Countdown to 2014’s Top Ten Books: Nonfiction

  As I work on my Top Ten list for 2014, I have some categories of books that may not make the top ten, but deserve special recognition anyway. Today’s category is nonfiction – a big category, I know, but here’s what I loved. (I have already reviewed most of these, so the links are to my blog posts instead of Goodreads).


5. Crafting: Rustic Modern Crochet by Yumiko Alexanderimagegatewoodwork

4. Faith: Still: Notes on a mid-faith crisis by Lauren Winner

3. Memoir: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery

2. Business: What Works for Women at Work by Joan C Williams

1. Memoir: My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff


Readers: What were your favorite nonfiction reads in 2014? 


A Mentor in a Book


Last year, I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and loved it… right up to the point where she started talking about women and mentoring relationships. That’s another review, of course, but I finished the book feeling confused and disheartened about finding a mentor in my own career.

Finerman’s Rules successfully fills this gap, in two ways. First, early in the book, Karen Finerman lays out an approach to developing mentoring relationships in the workplace. In addition, the whole book is your mentor. Rather than analyzing the current state of women in the workforce, she goes straight to real advice on the topics you’d normally discuss with a mentor: timing career and family, dealing with failure, and managing career transitions.

For me, the book fell short in the many anecdotes Finerman told to illustrate her points. They were all detailed technical stories about hedge funds. Despite my business background, I found them boring and they didn’t help get her point across. If you’re in that industry, then this book is really going to be amazing for you. For the rest of us girls, and men too, it’s still a good solid business read.