Monthly Archives: September 2018

Friday 5 – “Reading” Nonfiction (almost all audio!)


Have I really had no time to read a proper book lately?! Yes, it’s true, much of the books I read have been audio. But audio counts as “reading”, you know. 🙂


My Southern Journey
by Rick Bragg (nonfiction) – must LISTEN

I downloaded this on audio from the library per the recommendation of Modern Mrs. Darcy. It’s a collection of articles written by Rick Bragg, read by the author. His voice is like butter. It just sounds like the south and you want to eat it up. This was a perfect way to pass the time doing housework. It took me away to all the places I’ve been to the south and all the places and times I’ve never been, too. Loved it.


Love is All You Need:
The Revolutionary Bond-Based Approach to Educating Your Dog

by Jennifer Arnold 
(nonfiction) – must read

(The one non-audiobook of this list!) I adored both of Arnold’s books In a Dog’s Heart and Through a Dog’s Eyes, but this one was a much different. Arnold has challenged her thinking and the way her organization trains service dogs. What if we taught our dogs how to make their own choices, not just how to react on command? Her theories (and the research she sites to back it up) are revolutionary. And while she gives tips and strategies on how to accomplish this, I’d love to see it in more of a how-to form, not just text as part of a book like this.

This is very new thinking (or at least not the most popular yet) and will take some time to get some backing, but I really wish there were training facilities and more exposure to this approach!


I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being A Woman
by Nora Ephron (nonfiction, audio) – worth a listen

I chose this as a potential audiobook to listen to with my mom when I drove her back from Green Bay to the Twin Cities, but decided against it after I listened to the first couple of tracks. Instead, I listened to it on my own on my trip to Green Bay for a family reunion.

To be honest, I thought it was going to be too much about aging, but that is really only the beginning of the book. Back in the 90s I loved all of the Nora Ephron rom-coms (which then I just called Meg Ryan movies); so it was quite interesting to hear the literal voice and life stories of the woman behind those works. I especially liked the chapter on her own personal love story: with her New York Apartment. I loved hearing about her passion for the Apthorp building and am curious now to visit the neighborhood one day.


The Princess Diarist
by Carrie Fisher (nonfiction, audio) – worth a read

This is the audiobook I ultimately chose to listen to with my mom on our drive back to MN from Green Bay. I haven’t read any of Fischer’s works before, but I I have heard that she is quite the writer and a comedic one at that.

I am not a Star Wars fan, but my dad was into the original trilogy when it was released when I was young, so I do recognize a lot of from the original works. This book is her behind-the-scenes experience in the making of the movie and her life leading up to her casting. She also reveals some of the details of her affair with Harrison Ford which she wanted to be made public in her own words long after anyone could be scandalized by such news.

While she expresses her remembered experiences with such sass and wit, what I found truly compelling is the sharing of her journals she kept during that time. We didn’t finish the audiobook before we got to MN, so all throughout the week of my mom’s visit, we listened to it whenever we were in the car. My husband didn’t really like listening to Fisher’s voice, commenting on her lisp. But she had another narrator read her journals (perhaps to separate the younger Carrie from her current self).

These journal entries from a 19-20ish Carrie were raw and filled with emotion – poetic and indicative that she truly did have a talent for writing and would for many years to come. The voice of The Princess Diarist as a whole is very different from those journals; but I’m still curious of Fishers other works.


Love, Loss & What We Ate
by Padma Lakshmi (non-fiction, audio) – worth a listen

Truth be told, this book sat on my nightstand and I renewed it three times before I started reading it and it needed to be returned to the library. Then I realized I could download it on my phone with my library’s audiobook app and decided to that. I knew I’d like listening to her voice telling her own story. She has a lot to share. If you love Top Chef or cooking in general, you’ll love this book. If you are a woman, I think you’ll love this book. If you’ve ever struggled with fitting in, believing in yourself or doubting true love, I think you’ll love this book.

Yes, this book filled my hours walking and cleaning and I found it insightful, heart-wrenching and fun all at the same time.


If you read nonfiction, how do you decide on what to read and do you prefer to read or listen?