Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 1, 2017

2017 Non-fiction November

I’m not sure that I can participate in all five weeks of activities for Non-fiction November (I have too many nice new novels to read!) but I can certainly join in Week One.

2017’s Nonfiction November is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Lory at Emerald City Book Review, Julie at Julz Reads, and Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness.

In Week 1 (Oct 30 to Nov 3), take a look back at your year of nonfiction:

Australian non-fiction

and although I haven’t quite finished writing the review: Dragon and Kangaroo, Australia and China’s shared history form the Goldfields to the present day, by Robert Macklin.

And from overseas:

…and reflect on the following questions – 

What was your favourite nonfiction read of the year?

Oh, too hard, much too hard!  I’m really getting a lot out of the Very Short Introduction series (and will probably finish the VSI for Russian Literature during November too, and I think The Art of Time Travel by Tom Griffiths is a very valuable book for non-historians to read.  Return to Moscow by Tony Kevin is a good antidote to paranoia about Russia, but for sheer enjoyment as distinct from what I might pompously call ‘self-improvement’ I’d recommend Margaret Flockton, a Fragrant Memory by Louise Wilson and The Art of War by the late Betty Churcher.


What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Heavens, I don’t know… I’m always ear-bashing people about the books I read!  It might have been A Good Life to the End by Ken Hillman, because while I certainly didn’t enjoy reading about what lies in wait for our last years, I think it’s a very important book that people should read.  But I’m pretty sure I banged on about Kenneth Baker’s  The Burning of Books too….

What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? 

What, just one?

That would be all the topics that I’d rather not read because they depress me.  You know, Brexit, American politics, climate change, and that stuff about death cleaning…

What are you hoping expecting to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Guilt, about all the books I haven’t read.  I had a purge of the NF shelves a month or so ago, and got it down to 101…


  1. The Art of Time Travel sounds amazing! I love learning about history in nonfiction and I love learning about interesting professions, so the topic seems like a perfect fit for me :)


    • Hello Katie, thanks for hosting NF November:)
      It’s a wonderful, wonderful book, it taught me heaps about how historians work and how their work is different to just writing history…


  2. Lisa, thank you again for your continuing enthusiasm for my book. You are a bright light in a dark landscape! Apart from your support, no book prize shortlistings, no mention on any Christmas Book recommendation lists. UWA Publishing promotion ended around September and since then my book has pretty much dropped out of sight in Australia, it is strange.
    More positive news – I am giving a prestigious lecture in Moscow at the Museum of Modern Russian History m Tverskaya 21, at 7 pm on 24 January, Lecture will be read by me in Russian, Q and A with translation help.
    On 31 Jan I fly to Crimea for 5 days. Historical sightseeing in Sevastopol and Yalta.
    My new life and work website has just opened. I invite you to look at it sometime.
    Tony Kevin


    • Oh wow, wouldn’t I love to be on that plane too: my trip to Russia is one of the travel highlights of my life, and I’d love to see more of the country. Congratulations on the gig in Moscow … I’d be interested to hear how they present their modern history in the museum – ‘soviet times’ in a positive light that they’ve moved on from, or as a big mistake that they’d rather not talk about?
      I don’t know what to say about the book… I’d guess that UWAP as a small publisher wouldn’t have much a budget for promotion, but perhaps the general bad press about Russia isn’t helping either. It might also be that everyone’s preoccupied with China at the moment… I don’t think there was anything in the new Foreign Affairs journal about Russia which suggests that we can’t think about more than one thing at a time…


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