“One of the paradoxes of writing is that when you write nonfiction everyone tries to prove that it’s wrong, and when you publish fiction, everyone tries to see the truth in it.”
– Scarlet Thomas
Every month I share the best of what I’ve finished reading. Here are books I recommend from November. See all my recommended books here.
And to complete the Nonfiction November challenge, I also include a roundup of books recommended to me from other participants this month.
Books I Recommend
1. A Thousand Lives
The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown
by Julia Scheeres
If I didn’t know this really happened, I’d say it’s unbelievable. Jim Jones took his cult members from the United States to live in a commune in Guyana in the 1970s.
By 1978, Jones had such a grip on them, he convinced the adults to commit suicide as a group. (And the more than 300 kids? The adults gave them the cyanide first, then took it themselves.) 918 people died.
It’s an atrocious, horrible story. But well-written and well-documented by Julia Scheeres.
No time for the book? Here’s an interesting article about it instead.
2. The Complete Enneagram
27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge
by Beatrice Chestnut
There are lots of books on the Enneagram out there (here’s a list of my 3 favorites). But this is one of the most thorough books.
Chestnut goes into detail on the three subtypes of each of the nine types, for a total of 27 types to learn about.
(Can a book be too thorough? This book left me more confused about which type to identify with.)
3. Something Needs to Change
A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need
by David Platt
This book is a travel diary. That makes it different from Platt’s other books. However, the message is the same: believe in Jesus and share his love with others.
The setting is a week-long mission trip to the Himalayas. Platt keeps a record of and shares with the reader about who he meets along the way, their struggles, and his struggles with their struggles.
The book is easy to read and moves quickly, as Platt travels through the mountains. I don’t agree 100% with Platt’s theology, but I love his heart for others and for God.
How to Leverage the Physics of Flow to Accomplish More of What Truly Matters and Feel Less Busy at the Same Time
by Andy Dragt
This is a short book about time management from the perspective of flow. It went a little long for my taste covering rivers and trees and the Constructal Law.
But I did gain from it about values, purposes, and priorities.
And Dragt affirmed my use of calendars. He is a big believer on freeing up your time by getting predictable about everything you can.
5. Washington Black
by Esi Edugyan
The story begins on a sugar plantation in Barbados with an 11-year-old slave, Washington Black. His life takes a big turn when he meets the master’s brother, Titch, an inventor and abolitionist.
You go a lot of tender places on this journey with Wash. Hard truths but also sweet graces are in this novel.
This book has won many awards, and I understand why.
6. A Place for Us
by Fatima Farheen Mirza
This novel begins at the wedding of an Indian couple in America. You immediately feel the tension between the bride’s brother and the rest of the family.
The story progresses back and forth through time to deliver the backstory, bringing you back to the wedding. And eventually catches up, progressing a few years beyond the time of the wedding.
It’s a sweet story of hardships and struggles among each family member as they interact with each other and the broader community as Muslims in America.
- The Alice Network
by Kate Quinn
- What Is a Girl Worth?
My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics
by Rachael Denhollander
- Blessed Broken Given
How Your Story Becomes Sacred in the Hands of Jesus
by Glenn Packiam
The Enneagram Guide for Discovering Your Truest, Baddest Self
by Hannah Paasch
- Thinking, Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman
- Introverts in the Church
Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture
by Adam S. McHugh
- Outer Order, Inner Calm
Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness
by Gretchen Rubin
Books Recommended to Me
These are books I have NOT read. But I’ve added them to my TBR list from other Nonfiction November bloggers for our final week of #NonficNov (this week’s linkup is hosted by Rennie). Any comments on which I should read?
- The Library Book
by Susan Orlean
Recommended by Bryan
- Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise
by Katherine Rundell
Recommended by Jade
- Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime
by Ron Stallworth
Recommended by Tina
- Merton: An Enneagram Profile
by Suzanne Zuercher
Recommended by Emma
* * *
What good book are YOU reading this month? Please share in the comments.
Want more book recommendations? I posted these this month:
- 3 Spiritual Books on the Enneagram
- My Favorite Nonfiction Books This Year
- 3 Reasons You Don’t Read Nonfiction and Why You Should Anyway
sharing with Modern Mrs. Darcy
- Which Shape Should I Be? – Book for Toddlers
- Thanksgiving Isn’t Over – Stay Unbusy