2011: New Year with a Side of Memoirs

While snowbound last week, I began cobbling together a spreadsheet of the books I want to read in 2011.  Yep, I’m officially a nerd with a customized  Excel spreadsheet to track my future reads.  I have a wall calendar to keep track of reviews and now a spreadsheet to organize the books I plan to read.  Can a pocket protector be far off?

Similar to mine--I went for soft blue palatte, though.

After many, many hours of browsing Edelweiss and online bookstores, my list began to take shape…and take on a life of its own.  This list may carry over into 2011 and 2012!  With so many titles on my list, I’m going to introduce some of the books by genre over the next few weeks here at Book, Line, and Sinker.

On deck today is NONFICTION, one of my favorite genres.  I’m a fool for humor or travel essays, memoirs, and autobiographies.  While this isn’t the most popular genre on many book blogs, I do feel it deserves recognition and promotion.

From the sources I reviewed, there were no fewer than 1,000 memoir/biography/autobiography/humor essay books on tap for 2011.  This list is tailored to my personal taste and interest, but I did make an effort to toss in some titles that might have widespread appeal.  Maybe this will be the year you dip your toe into the nonfiction pool.

Here are some nonfiction books* that caught my eye for 2011**:

left to right, top to bottom, details below
  1. 500 Acres and No Place to Hide: More Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale, 8/2/11, NAL Trade (Penguin)
  2. You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up by Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn, 2/8/11, Three Rivers Press
  3. Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman), 2/1/11, William Morrow
  4. Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way by Molly Birnbaum, 6/21/11, Ecco
  5. Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales From an Allergic Life by Sandra Beasley, 7/12/11, Crown
  6. And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road by Margaret Roach, 2/23/11, Grand Central Publishing (Hachette)
  7. It’s All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine by Wade Rouse, 2/1/11, Crown
  8. Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India by Miranda Kennedy, 4/26/11, Random House
  9. Signs of Life: A Memoir by Natalie Taylor, 4/12/11, Broadway
  10. The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure, 4/14/11, Riverhead

And there you have a tiny fraction of the scores of nonfiction memoirs and autobiographies due out in 2011.  Did any of them catch your fancy or do you steer clear of nonfiction?

*Cover art is subject to change prior to publication.

** Release date information subject to change.


  • At 2011.01.05 09:21, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

    I am a total memoir junkie, so those all look good to me. I had no idea Ree Drummond has a book coming out. I’ve got to have that one!

    • At 2011.01.05 09:31, vivienne said:

      I don’t read a lot of non fiction at the moment. It is probably something I need to read more of. More of a YA girl really.
      vivienne´s last blog post ..December Round Up

      • At 2011.01.05 09:41, Liz (Roving Reader) said:

        Some of these look really interesting–thanks for giving me more additions to my to read list! One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more non-fiction.
        Liz (Roving Reader)´s last blog post ..One More Challenge for 2011

        • At 2011.01.05 11:01, bizzybee (Angie) said:

          Wilder Life is on my goodreads to-read list. To reading even more in 2011. Cheers!

          • At 2011.01.05 11:56, Ti said:

            It frightens me sometimes how alike we are when it comes to this stuff. I am a bit OCD with my calendar and spreadsheets. I went through 8 calendars before finding a format I liked for 2011. No kidding. I make spreadsheets for everything but not for reading, that’s the only difference. I rely heavily on Goodreads and find it easy to keep track of my reading stuff.

            If I have a slew of ARCs to get through then I add them to my TBR Pronto shelf. I like to see the book covers. It motivates me to get off my duff and read them.
            Ti´s last blog post ..Review- Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

            • At 2011.01.05 12:48, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

              I love your pocket protector worthy organizing!

              You’re starting the year off right with a list of great books but what does it say about me that the book above that I most want to read is You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up?
              Jess – A Book Hoarder´s last blog post ..Red Hook Road – Ayelet Waldman

              • At 2011.01.05 14:27, Margaret Roach said:

                It always delights me to “meet” new people via my blog’s dashboard of incoming links…especially when they are fellow WordPress users. Thanks for having my book-to-be in your pile, which by the way has some things I am now very curious about, too, thanks to you.

                Happy new year.
                Margaret Roach´s last blog post ..4 and 20 waxwings- in from the sky

                • At 2011.01.05 21:08, Natalie said:

                  Thanks for dropping by Book, Line, and Sinker! I will be featuring your book on my blog on its release date–February 23, 2011 and will also write a review of it. Wishing you much success with this memoir!

                • At 2011.01.05 14:51, Novelwhore said:

                  I should set up a google alert for anything that includes “50 Boxes of Wine.” I was so excited to read THE WILDER LIFE because I STILL have my boxed case of Laura Ingalls Wilder books and occasionally still dream about the storms of crickets. Thanks for sharing!

