True story :: non-fiction books & memoirs

June 25, 2017

This month I'm participating in Book Riot's photo challenge #riotgrams over on Instagram  and today's photo prompt is 'True Stories'. To be honest, I've really only started reading non-fiction, including memoirs and biographies, pretty recently - and mostly thanks to tasks in the 2016 and 2017 Book Riot Read Harder Challenges. 

Today's photo prompt got me thinking about some of the non-fiction I have really loved reading over the past 6 months or so, and so I thought I'd share here three of the best non-fiction books I've read recently(ish)...

I actually read this one almost exactly a year ago! The story of Henrietta Lacks is horrifying and heartwarming, sad and fun, and simply amazing. I thought that Rebecca Skloot's telling of it was flawless - both in terms of telling Henrietta's story and also the narrative around her own experience of meeting Henrietta's family and researching the book. I rated this 5 stars and told everyone I know to read it. I did manage to miss the TV movie adaptation - and would be interested to know whether it is worth hunting down?

I'm the first to admit I know very little about US politics, and I really didn't have much of an idea about the civil rights movement at all. I definitely didn't know who Congressman John Lewis was, but when I started reading bits and pieces about him in the media in January I wanted to find out more and borrowed all three graphic novels in his March series from the library. These books, and (obviously) his story are beyond amazing. I had no idea a graphic novel could be so powerful and moving. Like I said, I borrowed these from the library but they are now on our 'to buy' list.
For me the timing of reading these fit really well - I'd read Henrietta Lacks, and the Underground Railroad, stuff was happening in the US, and shortly after I saw Hidden Figures, to which March gave me a lot of context.

One of the tasks in the 2017 Read Harder Challenge is to read a book about sport - I'm not going to lie, I thought this was going to be kind of boring! But I loved it - Pippos does a great job of walking the reader through a history of sexism in sport, and also shows where things are starting to change for the better. This could be really dry, but the writing is super accessible, and often feels conversational, so it really was fun to read.

I'd love to get recommendations for non-fiction books you've enjoyed! I have Mary Roach firmly on my to read list, but who else should I add?

X Bron

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