Nonfiction November is month-long readathon on Twitter and it is hosted by @abookolive! I love participating in this challenge because my love of nonfiction started at a very early age. It all began when I was six-years-old during my New Kids on the Block Days when I would revel in those glossy pictures they always had in the middle of the book. Then from NKOTB I discovered my love of Hanson and I would ravenously read all those unofficial biographies about each Hanson brother and delight in every useless detail about their favorite jelly bean color and their ideal dream girl. Over the years, as life got busier I fell away from non-fiction and preferred my fiction reads. Then I met the love of my life…Audible. Audible has made my reading life so much brighter since it has helped me get so much closer to my Goodreads goal and it has reignited my love of nonfiction again. The best thing about nonfiction audible reads is that it is usually narrated by the actual author which makes it much more of an intimate and more meaningful experience. Here are the best nonfiction reads old and new that I listen to on repeat.
My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education by Jennine Capó Crucet
This captivating read is a collection of essays from a Cuban-American author who perfectly captures her experiences growing up Cuban-American. Her essays reveal her stories of being named after a Miss America pageant winner, being white passing and having to endure ignorant remarks about Latinx Americans, and going to an Ivy League university where she feels like a stranger in her own skin.
My Time Among the Whites came into my radar after hearing about the recent horrific news events of the burning of her book in Georgia Southern University. As soon as I uploaded the book in my Audible app, I listened to the whole book in an entire sitting. I was captivated with her stories about being a Cuban-American woman in Miami, growing up with a family who held to the ideal of the American dream, and related to her struggles of being white passing. Jennine Capó Crucet’s book is my ultimate favorite nonfiction book of the year. This is the kind of book that will always continue to challenge me to think about the world we live in today and how we could be more inclusive in an exclusive world.
90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality by Allison Yarrow
The nineties is filled with a sense of nostalgia but behind the nostalgia, the rise of college educated women, and the increase of women in the workplace women were still facing inequality and objectified in popular culture. Nineties Bitch explores the meaning of bitchification and the pivotal events of the nineties such as the Monica Lewinsky and Tanya Harding scandal. It also explores pop culture events such as the commodification of girl power and the incessant fat shaming jokes that were made in the television show Friends.
Being someone that consumes nineties pop culture on a daily basis this is one of the books that taught me that the nineties wasn’t as “woke” as it appeared. This book made me realize the other side of the coin when it comes to the nineties. Unfortunately I am conflicted with my love for the nineties because one of my best memories was jumping up and down my bed to Spice Girls “Wannabe” and perfecting Gwen Stefani’s signature “Just a Girl” pout. Nineties Bitch has also made me realize how right the Josie and the Pussycats movie was about the evils about pop culture.
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
Wildflower is a memoir written by the ultimate flower child and my muse Drew Barrymore. This isn’t the typical memoir that has a clear beginning and end. Each chapter is a random snippet of her life, her journey, and how she has achieved happiness and contentment. Wildflower is narrated by Drew Barrymore and it reveals personal stories about her kids, her marriages, the pitfalls of growing up and living on your own as a fourteen-year-old, and her trademark fun-loving zeal for life.
Every year, I always listen to this memoir because it’s written with so much heart and it exudes her flower child spirit. Her stories have repeatedly made me laugh, cry, and have made me smile from ear to ear. She is one of the few actresses that genuinely wants to make the world a better place and she ultimately lives on being her true self no matter what. Listening to Drew Barrymore narrate her stories is like listening to your cool, wise, and rebellious older sister that just finished traveling around the world for a year.
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
After the immediate explosion of Girl Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis officially became my new Oprah. Girl, Stop Apologizing is a continuation of Girl, Wash Your Face that gives you the straightforward advice on how to go after your dreams and navigate all the challenges we face as women every day. This is an honest and revealing book that teaches women how to stop defining themselves through other people’s opinions and begin to define their own destinies.
Girl, Stop Apologizing isn’t your typical hokey self-help book and reading this book is like talking to your best friend over many bottles of wine. Rachel Hollis has an approachable and relatable way of guiding women to see the best in themselves. Most importantly, she teaches women everywhere that despite the imperfection and obstacles we face that we begin the day with gratitude and never stop starting over again.