One of my goals to start 2020 was to read more non-fiction. As a Literature major in graduate school, I read mostly literary fiction, specifically novels for my own reading pleasure for years. A friend at book club, Deb Nance, of Readerbuzz, stated that she read mostly non-fiction, something at the time that I could not understand. How could anyone enjoy dull, factual, “preachy” books? Over the years we have been in book club together, I have come to learn that non-fiction is not necessarily dull; that facts are fascinating; and an author can write a self-help or an expository book without being “preachy.” My first attempt to read non-fiction included what soon became one of my favorites: Lab Girl; then came numerous memoirs, and historical non-fiction accounts that read like novels, specifically, Erik Larson’s books.

The challenge has three levels:

Non-fiction Nipper, where one reads three non-fiction books from any category

Non-fiction Nibbler, where one reads six non-fiction books from any category

Non-fiction Know It All (Deb hit this level this past year 2020–when you see the categories, you will realize how difficult this was.), where one reads 12 books, one from each category

Here are the categories 1. Biography 2. Travel 3. Self Help 4. Essay Collections 5. Diseases 6. Oceanography 7. Hobbies 8. Indigenous Cultures 9. Food 10.Wartime Experiences 11. Inventions 12 Published in 2021

It is ok to read the books in any order, at any pace, as long as the reader finishes by December 31, 2021.

I know I have NO interest in some of the categories, so I will take on the Non-fiction Nibbler, attempting to read six non-fiction books by the end of 2021. To make it a true challenge, I am going to limit myself to not repeating books in a single category, thus, reading from six different categories. This ought to be fun! Want to join in? Copy the logo provided and post your commitment on your blog. What? No blog? Join in anyway. List your plans in the comment box below and check in with me at the end of the year. I’ll post your successes.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."


    1. Welcome aboard. It is always more fun when there is more than one! Gee, I’m a poet and don’t know it–but my feet show it; they’re Longfellows. (an elementary school joke back in the 50s and 60s).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good luck Rae and welcome aboard. I did this challenge this year for the first time as I wanted to read more non-fiction. I read 8 nonfiction books from 5 categories. I also wanted to read 6 from 6 categories, but I still have 3 weeks until the end of the year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oceanography–I thought about The Wave that we read for book club. I did NOT enjoy that. I am meh about Indigenous Cultures–I love novels about other cultures but facts, not so much. And, Diseases are a definite turn off.


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