Good morning Book Journey readers! This is Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness. While Sheila is off having a fabulous time in Australia, I’m helping hold down the fort in uber-cold Minnesota (seriously, it is frigid around here in January).
Even though we’re from the same state, Sheila and I met for the first time in New York City in 2010 when we both attended Book Expo America. I decided to go to BEA at the last minute, and was so lucky that Sheila had some space in the room she had booked. Bring from the Midwest, neither of us realized how small hotel rooms in New York actually were – Sheila and I, plus our roommates, Care (Care’s Online Book Club) and Esme (Chocolate and Croissants), were pretty squished together! It was such a fun experience, though, and Sheila and I have been blogging friends ever since.
I know Sheila starts her mornings with coffee, but I’m a tea girl myself. I tend to be an early bird, so most mornings you’ll find me up and going a few hours before I need to be at work. I make a cup of tea and breakfast (usually eggs and fruit), then settle in on my couch to read or catch up on some television. This year I’m trying to incorporate exercise or other more “productive’ activities into my mornings, with mixed success.
I’m known, mostly, for reading and reviewing nonfiction. I love to try and convince readers that nonfiction can be as wonderful to read as fiction, if you take the time to find a great book. I know that Sheila has started to read more nonfiction lately and has some great titles to recommend from her archive – Columbine by Dave Cullen (so sad, but so worth reading), Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace (on my TBR list), The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson (creepy historical true crime), and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (science, history and race – I told Sheila this book was a “must read” and I’m so glad she loved it!).
So that’s what I’d love to chat about today – Do you read nonfiction? What are some of your favorite recommendations? Can I help recommend a great nonfiction read?
31 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings… Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness”
Yeah, those NYC rooms are pretty small, aren’t they? I read a ton of nonfiction: biographies, survival stories, exploration stories, outdoor writing, science … you know, whatever catches my eye.
I don’t think I’ve stayed in an NYC room that was as tiny as our first one in any of my years since. I feel like that one was exceptionally tiny? Maybe? Or maybe I’m just more familiar now.
Kim, Nice to see you over here! I’ve got some big nonfiction books on my TBR list for this year. Truman by David McCullough which won a Pulitzer. But wow. It’s over 1000 pages. So, I think I’ll save it for the summer when I have more time to read.
I was going to start Ron Chernow’s big Washington biography, but the length intimidated me too.
I read the Furrow book as an ARC, and loved it, well worth the read.
I used to read mostly autobiographies. Lately, I haven’t read so many, but I did read Devil in the White City and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack from your list. I also liked Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd, The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch and my all time favorite The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.
Nice post, Kim. I read nonfiction maybe a couple of times a year – usually a memoir or biography. Earlier this month I finished reading A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III by Janice Hadlow. It was interesting and I think people who love to read about British Royalty would like it.
I remember the year y’all were all smooshed into that hotel room! I love your nonfiction reviews!
It was so funny! I was glad to be rooming with such a welcoming, cheerful, group of bloggers.
hi Kim! *waving* Yes, that room was tiny but so much fun! Book-friends are the best.I know my ‘real’ friends were aghast that I signed up to room with people I didn’t know. Heck, I felt I knew you all better than some people I work with and see every day. Anyway.
Yep, I love nonfiction. I just finished Five Days at Memorial. I am waffling what book to start next, Maybe I should pick up another nonfiction… (wanders off to look at my bookshelves)
My mom was the same way. She was so nervous I was going to New York AND rooming with a bunch of people I’d never met. Luckily, you all turned out to be wonderful and not serial killers 🙂
I’m on my NOOK, and my dumb auto correct changed Chernow to furrow for some reason in my earlier comment. Sorry about that. I love nonfiction, and my reading of it has really grown since I started blogging in 2009. I still don’t read as much as I should, but I probably do 10-20 nonfiction books a year, sometimes more. Thanks for reminding me of a few I still need to read.
I was wondering what that comment meant 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation — I got it on audio book after the print seemed too difficult. Somehow 40 hours of audio is less intimidating than a hardcover chunkster?
I do love nonfiction, and mostly revel in memoirs that delve into the lives of writers or celebrities. I like knowing a little about the person behind the facade.
Thanks for visiting today, and your cup of tea looks very tempting!
