31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 8} My Heart’s in the Lowlands

My Heart's in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland by Liz Curtis Higgs. Day 8 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderMy Heart’s in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny ScotlandMy Heart's in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland by Liz Curtis Higgs. Day 8 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Liz Curtis Higgs

This delightful armchair-travelogue is the next best thing to being able to visit Scotland in person.

Curtis Higgs has a very personal writing style, but I enjoyed the chatty feel and it helped me imagine that I was taking a trip to the Scottish Lowlands alongside an experienced guide.

The details were what made the book for me – specifics on the exact flight, the roads we’d drive, the meals we’d eat. The included map helped me follow along, but it’s the descriptions that bring this journey to life.

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31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 7} We Die Alone

We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance by David Howarth. Day 7 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction ReadsWe Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and EnduranceWe Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance by David Howarth. Day 7 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by David Howarth

I read this book while growing up and didn’t remember the title, or some of the specific details, but the overall story stuck with me. And some specific events I’ve never forgotten.

Then, a couple of years ago, I stumbled across the book and was thrilled to have the author & title of that book I’d remembered. I devoured it more than read it, and found that it was as entrancing as I’d remembered. Not because of smooth storytelling or beautiful passages, but because the story is so gripping.

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31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 6} Eat That Frog

Eat That Frog! 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating & Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. Day 6 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books/Great Nonfiction ReadsEat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less TimeEat That Frog! 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating & Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. Day 6 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books/Great Nonfiction Reads by Brian Tracy

Tracy at his best – still as motivating and inspiring as ever, but super concise and clear. Want to stop procrastinating and get more done with you time? He’s got 21 suggestions for how to do just that. While the title is vivid and memorable, that’s only one of his suggestions. Liberal use of bullet points help make it an easy book to pick up and read in snippets.

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31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 5} The Road from Coorain

The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway. Day 5 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderThe Road from CoorainThe Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway. Day 5 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Jill Ker Conway

I had never heard of Ker Conway before reading her story, although I probably should have as she’s an accomplished scholar and was the first female president of Smith College. Her academic prominence is all the more impressive after learning about her background growing up on a remote Australian sheep farm.

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Seven Quick Takes: Influence Edition

Influence Conference Logo

In honor of the Influence Conference happening next week!, here are seven quick takes related to it.

— 1 —

I’m local, so I’ll be commuting to the conference. While I’m happy to lower my stress levels over leaving my still-nursing 15-month old, I do kinda wish I was staying there with some roomies. Because I think that the bonding that can take place in a casual environment like that can’t be replicated.

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31 Days Of Great Nonfiction: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. Day 4 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader84, Charing Cross Road84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff . Day 4 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Helene Hanff

A slim volume (a break from some of the lengthy books also included in this series) of a selection of the correspondence between a New York writer, and the staff of a London bookseller. Their mutual love for books shines through the brief letters, and you can see how the friendship grows throughout the twenty-years they exchanged letters.

The book is charming and heartwarming (and a little bit heartbreaking too), and Hanff’s wit and exuberance sparkles.

There is a book based on the movie as well, starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, although I’ve never seen it and am slightly afraid to; I don’t want to risk it tarnishing my joy and delight in the book if it doesn’t live up to my dreams.

Publisher’s Description:
It all began with a letter inquiring about secondhand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene’s sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the staid and proper Frank Doel of Marks & Company, a relationship blossoms.

31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books

If you enjoyed this book (and if you didn’t, please don’t tell me; I’m not sure I could bear hearing it), you’re in for another treat. I actually had a hard time deciding which one of Hanff’s to feature in the series, so don’t miss Apple of My EyeApple of My Eye. which is basically a love letter to her home of Manhattan.

To see all the books featured in 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads, go to the series page.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

31 Days of Great Nonfiction: I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson

I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson. Day 3 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderI Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The HolocaustI Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson. Day 3 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Livia Bitton-Jackson

I’ve read a lot of Holocaust memoirs, and this one is a standout. Bitton-Jackson does a stellar job of describing her experiences trying to make it through the war. As a young Jewish girl in Hungary, she was insulated from many of the effects of the war until 1944.

The final year of the war brought incredible suffering: at 13 she was rounded up with her family and moved into a Jewish ghetto, where she was separated from her father and brother. After transportation to Auschwitz and surviving the selection process, inside the camp she endured torture and forced labor.

Her detailed story of survival in horrific circumstances is moving, and despite the circumstances, the book has an underlying message of hope that helps to prevent it from becoming a bleak recitation of events.

Publisher’s Description:
Livia Bitton-Jackson, born Elli L. Friedmann in Czechoslavakia, was thirteen when she, her mother, and her brother were taken to Auschwitz. They were liberated in 1945 and came to the United States on a refugee boat in 1951. This is her story, written for middle school or high school students.

31 Days of Great Nonfiction BooksIf you enjoyed this book, Livia’s story continues in My Bridges of Hope, which is also excellent.

Additional Holocaust memoirs which I highly recommend include:

To see all the books featured in 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads, go to the series page.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

31 Days of Great Nonfiction: It’s Not About the Tapas by Polly Evans

It's Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels by Polly Evans. Day 2 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate ReaderIt’s Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two WheelsIt's Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels by Polly Evans. Day 2 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Polly Evans

I love biking-across-some-large-area stories so I was anxious to see how I liked this account of a trek across Spain. Happily, it did not disappoint.

Throughout the book Evans mentions that she’s tired. And sore. And biking is hard work. If I ever managed to go on a biking trek, I’m sure that’s what I’d be noting every day too, so I felt like I could relate to her experiences. And like Evans, I’d be thrilled that all the physical work was paying off with smaller pants size.

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31 Days of Great Nonfiction: A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel. Day 1 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, IndianaA Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel. Day 1 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by The Deliberate Reader by Haven Kimmel

A poignant and hilarious memoir of growing up in small-town Indiana. The vivid descriptions and characterizations bring Kimmel’s childhood to life and read more like a novel than nonfiction.

I didn’t grow up in a small town, and I didn’t grow up in Indiana, so my adoration for this book doesn’t come from a familiarity with her stories. Not much of her childhood reminds me of my own, but her tales almost make me wish that I had grown up nearby to experience life in Mooreland.

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Introducing 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads

31 Days of Great Nonfiction BooksAs part of The Nester‘s annual “31 Days of” linkup, I’m going to be writing about “31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads.”

Some may be familiar already. Some are newer. Some are old favorites. What they all have in common is that they’re nonfiction books that I’ve really enjoyed, and often recommend.

I hope you’ll find some new ideas, or are motivated to push some books higher up your “to be read” list.

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