On My Non-Fiction Wish List

Following on from the new non-fiction books in my life, here are a few more from my wish list…

Memoirs

I Am, I Am, I Am, by Maggie O’Farrell

As one of my favourite authors, it feels like a no-brainer for me to read O’Farrell’s memoir. The fact it’s structured around her near-death experiences (and the fact there are seventeen of these) is intriguing. The fact the paperback is coming out next month is ideal timing!

The Rules Do Not Apply, by Ariel Levy

“Until recently, I lived in a world where lost things could always be replaced. But it has been made overwhelmingly clear to me now that anything you think is yours by right can vanish, and what you can do about that is nothing at all. The future I thought I was meticulously crafting for years has disappeared, and with it have gone my ideas about the kind of life I’d imagined I was due.”

Nothing more to be said. I think this memoir sounds heartbreaking – and essential.

Essays

Feel Free, by Zadie Smith

I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of Zadie Smith’s novels but I’ve never read her non-fiction. However,  I’ve heard numerous positive reviews of this new essay collection and I feel like it’s time I jumped on the bandwagon. Covering pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate, these essays sound interesting and timely.

History, Culture and Society

Sapiens and Homo Deus, both by Yuval Noah Harari

A Brief History of Humankind and a Brief History of Tomorrow, these two books by historian Yuval Noah Harari sound like fascinating reflections on the human experience to date – and what the future might hold.

The Gender Games, by Juno Dawson

‘The problem with men and women…from someone who has been both’, The Gender Games explores both the author’s personal experiences of being transgender, the issues of gender more widely, and how it defines so much of out society and our individual experiences. The construct of gender is a topic which really interests me and I think this book sounds like an excellent exploration of this.

Austen

Books on Jane Austen’s life and novels are my go-to non-fiction reads (is it really non-fiction if the books are about fiction?!). Here are a couple of recent releases I’ve yet to get my hands on.

Camp Austen, by Ted Scheinman

Written by the son of an Austen scholar, who himself became an inadvertent Austen superfan, this book is part memoir, part journalism, part literary criticism – it sounds completely different to anything else I’ve read about Austen and I’m therefore intrigued!

Jane on the Brain, by Wendy Jones

A fusion of psychology, neuroscience and literature, Jane on the Brain is written by someone who is both a psychotherapist and an Austen scholar – which should provide a very different, insightful and interesting perspective to an exploration of both Austen’s characters and human behaviour.

 

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