Hello, it is away to be November tomorrow, which means that it’s time to take part in non-fiction November.
This is the first year I’ve ever taken part, I’m not normally one for a lot of non-fiction, but I thought it would give me a good opportunity to get through some of the books I’ve had on my shelves for ages.
I’m not going to be exclusively reading non-fiction, and I probably won’t be getting through all of these, but I wanted to share the ones I have on my shelf, and what I think I might get to at some point soon.
My favourites are memoirs, but I’ve tried to give myself a little bit of a range of things to read.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
I’ve had Persepolis on my shelves for quite a while now, after I bought it when I first got into graphic novels. It gets incredible ratings, and I’m definitely hoping to pick this one up in November. It’s a memoir, following her life when she was younger, and what Iran was like politically at the time. I don’t really know anything more than that, but I’ve only ever heard good things. My bind up is all four volumes, which is fantastic.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
I love true crime, and bought this book when it first came out, but still haven’t picked it up yet. It’s about the Golden State killer, and is written by journalist Michelle McNamara, and all the research she carried out on the case, trying to solve the mystery. Unfortunately, she died while writing the book, and it’s finished off by other people. I find it particularly sad that she didn’t live to see the outcome of the case and the actual Golden State killer being found, but I’m really interested to hear her thoughts.
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
This is a massively, massively popular book in the UK, so probably doesn’t need that much introduction. It follows Adam Kay’s experiences as a junior doctor, working for the NHS, doing 97 hour weeks and more. It’s supposed to be heartbreaking and hilarious all at the same time which is interesting, and I can’t wait to pick this one up. Especially as he’s got a new Christmas-themed book out as well.
The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es
I picked up this book because it won the Costa book of the year award 2018, and because it’s about the Second World War, which I am a big fan of in books. It follows Lien, who was given away by her Jewish parents in the hope she can have a better life during the Nazi occupation. She finds out after the war that her parents did not survive where she did, and much later, falls out with her foster family. The book, which is written by Van Es, the grandson of her foster parents, aims to find out why, and tell her story.
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
I’ve put this on so many TBR lists this year, and still haven’t gotten round to it. It’s about Susannah’s life, when she’s a 24-year-old journalist and walking up alone in a hospital room not being able to speak, move or have any memory of what happened to an illness. This is on my Reading Women challenge, so it’s a definite priority for me.
Women and Power by Mary Beard
By far the smallest book on my list, it’s two essays discussing the relationship between women and power, and how history has treated women who have been considered ‘powerful.’ Mary Beard is a well-known and well-respected feminist, and I’m hoping this one is a good read.
Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson
Jon Ronson has written quite a few novels now, most of which I’m interested in, but the only one I’ve picked up so far has been The Psychopath Test. Sick of encouraging people to read that one, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up one of his other books to test if it was just as good. Them looks at a range of different extremists, including neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. If it’s anything like the last book of his I read, it should be pretty good.
Renia’s Diary by Renia Spiegel
Yep – it’s another Holocaust book. This time though, it’s a diary of a young Jewish girl living in Poland, and about her life, trying to live in some semblance of normality during the horrific war time. It also covers the creation of the ‘ghetto’ and her running away from bombings. I’ve heard it compared to Anne Frank’s diary, although I’m sure this is very much Renia’s own story. If I had a pound for every Holocaust-related book I picked up, I’d have way more money to buy more Second World War books.
Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffran Foer
To finish off my list of options for November, I also have a book that I took out of the library this month. Eating Animals is pretty unlike most of the other books on my list, usually I wouldn’t read something that’s non-fiction that doesn’t tell a story of some description. It’s about where meat comes from, how it’s produced, social and environmental impacts etc, and whether it’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to eat animals. I don’t eat meat, so I’m interested to read what it has to say.
If you’ve got any recommendations for non-fiction books, let me know!