I read nonfiction sometimes, but only if I am really interested in the subject (obviously). I have read The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks and really enjoyed it. I would also recommend I am Malala (great autobiography; very moving). Last year, I also read Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War. I loved that one. It was so fascinating, especially because one of the women actually dressed like a man to serve in the war.
Oh, Kim, how I WANT to be a morning person like you! *sigh* It’s my “never want the day to end” mentality that keeps me up at the wrong end of the day! Love that tea gif 🙂 I kept staring at it lol
Living in a NYC suburb, I’ve never stayed overnight in a NYC hotel, so I have no comment on their size, but I think, like anything else, you get what you pay for and in NYC the real estate is high! lol Glad you all had fun though 🙂
The only nonfiction I read is typically on subjects I personally need to know about, typically health-related on some level. I also read books on writing/illustrating craft when I have the time. I’ll be reading more of the plethora on my shelf once I can finally allow time to focus on my writing. I recently read a memoir that was written REALLY well (COMMITTED by Pastrick Ross.) I was turned off toward the end though, by a scene that made me think differently of the author 😦 , It’s an excellent read though! Made me wonder if I’d ever be interested in reading more memoirs, but my first love is kidlit and I already don’t have enough time to read all that : / His book was written as well as fiction. That’s really the key, I think–to be able to whittle down life experience to keep you turning the page 🙂
I started an evening routine — getting all ready for bed about 9 p.m. (wash face, teeth, in pjs) and putting my phone away so I avoid screen temptation — so I can try to be ready for sleep by 10 or 10:30. It doesn’t always happen, but I really love the quiet time in the morning so much that I try really hard to do it. The boyfriend is a night person and enjoys his quiet time then, so to each his/her own 🙂
Yes, that’s actually been my intention and I did it briefly…trying to be in bed by 10 to hopefully be sleeping by 11. It’s very difficult to change it. I like my quiet time, period, but it’s always been at night because pushing the envelope at the END of the day is what I always did. I do know, though, that early mornings lend to better quality productivity!
I normally do not read fiction, but I have read Devil In The White City and loved it.
LOL on your NYC hotel room. Luckily I get to stay with my son when I go to the BEA, and even keeps my books until he makes a trip home. 🙂
Wonderful post. I love these guest posts. That animated tea photo is awesome.
Have a wonderful weekend.
OOPS…I meant I do not read non-fiction. So used to writing fiction. Sorry.
Hi, Kim. I have long appreciated the humorous name of your blog. Thank you for filling in for Sheila. I enjoy nonfiction, such as health-related books and memoir, and read it fairly often.
I read quite a bit of non fiction. Columbine is on my list for this year, we will see if I get to it. I didn’t like immortal life, felt it started strong but lost my interest. One of my favs from last year was five days at memorial. I also loved the elephant whisperer and enjoyed izzy and lenore. I might check out the devil in white city…sounds good. Nice chatting. Stay warm.
I do read nonfiction occasionally, but I profess that I mostly read biographies and memoirs. I did read the above listed Columbine story, and it was sad but enjoyable at the same time. I’m going to hop over and check out your blog now, so thanks for filling in.
Pop in of the day – finally! We are in the Fiords of New Zealand and the internet as well as cell phone coverage has been in and out. Beautiful scenery though! Kim, The immortal Life book discussion I had with you really turned me towards non fiction. I read quite a bit of it now and like a mix of both. And the hotel room… oh my gosh…. the look on my face when I first walked into it and seen how small it was…. 😆
Hmm, I wonder if the room seemed particularly small because you had four people sharing it? But I’m glad it worked out. I know from personal experience that you’re an excellent BEA roommate!
I’ve become more of a nonfiction reader over the last few years–and not just memoirs, which were my go-to category for a long time. Lately, I just get more excited over the variety of *things* there are to read about, and by how creatively some writers bring them to life.
Glad to meet you Kim,
I haven’t read non fiction for awhile. I like history at times and stories about nature, both plants and animals mainly.
I remember meeting you all at that BEA! About 25% of my reading is non-fiction – my most recent non-fiction read/listen was Five Days at Memorial which I thought was excellent.
Tea girl here too! Columbine is on my list for this year. I’ve had it for awhile and really need to read it.
I love non-fiction too! I love to learn and I find that reading non-fiction is one of the best ways to keep getting a well-rounded education. I’ve heard of The Immortal Life but have yet to read it.