For the purposes of my yearly wrap ups I go Dec 2017 to Nov 2018, because I can’t accept that I might not finish more amazing books over the next week. That means I read 15 non fiction books this year. I think I could have done better, but never mind! I read 22 last year, but I’ve read less over all this year in general. Last year I split them into politics and feminism, biography and memoir, and science – but I don’t have enough books to do separate ones this year, so they are all getting put together!
So here are my top non fiction reads from this year:
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
I’ve been recommending this book to everyone since I read it, and I was so happy that my book club chose it for their December read. It’s about race relations in Britain. It covers many different aspects from education, feminism, and black history. This would be my top book of the whole year. My review is here.
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century – Timothy Snyder
Twenty practical things you can do in your life to help combat the rise of tyranny. Each one backed up by twentieth century history. Brilliant and made me feel less useless in the face of what seems like the world imploding around us. My review is here.
The Descent of Man – Grayson Perry
Masculinity, what’s wrong with it, and how ideas about it should change to be healthier for everyone! It’s also very funny. My review is here.
Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood – Hollie McNish
Poems about pregnancy and motherhood, with McNish telling her story from finding out she was pregnant, up to her daughter being about three years old. So honest and brutal, yet full of love. My review is here.
The Mother of All Questions: Further Feminisms – Rebecca Solnit
A follow up to Men Explain Things To Me, Solnit covers all things feminism that aren’t already covered in Men Explain. It’s no exaggeration to say I found the title essay life affirming. I would really highly recommend this book, but read Men Explain first if you haven’t already read that. My review of The Mother of All Questions is here, and my review of Men Explain Things to Me is here!
A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf addressed a women’s college 1928 and talks about women and writing fiction. This extended essay is based on those talks. My review is here.
Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting – Robert McKee
An unexpected top book entry here! I never expected that a book about screen writing would be that interesting to me, but I found this analysis of what makes a good story fascinating. There’s a huge list of films at the back too, and I love a list to work through. My review is here.
Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher
Fisher’s story of her life. She is hilarious. And her life has been bonkers. My review is here.
I’m a Joke and So Are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes up Human – Robin Ince
About brains, and the strange things they do. Really interesting read and funny, of course! My review is here.
Honourable mention to Ad Astra by Dallas Campbell. It would have made the top list, but it was covered by my list from last year (read it here) before I decided to make my year go Nov to Dec!
Here are all the non-fiction books I read this year. Click the book title to go to my review of it:
- Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet – Dallas Campbell
Slayers & Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorised Oral History of Buffy & Angel – Edward Gross, Mark A. Altman
- On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century – Timothy Snyder
- Women and Power – Mary Beard
- Fat Gay Vegan: Eat and Drink Like You Give a Shit – Sean O’Callaghan
- Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood – Hollie McNish
- The Descent of Man – Grayson Perry
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates
- A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
- Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women – Otegha Uwagba
- Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher
- The Mother of All Questions – Rebecca Solnit
- I’m a Joke and So Are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes up Human – Robin Ince