I’m a huge fan of non-fiction books and know some people are looking to read outside their comfort zone in lockdown, so I’m going to share my favorite non-fiction books for people to check out!
I promise you, any topic you’re interested in whether it’s make-up, astrophysics or underwater basket weaving, there’s a non-fiction book for it. I’d absolutely recommend reading about a topic that you’re very interested in, especially if non-fiction isn’t your comfort zone. Environmental non-fiction books were my gateway to now reading a range of topics. However, it might be hard or intimidating to find a non-fiction book that is both entertaining and easy to digest, so I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite books that I found fit the bill. Click on “Why I loved it” for each book (where applicable) to read my personal review.
Without further ado, here are my personal recommendations for my favorite non-fiction books:
The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer & Jim Mason
Read if you’re interested in: factory farming, sustainable eating, climate change
Summary: “The Hillard-Nierstheimer family exemplifies the standard meat-and-potatoes diet: they shop at the local supermarket, occasionally eat fast food, and enjoy their meat, Coke and beer. The Masarech-Motavalli family is concerned about its health and generally buys fresh, locally grown vegetables. They call themselves ‘caring carnivores’-they’ll only eat meat from animals raised to humane standards. The Farb family is vegan: nothing they eat comes from an animal, and wherever possible they buy organic.”
Why I loved it: This was one of the first non-fiction books I read for an environmental ethics class in my last year of university. We had most of the book assigned for reading but I read the whole thing and really enjoyed it, in fact I just bought it to re-read. I love a non-fiction book with a narrative and this book follows real people and how their everyday culinary choices impact the environment.
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Read if you’re interested in: race relations, social justice
Summary: “Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue.”
Why I loved it: Every white person needs to read this book, especially if you were offended in any way by the title or description. Save the foreword, the language is easy to understand, often using bullet points at the end of the chapter to sum up. Not only is it important not to be shitty towards people of color, but it’s also important to know how to take criticism and how to tell your coworker Chad that his racist joke wasn’t cool.
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Read if you’re interested in: social media, psychology, sociology
Summary: The extreme taboo of shame is explored in light of a new age of social media where seemingly everyone has a say in transgressions of total strangers. In an age where someone can be fired before they land at their destination over a tweet they sent before they boarded their flight, its important to be mindful about online mob mentality.
Why I loved it: As an avid Internet-user, it really made me more mindful about how I see other people and talk about myself. Ronson tells many different stories in one book while also tying them all together in a spectacular way.
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Caitlin Doughty
Read if you’re interested in: science, death, humor
Summary: “Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death.” In this book, she answers the most direct (and often ridiculous) questions from the mouths of babes.
Why I loved it: Hear me out: “death” and “humor” probably don’t belong in the same description together, but Caitlin pulls it off. I mention her relentlessly on this blog as her YouTube channel got me interested in a range of morbid non-fiction topics, but her own work is also worth mentioning. The most recent of her three books is particularly easy to digest, light-hearted and informative.
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
Read if you’re interested in: mental health, self-help
Summary: “Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt’s inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (and now-wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for it.”
Why I loved it: This book perfectly captures what it’s like to live with anxiety and depression. Those with mental illness can empathize and those without can better understand what it feels like. This book is short with engaging chapters in different styles and captivating anecdotes throughout.
What kind of non-fiction books would you be interested in? I’d love to make another post like this!
Photo by chuttersnap.