Time To Get Real, People. It’s Nonfiction November!



The great, cold weather escape can be a suspenseful mystery thriller or a hot off the press fiction book that allows you to hibernate during the cold, dark days of winter.  But we are not quite there yet.  It is still fall, and Nonfiction November is the time to learn a little something and hear the truth.  It is time to get real!  These are the nonfiction books on my night table.

Nonfiction November Picks

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is a memoir by T Kira Madden, the niece of shoe designer Steve Madden.  Coming of age in Florida, she conveys her experiences and struggles with race, sexuality and privilege.  This is a courageous debut of personal pain, trauma and beauty.  My friend, Susie Orman Schnall, author of The Subway Girls highly recommended it.

A Woman Of No Importance

A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell tells the heroic story of Virginia Hall, a Special Operations Executive from Baltimore who created a spy network in France during World War ll.  This is a riveting, little known story of courage that deserves to be read!  I saw Sonia Purnell speak at the Fairfield University Bookstore and my interest was peaked.

Finding Chika

Finding Chika by Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie, is a memoir about the Haitian orphan the author and his wife fell in love with and took to America for medical intervention.  Chika touched their hearts, redefined family and changed them forever.  Mitch Albom appeared on CBS this morning and his beautiful story brought tears to my eyes.

The Body

The Body; A Guide For Occupants by Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Everythingexplains the wonders of the human body, both physically and neurologically, with his trademark sense of humor.  I loved Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods; I am a big fan.

Troubled Water

Troubled Water; What’s Wrong With What We Drink, by Seth Siegel, brings to light the tragedy of unsafe water.  The author highlights stories of contamination with chemicals linked to cancer, heart disease and more, and calls out heroes who have stood by change.  In Siegel’s earlier book, Let There Be Water, I learned so much about how Israel developed cutting edge technology.  With more than half the country being desert, they solved major water issues and now have an abundance of water.

For a few of my nonfiction favorites from the recent past, CLICK HERE.

What will you read this Nonfiction November?

Nonfiction recommendations for you!

It’s the doldrums of winter and you may have a vacation planned or you may be snowed in, but either way, use any extra time to catch up on your reading, expand your knowledge base, understand others’ perspectives and enjoy a little nonfiction. Here are some wonderful books not to be missed.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance
As stated in Goodreads:
From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.



When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
As stated in Goodreads:
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality.



Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
As stated in Goodreads:
From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.



Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World by Seth Siegel
As stated in Goodreads:
As every day brings urgent reports of growing water shortages around the world, there is no time to lose in the search for solutions.
Beautifully written, Let There Be Water is and inspiring account of the vision and sacrifice by a nation and people that have long made water security a top priority. Despite scant natural water resources, a rapidly growing population and economy, and often hostile neighbors, Israel has consistently jumped ahead of the water innovation-curve to assure a dynamic, vital future for itself. Every town, every country, and every reader can benefit from learning what Israel did to overcome daunting challenges and transform itself from a parched land into a water superpower.

If you want to learn more about how you can help with the water crisis check out Innovation Africa, a worthy organization that is making a difference.



Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
As Stated in Goodreads:
Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.