reading that focus on the beneficial effects on our physical and mental health of time spent in the natural world.

The Salt Path and The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn

In The Salt Path  the author recounts her experience of walking the South West Coast Path alongside her husband, Moth, recalling the landscape and the flora and fauna they observe along the way. In her follow-up, The Wild Silence, she explores in more depth her belief in the positive contribution that exposure to the natural world has on our physical and mental health. As she writes, “We need the plants, the land, the natural world; we actually physically need it.”

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

The author recounts with unflinching honesty how moving to a remote island off Orkney, becoming involved in the life of its small community and discovering an interest in the creatures that make the island and the sea that surrounds it their home played a key part in her recovery from alcoholism.

Where the Hornbeam Grows by Beth Lynch

Through her own personal experience of being uprooted from her accustomed habitat and transplanted to somewhere new – in this case, Switzerland – the author explores how through nurturing a corner of the natural world, in her case by creating a new garden, we ourselves are nurtured.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to my list?

#NonficNov Nonfiction November Week 2: Book Pairings

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This week’s Nonfiction November prompt is hosted by Julie at JulzReads.

Julie asks us to pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. She says “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.”


Living Among the DeadA lot of the nonfiction I’ve read this year has been about World War Two and, in particular, memoirs by Holocaust survivors or those forced to flee Nazi persecution. So the first book I’ve chosen to pair a fiction title with is Living Among the Dead: My Grandmother’s Holocaust Survival Story of Love and Strength by Adena Bernstein Astrowsky. But because I couldn’t decide on just one work of fiction to go with it, here are three suggestions. Links from the titles will take you to my reviews.

The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford
The Young Survivors by Debra Barnes
The Hidden Village by Imogen Matthews

Blitz WritingI’m currently reading It Was Different At The Time by Inez Holden recalling her experiences of the London Blitz. Conveniently, Handheld Press has published a lovely edition of it alongside Holden’s novella, Night Shift, written around the same time.

So that’s one easy pairing but here are a couple more novels set during the Blitz.

V For Victory by Lissa Evans
A Ration Book Childhood by Jean Fullerton