Womanish by Kim McLaren is my favorite non-fiction this year, as it hit me just at that nostalgic feeling where you feel motivated to self-examination and creating resolutions for yourself. A collection of essays, McLaren has a powerful and wise voice, and she shares her understanding of the way the world works with readers freely.
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers is an amazing story about a young man who has big plans to develop the underappreciated coffee plantations in Yemen into small-sourced, high-end coffee producers. In order to realize this dream, he has some challenges to overcome, such as his education level and background, and the fact that nobody in the coffee world believes that Yemeni coffee could be great.
This is Just My Face Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe is a cozy conversation with an amazing woman who also overcame a series of obstacles in order to actualize her dream of becoming an actress. Sidibe’s voice is friendly, humorous, and full of love for herself and others.
In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero is a tale of immigration and the resilience of children. Guerrero shares her struggles growing up with a family who was separated from her and each other due to the American immigration process, and not having Green cards despite birthing American citizens. In the face of all this, Guerrero deals with personal mental health struggles and finally finds her path to becoming an actress.
The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery is a scientific approach to the life of an octopus. In addition to the great amount of information presented to readers, Montgomery shows her deep love and her community’s deep love of the octopus, and reveals the personality that each octopus she gets to know has. I enjoyed the narrative style Montgomery chose to share her story – I felt connected to her experiences and the octopuses.
A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande shows Grande’s pursuit to a college degree and a career in writing. A follow up memoir to her previous book The Distance Between Us, Grande shares personal struggles and triumphs as well as about her relationship with her family, friends, and the people she dates.
The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine is a fantastical memoir about one woman’s journey with one of the last American side-shows. Readers will be shocked and thrilled to get an inside picture into what life with a side-show is like, although this memoir may not be as exciting as one might expect.
What We Talk about When We Talk about Rape by Sohaila Abdulali is a heavy read, but absolutely worth it. As the title would reveal, this book is predominantly about rape, and the experience women have with sexual harrassment, rape, abuse, and more. She talks about talking about rape with her children. She explores how media talk about rape, and thinks about conversations she has had with others in her life.