A Longlist of Books for NF November

I have been gathering potential titles for Non-fiction November. Some of them have long been in my library, or on my TBR, some are new additions. There is no way that I will read all of them, but these are the books I am selecting from:


I read Paul Theroux’s Deep South and Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways earlier this year & really enjoyed both of them. These two books have been on my personal TBR for a number of years.

  • The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen: I own a copy of the Penguin Classics edition of this book and actually started reading it last year, but got sidetracked very quickly.
  • In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin: I think that this book may have made it onto my TBR from listening to Backlisted. If my memory serves, one of the hosts mentioned it in their episode on Utz, by Bruce Chatwin.
  • Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron: I was really interested in Thubron’s In Siberia, but that one wasn’t available, so I checked out this one, instead. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, the Silk Road looms large in my imagination.

Books about Books or Authors:

  • Liz’s recent post about Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers┬áby Emma Smith completely sold me on this one, so I checked it out of my library.
  • The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym by Paula Byrne: this one is quite a doorstopper, at 686 pages long, so it’s not a likely choice. Nonetheless, one of the weekly prompts is to pair a fiction with a non-fiction book, and this would be a great choice to pair with one of Pym’s novels that I haven’t yet read.
  • No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy by Mark Hodkinson: the bookish memoir is one of my favorite types of non-fiction.

Social Non-Fiction:

  • The Secret History of Home Economics by Danielle Dreilinger: I can’t remember where I stumbled on this one, but I was intrigued, so I checked it out of my library.
  • Dopesick by Beth Macy: I have read several books about the opioid crisis, but I, somehow, haven’t read this one. I also haven’t watched the adaptation.

True Crime:

  • Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right Wing Extremism by Jeffrey Toobin: I really loved Fever in the Heartland, which I read earlier this year, and this came up as an also read on Goodreads, so I decided to try it.
  • Evidence of Things Seen by Sarah Weinman: my primary knowledge of Sarah Weinman comes from her work as an editor – she edited the Library of America editions of Women Crime Writers of the 1930’s and 1940’s. I own both of them as digital editions, and have enjoyed the mysteries that I’ve read from them.
  • Hell’s Half-Acre by Susan Jonasus: this one has been on my radar for a while, and it was available at my library, so I grabbed it.

Memoir & Essays

  • These Precious Days by Ann Patchett: Patchett’s bookstore in Nashville in on my bucket list of bookstores to visit. If she talks (or writes), I will listen.

That’s enough to keep me busy for a handful of Novembers, so I’ll stop there.


  1. Honoured you’ve picked one of my recent reads and one with an eye to “my” week of pairings! The Chatwin is great though not necessarily totally NONfiction I found after splurging on him years ago. I love the stuff about the Welsh communities there. Thubron is a miserable chap, even more than Theroux, so a bit more chewy. No One Around Here Reads Tolstoy is interesting and entertaining (ha – you could read Tolstoy to go with that!) and the Pym bio is less of a slog than you think it will be. Happy reading!

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