Books tagged "non-fiction"

The Snakehead - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
July 24, 2023
by Patrick Radden Keefe

I picked this up because I've quite enjoyed his other books. This one was also pretty good; certainly compelling and readable. That said, it doesn't particularly challenge ideas about borders or immigration in any way that I would find agreeable. There's no doubt Keefe is a great story-teller, and I did enjoy reading this one, but you could be forgiven for passing it up for something else. That said, it did at least highlight to me some of the challenges building an effective immigration policy.

informative, non-fiction, traumatic
The Roads to Sata - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
June 20, 2023
by Alan Booth

Extremely readable and enjoyable. Booth managed to write in such a way that the atmosphere of the journey and the places was very well conveyed. Made me want to be there! Just some really nice story-telling. Highly recommended :)

adventurous, non-fiction, personal, travel
Regenesis - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
May 21, 2023
by George Monbiot

Amazing reading, ideas, and suggested actions for wildly revising how food is produced. I found this book particularly relevant because I have just started a new job that is in this space; but even otherwise it is a great, non-judgemental, and surprisingly inspiring, book about the climate crisis. It may even inspire you to start gardening :)

climate, economics, informative, non-fiction
Banzeiro Òkòtó - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
May 14, 2023
by Eliane Brum, Diane Grosklaus Whitty

Absolutely extraordinary book. Extremely informative, powerful, emotional, inspiring, and poetic. I was struck at first by the amazing writing (which comes across really well in translation, I think, not that I've read the original ...), but stayed for the amazing story-telling and information about various illegal practices in Brazil.

It's really an impressive piece of work, I can highly recommend it, but do note that it is also, in parts, quite traumatic. Still; one of those books that you feel sad when it ends; well worth reading!

activism, climate, economics, feminism, informative, language, long-read, non-fiction, personal, philosophical, poetry, politics, quirky, racism, traumatic, travel
No-Drama Discipline - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
April 30, 2023
by Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson

I liked this book. It discusses what seem to be some quite reasonable approaches for dealing with children. It's a bit too early for me to put in to practice, but a lot of the discussions seem quite good, and it'll probably be something I refer back to in a few years :)

non-fiction, parenting
Tokyo Vice - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
April 23, 2023
by Jake Adelstein

I picked this up after watching and enjoying the show. The book is quite different; and it's interesting actually to compare it with the show; the team that converted the book into the show have done an impressive job, I think! I like both. I really couldn't put the book down. It has compellingly written and just interesting. A great read for those interested in the workings of organised crime (and journalism!) in Japan. I loved it!

adventurous, informative, non-fiction, personal
Strong Female Character - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
March 24, 2023
by Fern Brady

Really quite interesting and good. I think I'd seen Fern Brady before, and she's clearly and interesting person, but this an enlightening book for me, in particular in building some empathy for how people with autism experience life and their emotions, and in particular women. Great reading!

non-fiction, personal
Persepolis - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
February 19, 2023
by Marjane Satrapi, Mattias Ripa, Blake Ferris, Anjali Singh

I've got mixed feelings about this book. Mostly, it was good; it was informative and I learned a lot. The graphic novel form is also just a nice way to convey a complicated topic with lots of personal feeling and information. On the other hand, I can't say I found the author totally likeable; but perhaps that just means she presented her story truly; after all, we all make mistakes and say things we regret. In any case, I'm glad I read this, and if you're at all curious about a personal perspective on Iran, I at least found it interesting and worthwhile.

informative, non-fiction, personal
Once Upon A Tome - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
January 8, 2023
by Oliver Darkshire

Just simply an extremely enjoyable and engaging read about life in a bookshop :) I loved it; I've been reading a few of these "real-life bookshop" stories, to get a sense of what it might be like to work in one, and I think this story is particularly interesting because of the history associated with this particular bookshop, and of course the author is just a great story teller. Highly recommended if you want to get a sense of the magic that it could be, to work in a rare bookshop!

books, fun, non-fiction, personal
Giving Back - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
October 30, 2022
by Derek A. Bardowell

This book wasn't what I expected, but it was still quite interesting. It's seems to be me to be roughly a biography of this persons life in the social sector, but is also an exploration of a whole bunch of "alternative" programs that focus the particular communities, marginalised groups, and aim to find solutions from within those groups, rather than "fixing" them from the outside, with metrics and impact reports, etc. I think it's a great source of inspiration on that front, and has some relevance for a project I'm part of in the climate space. Definitely worth a glance!

climate, feminism, informative, non-fiction, personal, philanthropy, politics, racism
Natives - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
October 2, 2022
by Akala

Loved this. Akala is a extremely knowledgable about history and politics, so this is an important and interesting read. Not being someone who has that much perspective on the UK, I also really valued learning more about how colonialism and racism have had an impact.

activism, history, informative, non-fiction, personal, philosophical, politics, racism
Fifty Words for Snow - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
September 18, 2022
by Nancy Campbell

