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what non-fiction are you reading now?

(173 Posts)
NicknameTaken Tue 28-Aug-12 12:36:00

I just finished Lucy Worsley's If Walls Could Talk - great fun, very well-written and engaging. Next up is Tom Holland's In the Shadow of the Sword, about the origins of Islam.

Anyone else?

gaelicsheep Sat 16-Feb-13 19:39:37

Just about to start a couple of books about concepts of modern art.

NicknameTaken Sun 17-Feb-13 18:36:47

Finished the Patrick Leigh Fermor book. I'm not sure I needed quite so much detail - every guest who visited, every Cretan lookout - but overall I really enjoyed it. That was a life fully lived. And there is a hilarious quotation from one of his letters about pubic lice.

Not a sentence I ever expected to type.

NicknameTaken Thu 28-Feb-13 12:35:16

Paula Byrne, The Real Jane Austen. Obviously not that much new material, but presented well and a good read.

PurpleCrutches Tue 12-Mar-13 21:09:29

Dear Dawn - Aileen Wuornos in her own words. It's a collection of letters she sent while she was on Death Row.

I find her fascinating. She wasn't half as crazy as she was made out to be.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 12-Mar-13 21:20:19

No Boundaries:new travellers on the road (outside of England) by Alan Dearling.

It's covering the move of many so-called 'new age travellers' to Europe and beyond following events such as The Battle of the Beanfield,and the introduction of new legislation (noteably the Criminal Justice and Public order Act).

I am also dipping into Disarming Patriarchy by Sasha Roseneil and Senseless Acts of Beauty by George McKay - I never read just one non fiction at a time,as I enjoy flitting about according to mood.

sashh Mon 25-Mar-13 06:43:42

Perfect Storm

I'm learning lots about fishing for sword fish, which fish you can catch at full moon.

Also different currents in the sea, how safety swimmers are trained.

NicknameTaken Tue 26-Mar-13 12:22:47

A hearty recommendation for Paula Hodgkins, Amateurs in Eden, about the marriage of Lawrence and Nancy Durrell. Nancy was the author's mother, and the book works on a number of levels - a daughter reconstructing her mother's life before the daugher's birth, the experience of being a woman in the early to mid-twentieth century, and an insight into Lawrence Durrell and the Bohemian lifestyle.

The mn relationships thread would undoubtedly diagnose Lawrence Durrell as a narcissist, but the relationship is portrayed in all its complexity, not as a simple abuser/victim one.

Probably the most enjoyable read of the year so far.

Whatalotofpiffle Sun 07-Apr-13 07:43:22

Just read Steve Biddulph's 'Raising Girls'
Now reading an Alfie Kohn book

hackmum Tue 09-Apr-13 08:25:39

Nickname - many thanks for recommending Amateurs in Eden, have just finished it and really enjoyed it. It's put me off reading Lawrence Durrell for life, though! What a narcissist, as you say. Was fascinated by the revelation that Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, which I enjoyed as a teenager, simply left Nancy out of the story and portrayed Lawrence as a single man.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 10-Apr-13 18:52:31

I've just finished reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua quite an eye-opener, but an enjoyable read. I'm also half way through My Animals and Other Family by Clare Balding - slow going but enjoyable.

ladydepp Thu 11-Apr-13 13:41:58

I am reading 3 books at the moment, normally it's just 2 grin. One of them is non-fiction and it's the Clare Balding autobiography too, really enjoying it but I do love horses and dogs. I am not sure it was edited terribly well, it fairly leaps about in places and I have to go back and see what she's talking about. Her father and grandmother are/were real characters!!

Highlander Mon 15-Apr-13 20:03:31

'Lean In' by Sheryl Sandberg (women and work)

Just finished 'the emperor of all maladies' - a history of cancer. Bloody brilliant book.

MrsBungle Mon 15-Apr-13 20:07:03

I have just started 'The Mitford Girls' - an auto biography by Mary S Lovell. I have not been able to put it down. I had never heard of the Mitford sisters until I started reading this.

hackmum Tue 16-Apr-13 08:22:24

Highlander - I agree about Emperor of all maladies. Truly excellent.

