I hope everyone who took part in Nonfiction November got something out of it – principally some fantastic reading and tons of new ideas about possible areas to read up on.
It has been a great experience for me personally. I’ve loved helping to host and I’ve found some amazing books which are going to keep me busy for the longest time. I’ve also found some great new bloggers to follow.
Week 5 is our final week of the challenge and we are hosted by Lisa at Hopewell’s Public Library of Life.
The prompt for this final week is:
Description: (New to My TBR: It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!
So without further ado here’s my list.
Ada’s Ideas: The Story of ADA Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was the daughter of Lord Byron, a poet, and Anna Isabella Milbanke, a mathematician. Her parents separated when she was young, and her mother insisted on a logic-focused education, rejecting Byron’s “mad” love of poetry. But Ada remained fascinated with her father and considered mathematics “poetical science.” Via her friendship with inventor Charles Babbage, she became involved in “programming” his Analytical Engine, a precursor to the computer, thus becoming the world’s first computer programmer. This picture book biography of Ada Lovelace is a compelling portrait of a woman who saw the potential for numbers to make art.
I found this book on Literary Potpourri
The Woman They Could Not Silence: The Timeless Story of an Outspoken Woman and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore
1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened–by Elizabeth’s intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So Theophilus makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum.
This Wilkie Collins-esque saga seems to belong in the deeps of history but no. The actor Cary Grant’s horrific childhood saga – currently on our screens – was set in the 20th century, 50 years later than the events recounted in Moore’s book, yet a time when men could still confine their wives to an insane asylum with impunity.
I found The Woman they Could Not Silence on Silver Button Books.
Bibliomaniac by Robin Ince
Why play to 12,000 people when you can play to 12? In Autumn 2021, Robin Ince’s stadium tour with Professor Brian Cox was postponed due to the pandemic. Rather than do nothing, he decided he would instead go on a tour of over a hundred bookshops, from Wigtown to Penzance; from Swansea to Margate.
Packed with anecdotes and tall tales, Bibliomaniac follows Robin up and down the country in his quest to discover just why he can never have enough books. It is the story of an addiction and a romance, and also of an occasional points failure just outside Oxenholme.
I found Bibliomaniac on Bookish Beck.
Landbridge: Life in Fragments by Y-Dang Troeung
Born in, and named after, Thailand’s Khao-I-Dang refugee camp, Y-Dang Troeung was – aged one – the last of 60,000 Cambodian refugees admitted to Canada, fleeing her homeland in the aftermath of Pol Pot’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime. In Canada, Y-Dang became a literal poster child for the benevolence of the Canadian refugee project – and, implicitly, the unknowable horrors of the place she had escaped.
In Landbridge, a family and personal memoir of astonishing power, Y-Dang grapples with a life lived in the shadow of pre-constructed narratives. She considers the transactional relationship between a host country and its refugees; she delves into the contradictions between ethnic, regional and national identities; and she writes to her young son Kai with the promise that this family legacy is passed down with love at its core.
Written in fragmentary chapters, each with the vivid light of a single candle in a pitch-black room, Landbridge is a courageous piece of life writing, the story of a family, and a bold, ground-breaking intervention in the way trauma and migration are told.
I found Landbridge on Shoe’s Seeds and Stories
The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas
Commonly seen as the legendary Norwegian writer’s masterpiece, this story tells the tale of Siss and Unn, two friends who have only spent one evening in each other’s company. But so profound is this evening between them that when Unn inexplicably disappears, Siss’s world is shattered. The Ice Palace is written in prose of a lyrical economy that ranks among the most memorable achievements of modern literature.
I found this on Cathy@746 Books
Avid Reader: A Life by Robert Gottleib
After editing The Columbia Review, staging plays at Cambridge, and a stint in the greeting-card department of Macy’s, Robert Gottlieb stumbled into a job at Simon and Schuster. By the time he left to run Alfred A. Knopf a dozen years later, he was the editor in chief, having discovered and edited Catch-22 and The American Way of Death, among other bestsellers. At Knopf, Gottlieb edited an astonishing list of authors, including Toni Morrison, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, John le Carre, Michael Crichton, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Graham, Robert Caro, Nora Ephron, and Bill Clinton–not to mention Bruno Bettelheim and Miss Piggy. In Avid Reader, Gottlieb writes with wit and candor about succeeding William Shawn as the editor of The New Yorker, and the challenges and satisfactions of running America’s preeminent magazine. Sixty years after joining Simon and Schuster, Gottlieb is still at it–editing, anthologizing, and, to his surprise, writing.
I found this book on The Intrepid Angeleno
Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon by Melissa L. Sevigny
In the summer of 1938, botanists Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter set off down the Colorado River, accompanied by an ambitious expedition leader and three amateur boatmen. With its churning rapids, sheer cliffs, and boat-shattering boulders, the Colorado was famed as the most dangerous river in the world. But for Clover and Jotter, it held a tantalizing appeal: no one had surveyed the Grand Canyon’s plants, and they were determined to be the first.
I found this book on Hopewell’s Public Library of Life.
Well I’ve got a lot of books to read. Thank you again to everyone who has taken part in this challenge.
From 1st December Liz at Adventures in Reading is running a new challenge, Dean Street December, which celebrates an indie press dedicated to finding and republishing good fiction and nonfiction, so I’m off to find out what I need to read for that.