Nonfiction November: Week 1 – A Year in Nonfiction

It is my second year participating in this challenge and I am very excited about it! I feel more prepared this year – last year was such an amazing experience and I was like a crazy kid let loose in a candy shop – all the books!! Week one takes a look back at your year in nonfiction, and is hosted by Leann @Β Shelf Aware.

I have had a weird year of reading this year – I just couldn’t always focus on reading like normal. I still managed to read some fantastic books this year, including more nonfiction than I normally read.

Not tons, but I feel like this was a good amount for the reading year I had this year. By far, my favorite and most recommended nonfiction read this year was The Call of the Wild and Free. It was a book that resonated in my bones, and I knew that this was the journey I wanted to start with my son. I had a feeling we would be homeschooling this year, and then when I read Arment’s book, it brought everything together for me. Wyatt has cerebral palsy that mainly affects his mobility, with some developmental delays, and Arment said something in her book that just rang so true for me – that in the classroom, the focus is on the disability; at home, the focus is on ability. (I am paraphrasing here) I know that this is not the right solution or experience for everyone, but it works for us, at least right now.

It sparked a year of reading more books about homeschool and alternative types of schooling, about creativity and adventure. And I still have two more of this type on my shelf, waiting to be read. I have found inspiration not just for our homeschool, but also for our everyday lives in these books. It just works for us!

Last year, I was introduced to just how many fabulous nonfiction topics are out there waiting to be explored. There really is a book out there for everything, and for everyone. I think this year, I am just excited to see what everyone else is reading, what their interests are, and to maybe find a few new topics of interest to learn about as well. I also “met” so many new people and found new blogs – the community that arises from this event is incredible, and I am looking forward to that aspect as well!

43 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: Week 1 – A Year in Nonfiction

  1. You always read so many good books about nature and family and education, and those are all topics I’m interested in, too. One thing I think is lovely is that I read Around the World in 80 Trees because of a recommendation at Nonfiction November and I believe you read it because I recommended it. Who will now read it because of your recommendation?

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    1. I did!! It was such a great book. I am pretty sure I annoyed people for weeks while reading it, just randomly telling them tree facts. LOL. I love books that make me do that though, and really honestly, the people I do that with know me and are cool with my info dumping. Lol.

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  2. Looks like a great set of books and I love that you have found inspiration for the home schooling as well. And now I’m here I should mention that I am impressed by the level of work and enthusiasm you throw into home school as well. πŸ™‚

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  3. How absolutely lovely that the one book led you into more and more like that, fabulous. I love the sense of community, too – it’s my second year as well and I love reading about people’s nonfiction adventures as many people I know and follow are not so big on the nonfiction side. Happy reading and blogging for November!

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  4. I’ve struggled with my attention span since the pandemic started too. I didn’t read as much nonfiction as I normally do but since my very loose goal is always to read one per month, I have at least managed that.

    I’m glad you read a book that has steered you down a path that’s working for your family. My grandmother’s sister had cerebral palsy that affected her pretty profoundly. She had a wicked sense of humor and the best laugh though! I wouldn’t mind being remembered that way.

    Around the World in 80 Trees sounds interesting!

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    1. It has been so hard! That was my goal too and I didn’t quite make it. Almost!

      That book really changed things for us, at least for now! And that would be an amazing way to be remembered. πŸ™‚

      It was fascinating really! It did turn me into a bit of a fact spouter to my friends and family though. LOL.

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  5. I still feel like a crazy kid in a candy shop during this event. But I just give in and enjoy the ride.

    I’m sorry you have had that experience with school for your son and I hope your homeschooling journey is healing for all of you. It’s a challenge in our world to keep our focus on abilities, isn’t it? So much seems to be crumbling into total dysfunction. Yet I still have hope that there is something to be gleaned from all that, if we can find a way to discern it.

    Happy Nonfiction November!

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    1. Lol I will probably end up doing just that! Lol.

      His teachers, the school – they were so wonderful! It was just for us, the system was designed for students like are a certain way, and there was a lot of time spent trying to fit my son into their mold, rather than working with his positives. But the staff at the school were the best! There is so much happening right now – and I agree, so difficult to be positive. But like you, I am hopeful.

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  6. Susan

    What a positive post. I just found your site from Laurel’s or Deb’s sites. Glad you found some good books on homeschooling. I too read a book on Owls … called The Hidden Lives of Owls by Leigh Calvez so just interesting the similar title. … now I know a lot of factoids about these cool birds.

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  7. I love that you read something that resonated so deeply with you (your summary of ability vs disability honestly gave me chills) that it set you and your family on a new path that feels so right to you. There’s nothing books can’t do!

    I love seeing what you and Wyatt are up to via instagram – you’re inspiring this parent! And Wyatt always looks like he’s having the best time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And when I read that in the book, I am pretty sure I gasped as I thought about those words and Wyatt and our experience. The staff and school were wonderful – but he is not part of the majority which is what they understandably cater to. They do their best but here it can be a whole different experience.

      Thank you so much!!! That is so kind! Wyatt is generally pretty happy- he has his moments though! Lol.

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  8. I was homeschooled from 2nd through 8th grade and it was a great experience. I got really focus on the topics that interested me and by joining groups with other homeschoolers, I don’t feel like I missed out socializing at all. I’m not and will not be a parent, but perhaps because of my own schooling, all of the books you’ve read sound interesting to me. And sometimes I think books for people with kids can be good for couples too, for finding ways to establish traditions and such πŸ™‚

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  9. Arment’s book sounds great – I’m not a parent but I work in the education field and this seems like an important read. The theme of connecting to nature really resonates with me, especially this year. I felt like walking each day and really looking around me was what kept me sane. Thanks for sharing these recommendations.

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  10. Really liked Around the World in 80 Trees and 100 Things to Do in a Forest. (I am judging by book title and cover.) Would love to read your reviews on those too. Happy NFN and see you around.

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  11. Your notes on Wild and Free are once again resonating with me. We’ve been doing virtual school this year and it’s not the same. In school (this is Montessori approach), it’s exactly like proposed in Wild and Free but at home with me, it’s not, because I’m so bothered by all the deadlines and the limited at-desk schooling time we have. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s okay, she’s learning otherwise about life & living and having so so much fun. I just need that reminder. It’s on my list.- going to bump it up.

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    1. This is a hard year! We have to remind ourselves that however/whatever our kids are learning, we are all doing our best and not try to compare it to more normal times. As long as like you say, she is learning and living you are doing good. This year is not normal and we need to be easy on ourselves. πŸ™‚ That being said, Call of the Wild and Free is fabulous!

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