Dipping a Toe in Non-Fiction

Non-fiction isn’t something I read very often – I might think a non-fiction book sounds really interesting, but most of the time when I’m deciding what to read, I’m thinking about what kind of story I want to get lost in. If a book is non-fiction, it makes me think (not necessarily consciously) that’s it’s going to involve a bit more brain power and concentration – and I often want comfort and escapism.

However, there are a lot of non-fiction books which really appeal to me, and I want to try to shake off this unconscious bias which stops me reaching for a non-fiction pick. In an attempt to tackle this, I’ve just bought two new non-fiction books (any excuse…). I’ve also rounded up a few more which are top of my list for adding more non-fiction into my reading in a separate post, here.

Everything-I-KnowEverything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton

My Instagram seems to be full of Everything I Know About Love. I’m not sure where I heard about it first, but after seeing this book everywhere it got to the point where I just needed to read it for myself! A memoir reflecting on love, friendship and adulthood, the author is a similar age to me and that’s one of the reason’s this book appealed to me – to learn about someone else’s experience of life and love in their 20’s. I don’t tend to read memoirs, but having now listened to Dolly Alderton on various podcasts I had high hope for her book, since I enjoy listening to her talk!

I inadvertently devoured Everything I Know About Love this weekend – I had only intended to dip in and see what it was like for a chapter or two and before I knew it, I was glued to the sofa, unable to stop reading. Despite having had completely different experiences to Dolly in life and love, it was still relatable – despite the differences, certain moments, certain feelings described, felt oh so familiar. The book feels very honest, and for me it felt like getting to know a new friend – learning her stories, experiences, what kind of person she is – and there was an inviting warmth to the familiarity.

As for the podcasts – I’ve been listening to Love Stories, Dolly’s tie-in to the book, and I’ve really enjoyed it (my favourite episode has been with Emma Freud who I’m now a bit in love with). The podcast involves really interesting and open conversations about love in its many forms, and Dolly always asks pertinent questions. This has also led me to listen to Dolly’s regular podcast which she co-hosts – The High Low – which I’ve also been loving and highly recommend as an interesting, easy listen on what’s going on in pop-culture and the news.

the-century-girlsThe Century Girls, by Tessa Dunlop

Looking back over the past century, it’s amazing to think about how much has changed in the world, and in our society – and it’s incredible to think there are still people alive who have lived through the world wars, the cold war, the space race and all the technological revolutions – not to mention the [ongoing] liberation of women and numerous other changes in British society. 2018 marks 100 years since the first women were given the right to vote, so it was clearly an opportune time for a book like this one.

The Century Girls is about six women, all born in 1918 or earlier, telling their stories. Their backgrounds are diverse, their lives very different, giving a picture of how the many changes over the past 100 years have been experienced by different women. I’m fascinated by this personal approach to history and cannot wait to get stuck in to this book.

For more chatter about the non-fiction books I want to read, I’ve got a whole other blog post for your perusal. And I’d love any recommendations to add to my ever-expanding wish list!

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