For the majority of my life I have had a rocky relationship with non-fiction books and I blame this almost entirely on school! In school each year, we were given a list of different books we should try and read i.e. different genres .etc. and one of these was non-fiction. The only problem with this was that in school non-fiction meant either a three year old Guinness Book of World Records or some big square book about motorbikes that you never saw anywhere except the school library. Suffice to say, I didn’t read many non-fiction books in school!
Just under two years ago, though, my relationship with non-fiction books changed for the better. When I first went to University I fell into the biggest reading slump I have ever experienced in my life and, to my surprise, it was non-fiction that actually got me through!
Since then I have read and enjoyed lots of non-fiction books, so I thought I would share some of my favourites here.
- Doing It – Hannah Witton
Hannah Witton is a youtuber and blogger that I love, and this year she published her book ‘Doing It – Let’s Talk About Sex’ which is (who would have guessed it) about sex and relationships. I really, really enjoyed this book, firstly because the writing style is exactly like Hannah’s videos so makes me smile and laugh out loud and feel empowered just like they do. More than that though, this book is hugely informative about a range of different and important topics for example how to recognise an unhealthy relationship, some of which I had never even considered before! Additionally, there are lots of different guest contributors who talk about things they have personal experiences of. This book is therefore one that I can turn to both when I’m feeling a bit down and when I need some information or advice. What’s not to love?!
2. The World of Cycling According to G – Geraint Thomas (with Tom Fordyce)
My relationship with non-fiction books can probably be epitomised by my relationship with autobiographies, namely that I didn’t want to read them. In fact, I think the first autobiography I ever properly read was ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler when I was 19. I’m not sure why I took against autobiographies so strongly, possibly because they symbolised the world of non-fiction that I was so desperate to escape. Anyway, I have now realised the error of my ways and love a good autobiography!
‘The World of Cycling according to G’ by the cyclist Geraint Thomas is probably my favourite autobiography so far. I should note, I’m not a cycling fanatic but I am a big fan of Geraint Thomas and I think that’s what made this book really enjoyable for me.
I do have other autobiographies on my TBR list though so hopefully I will get around to reading ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ by Nelson Mandela, ‘I am Malala’ by Malala Yousafzai and ‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey sometime soon. I wonder if any of them can challenge Geraint Thomas for the top spot!
3. The Bookshop Book – Jen Campbell
This book is all about cool bookshops all around the world and for me is an absolute gem. Not only do I love reading about all of these amazing places but, growing up, I was never really interested in travelling because there was no where I really, really wanted to go. Following this read, though, I am eager to travel the world visiting all of the wonderful bookshops discussed in this book!
4. Pointless – Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman
For anyone who doesn’t know, Pointless isn’t actually a book, it is a TV quiz programme where contestants try and score as few points as possible by answering a question with the least obvious answer they can think of (I’m not selling it very well but trust me, it’s amazing!). I will confess I am a huge fan of Pointless and own the board game, the mini game and, most relevant here, all of the accompanying books written by the presenters. I massively enjoy all of the books; they are very funny as well as interesting and informative. If I had to choose just one I would probably go for ‘A Pointless History of the World’, because there is a lovely piece about Wales and the ending of the book is actually moving as well as funny as Osman states:
‘We only have one job tomorrow. To leave the world a slightly better place than we found it. Ring your mum, be kind to animals, be proud of yourself and be understanding of others. Everything else is pointless.’
5. The Bookshop That Floated Away – Sarah Henshaw
I won’t say much on this book as I discussed it in my May roundup only that it is another non-fiction book about books that I hugely enjoyed. I think one of the main reasons this book sticks out for me is because it makes me feel like it’s ok not to have everything figured out yet! Also, thinking about this book always reminds me of sunny train journeys with my music plugged in, surrounded by blue sky and green fields, so for that reason I’m pretty sure it will always make me happy too!
So, there are my five favourite non-fiction books that I have read so far. I’m going to be honest though: I think I have a lot of catching up to do!!
We Bought a Zoo – Benjamin Mee
The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kahling