MrsBungle - I might go and read that, it sounds great. There are quite a few Mitford fans in this forum!

ruthyroo Thu 18-Apr-13 05:35:30

This is a fantastic thread- I am definitely going to track down some of these recommendations. I live in France so don't have the opportunity to browse waterstones etc and I find browsing on my kindle is not that easy if I don't have a specific book or author in mind.

I've just finished Bad Science by Ben Goldacre which has totally convinced me to reject the expensive homeopathy that is pushed so strongly here ! And The Diet Trap by John Briffa, an easy read and a good antidote to ongoing diet madness in the world.

Isthiscorrect Fri 19-Apr-13 07:55:58

Grrrrrrrrr, just lost everything but in essence current NF reading is Bounce by Matthew Sayed. Gallop along read about the myth of talent, the need for purposeful practice and the very specific type of motivation.
Also reading Alex's adventures in Numberland. Now for someone who can barely count it's been an entertaining read about the history and culture of numbers.
Finally in the must finish right now pile is the Naked Jape by Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greaves about jokes, the history of them, what makes them funny and so on.

quirrelquarrel Tue 23-Apr-13 12:02:44

A.S.Neill's book on Summerhill.
deary me.
I particularly enjoyed the section on homosexuality: "there is no homosexuality in Summerhill. The school has not turned out a single homosexual. The reason is that freedom breeds healthy children." Published in the 60s!

& a book about the Soviet Jewish diaspora, more like a biography though really.
Going back to uni soon and need to not take anything with me cos my room there's overflowing (moving out in two months, eek) so have to finish these quickly!

NicknameTaken Tue 23-Apr-13 13:48:05

Vvvvv late reply to hackmum, but I'm so glad you enjoyed Amateurs in Eden. I thought it was ill-served by the reviews I read, which focused on whether the author succeeding in restoring her mother's reputation as an artist, and I don't think the book stands or falls on that point at all.

Currently re-reading Shapiro's Contested Will. I'm enjoying it again but this time I understand better what point the author is setting out to make, ie. how people's expectations of authorship (and how autobiographical writing is) framed their willingness to accept Shakespeare of Stratford. It reminds me why re-reading is a good thing to do. I tend to zip through books in such a rush that I miss out a lot if I don't re-read.

PaddingtonBearsDuffleCoat Sat 27-Apr-13 15:37:49

Not nearly as highbrow as most on this thread, I am reading Beyond Nab End by William Woodruff. Just finished his earlier work and decided to carry straight on with the sequel. Excellent writing and insight.

hackmum Tue 30-Apr-13 09:33:44

Agree, Nickname, about the mother's reputation. Just a really interesting book with lots of insights about what it's like being married to an enormous ego. I thought it particularly telling that people thought of Nancy as silent and mysterious, when actually she was too cowed to talk most of the time.

Currently reading the Mary Beard collection of essays and reviews about ancient Rome - excellent and very enjoyable.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 01-May-13 11:58:13

Watching this thread. I am revising for exams so only have a novel on the go, but my summer non fiction is going to be Dan Stone's "Historiography if Genocide" and I can't wait. I have a fascination with Genocide.

I also have planned Sheila Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism. I have half read it before and it is very good and accessible.

Those who were reading the comparisons if Hitler and Stalin, which books were they. I have two, one by Overy and one by Gellately and I didn't think either were great although preferred Gelllately.

OneHolyCow Wed 01-May-13 12:41:26

I'm reading Paul Preston's The Spanish Holocaust. Cheerful stuff.. pff. Seems very comprehensive and well researched but it is very big and have only just started.

For some lighter relief Them by Jon Ronson.. bit dated but I like his style.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 01-May-13 13:34:57

I have dipped into his civil war book. He is very clear I find.

OneHolyCow Wed 01-May-13 15:16:36

Yes, he does write clearly, it's just the topic that does not add to joy of life.

wiltingfast Wed 08-May-13 18:22:44

Just finished French Children Eat Everything sigh mine don't.

Am now reading The Believers which is about the Bernie Madoff scandal. Well done so far.

Next is Stephen Pinker, How the Mind Works grin

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