It’s here! It’s here! The annual blogging event is BAACK and I’m so happy to welcome my co-hosts and fellow nonfiction lovers back for another year of fantastic posts and recommendations. (You can read the announcement post here).
Each week a different blogger will host the weekly prompt – this week’s prompt is hosted by Katie from Doing Dewey. Visit their page to link up your own blog post and/or find new blogs to follow! Let’s get into it!
Week 1: (Oct 31-Nov 4) – Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November? (Doing Dewey)
I’ve read a lot of great nonfiction titles this year with the majority being older, back-list titles, or re-reads.
Of the books I finished (that were published in 2022), it’s no contest, the clear favorite is Hello Molly by Molly Shannon!
I often joke that if a book makes me cry, then it’s an automatic 5 stars, and Molly’s story definitely did have me reaching for the tissues. I went into it without really knowing much about her life besides the comedy on SNL and of course the armpit scene from Superstar (which I never saw). Right away you find out that she and her sister were raised by a very nontraditional father after a devastating car accident that killed her mother, sister and cousin when she was just a baby.
Her father did the best he could raising his girls but Molly had a lot of unresolved trauma which affected her entire childhood. You might be surprised how many times Molly uses the word sad in her memoir. She felt so sad yet was able to remind herself to be grateful and to view everything as an important life experience. It was fascinating to learn how all the characters she created came from deeply personal life stories. The memoir is broken into four parts and the last one absolutely devastated me. It’s the one where in her 30’s she finally deals with her mothers death.
There were so many relatable parts – being Catholic, losing her mom young, wanting to include everyone. But my favorite part was her stories about her father. How he loved and accepted her and thought anything she did was amazing. He maybe wasn’t the best father but he was her biggest supporter.
Other celebrity memoirs I really enjoyed this year were: The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze (2010) , Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox (2002),and A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston (2016). One scene that is particularly memorable in Bryan’s memoir is when he describes filming a scene in Breaking Bad – it’s a pivotal scene where he has to decide if he’s going to save Jesse’s girlfriend’s life. Bryan shared that he pictured his own daughter and the emotions you see are very real.
Favorite Re-Read – Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin D. Mitnick (2011) – I LOVE this book! I can’t really explain it but Kevin’s story of a computer nerd/hacker who did it for the thrill and challenge is fascinating to me. Kevin was a computer nerd who saw it as a challenge to get inside systems and he actually had to live on the run with a fake name to avoid prosecution. I will also re-watch Hackers and The Net all the time, so that probably explains a lot about my tastes.
Favorite Audiobook – Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff by Dana K White (2018) I found this to be really really helpful. Narrated by the author, she is very practical and repetitive- but for this type of book it’s necessary! The biggest takeaway: Your house is a container. You must limit your possessions to what will fit in the container. Decluttering is NOT THE SAME AS ORGANIZING!
Conclusion: I love reading nonfiction. It’s a great way to learn more about the world and yourself. You can read about something you love or just find something new that interests you. I hope this event will bring more readers to this wonderful book genre!
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