                  • […] highly organized Book, Line, and Sinker blogger Natalie (she has an Excel spreadsheet to track her reading) has compiled this list of […]

                    • At 2011.01.05 16:12, Virginia Lloyd said:

                      Hi Natalie – I found you via Twitter. Thanks for this interesting post, which alerted me to several books I’m interested to read and prompted me to put together some thoughts on memoir titles. I work with a lot of memoirists and titles are often tricky to get right. http://virginialloyd.com/vblog/

                      • At 2011.01.05 16:44, Meg said:

                        Oooh, I’m super excited for The Pioneer Woman’s memoir! Ree is so fun (though never again will I wait four hours to meet her… that was insanity).

                        I’m typically not much on non-fiction — I don’t seem to get into it the same way, always questioning the “truth” behind it — but I do enjoy the occasional memoir or history book!
                        Meg´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday- Winter at Niagara

                        • At 2011.01.06 02:34, Michelle @ The True Book Addict said:

                          Hey, I’m joining the nerd club too! I’ve been getting interested in these spreadsheets myself. Kathy @ Inside of a Dog shared a couple of her spreadsheets with me so I’m thinking about using one for my challenges this year. If I can figure it out, that is!

                          I’m going to try to get some non-fiction reading done this year as well.
                          Michelle @ The True Book Addict´s last blog post ..STILL ONE MORE DAY TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

                          • At 2011.01.06 09:06, Nicole said:

                            I love non-fiction, but I read precious little of it last year. I have already jump started this year by reading an excellent non-fiction book, but I am working through a couple of others. Handy list! I am already looking forward to some of the titles, but I see a few others that I would enjoy as well. Have fun with your list.
                            Nicole´s last blog post ..Disgrace- by JM Coetzee – Book Review

                            • At 2011.01.06 14:37, Dishy said:

                              OCD! OCD!

                              I’m an organized person, but NOT QUITE TO THE SAME EXTENT YOU ARE. Must be the teacher in you. Damn they must love you at Staples. And Office Depot. And.. but I digress. I’ve almost given up reading fiction altogether, much preferring nonfiction – especially humor. Thank you for the bevy of suggestions. I am so fortunate to have such an organized and generous friend! Who totally knows I am just giving her a hard time. OCD!
                              Dishy´s last blog post ..Hershey’s Double Chocolate Cookies

                              • At 2011.01.06 16:47, Molly Birnbaum said:

                                So happy to see my almost-existing book, Season to Taste, on your list. Already a fan of your lovely blog, I look forward to your thoughts – and, of course, to hear more of your recommendations!

                                • At 2011.01.06 18:15, Erin said:

                                  1000??? Oh my…

                                  One of my 2011 goals is to read more memoirs, so I’ll be interested to see which you choose and what you think of them!
                                  Erin´s last blog post ..Thoughts on “The Burial at Thebes” by Seamus Heaney

                                  • At 2011.01.06 21:57, Jennifer said:

                                    I have really grown to love nonfiction over the last couple years. I’ll be checking back here frequently to see your reviews of books from this list!
                                    And I love your organization skills. A spreadsheet to keep you on track sounds like a really great tool! Too bad I didn’t get around to making something like that over break!
                                    Jennifer´s last blog post ..My Disney World Escape

                                    • At 2011.01.08 18:17, Lisa said:

                                      I think that a lot of people of people are scared off by the idea of non-fiction because they think of it strictly as heavier fare. But you’ve clearly shown here that it encompasses a lot of different kinds of books, including humor and memoirs which are books that I think have a wide appeal.
                                      Lisa´s last blog post ..Fairy Tale Fridays – Can You Tell A Fairy Tale By The Ending

                                      • At 2011.01.09 10:46, Beth F said:

                                        I love nonfiction — but not all memoirs are for me. I particularly like biography and history on audiobooks.
                                        Beth F´s last blog post ..Weekend Cooking- A Book and a Movie

                                        • At 2011.01.09 19:56, Kathleen said:

                                          I just love your new spreadsheet you created. As far as non-fiction goes, I love it and would be willing to read any of these.
                                          Kathleen´s last blog post ..Sometimes you Need to Read a Fairy Tale

                                          • At 2011.01.09 21:29, Jenners said:

                                            I’m a big non-fiction fan … if I remember any that catch my eye, i’ll let you know. Now I’m writing down some of the ones you shared!
                                            Jenners´s last blog post ..Link Up Your Take A Chance 3 Entries

                                            • At 2011.01.10 20:48, toothybooks said:

                                              oh i love nonfiction/memoirs! i read my first memoir last year and just fell in love with the genre. i’ll have to keep an eye out for your reviews.

                                              • At 2011.01.14 11:00, Wade Rouse said:

                                                Natalie! I heard IT’S ALL RELATIVE is just amazing! Oh, wait! That’s because I wrote it! Seriously, thanks for the shout-out, and hope you love the memoir. It’s a topic –holidays, love, dysfunction, how we celebrate, unite and fight — to which I think we can all relate. It’s a snowpocalypse right now in my home of Michigan … I’m glad there’s no limit on caffeine. Happy 2011 … xx, Wade Rouse

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