Non-fiction is a genre that I’ve been getting more and more into over the past year or two, and I’m also seeing it become more popular on booktube! So today I thought I’d share some of the non-fiction books I really want to get around to reading soon. This is definitely not all of the non-fiction books I own, and I’m also currently reading one, but these are the ones I’m most keen to read.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Oliver Sacks
I own a few books by Oliver Sacks but this is probably his most famous – plus it’s the shortest. I started this a few years ago when Iborrowed a copy from a friend and really enjoyed it, so I’ve since bought my own copy to read myself. Oliver Sacks was a neurologist who worked with patients who had unique conditions, so each chapter of this book is a case study on a different patients. Many of his other books have a common theme running through them, like how Musicophilia is about patients with neurological conditions regarding music and sounds, but this book is a more general introduction to his work and a range of some of his most interesting and odd cases. One of the patients cannot recognise objects for what they are, which gives the book its title. Another patient has a sort of amnesia where he has no memories past a certain point, so he’s an elderly man who wakes up every day thinking he’s in his early twenties, and another is about a patients with extreme mathematical abilities. I remember from reading this book the first time that some of the cases are quite sad, but Oliver Sacks always does whatever he can to give the patient the best quality of life can. I can’t wait to reread the start of this and finish it off.
Power Systems – Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky is an interesting person for me, as he’s a linguist that I’ve studied throughout my degree as well as a political activist and writer. Chomsky has a lot of books I want to read but this is one of his most recent. The book is a collection of conversations and interviews discussing some important modern issues, such as the dynamics between big business and the working class, the rise of the far right, and the breakdown of some traditional and mainstream political institutions. I really enjoy politics but it’s never something I studied, so I have quite a few political non-fiction books I want to work my way through!
The Establishment – Owen Jones
This is another political book, the subtitle of which is ‘and how they get away with it.’ This book is marketed as a kind of exposure of the secret goings-on within the UK government, as well as the press and big businesses, and how they’re all connected. I believe the general argument of the book is that the people at the top are using their power to help themselves while spinning lies about how they’re realling helping the people. As someone with a very opinionated and liberal family this view is nothing new to be, but I’ve never really read anything that tries to put some kind of tangible arguments behind these ideas, so it’ll be interesting to see what Owen Jones has to say about it.
Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
This one is a chunker and at around 460 pages I think I’m going to have to take my time with this one. The subtitle of this book is ‘A brief history of humankind’, so I’m sure it’s going to be jam packed with information. I really enjoy history, but I also really enjoy sociology, politics and anthropology, so this book seems great for that. Rather than just relaying facts about the progression of our species, it asks questions about how we went from being foragers to having whole kingdoms, where religion comes from, and what our world might be like in the future. It sounds absolutely fascinating, but I think it’ll take me a good few months to get through.
Prisoners of Geography – Tim Marshall
The subtitle of this one is ‘Ten maps that tell you everything you need to know about global politics.’ So, this books takes a bit of a different stance on politics, and it uses the geography of the world to explain things. The blurb says that it answers questions about why the USA was ‘destined to be a global superpower’ and why China’s power continue to expand, and stresses the important of geography when trying to understand the full picture. I’ve never thought too much about geography, and in fact I have another non-fiction book that argues that geography is mostly irrelevant when it comes to how successful a country is, so it’ll be good to compare their ideas!
I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Malala and her book but in case you haven’t, this subtitle should sum it all up: ‘The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban.’ When the Taliban took control of her village, Malala stood up for her right to an education and was shot in the head. She managed to survive, and is now an ambassador and an activist fighting for education and equal rights for women across the world. I know her story will be difficult to read, but I also think it’ll be inspiring and I think I’ll learn a lot from it.
Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think! If you have any non-fiction recommendations please do let me know because I’m always looking for more!