NonFiction November: Become the Expert

Better late than never? 

Because I’m definitely late to this one, as it’s now the third week of the Non-Fiction November event over at JulzReads.

At first I was wondering whether I should join this year due to my blog’s focus. And then I looked at my reading the past few years and realized my Non-Fic tally is super low, and usually just memoirs.

I love Non-Fiction and not sure why I don’t read it more. But how can I incorporate more Non-Fic into my blog, when my focus is on Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror? 

As I was mulling this over along with this week’s prompt I had a light bulb moment. 

I guess before I go too far down this rabbit hole I should go into this week’s topic, hosted by Katie over at Doing Dewey:

“Three ways to join in this week! You can share 3 or more books on a single topic that you’ve read and can recommend (be the expert); you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you’ve been dying to read (ask the expert); or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).”

This is a touch personal, but for about 10 years of my life I was a part of a radical wing of Christianity. Everything started off fine, as I was just trying to find community during a rough time, but as I became more fanatical I completely lost myself. In the years since then, I’ve become curiously interested in radical faiths and cults. What’s the difference between the two? Is there a difference? I’ve already done some research over the past few years but now is the time to really jump in. As for how this fits my theme, what’s more Horrifying than a real-life cult?

So this is a challenge for myself in 2020, as I read the genres I love I want to read a least five Non-Fic books on cults/radical faiths. I don’t think I’ll become an expert by any means but I do think this is a solid start. 

Below is the four books that our on the top of the list to read:

1 Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief – Lawrence Wright

2 Once You Go In: A Memoir of Radical Faith – Carly Gelsinger 

3 The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple – Jeff Guinn

4 Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith – Jon Krakauer

I have a few other books that interested me and hope to get to next year, but we’ll leave that discussion for week five of Non-Fic November!

15 thoughts on “NonFiction November: Become the Expert

  1. That’s a really interesting collection. I loved Going Clear. It was about as fair and balanced as a book written by a skeptic could be (though that’s a low bar). lol I haven’t read the others. If you’re interested in Scientology, another book I found interesting was Beyond Belief, by Jenna Miscavige Hill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m glad to hear that Going Clear is fair. I’ll have to put Beyond Belief on the list too. I wanted to read an overview criticism first before memoir accounts (Leah Remini’s book is high on my list too!).


  2. What a fascinating topic to read on! As part of Nonfiction November, Bookish Beck gave some recommendations on women’s religious memoirs here: and Rennie at What’s Nonfiction reads a lot on this topic as well, so if you search for ‘cult’ or ‘leaving’ on her blog, you’ll come up with a bunch of other suggestions, if you’re looking for more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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