Saturday, December 28, 2019

Best Adult Nonfiction Read in 2019

I typically make the disclaimer that these are books I read in 2019, not necessarily books that were published in 2019. But for adult nonfiction, 4/5 books were actually published this year, and one was from 2018, so I feel pretty on top of my game right now. ALSO - please note ALL OF THESE BOOKS WERE WRITTEN BY WOMEN!!! WHOOHOO!

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Caitlin Doughty (2019). I’ve loved Doughty since I read her first book, and was so excited to see she had a new one out. Her first was interesting and engaging, her second was incredibly informative, and this one is fascinating. I love that it’s written based off questions from children, and I suppose it could be read by children, but I don’t know if it’s being marketed that way. The questions are interesting, though - surely we’ve all wondered about some of them at one point or another. Doughty’s answers are well-researched but also understandable even without extensive knowledge of death science. She also displays her excellent sense of humor in pretty much every answer. I want to be her friend. Also, the illustrations are AMAZING.

Goodbye, Sweet Girl by Kelly Sundberg (2018). I read this at the perfect time in my life. When you're going through a relationship ending, reading about others experiencing the same can really make you feel like you have a support system, even if you don't, or can't be this open with others around you. (Although I would recommend this to anyone and everyone, because it's just a great book all-around.) It was recommended by a friend, and I would in turn recommend it to pretty much anyone. Sundberg is so open and honest about her relationship history, her marriage, and being a mother. Her prose is beautiful and emotional and touching. Many sections had me nodding in agreement, others had me biting my nails, and others had me weeping. A must-read.

Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come by Jessica Pan (2019). The summary of this book screamed that it was perfect for me. Spoiler alert: IT WAS. I want to be Jessica’s best friend but as a fellow shintrovert, I know we will never hang out. Twitter friendship it is. Jess takes a year to set goals to push herself out of her comfort zone and try to become an extrovert. She tells a story in front of an audience for The Moth, she takes stand up and improv classes and performs at clubs, she goes to networking events and actually networks, she speaks to strangers. It all gave me small anxiety attacks (which made me feel alive!) and also had me laughing out loud in so many sections. I loved relating so hard to this person and her year. It also reminded me of the year I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to go to grad school in DC, where I also spoke to strangers and took comedy classes. But here I am, shintrovert for life, reading as much as possible and living vicariously through those books. I have since loaned out my copy to others, and recommended the title to even more.

Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis (2019). I liked American Housewife, but this blew it away in my mind. I loved the style of lists and “How To” articles for obscure things. I loved pretty much every essay in this book. Can’t get enough of Ellis’ style! It was a fun, entertaining, but interesting read right when I needed it. Definitely one you should check out and either read a bit at a time, or all the way through in one sitting.

Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman (2019). The idea of going on tour as part of an orchestra that doesn’t actually play grabbed my attention, but Hindman’s writing made this book more than that. The whole thing seemed so surreal, but Hindman put enough personality into it where you felt like you were also trapped in this strange situation. (Literally - much of the book is written in second person, which is very immersive and interesting.) Who wouldn't pretend to play an instrument for good money?! If you like strange stories, you should check this out. And then google to find out who The Composer is, and then watch tons of his videos on YouTube and see if you can tell if the musicians are really playing or not. Don't forget to check out the CONSTANT SMILES! And also fall down the rabbit hole of Threatin, if you haven’t already.

Have you read any of these nonfiction books? What did you think of them? What nonfiction books would you recommend to me?

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