I am a fond reader of nonfiction books, which might be a little surprising, I don’t often meet people who enjoy reading nonfiction. During lockdown I have read 6 nonfiction books (also DNF’d two, one was fucking dreadful and the other was a little boring to me) but I still have a tonne of other books that are mostly physical to read.
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So far, the ones I have read and enjoyed are: How to Give up Plastic, From Baghdad With Love, Dark Days, Becoming Dangerous, Biting Anorexia, and Memories of Old Sussex. You can see more on my GoodReads!
I’ll quickly mention the few ebooks I have on my list to read. One is Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham who played Loreli Gilmore in Gilmore Girls, and this is her memoir and I think it’s mostly about being on this set. I love this show and am always interested in behind the scenes of TV and Film. The other book is Crohn’s Disease: Wrestling the Octopus by Nigel who also writes the blog Wrestling the Octopus, written by and about this man’s experience having Crohn’s disease in the UK for the last 40 odd years, I think it’ll hold some useful information for my own journey with Crohn’s and my healthcare services. I also still have an ebook about Marilyn Monroe by Donald Spoto from my uni days I’d like to finish off.
There are also a selection of anti-racism and system dismantling ebooks I have yet to read. How To Be Anti-Racist, Superior: the Return of Race Science, Who Do You Serve Who Do You Protect?, and Heart of The Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain.
Now, this is my nonfiction shelf, it’s quite broad from (auto)biographies, to creative nonfiction, to self help books.
Borderline Personality Disorder: Survival Guide – I’ve been recommended this book numerous times by a mixture of healthcare professionals and other people with BPD so at some point I want to go through this and work on my mental health linked to my BPD.
The Woodpecker Story – I’ve mentioned this before, but it is the story of the Woodpecker platoon of the RAF in World War Two. My great Granddad was the mechanic in this platoon and he died 11 years ago, so I can’t ask him any more questions, so I hope this book will one day give me some more interesting information of what he went through during that period of his life.
The Chronicles of a London Girl – this is a memoir independently published about and by a woman who lived through World War Two.
No Room For Secrets: Joanna Lumley – Lumley takes us through each room in her house and talks about the memories she has that come from photos and items.
The Body Book: The Law Of Hunger, The Science of Strength, and Other Ways To Love Your Body – By Cameron Diaz, this book is about health and learning to love and care for your body based on scientific facts. This is the important part for me, I find it’s close to impossible to find reputable sources when it comes to nutrition and fitness, and I really enjoy Cameron’s work and social media presence, and I feel like this would be a good book for me to continue learning about these things and implement them into my own life. She also has a second book on body science called The Longevity Book.
Trans Britain – Another book I’ve mentioned a few times. The history of Trans people in Britain, a topic I don’t know much about and feel I should as a trans Brit. Interviews with different trans people.
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City – A memoir about Nick Flynn crossing paths with his father who is a criminal and self proclaimed con-man and poet. Living through homelessness where they finally meet. I’ve had this book for many years as well and it just sounds like one of those stories that seems hard to believe, and those are my favourites as I have often lived stories like that myself. (DNF’d)
Made in America / Notes from a Small Island – These are comedic travel novels, one based in America and another in Britain. I’ve never really read much travel writing, but I remember studying Bill Bryson at AS Level and found these books secondhand years ago but never read them, so I thought I would give them a go. Take me somewhere else or teach me a little about the country I live in.
Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s – Apparently this book should be required reading for all student Midwives, nurses, sociology, and modern history, as it is the experiences of a midwife in the 1950s with graphic portrayals of the appalling conditions people were living in. I watch this show and I do think it’s really important to remember our history for what it was rather than some weird glorified version of it, as we often repeat all these awful things that have already happened because we try to hide they ever did.
A Streetcat Named Bob / The World According to Bob – Made into an incredibly popular film that even I enjoyed. I’m not big on cats but this story was really quite interesting and I like to read the books that were turned into films and see what they skipped out on. Plus, there are two books, I’m not sure they are making another film but clearly there was enough adventures to write a second novel!
Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter – A Memoir by Adeline Yen Mah, who born in 1937 North of Shanghai and the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family. She sadly suffered abuse in her youth from her ‘Eurasian’ step-mother. She eventually moved to England the America to become a physician and a writer. I’m trying to make my reading more diverse when it comes to race and heritage, because it’s very easy to pick up a book by a white British or American author in England without thinking. I’m not sure when I picked this book up, I believe when I was at university, and I’m really interested to get into this one. Almost 300 pages long, it’s an average length. Another popular book with thousands of ratings on Goodreads.
The Biography of Kurt Cobain – I had to include a book about the King. I think this was one of the very few books I picked up new rather than second hand. Still very old, though, I think it has been on my shelf for a solid 5 years or more. Heavily based on the hundreds of interviews with Kurt, and goes from his childhood until his end. It’s quite a chunky book at nearly 400 pages, but it seems like a lot of research went into it. I’m curious to see what is included and if anything about Kurt’s presentation (when he wore dresses) might come up.
The End of Eddy – This is a memoir about a man who grew up in a village in the North of France, coming to terms with his sexuality in a place that wasn’t very accepting. Another short book at 192 pages, but apparently very popular with thousands of ratings on Goodreads averaging nearly 4 stars. I feel like it’s worth giving a go.
The Psychic Case Files – Tony Stockwell is a psychic medium often invited to help in criminal investigations, especially when they go cold. Everyone is on it with true crime at the moment, I think this could be a good book to introduce me to the world or reading crime, nonfiction or fiction. It’s also relatively short, which is always convenient.
Norma Jean: A Hollywood Love Story – Another book about Marilyn, picked his up secondhand and it doesn’t seem to be very well known as the Goodreads page is blank? So, I’m very curious what it will contain and compare it to the ebook I have by another writer.
Here is a short list of non-fiction books I enjoyed by women!
Carrie Fisher’s Postcards From The Edge, it is said to be non-fiction heavily influenced by Carrie Fisher’s life but creatively presented as this is from two points of view. One is this Hollywood actress, the other is a wannabe scriptwriter. It is in three sections and all written extremely differently which is really interesting to see.
Portia De Rossi’s Unbearable Lightness is her memoir of getting into the film industry and battling an eating disorder and struggling to come to terms with her sexuality. I spoke more on this book in this post.
Kai Cheng Thom’s Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars is a creative non-fiction novel with really beautiful fantasy elements woven in and some sections of poetry, about a trans woman of colour. I spoke more on this book in this post.
Melanie Murphy’s Fully Functioning Human (Almost) is like a how-to guide and is split into sections of common life issues all heavily based on Melanie’s life experiences full of advice and anecdotes. She covers sexuality, relationships, disordered eating, skin care, and practicing healthy habits. A book version of her YouTube channel, many say.
And finally, Crystal Renn’s Hungry. A memoir from a now plus-size model, how she got into the modelling industry, her experiences of body shaming and eating disorders, and how she became a plus-size model instead and began recovering from her ED.
I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know what nonfiction books you enjoy! See you next week!