I decided to give Non-fiction it’s own review this year because I’ve read 20 titles – the highest number I’ve read in a year, making up fractionally under 15% of books read. This is a trend I hope to continue, for I’m enjoying non-fiction more these days, but as you’ll see below – the areas I gravitate towards are quite well defined in general! The title links will take you to my reviews.
Memoirs & Biographies:
- Medical –
- Ground-breaking heart surgeon Stephen Westaby’s Fragile Lives was superb.
- Paul Kalanithi’s posthumously-published memoir of becoming a neurosurgeon and then dying of cancer was heart-breaking.
- This is Going to hurt – Adam Kay’s diaries of his days as a ‘junior doctor’ were hilarious, but asked some serious questions about the NHS.
- Rock ‘n’ Roll
- To War With Whitaker by the Countess of Ranfurly – this was our book group read for ‘Egypt’.
- The Day That Went Missing by Richard Beard – Shocking, heart-rending. Writing therapy for the author’s soul.
- Outlandish Knight by Minoo Dinshaw – the 784 page biography of an historian I’d never heard of, but who lived to 97 and knew everyone was interesting.
- Unaccompanied Minor by Alexander Newley – The son of Antony Newley and Joan Collins tells about his childhood, featuring many of his own paintings.
- Popular Science
- Ladybird Expert Series 117, Vols 1-3 – What fun! Accessible and mostly well-written (especially the Jim Al-Khalili one).
- Deviate by Beau Lotto – slightly disappointing book about the science of perception.
- The Science of Food by Marty Jopson – entertaining and fascinating in equal measure – I learned a lot from this book.
The Arts, and Books about Books:
- The Bestseller Code by Jodie Archer and Matthew L Jocker – absolutely fascinating analysis and machine reading.
- The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler – despite the skew towards male authors, a book to expand your wishlists for sure.
- Hit Makers by Derek Thompson – songs, TV, film – interesting analysis from both the psychology and business side of things.
- A Literary History of Science Fiction, ed Roger Luckhurst – Set of essays from the British Library, only just finished, so still mulling this book.
As to which, if any, of these will make my year-end best of list – you’ll have to wait until the 31st!
Have you read much non-fiction this year?