Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

The Broke and the Bookish, home of Top Ten Tuesdays, is hosting a nonfiction reading challenge which is meant to expand horizons even for people who read nonfiction on a regular basis, like myself.  They've listed nine categories to read from, and a few of them are those I rarely go near.  I've never done a challenge before, and this sounds like fun.

Culture: "Non-fiction books about different cultures, religions and foreign lands; memoirs & biographies count."
There are a couple of books on India and China I'm interested in reading this year, though I think they're mostly history. In any case, I also intend to read something about Hinduism this year. Will Durant's books are heavily cultural, too.

Art: "Non-fiction books about anything art related (painters, music, architecture, photography, dance, literature, film, etc.). Memoirs/biographies of any people related to the arts count."
Well, if my library has a book on the history of architecture I'd be interested -- and if not, there's always that biography of Sammy Davis Jr. which I never finished. I also want to read a biography of Audrey Hepburn, because she's adorable in every movie I've seen her in.

Food: "Food memoirs, anything related to food industry, food lifestyles."
...I have no real idea.  Maybe Epicures will say something about food?  I'm going to be reading his works this year.

Medical: "anything related to the medical field--industry memoirs, memoirs about illnesses (mental included) /diseases, etc."
Hm.  I will have to poke around. I rarely venture into my library's medical section, because it has books on homeopathy and by Keven Trudeau, and those just make me sink to the floor weeping.  This attracts attention and diminishes the productiveness of my library visits.

Travel: "travelogues, industry memoirs, travel guides, etc."
This should be rather easy:  I still have the second Walking Across America book waiting for me.

Memoir/Biography: "Self explanatory "
Should be easy enough. I'm planning on reading D-Day parachutist Dick Winters' memoirs, as he recently passed away.  I'm also interested in reading a big ol'  biography of Franklin Roosevelt.

Money: "Anything related to finances, economics, history of money, financial improvement etc."
- Last year I intended to read The World is Flat, a book on globalization, but didn't get around to it. This challenge will provide such an opportunity.

Science/Nature: "Anything related to any scientific field, memoirs count."
- Sex on Six Legs, which won't be released until late this year -- but I have an advanced review copy.  Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan, which I haven't read since 2006, is a likely contender. And to those challenge-folk reading, Carl Sagan was famous for working to popularize science. He's written quite a few books in addition to hosting Cosmos. (Link is to "A Glorious Dawn", which is..Cosmos in concentrate.)

History: "Anything history related-- events, biographies of historic figures, etc."
- Heh. History is my bread and butter, so to speak, so this one will be easy. The Age of Faith by Will Durant, and The Near East by Isaac Asimov are two reads I already have in mind. (You know, I really should get around to reading The Age of Faith so I don't keep mentioning it in Broke-and-the-Bookish-related posts. It's appeared on three or four lists now...)


  1. I'm so happy you are participating with us!! I used to read a healthy dose of non-fiction and this year I've been slacking. For the food one, may I suggest Anthony Bourdain's book? It might be a good fit since you like travel! I'm either going to read that, Eating Animals by JSF or the one by Barbara Kingsolver that I'm drawing a blank on right now. lol

    Good luck!

  2. My library has the Bourdain book! (lo and behold...). Thanks for the suggestion, I'll be following up on it. :)

    Happy (and informing) reading to you as well!

  3. I think I could do those - except for the food one!


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