Nonfiction

Nonfiction November: Worldview Changers

I haven’t posted anything but monthly updates on the blog these days, but I couldn’t resist this prompt for Nonfiction November.

Rebekah of She Seeks Nonfiction is hosting this particular blog prompt, for which bloggers respond with nonfiction books they’ve read and recommend.

The prompt is Worldview Changers and here’s the explanation:

One of the greatest things about reading nonfiction is learning all kinds of things about our world which you never would have known without it. There’s the intriguing, the beautiful, the appalling, and the profound. What nonfiction book (or books) has impacted the way you see the world in a powerful way? Do you think there is one book that everyone needs to read for a better understanding of the world we live in?

So here are seven books that fit the bill for me, books that taught me something about the world and, well, why it is the way it is.

Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep

I just read this one in September after struggling with fatigue and focus, especially at work. I know that movement helps me with both, but I wanted to learn why. This book explains a lot.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World

Trees feel and communicate. So that was news to me. This was the book that made me fall in love with German forester and author Peter Wohlleben. Highly recommend the audiobook if you need a soothing—but very interesting—bedtime story.

Harriet Jacobs: A Life

This is an incredible biography of escaped slave Harriet Jacobs, who authored the memoir Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. I read Incidents in my first college course and never forgot it. After escaping slavery, Harriet hid in a small attic room where she couldn’t stand up for 7 (!!!) years. Amazing survival story. I recommend reading both books.

Hidden Nature: A Voyage of Discovery

I talk about this book a lot. It’s Alice Fowler’s memoir of both coming out and how she rafted the canals of Birmingham, England to cope. The nature writing is beautiful and the details of her coming out and the dissolution of her marriage are heart-breaking and heartening at turns.

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Need permission to slow down? Hi, me too. This book will give it to you. It’s part memoir, part ode, part self-help, and I’ve read it for the past two winters since I discovered it.

Homesick: Why I Live in a Shed

Housing—it’s not for everyone, as homelessness rates have proved. Neither are 9-to-5 jobs. Catrina Davies eschews conventional jobs and conventional housing and talks about why in this memoir. I thoroughly enjoy books about alternative living and recommend this one if you like those kinds of books too.

Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen

I’ve written about this one before too. Affluence Without Abundance offers a look at an existing hunter gatherer society in the Kalahari. It reflects on the Bushmen’s natural tendency to work only as much as is needed for food and comfort (as do/did most hunter gatherer societies). And author James Suzman introduces us to members of the group, illustrating the many new challenges such a society faces as their home territory is eaten up by the larger society, allowing them little room for their traditional way of life. Totally fascinating.


I could go on and on. There are so many nonfiction books that have helped shape my understanding of the world. Do you have some that fall into this category? I’d love to hear what they are!

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