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Non-fiction

The Finest Hours by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman

Published September 25, 2019

The Finest Hours by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman

Like many others, I saw the film adaptation of this non-fiction book without knowing anything of the subject matter beforehand. It was a moving story, of course, heroic bravery in the face of almost insurmountable odds and in the end, a victory for mankind against Mother Nature. But when you come to read the book, although still feeling dramatic and, honestly, quite horrific, there’s a steadfast nature about the writing that at first unsteadied me.

Help Me! by Marianne Power

Published August 22, 2019

Help Me! by Marianne Power

I really loved this. Firstly, I love a memoir-style book based on a challenge and reading 12 self-help books in 12 months definitely falls under that genre. Marianne decided to see if some of the most popular self-help books would help revamp her life and threw herself headfirst into the task of actually doing what the books say rather than just reading them from the comfort of your sofa and expecting your life to change.

Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies) by Scarlett Curtis

Published August 8, 2019

Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies) by Scarlett Curtis

This is a fantastic collection of essays, in a variety of formats, from women across all walks of life - actors, broadcasters, writers, poets, activists. The only thing they have in common is feminism, and this book aims to share some of their thoughts with you. What I love about it is that it’s not a manifesto, it’s not a guide to being a feminist pointing out all the ways you’re doing it wrong. It’s just people and their thoughts on the struggles of feminism, from using the word itself to throwing yourself into the cause 100%.

Unbroken by Martine Wright

Published July 31, 2019

Unbroken by Martine Wright

This is the autobiography of Martine Wright, one of the survivors of the 77 bombings in 2005 - when a terrorist attacked the tube and bus links in London. The book starts on that very day, and has a unique style to begin with - hearing from many of the people who feature in the memoir, Martine’s doctor, a policewoman who found her, her husband and family. It’s a stark and visceral start to the book as it places you right in the scene but also gives you great insight into the panic and distress that everyone else was feeling as well.

Animal by Sara Pascoe

Published July 19, 2019

Animal by Sara Pascoe

This is an interesting read because it’s not your standard comedian-writes-memoir book but instead a stream of consciousness from someone who clearly has a lot of thoughts and research to share on a particular topic - that topic being the human body, particularly female. That topic then stretches to include consensual and non-consensual sex, bodies growing and changing, and of course the more general feminism and equality that comes with the territory.

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Published July 10, 2019

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Criado Perez does an incredible job of highlighting a wide variety of issues that I would never have thought of, and delves into what research has and hasn’t been done on the impact these problems have. But what I like most is that Perez really takes a good stance on this – obviously the fight for equality does have its enemies, but the issues we’re talking about here very rarely are done maliciously. It’s just that the data isn’t there, and everyone, women included, has been societally trained to consider the male form default.

The Cold War in an Hour by Rupert Colley

Published August 26, 2011

The Cold War in an Hour by Rupert Colley

Split into two parts, the first covers the story in detail - in this case, from the appearance of Stalin to the introduction of Yeltsin, via the Vietnam war, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the rise and fall of multiple presidents and prime ministers. The second half is the appendix, with a quick overview of the main characters involved in the subject, and then a great timeline for just the key facts in the order they happened.

Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks

Published November 5, 2004

Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks

Tony makes a bet that he can play and beat the whole National football team of Moldova at tennis. He goes to Moldova and finds it a lot harder than he first thought it would be, and he wasn’t exactly expecting an easy ride! He’s spurred on by the thought that losing the bet means naked singing.