Now my initial reaction to this was: I don’t read non fiction. But actually, I never used to read non fiction. It always seemed like such hard work. Certainly after years of study.
But over time, I have actually developed an appreciation for non fiction. Must be my age. Learning to be more patient. And appreciative of reality.
I’m still not a fan of biographies. Auto or otherwise. I suppose I have never felt the need to know about other people’s lives. Certainly not about the lives of people I don't know personally. That said, I was given a copy of Nigel Slater’s Toast. And really enjoyed it. There was an element in it of reminiscence. Some shared childhood food experiences. And it was good to revisit them.
I was also given Waris Dirie’s Desert Flower. A whole different story, of course. Harrowing at times. Always instructive. Ultimately inspiring.
Apart from that, I also liked Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence. But then I’d loved Deirdre Le Faye’s Jane Austen’s Letters too. Something to do with the Austen factor, methinks.
I do love books on language, linguistics and culture. I’m a fan of Professor David Crystal’s writings. On language and its development. And I always recommend Watching the English by Kate Fox and Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow. Non fiction with laughs. No, really.
Otherwise I like books on health. And self help. And psychology. Is that the age thing? Possibly. But I figure any advice that could improve my life is good. And if it could make me the tiniest bit a better person, then fab…
Finally, I'd love to be able to read history. But it's just not me. At the moment, anyway. I've started watching history. Simon Schama, as an example. But reading it is way too heavy. For me. Except... that I did read A small corner of hell - dispatches from Chechnya. Anna Politkovskaya. Can you call that history? A conflict that continues. To a certain extent. Horrors that happened in my lifetime. Most without my knowledge. In a place I've only recently become aware of. Scary. Traumatic. And somehow compelling.