Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 Challenge: Non-Fiction Non-Memoir


Julie at My Book Retreat is hosting her first challenge, geared towards reading more nonfiction. To make it more of a challenge, her Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Reading Challenge will exclude memoirs, which seem to be the most read type of nonfiction among the book blogs she follows. Instead, the focus is on learning about a variety of different topics and discovering new facts. The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.

What Counts:
- Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio) but must be written for adults or young adults.
- Books can cover many different topics, including science, technology, religion, sociology, business, biography, politics, economics, history, food, art/design, etc.
- How-to, self-help and travel books are permitted, as long as you actual read them cover to cover, and don't just use them as a reference.
- Crossovers with other challenges are permitted.

What Does Not Count:
- Reference books, cookbooks and instruction manuals that are not meant to be read cover to cover
- Essays and articles (individual -- bound collections count)
- How-to, self-help or travel books that are not read cover to cover
- Memoirs, journals and autobiographies
- Books written for children
- Re-reads don't count since the point is to learn something new


Elementary - 5 nonfiction books
Diploma - 10 nonfiction books
Bachelor's Degree - 15 nonfiction books
Master's Degree -  25 nonfiction books


See Julie's challenge post.

I signed up for the Diploma level to read 10 books. I thought I read a lot of qualifying books in 2011, but when I go back and look, sure enough, most were memoirs.


Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe. by Thomas Cahill, reviewed here;

The Innocents Abroad, Vol. 1, by Mark Twain, reviewed here

What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza, great book but not reviewed;

The World of Herb Caen by  Barnaby Conrad, reviewed here;

On the Town in New York: The Landmark History of Eating, Drinking, and Entertainments from the American Revolution to the Food Revolution by Michael and Ariane Batterberry, reviewed here;

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman;

Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller, reviewed here;

How To Read and Why by Harold Bloom;

Evolutionaries: Transformational Leadership: The Missing Link in Your Organizational Chart, by business strategists Randy Harrington and Carmen E Voillequé, reviewed here;

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott;

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni.


I am going to stick with books on my TBR shelf, to maximize cross-over potential with the Mt. TBR Challenge. Possibilities, in no kind of order, include:

The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights by David E. Gumpert (a Foodie Challenge book)

The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by S. Wise Bauer

Because He Could by Dick Morris

Roads to Santiago: Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain by Cees Nooteboom (which could count either as my Spain book or my Holland book for my European Reading Challenge)

Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius by Barbara Belford (a UK book for my European Reading Challenge)

The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World by Bjørn Lomborg (which I've been meaning to read forever, would count as one of my Chunkster Challenge books, and is another possible Holland book for my European Reading Challenge)

Frank Lloyd Wright by Ada Louise Huxtable

French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano (a Foodie Challenge book)

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: A Political Marriage by Nicholas Wapshott (a possible UK book for my European Reading Challenge)

Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution by Thomas McNamee (a Foodie Challenge book)

How To Read and Why by Harold Bloom

Feng Shui Your Life by Jayme Barrett

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King (an Italy book for my European Reading Challenge)

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology by Simon Winchester (a UK book for my European Reading Challenge)

Godless: The Church of Liberalism by Ann Coulter

The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects by Lewis Mumford

The Journalist And The Murderer by Janet Malcolm

Voodoo Vintners: Oregon's Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers by Katherine Cole (a Foodie Challenge book)

Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910 - 1939 by Katie Roiphe (a UK book for my European Reading Challenge)

Epicurean Delight: The Life and Times of James Beard by Evan Jones (a Foodie Challenge book)


Last updated on December 28, 2012.  I read 11 books, so completed the challenge.

8 Days to Christmas!

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