If you follow along here, you might notice that most of my reading is fictional. That said, 2019 has seen me reading more non-fiction than I ever have before. In fact, looking at the numbers, I’ve almost doubled the amount of non-fiction compared to 2018. Part of this is because of my Writers’ Fest Challenge, which saw me read a number of books I might not have picked up on my own. Some of them even made it to today’s post.
Dissident Doctor by Michael C. Klein
I found this book fascinating but I also recognize that not every reader will enjoy it in the same way. Klein is smart and informed but what I liked about this book was primarily because I’m interested in birth and how we go about being born. This isn’t a topic I would have read about before having my birth experience so I wouldn’t recommend this book willy-nilly though Klein’s own history as written in the book is also quite interesting.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Another doctor though Kalanithi’s writing is far more beautiful. He’s practical but poetic and as he tells his own story and faces his own impending death he writes with such power and poise. It’s hard to read but wonderfully done.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Speaking of hard to read. Miller is a talented writer and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future. I also think she’s extraordinarily brave and I hope many, many men in particular read her book.
Furious Hours by Casey Cep
I did not expect to enjoy this book so much but Cep packed it full of information and kept it fascinating at every turn of the page. There is so much in this book and yet it never felt overwhelming. Cep brought Harper Lee alive in a way I hadn’t seen her before but also fleshed out the lesser known people of the story in a terrific manner. I highly recommend this one.
And the Winner Is….
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground – Alicia Elliott
I probably would have awarded this first place in Monday’s category of Canadian books except I knew I was saving it for today. It’s Canadian, yes, but the problems Elliott explores of poverty and racism and social injustice are not uniquely Canadian (even if we have our own unique ways of dealing with them). This book will make you uncomfortable and that’s why you should read it.