Top 5 nonfiction books on my tbr

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Happy Wednesday! Today’s topic revolves around Nonfiction November, and is a bit open-ended as far as what to actually write about. So I’ve chosen to do the top five nonfiction books I want to read out of all the unread ones that I own.

I don’t talk too much about nonfiction, as I rarely read it. When I do read it though, I tend to enjoy it. I just have to be in the mood. In my house there are about one and a half book cases worth of nonfiction books. Most of them are my husband’s, but I have a chunk of them too. According to my Goodreads shelf, I own twenty-two nonfiction books that I have yet to read. Looking through those, these are the five that most grab my attention, in no particular order:

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – I picked this up a few months ago after the author gave a presentation for my work. I’ve seen the movie and loved it, so I wanted to give the book a try as well.

The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku – If I’m being honest I basically wanna read all of Kaku’s books, but this is the one I own. My first college degree was in psychology, so this subject in particular is fascinating to me. This book I believe deals with speculative projections of what could possibly happen to human consciousness in the future as technology continues to advance.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – This is a memoir, and from what I’ve heard, a really powerful one. My sociology professor recommended this to me back in 2009 or so I think. I have it, haven’t read it yet because I’m scared it’s gonna break my heart.

The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone – I picked this book up a few years ago when I went to Chicago and saw Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! recorded live. Paula Poundstone wasn’t on that particular episode so that was a bummer, but I really like her sense of humor and her opinions on a lot of things. So I picked up her book at the merch tables they had!

DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman, M.D. – I picked this book up years ago when I was studying for my psychology degree as a bit of side reading, but never got to for one reason or another. Despite me working as a software engineer now, I still really do have a love for psychology (and would have stuck with it professionally if it paid the bills). So I am still very interested in this book. DMT is a chemical that is made by the human brain during near death experiences, and those who take it synthetically report to have spiritual experiences. So the whole thing is rather fascinating to me, as this molecule can both be seen through a scientific and spiritual lens, and I wanna know more about it.

And that’s it! There are a bunch of other books on my nonfiction tbr as well so if you’re at all curious, you can check out the shelf of them I made here.

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I enjoyed but rarely talk about | #8

top ten tuesday(2)

Happy Tuesday! It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve done one of these and I’m pretty pumped about this topic. Time to talk up some books!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by ThatArtstyReaderGirl!

The Fold (Threshold, #2)

The Fold by Peter Clines – I bought this book back in I think 2015 or so. Basically it was a cover-buy originally. I was walking down a boardwalk at the beach and this was displayed in a window of a local bookshop. I literally stopped in my tracks, went in, and bought it. I don’t know what it was about the cover but it was mesmerizing. And honestly, this picture doesn’t give it justice. It’s brighter, it’s textured, it gives the illusion of depth. It’s a really nice cover. But then I read the book after and I loved it. It follows a group conducting a study on what they call the Albuquerque Door, a device that lets you fold space and time to travel hundreds of miles in one step. And I don’t want to tell you anything else because spoilers, man. But this was so good.

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time will probably raise their eyebrows at this one. That’s because I hate book two. I despise it. And my rage at that one often overshadows how much I actually liked the first one. I think because I liked the first one so much, the second one was even more of a let down as a result. (Will I still read the third? Yes, but that’s not the point). For those of you who somehow still don’t know what this is about, this book tells a ‘let me tell you my life story’-style narration by the main character named Kvothe, who recalls his childhood and early adulthood across three books. This one starts with when he was little, and goes up through after he enters magic school. There’s so, so much more to it than that, but as a fantasy, this book was a solid beginning book and I do recommend this one, at least.

The Gene: An Intimate History

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee – This one I rarely mention just because it’s so rare that I read nonfiction in the first place. But this one was really great. I learned so much about the history of biology, about controversial practices my (USA’s) government used to do, about all the bits and bobs about genes that I didn’t know already, it was really neat. When I was in school for my computer science degree, I focused in bioinformatics, so I knew a good bit of the basics already, and while this book didn’t really go into super technical stuff it definitely broadened my knowledge base. This was entertaining and fun and I’d really recommend it to anyone.

Ralph and the Pixie by G. S. Monks (which now that I’m looking at it, the author might be writing under J. J. Stevenson now?) – This book has so much nostalgia for me and every time I think about it I get the warm fuzzies. Which… is weird considering it’s really not a warm fuzzy book. When I first read this book, it was back when it was on fictionpress in maybe 2006 or so? I read it as a teenager and remember adoring it. It actually ended up getting self-published, and when I mentioned liking it on here a few years ago, the author sent me a copy, which I appreciated so much. This book follows a human, a pixie, a chaotic political system, and a king obsessed with immortality. The world in takes place in to me, in addition to nostalgic, is rather whimsical in a dark kind of way. I dig it. Man, just writing about it makes me wanna reread it.

