Learning to Love Non-Fiction

Non-fiction is a genre I’ve always struggled to get on with. When I was younger I used reading as a way of escaping from the real world, visiting places that didn’t exist and making friends I didn’t have at school. Up until relatively recently, I had no interest in reading non-fiction books – with the exception of Horrible Histories, of course! As I’ve grown older and (hopefully) a little wiser, I’ve realised that some of my reservations about non-fiction was just stubbornness left over from those early reading years.  Som over the last couple of years I’ve been making a real effort to expand my range of genres that I read. Since then, I have discovered some brilliant non-fiction books and now have an ever growing TBR full of non-fiction books!

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Non-Fiction Favourites

  1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Although this book is about women in business, I’d definitely recommend it to anyone. Just reading it made me feel more confident in myself and my abilities as a woman. It’s all about knowing your own worth and being confident enough to speak up for yourself and demand at the seat of the table. In business or any other aspect of life.

2. Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I’ve mentioned this book a few times before on my blog. It was one of the first none fiction books I ‘read’ last year and I absolutely loved it. Describing this book is difficult, it’s not quite a memoir, not quite a self-help book but it is brilliant. What made it even more special was that I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Amy Poehler herself. It felt very much like I was listening to advice from a friend.

3. Hamlet: Globe to Globe by Dominic Dromgoole

Yep, I’m still talking about this one. I wrote a review of it a few weeks ago. As a self-confessed Shakespeare fangirl, this book was perfect for me. It offers insight into the behind the scenes life of a touring play as well as analysing some of Hamlet’s most famous lines.

4. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

This book was featured in my first ever blog post as one of my favourite books of all time. When I first heard Malala’s story, I was so moved by her bravery and strength, I picked up this book as soon as it came out. Her passion for education is incredible and it is one of those books that really changed the way I think about the world.

TBR

After reading so many great non-fiction books over the past year, I now have an extensive TBR list!

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is one of those books that everybody raved about a few years ago and I completely missed the boat. Nevertheless, it remains on my ‘to be read’ list. I’ll get round to it one of these days…

2. How to be a Person by Lindy West, Dan Savage, Christopher Frizelle & Bethany Jean Clement

Somebody recommended this book to me months ago and I still haven’t managed to get my hands on a copy. This book includes anecdotes and advice about starting college and university and just how to be a functioning adult. Hopefully, I’ll be able ]to read it before I leave for university in September.

 3. Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions and Life Lessons by Dodie Clark

This book isn’t actually out yet but I am such a huge fan of Dodie’s music and YouTube channel that I know I’m going to love it. She has been very vocal and honest about her struggles with mental health, which has been so comforting to me, so I’m particularly interested to read a whole book of her stories, advice and experiences.

I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on my non-fiction journey!

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Love is in the Air

Valentine’s day is less than a week away so it seems only right that I should recommend some of my favourite romantic reads. If, like me, you are not big fan of valentine’s day and plan to spend the day eating junk food and binge watching Friends, don’t worry, I’ve purposely chosen books which are not all about love. All of these books feature well-rounded characters with interesting lives and stories. Hopefully, there’s something for everyone!

  1. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding

I can hardly talk about love stories without mentioning Bridget Jones! This book is a modern classic and makes me laugh each time I read it or watch the film. As well as having all the makings of a brilliant rom com, this book is also very real, which is often not the case in fictional love stories. It was one of the first books I read with a very real, imperfect female character and that was something I really appreciated.

  1. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

I mentioned this book in my January wrap up but it is the perfect addition to this list. Whilst the main plot of this novel is focused on attitudes to literature and stories, there are also a couple of very sweet love stories thrown in. If, like me, you are a fan of slow burning romances, you will love this book! My only criticism would be that although there is an LGBT couple, they do not get as much attention as the straight couples.

  1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This is one of my favourite YA books. This book is predominantly about Cath, aspiring writer who has just moved to college and is trying to navigate the world on her own for the first time, with a lovely romance that blooms along the way. It’s a story about family, friendship, growing up and fanfiction. If you enjoyed this book, I’d also recommend ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell, which is the full-length story of the fanfiction Cath writes which we get snippets of throughout Fangirl.

  1. Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

This book has been described as ‘a Muslim Bridget Jones’. Whilst I agree with that comparison I would even go as far to say I liked it better than Bridget Jones! Before this book, I had never come across a book that featured a Muslim woman as it’s protagonist. Whilst the story of this book is largely centred around dating and relationships, it is also a story about religion, friendship and balancing all of these things with a successful career.