I love Nancy Campbell's writing style; so this one was already going to be enjoyable for me. But I did find it fun and informative. This book is also special because it's the first one than I've been reading to my partner and our little one, who is on her way :) ❤️

climate, fun, informative, language, non-fiction, quirky
Against Borders - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
August 14, 2022
by Gracie Mae Bradley, Luke de Noronha

This is an nice introduction to the topic of abolition of borders. Maybe you're already familiar with the idea of defunding the police, or similar, but this work extends that to the idea of borders themselves. It's quite interesting to see this idea brought there; and moreover it's quite nice to see a challenging discussion about the damaging impact of deporting or otherwise removing citizenship of people on visas; i.e. how can we care about people even when they do something bad. Lots of good ideas in this book!

economics, history, informative, non-fiction, philosophical, politics
Quantum Listening - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
July 24, 2022
by Pauline Oliveros, Ione, Laurie Anderson, Aura Satz

A cute little book; it's a very "artsy" book, describing a particular project of an artist who, in my interpretation, was using listening as a way to connect with the broader world. Quirky, short, but I enjoyed it.

non-fiction, quirky
Empire of Pain - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
July 10, 2022
by Patrick Radden Keefe

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I enjoyed the last book by this author; but I certainly can't say I "enjoyed" this one. It covers the (horrible) story of one families drive to make money, in particular in the pharmaceutical industry. I think it's "good" to read it; but for me I think it just shows the dangers of incentives. In many ways I agree with one of the reviewers who said they felt guilty for enjoying it. Hopefully we can move beyond stories like this and into other kinds of analyses and understanding.

non-fiction, traumatic
The Art of Patience - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
May 8, 2022
by Sylvain Tesson, Frank Wynne

Yet another book in a genre close to my heart: books featuring snow leopards in a poetic way. Naturally, I enjoyed this one. It has the feeling of a light and soft journey, filled with nice poetic titbits. One particular part of the book will, probably, blow your mind, just like it did mine. Recommended if you're into these poetic travel books.

non-fiction, personal, philosophical, poetry
The Invisible Actor - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
May 1, 2022
by Yoshi Oida

This was a fun read. It's targeted at actors, but is in fact a fascinating insight into a totally different cultural experience, at least for me. I really enjoyed the bits of wisdom; the most memorable being the idea that, if you are watching an actor and think "wow, this is great acting", then that's bad; the actor should be invisible. In any case, I really valued this book for the insight into what an actor thinks about, and the various ways the prepare their bodies and minds for the work.

non-fiction, personal, philosophical
Gone - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
April 24, 2022
by Min Kym

An unquestionably exceptional book. I've never seen writing like this before. It's so emotive and engaging and fast-paced; really, it felt like she was playing the violin with my emotions, and I loved it! Highly recommended; you'll never look at someone with a violin the same way again.

music, non-fiction, personal, quirky
I May Be Wrong - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
April 17, 2022
by Björn Natthiko Lindeblad, Caroline Bankeler, Navid Modiiri, Agnes Bromme

An interesting perspective on Buddhism and life. I'm not completely sure I agree with everything in it, but nevertheless I did find it thoughtful and emotional in some points, and overall I enjoyed reading it :)

buddhism, non-fiction, philosophical
Confessions of a Booksheller - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
April 10, 2022
by Shaun Bythell

As a hopefully-one-day bookshop owner, I picked this up hoping for insights into the day-to-day operations of a bookshop. I didn't quite get that; I instead I was presented with the diary of what you might consider a classical grumpy, yet funny, mate who just happened to sell books. It's definitely an entertaining read, but probably not one I'd widely recommend. As a bit of trivia, the author lists the daily sales for each diary entry. I was curious enough to take note of these on a spreadsheet, if you too are curious of the raw revenue that could be expected from just book sales.

Overall, I'm glad I read it, and while it doesn't contain much practical book-selling information or advice, it is an interesting slice of life!

books, fun, non-fiction
The Final Girl Support Group - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
March 27, 2022
by Grady Hendrix

I loved this book; it was a just a very enjoyable, engaging, captivating, comedic book having a lot of fun with the "slasher" genre. It'll definitely be a movie some day soon. It was just a real pleasure to read; I had a great time!

fun, non-fiction, quirky
Bullshit Jobs - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
March 6, 2022
by David Graeber

I don't quite know why it took me so long to pick this book up, but I regret not doing it earlier. I love David Graeber's books; having read and really enjoyed Debt a few years ago. This is really a very thoughtful discussion about jobs and the point of work; and in particular the kinds of busywork we can end up doing and participating in. It made me be a bit more thoughtful about the things that I do, and what might be the reason that I do it. I really enjoyed it; but it's not the worlds most motivating book.

economics, informative, non-fiction, philosophical
A Dutiful Boy - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
December 19, 2021
by Mohsin Zaidi

Recommended to me by a friend, I got hooked on this book immediately and read it in two days; I couldn't put it down. It's very well written; easy to read, fast paced and compelling. If you've read "Educated", it's a lot like that, only with a wildly different context. I loved it. Really well conveys the stress and impact of living with a lie from your family, and how that impacts your personal life. Also very positively show the power of therapy, and generally of friendship and support. Just amazing!

