Memorable non-fiction of 2012

Usually I seem to read about half and half fiction and non-fiction. For some reason, non-fiction took over strongly during the summer and I was reading a ton of non-fiction.


In no particular order,


1. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck- I loved this book so much. Loved Steinbeck’s travels across America, writing style and adventures. (Bonus- I got this out of the recycle bin)

2. Foodshed- an edible Alberta alphabet by dee Hobsbawn- Smith- This is such a cool little book. Dee travels to farms all over Alberta and provides a snapshot of farming. She also includes recipes in the book. As someone who travels to farms all over Alberta, I was prepared to be highly critical of this book, but was quite happy with the accuracy of how she portrayed people. I’d visited many of the farms myself, so I had strong opinions. Nice work!

3. Monsters in the movies by John Landis- This will not appeal to everyone. It’s a coffee table book about monsters and their history and famous movie monsters. Also includes interviews with people who are influential in this genre. I loved it.

4. Going solo by Eric Klinenberg- We are in the middle of a social experiment. More people live alone than any other time in history. I really liked the research and details in this book and learned a lot.

5. Food and the City by Jennifer Cockrall-King- Cockrall-King travels all over the world exploring and writing about urban agriculture. Very interesting stuff.

6. Quiet by Susan Cain- A book about the power of introverts.

7. Coming of Age on Zoloft by Katherine Sharpe- Recommended for any person in their 20s, 30s, or 40s, who has recently been on anti-depressants. You’ll see a lot of yourself in here.

8. MWF seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche- Rachel Bertsche is actually sort of annoying, but I loved her quest. She decided to try and get more friends and embarked on a series of friend-dates and actual targetted attempts to meet new people. There’s a lot of interesting information about friendship in this book, and I found myself thinking about it a lot, even though Rachel herself sometimes got on my nerves.

9. Out of the Blue by Jan Wong- This might be my top non-fiction read this year. Wong details her extreme depression after she was fired by the Globe and Mail. It’s a story that talks a lot about workplace depression and journalism and it’s brilliant.

Worst books I read this year- Fifty Shades of Grey, The Devil’s Cinema, Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit and City of Bones. I also really disliked Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which many people seem to love.

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