NonFiction November: 3 Recommendations
NonFiction November: Recommendations
I don’t read a lot of NonFiction. However, I think I need to start, because I’ve never read a NonFiction book that I haven’t loved. I’m not taking part in NonFiction November in the sense that all of my books this month will be NonFiction; however, I do want to read a few (I’m currently reading It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson and he is hilarious!). I wanted to recommend some of my favorites that I have read in the past, in case you needed some ideas for NonFiction November.
Daring Greatly \\ Brene Brown
This is a book that I think everyone should read. It's about shame and vulnerability and how shame can only truly dissipate by allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It’s about how vulnerability is the only path to happiness (what Brene calls “wholeheartedness”). I don’t know about you, but I could really use some wholeheartedness in my life.
Are you living with any shame? Are you finding yourself constantly trying to combat this culture that is constantly telling you you aren’t “enough,” whatever that looks like? You don't make enough money, you don’t have enough ____, you aren’t successful enough, and….you aren’t even authentic enough.
JUST BE YOU! It’s so cliched but it’s so true. If you ever find yourself combatting shame, or struggling with the “never enough,” culture, or disconnecting from the world around you, including the people that you love, then Read. This. Book. RIGHT NOW.
Sit down for an hour or two, and start reading. You will finish it so fast! I promise you won't want to stop, and you will not regret this choice. I promise, I promise. When you’ve finished reading it, come back to me and practice your newfound vulnerability. I'll appreciate and love every drop of the REAL YOU, in all of your authenticity. And eventually, you will too. That's the truth.
The Glass Castle \\ Jeanette Walls
Many people have already read this book by now; it’s a classic. Jeanette tells the story of her childhood in a hauntingly heartbreaking way that makes you feel ALL THE FEELS. Let me tell you...I laughed so hard reading this book, wept (not single tear...full blown cry), and also slammed the book against the wall I was so angry. It was fantastically written and taught me so many valuable life lessons.
One of the things I found most valuable about this book, is that no matter how life and the people in it treated Jeanette, she remained morally upright and honest. I also valued her writing style very much. She writes horrific events so matter of factly and borderline nonchalantly; but, I don’t think she does this to diminish the gravity of what has happened to her, I think she does this because the events speak for themselves, and to add any more emotional context to her writing would break the reader entirely.
Her story is just phenomenal. I thought about it for months after reading it, and I highly recommend it.
Wild \\ Cheryl Strayed
This book is kind of funny...well...rephrase: my opinions on this book are rather funny...and mixed. I actually originally gave this book ⅗ stars. But upon further consideration, I gave it a 4.
Let me explain.
This book takes you through an incredible experience. What this woman did (which was hike the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail with ZERO hiking experience or preparation, minus buying the supplies), is incredibly brave, and inspiring, poetic, and encouraging. So why didn’t I initially love this book? Because I didn’t love Cheryl Strayed (hear me out on all of this before you go hating me, please). I was a young college student when I initially read this, and was incredibly immature and pretentious. My thoughts after reading it the first time were: “So, she was divorced because she had cheated on her husband and did a ton of hard drugs to cope with her mother’s death, and she was morbidly depressed and wasn’t dealing with her emotional turmoil in a healthy way, and so she decided to leave it all behind and hike this treacherous trail in pursuit to ‘find herself.’ Barf.” Upon reading it the second time as a mature adult who herself came out of her closeted depression and who also deals with numerous adult problems in which she sometimes copes with in unhealthy ways: “Wow, she was incredibly brave to be so vulnerable. She showed us her real self, even though she didn’t have to. She told us about all of the crap that she did, that she wasn’t proud of, because all of that crap is what lead her to the decision that would change her life forever, which was hiking the PCT. I want to have that kind of bravery.”
Cheryl Strayed was a real person who had to deal with very real things. She doesn’t just present to us her highlight reel. She shows us the real her. The person that most people only talk about behind closed doors. The person that most people are ashamed of, but that most people actually are deep down: real.
If you want a book that will inspire you to live life to its fullest, despite all of life’s struggles, read Wild by Cheryl Strayed.