Monday, November 15, 2021

Be/Ask/Become the Expert

Week 3: (November 15-19) – Be/Ask/Become the Expert with Veronica at The Thousand Book Project: Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert). 

I can recommend these books on writing--which are also books about how to live a good life.
I have these titles related to World War I on my TBR list and want to read them as a "flight" one of these days:

What additional titles do you recommend on either of these topics?


  1. I've not read any books on writing for a while, but these are great suggestions. I like that they are about how to live a good life too (another form of "writing" or story-creation after all).

    About World War I, I can recommend a book I read this year: The Moralist, a biography of Woodrow Wilson that went into great and eye-opening detail about his role in the peace conference that proved so disastrous for later history. He was a pivotal figure that we tend to not hear much about in detail, so this was really a revelation for me.

    Happy NonFicNov!

    1. I read Paris 1919 this past year, about the peace conference, and was planning to look for a Wilson bio as a followup. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I read Bird by Bird for the first time this year and absolutely loved it! I also really liked Annie Dillard's A Writing Life.

    For World War I, there's a book I loved that's kind of peripheral, or exploring the lead-up to the war - 1913: The Year Before the Storm, by Florian Illies. It's really unusual, kind of sketches and fragments that show the changes that were happening then. It's really interesting and great nonfiction in translation!

  3. I just read Guns of August, and it was like being there during the early days of the war.

    I love Bird by Bird and Writing Down the Bones. I will look for Making a Literary Life.

  4. I just read Women to the Front by Heather Sheard and Ruth Lee about the Australian women doctors who volunteered during WWI which I found very interesting, especially as I had no idea there were any.
    Thanks for sharing your lists

  5. I love that you featured books on writing because I was so close to using that as my topic as well this week. However, I'm almost embarrassed by how long Bird by Bird has been sitting on my bookshelf ... maybe by next Nonfiction November!

    1. Bird by Bird is SO good! It's a book I go back and read parts of fairly often, mostly just for encouragement that this life thing can be handled.

  6. I've read (and loved!) both Bird by Bird and Writing Down the Bones, but I haven't read Making a Literary Life. Going to get a Kindle sample of it right now!...

  7. Those sound like great themes, unfortunately, I can't think of books I would have read to fit.
    Here is my post:

  8. What a great idea - I wish I'd thought of books on writing!

    I loved Bird by Bird. I also read the Natalie Goldberg years ago, when I was in a writing class in St John's, Newfoundland, and the tutor (a wonderful woman) recommended it almost every week. I've forgotten most of it now, but I still have my copy and I think I will reread it (when?!)

    I cannot resist a book about writing, and have at least two shelves of them. One that i enjoyed was Maeve Binchy's Writers' Club - it's pretty basic, but she has such a friendly 'voice', and I frequently remind myself that when she first started writing she was still working full time, and used to get up at 5am to get some writing done before starting her 'real' job. She lived then in a small house, and her husband Gordon made her a sort of writing trolly that she could slide out from its alcove every time. I am all too good at the 'I don't have time to write' or 'I don't have my own writer's shed so I can't possibly do it' - Maeve managed it all and seems always to have stayed cheerful too.

    Two other books that I have but haven't yet read are Dorothea Brand's Becoming A Writer and Scarlett Thomas's Monkeys with Typewriters, both of which were recommended so often that I bought my own copies (and that, of course, is a far as I've got...)

    Thanks for such an interesting list.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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