10 Nonfiction Novels I’ll Be Reading This Year

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This year, one of my big goals is to read more nonfiction. Nonfiction is a category I’ve rarely explored mostly because I’m an escapist and I use reading to leave the confines of my own world and enter another.

But on occasion, I do read some nonfiction. My preferred genre is memoirs and autobiographies, though. I love reading stories of real people and their everyday lives. I usually pick memoirs of public figures I admire.

And while there are tons of nonfiction I could be picking up this year, I think I’m going to start off slow and read what I know. If I like it enough, then maybe I’ll be converted to nonfiction exclusively. But I don’t think that’s the case. Here’s a list of some of the nonfiction novels I’ll be reading this year:

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Of course I want to read about Michelle Obama’s life. Is there anything more I need to say about it?

Educated by Tara Westover

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this particular book. Reading the description, I’m now more intrigued. I love the idea of education being a journey through the dark unknown. The idea of someone who had been homeschooled her entire life in an isolated part of America and then setting off to find education outside the confines of what she knew. I mean, that sounds intriguing enough for me to continue reading.

My Life in France by Julia Child

This book has been sitting on my shelf for years and it’s finally time for me to read it. I’m a huge fan of Julia Child and I’ve read biographies about her in the past. I even made her recipes to celebrate her birthday. However, I’ve never read her first-hand account of living in France and it’s finally time for me to read it and enjoy it like a delicious dish.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

I’m not a fan of The Daily Show, but I’m a fan of Trevor Noah. Born a Crime is his personal stories of growing up in South Africa during apartheid and even calls his own birth a crime. It sounds like such an interesting story and I can’t wait to see what drives him to comedy and becoming the host of The Daily Show.

To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins

I didn’t know that Jedidiah Jenkins quit his job to create his career. If you’re not aware, Jedidiah Jenkins is Instagram famous for taking pictures of his beautiful journey. It’s like Wild, but in pictures. I love stories like this because I always become so inspired by their lives. I’ll definitely be reading this one and perhaps planning my own cross-continental journey.

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

This book is actually going to be the first nonfiction novel I’ll be reading this year. I didn’t know about Heavy until a friend talked about it on her Instagram page. I think that honest accounts of the world make reading more interesting and I think Kiese Laymon’s life will be one that will not only surprise but educate us all.

Watch Me by Angelica Huston

I know after talking about a book like Heavy, I’m going to chat about Watch Me by Angelica Huston. TBH, this book has been on my TBR shelf for years and I want to read it to get it over with. Don’t you love a good celebrity autobiography once in a while?

Hunger by Roxane Gay

When Roxane Gay first put out this novel, I was definitely there to pick it up. I think body image and food are two very big topics that get messed around with a lot. We’re told so many things about the way we eat, what we eat, and what we look like. I want to explore Roxane’s book and listen to her account.

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Over the holidays, a friend of mine told me that reading Men We Reaped brought a lot of insight to the other books Jesmyn Ward’s written. It’s a memoir about five men Jesmyn lost in five years. Each of these men died for different reasons, but I can understand with a tragedy like that why someone would want to look into it. I think the most interesting book will be learning what she’s learned from it and what we’re all going to be taking away from reading her novel.

12 thoughts on “10 Nonfiction Novels I’ll Be Reading This Year

  1. I’ve read Becoming and Educated, and definitely recommend both! They’re such great books, and both have so many sticky notes and underlined passages throughout my copies. I’m currently in the middle of Born a Crime, and really enjoying it so far. It’s a lot more serious than I was expecting, but it’s very, very good. Good luck reading nonfiction this year!

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  2. Just warning you – after you read A Life in France, you will become obsessed with France and will need to travel there. I loved that book so much. I listened to it on Audible and it was great hearing the French words pronounced correctly. And, if you haven’t seen the movie Julie and Julia, or read the book that inspired it, those go along greatly with A Life in France.

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    1. I did read Julie and Julia and totally fell in love with it! I think I’m slightly inspired by that book (and the movie) to read this book. I’ve read other biographies about Julia Child, but I want the real life voice!

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  3. Becoming and Educated are both on my TBR for this year! I’ve heard only good things about them. I think I keep putting off reading them because I’m afraid they won’t live up to the hype somehow (although I doubt it for Michelle Obama, because, I mean, it’s Michelle!)

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  4. Hunger by Roxane Gay was one of my favorite reads last year! The audiobook is so, so lovely. I love listening to Roxane Gay! She’s such an intelligent woman. I hope you enjoy it as well!

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