Hotel Africa, Volume 1

Hotel Africa by Hee Jung Park – This is a first volume of a manga series (which… I think there are only two or three) but essentially it’s a character study, and it’s super neat. It follows Elvis, a young man living with his mother in a hotel out in the middle of the desert in Utah, and all the people who come to stay there. It’s nice and slow paced but each character’s story really pulls at the heartstrings and I absolutely loved this.

Bad Feminist

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – As I mentioned, nonfiction isn’t normally my thing, so I’m gonna mention a few here. Bad Feminist is a collection of essays talking about Feminism and how it’s still growing and changing today, and how all the different subgroups within have somewhat differing ideas, how those merge, and how they can’t. And it’s funny, to boot. I really liked this one.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)

The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan – I read this back when I was a teenager, back when ‘dystopian ya novels’ were just beginning to be a thing. I think this one was… post hunger games, pre anything else? Not sure. Anyways, I have a fair bit of nostalgia for this book. It follows a young girl in a religious commune, one that is surrounded on all sides by fences. And on the other side of those fences, stand thousands and thousands of zombies. I particularly liked this one due to the religious twist. It’s not just a group of survivors, it’s a cult living in the apocalypse. It’s neat.


Kindred by Octavia E. Butler – I feel that overall this is a highly mentioned book in the book community. I just never talk about it for some reason though, which is a shame because I really liked this one. It follows a young black woman who is thrown back in time and appears in Maryland, smack in the middle of slave-holding America. This book was rough to read. Not because of the writing, the writing was excellent, but this book definitely got deep into a bunch of serious topics, including (obviously) racism, sexism, and all of that. It was a really good read and I recommend this one.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day – I chose this one mostly because it resonates with me so much. Felicia Day is well known among the nerdy online community. She’s done some acting – she was in The Guild, a webshow turned tv show about a gaming guild in a world of warcraft-esque online game, which is where I know her the best, but she’s also been in Supernatural and various other roles on tv and movies. But mostly she’s known for being a geek. And this book, her memoir, talks about her growing up and being one, and it really just hit home a lot. I really liked this.

Our Dining Table

Our Dining Table by Mito Ori – This is my most recent favorite manga, and I wanna reread it just writing about it now. It’s a one-shot, a single volume story about a man who cannot eat in front of other people due to family issues, and another man and his little brother that slowly break through to him through sharing cooking time and eventually, meals. This is a fluffy story with a bit of romance, and it’s just so pleasant and wholesome and nice that I can’t help but love it. This one is really super cute.

And that’s it! I really liked this topic. It’s nice mentioning some books that I feel like deserve way more attention than they get. Go read all of these! Happy reading!

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby | Blabber

We Are Never Meeting In Real LifeWe Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
275 pages
Read Dec 27th 2017-Jan 4th, 2018
Spoiler free blabber

I bought this book because of the cat.

I was in Connecticut, visiting a friend who had moved away a couple years ago, and we were perusing the shelves in a local bookstore in New Haven, CT, when I decided I wanted to buy something different. I had been eyeing a few fantasy novels that have been on my radar, but who knows when I would get to them. So I wanted something that I knew nothing about, that would remind me of the trip due it being different to what I normally gravitate towards.

And then there was this book: bright yellow with a soggy cat on the front. And it spoke to me. I grabbed it, skimmed the back and saw that Roxanne Gay had blurbed it and that was enough for me. I bought it and began reading it that night.

This book was pretty much what I expected it to be, once I read more thoroughly what it was about. It’s one of those books that makes me want to write a book full of my blabberings, because that’s what it is. It had elements I found similar to Yes Please, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and many other modern memoirs of women living in various states of life. I tend to like those kinds of books, so I ended up rather enjoying this one as well.

Samantha Irby strikes me as a person that I felt, what, partially similar to? I guess? Parts of her writing had me in hysterics from how close it hit to home. I was laughing way, way too hard at parts of this book, and the urge to meet this woman and shake her hand was really strong. Other parts I didn’t relate to, so I read those bits with interest, getting to see another perspective on things that I held a different opinion on, and expanding my world view at the same time.

Hey, it’s almost like we’re two people with our own thoughts and feelings, haha.

Overall though, I liked this book. Irby goes through various different stories of her life. A couple of them had me laughing so hard, a couple of them had me reading them out loud to my husband, trying not to crack up while I read, and seeing him shaking his head and smiling at me, waiting to see if I’d crumble under my giggles.

One of my favorite parts was the cat, Hellen Keller, whom the author brought home mostly against her will and then grew to grudgingly love. Helen was hysterical. The way she was narrated reminded me of every single female cat I’ve ever owned. She had such a ‘tude, I loved it.

Samantha Irby’s book will stick with me, I think. And that’s what I wanted when I bought it – a good experience reading that I could associate with hanging out with my friend in that one bookstore in Connecticut. So thank ya Ms Irby, you gave me a good few days as I read your writing, trying to keep my cat Nina from walking on the book like you had to finagle around Helen cat.

3.5/5 stars