Nonfiction books for November:
5 moving memoirs to read this month (and always)
I, admittedly, read much more fiction than I do nonfiction. However, here are a few nonfiction books that I enjoyed and one that’s still on my list for this month.
A few make for excellent book club picks, primarily Wild Game and Beautiful Country. Yet, whichever of these you end up reading, I hope you enjoy jumping into someone else’s story for a bit.
Whether you end up reading these this month or not, these memoirs are worth picking up.
Wild Game is one of the first memoirs that I can remember reading as an adult. And, it was only a few short years ago that I read it! I tend to read more fiction than nonfiction, though Wild Game convinced me to dive deeper into the genre and give it another chance.
I love reading to escape, to relax, to enjoy cozy small-town settings and heartwarming rom-coms. And, somehow, Adrienne Brodeur did exactly that with Wild Game. I was immediately transported to the cape and that tumultuous time in her life.
Wild Game is also really special to me because it was the very first book selection for Literary League, a book club that began in the club room of my old apartment building and expanded to 40+ cities around the world (and counting!).
The Ugly Cry is another Literary League pick that I LOVED. I have both the physical copy and the audiobook and dare I say I enjoyed the audiobook even more? Gosh, Danielle Henderson is so talented and funny and so kind as to share her story with us.
In The Ugly Cry, we hear about Danielle’s difficult home life, how she grew up, and how she grew wise.
Danielle’s memoir is moving, comedic, and full of heart.
It’s rare that I’m reading a book by a white male author, and even more rare that I’m reading a memoir by a white male author. And, I’m glad I broke my loose rule to read A Very Punchable Face. I didn’t know how much I loved and admired Colin Jost until I listened to this book.
Tim and I started it on our drive up for a cabin weekend and realized that the 90-minute drive was much too short! We couldn’t squeeze in enough listening time so we planned to listen to it on the way back and even started listening to it as we cooked and ate dinner at home.
Colin recounts his formative years trekking across the city for school, his time with the Harvard Lampoon (which felt so close because I often spent weekends in Harvard Square), and his early days on SNL. He’s funny, self-deprecating in a non-terrible way, and SO entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud more than I have in a long, long time.
In her debut, Qian Julie Wang pulls you into her world in less than 5 pages. Beautiful Country is Qian Julie’s story of moving to the United States as an undocumented young girl. She recounts her younger years with clarity and so much feeling.
Beautiful Country is our current Literary League pick, and though it feels weird to say I’m loving this because of the nature of her story, I am. It’s beautifully written, a memoir to be savored.
Crying in H Mart is next up on my memoir list. I’ve heard nothing but the highest of praise for Michelle’s memoir. And, while I like to avoid reading books that will, inevitably, make me cry, this one seems like a must-read.
You may know I’m a newly minted audiobook fan, and as such, have fallen in love with listening via Libro.fm. I love that Libro.fm supports local bookshops with each audiobook purchase. And, if you’d like to listen to any (or all!) of these nonfiction books, download the audiobooks right on Libro.fm’s site or app.
To purchase the physical copies online while still supporting local bookshops, here’s a shortlist with the 5 I mention in this article.
Have you read any memoirs or nonfiction books that you loved recently?
Note: Some of the links featured here are affiliate links. I only share links and recommendations for companies and brands I support and love