non-fiction, personal
Keats - A Brief Life In Nine Poems - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
December 12, 2021
by Lucasta Miller

I picked this up, being inspired by reading the Dan Simmons trilogy Hyperion. I've never read any "classic" poetry before, and I thought that this might be a nice entrypoint, because it promised to have some poems, but also some backstory about Keats and the context in which he wrote each poem. I loved this book. It's interesting for me personally, because for the longest time I haven't really "understood" poetry. But here, while I can't say I get everything, or even most things, I did start to get a feeling for why people enjoy it. And I also got a feeling of why people like Keats' poetry in particular. It's not a particularly short book, but I did find it quite accessible, and I think it's quite a nice way to engage with poetry. I'll probably try and find more books like this.

informative, non-fiction, personal, poetry
Three Women - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
December 5, 2021
by Lisa Taddeo

Honestly not too sure what to make of this book. Certainly it gives me a perspective into other lives that I would not normally get; the topic being the (quite differing) sex lives of three women. But the differing stories were all, for me, quite extreme, which made it a bit hard to relate. Nevertheless, it felt very raw and real and compelling. Not my usual thing, but I'm glad I read it.

non-fiction, personal, traumatic
Basic Income - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
November 28, 2021
by Philippe van Parijs, Yannick Vanderborght

This is the first book I've read on basic income, so I learned some quite interesting things. The most interesting, to my mind, was the history, and present, philosophical justification for a universal basic income. The justification they give is at first a Christian one; i.e. God gave the land to us all, so we should profit from it. I found this rough justification quite problematic really. I did find most of the way they presented their argument mostly pretty good; but I certainly found other parts of the book moderately problematic, especially some parts discussing immigration. Overall, I think it's a nice entrypoint into the theory and field; but I think we have a long way to go yet.

economics, non-fiction, philosophical
No Friend but the Mountains - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
November 21, 2021
by Behrouz Boochani, Omid Tofighian

Another amazing book, this one was written by a refugee who was imprisoned at the time. It is about his experience in the prison; something that had been totally covered up by the Australian government. At the time the book was published he was still in prison! It's exceptionally readable, interesting and engaging, but it does have some quite traumatic sections. It's has a beautifully written style interspersed with sections of poetry. You will certainly leave with very strong feelings for what people like this have been put through by our governments. I really gained a lot from reading it.

activism, non-fiction, personal, poetry, racism, traumatic
White Tears Brown Scars - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
November 19, 2021
by Ruby Hamad

Definitely the best book on "white feminism" that I've ever read. This book has a particular focus on Australia, but is astonishingly good at gathering together different reactions to racism, in particular in the feminist community, and showing the impact that this has had on people of colour. What remains particularly memorable for me is how white people (of which I'm one) get particularly upset at being *called* racist, and how this can oftentimes trump actual experienced racism on the part of people of colour. Many terrible examples are recounted. Read this book now if you are at all interested in feminism and racism more generally; but be prepared, it is not easy reading. It's an amazing book.

feminism, non-fiction, racism
The Mushroom at the End of the World - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
November 7, 2021
by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Definitely a new favourite book. This one has a really nice, poetic, personal, engaging style and explores topics in economics through a very interesting lens: the mushroom. It presents lots of interesting conceptual discussions around commercial boundaries, what makes a product into something that can be sold, and has a nice journey into particular mushroom markets and what meaning they have for capitalism and communities in general. I wish more economics books were written in such a style! Certainly well worth reading if you're into challenging thoughts in this space!

economics, non-fiction, quirky
Feminist Antifascism - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
August 22, 2021
by Ewa Majewska

I found this book very interesting. One concept it introduced to me was the idea of "solidarity" instead of "support", in social causes. She makes the argument that it's better to stand in "solidarity" with one other, and for "me" to "support" you. Her argument, in part, is because relationships don't work strictly one-directionally. This spoke to me a lot. The bulk of the book is concerned with looking at how "counter-publics" - places where the public can be involved politically, but not necessarily supported by the government - work, examples of them, and how we can and should embrace them. I really like it; but it might be a bit "theory"-dense for some. Recommended reading, though, if you're interested in how people are being politically-active and how feminism should sit at the center of anti-fascism; also particularly interesting to get a Polish perspective on this idea; as it's not one I've heard before.

feminism, informative, non-fiction, philosophical
Circe - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
August 15, 2021
by Madeline Miller

Not knowing anything about the Greek mythology around Circe is not a pre-requisite for this book. I really quite enjoyed it; it's a simple, interesting story and a nice excursion around this particular set of Greek characters. I'll definitely read more by Madelline Miller.

feminism, fun, non-fiction
Semicolon - Cover Find on Bookshop.org
August 1, 2021
by Cecelia Watson

I absolutely loved this book. I love semicolons and I use them all the time. But the important things I learned from this book was how malleable grammar used to be; and that people used to think of grammar as a form of self-expression, instead of a strict set of rules, as we consider it now. It's also written in a very fun and engaging way with plenty of jokes. The best book you're ever likely to read on grammar!

history, informative, non-fiction, short-read

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