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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (2)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


7 / 25 books. 28% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


34 / 50 books. 68% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


40 / 52 books. 77% done!
Tuesday, September 07, 2021

TTT: The Top Ten Best Non-Fiction Books I've Read So Far This Year


I need more happy reads in my life because prompts like today's—Top Ten Books Guaranteed to Put a Smile On Your Face—always leave me scratching my head.  Although I do like a fun cozy mystery as well as humorous characters, I just don't read very many smiley kinds of books.  I did manage to come up with ten for February's list of Top Ten Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud and that was tough enough.  So, I'm going rogue once again.  As promised last week when I listed the Top Ten Best Novels I've Read So Far This Year, this week I'm going to give you the non-fiction version.  Today's list was a much easier one to put together because I've only read, ahem, nine non-fiction books in 2021.  Luckily, all of them were excellent.  I am going to include the one I DNF'd as well because I only ditched the audio—I want to read the book instead of listen to it because I was missing too much by just listening.  

Want to join in the TTT fun?  Hop on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

Top Ten Best Non-Fiction Books I've Read So Far This Year

- in no particular order -


1.  The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Story of a Donner Party Bride by Daniel James Brown—I know, I know, it's weird to want to read about the Donner Party, but I've long been a fan of pioneer stories and survival tales.  This one is both.  It's also about a lot more than cannibalism.  Brown does an excellent job telling the epic story in all its tragic horror, without sensationalizing the truly horrific bits.  It's a fascinating account of a terrible journey.


2.  Atomic Habits by James Clear—I loved this self-help book about how to make goals attainable.  Clear gives some great advice on not only how to set reachable goals, but also how to break bad habits.


3.  The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman—I just reviewed this absorbing book about the jaw-dropping number of people who go missing every year in North America's federal lands.  Why do they vanish?  And what is being done to find them?    


4.  A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary—Did your childhood reading life revolve around Beverly Clearly?  Mine did.  This first volume of the author's autobiography provides an interesting look at Cleary's growing-up years and how they informed both her character and her writing.


5.  American Baby by Gabrielle Glaser—I've always been fascinated by adoption stories, even before becoming an adoptive mother myself.  This book uses the story of an unwed mother who placed her child for adoption in the 1960s as a vehicle to explore how poorly such women were treated, not just by the system but by society and their own families.  It's a heartbreaking, eye-opening, thought-provoking read.


6.  The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession, and Death on Mount Everest by Mark Synnott—This book tells the story of Synnott's Mount Everest expedition, which focused not on summitting the mountain but on finding a lost piece of Everest history.  This is a more academic study of Everest than most and yet, I found it just as interesting (although much slower) than Jon Krakauer's popular Into Thin Air.


7.  The Answer Is... by Alex Trebek—I was surprised to discover that this book is actually quite light and funny.  It's less of an autobiography and more of a rumination on a life well lived.


8.  Dead Wake by Erik Larson—Disaster books are another of my weird reading likes.  This one, about the sinking of the Lusitania during World War I, made for a really interesting read (listen, actually, as I enjoyed it on audio).


9.  The Lost Family by Libby Copeland—Genealogy is another of my big interests, so I couldn't resist this book about how DNA testing is changing our ideas of family, nature vs. nurture, privacy, and so on.  It's riveting!


10.  Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing—Like I said, I started listening to this book on audio, but I kept having to rewind it to catch parts I missed.  Since I didn't want to miss a word, I decided to pick it up in book form instead.  

Have you read any of these?  What did you think?  What are the best non-fiction books you've read this year?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave a comment on this post and I'll gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!       

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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