|NON-FICTION NOVEMBER TBR
Don’t panic!! Christmas is approaching faster then ever!! How scary!! Thankfully we have November to help slow down our stresses a little, and what better way to spend the month than by reading non-fiction! Every year I always find myself saying that this will be the year that I read more books that will teach me things – and every year I fail! So that’s why I embrace Non-fiction November so much as it gives me a little time to focus and educate my poor little brain cells before they turn to mush with Christmas movies!
So I’ve put together a little TBR pile for the month ahead – I know I won’t be able to get through them all but the aim is to read at least 1 a week so we will see how that goes!
LANDFILL by TIM DEE
A ground breaking new book from the author of The Running Sky and Four Fields, Landfill confronts our waste-making species through the extraordinary and fascinating life of gulls, and the people who watch them. Original, compelling and unflinching, it is the nature book for our times.
We think of gulls as pests. They steal our chips and make newspaper headlines, these animals, often derided as “bin chickens” are complex neighbours, making the most of our throw away species. In the Anthropocene, they are a surprising success story. They’ve become intertwined with us, precisely because we are so good at making rubbish. Landfill is a book that avoids nostalgia and eulogy for nature and instead kicks beneath the littered surface to find stranger and more inspiring truths.
Landfill is the compelling story of how we have worked the rest of the living world, learned about it, named and catalogued it, colonised and planted it, and filled it with our rubbish.
JANE BOLEYN by JULIA FOX
In a life of extraordinary drama, Jane Boleyn was catapulted from relative obscurity to the inner circle of King Henry VIII. As powerful men and women around her became victims of Henry’s ruthless and absolute power–including her own husband and her sister-in-law, Queen Anne Boleyn–Jane’s allegiance to the volatile monarch was sustained and rewarded. But the cost of her loyalty would eventually be her undoing and the ruination of her name. For centuries, little beyond rumor and scandal has been associated with “the infamous Lady Rochford,” but now historian Julia Fox sets the record straight. Drawing upon her own deep knowledge and years of original research, she brings us into the inner sanctum of court life, teeming with intrigue and redolent with the threat of disgrace. In the eyes and ears of Jane Boleyn, we witness the myriad players of the stormy Tudor period, and Jane herself emerges as a courageous spirit, a modern woman forced by circumstances to make her own way in a privileged but vicious world.
FEMINISTS DON’T WEAR PINK by SCARLETT CURTIS
An urgent and inspirational collection of essays by a diverse group of celebrities, activists, and artists about what feminism means to them, with the goal of helping readers come to their own personal understanding of the word.
Feminism has never been more deeply and widely embraced and discussed, but what exactly does the F word mean?
Here, personal stories from actors, writers, and activists explore the contradictions and complications at the heart of the movement. By bridging the gap between feminist hashtags and scholarly texts, these essays bring feminism into clear focus.
Published in partnership with Girl Up, the UN Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign, contributors include Hollywood superstars like Saoirse Ronan, activists like Alicia Garza, a founder of Black Lives Matter, and even fictional icons such as Bridget Jones.
Every woman has a different route to their personal understanding of feminism. This empowering collection shows how a diverse group of women found their voice, and it will inspire others to do the same.
RHAPSODY IN GREEN by CHARLOTTE MENDELSON
Gardening can be viewed as a largely pointless hobby, but the evangelical zeal and camaraderie it generates is unique. Charlotte Mendelson is perhaps unusually passionate about it. For despite her superficially normal existence, despite the fact that she has only six square metres of grotty urban soil and a few pots, she has a secret life. She is an extreme gardener, an obsessive, an addict. And like all addicts, she wants to spread the joy. Her garden may look like a nasty drunk old man’s mini-allotment, chaotic, virtually flowerless, with weird recycling and nowhere to sit. When honoured friends are shown it, they tend to laugh. However, it is actually a tiny jungle, a minuscule farm, a wildly uneconomical experiment in intensive edible cultivation, on which she grows a taste of perhaps a hundred kinds of delicious fruits and odd vegetables. It is a source of infinite happiness and deep peace. It looks completely bonkers. Arguably, it’s the most expensive, time-consuming, undecorative and self-indulgent way to grow a salad ever invented, but when tired or sad or cross it never fails to delight.
THE LONELY CITY by OLIVIA LAING
What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we’re not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens?
When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives — from Edward Hopper’s Nighthawksto Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules, from Henry Darger’s hoarding to the depredations of the AIDS crisis — Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone, illuminating not only the causes of loneliness but also how it might be resisted and redeemed.
UNQUIET WOMEN by MAX ADAMS
Wynflæd was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who owned male slaves and badger-skin gowns; Egeria a Gaulish nun who toured the Holy Land as the Roman Empire was collapsing; Gudfrid an Icelandic explorer and the first woman to give birth to a European child on American soil; Mary Astell a philosopher who out-thought John Locke.
In this exploration of some of remarkable – but little-known – women living between between the last days of Rome and the Enlightenment, Max Adams overturns the idea that women of this period were either queens, nuns or invisible. In a sequence of chronological chapters, a centrepiece biographical sketch is complemented by thematically linked stories of other women of the time. A multi-faceted and beautifully illustrated study of women’s intellect, influence and creativity, Extraordinary Women brings to life the experiences of women whose voices are barely heard and whose stories are rarely told.
SOMETHING OF HIS ART by HORATIO CLARE
Something of his Art is Horatio Clare’s recreation of the long walk that J. S. Bach took in the depths of winter in 1705 – his long walk to Lübeck across northern Germany, and visualising the light, landscape and wildlife the young, and as yet unknown composer would have seen.
A BOOK OF SILENCE by SARA MAITLAND
In her late forties, after a noisy upbringing and then adulthood as vocal feminist and mother, Sara Maitland found herself living in the country. She fell in love with the silence, and in this profound, frank memoir she describes how she explored this new love, searching for silence and solitude.
Hopefully the mix of topics will keep me on my toes – have you read any of these books? Will you be taking part in non-fiction November? If so, I wish you well!!