Non-fiction is not always boring and geeky. Here are some of my favorite non-fiction books. Have you read any of them? What do you think about them?
PS : This is also my first post here, so yay! So excited!
One of my all-time favorite books. It has bookish essays that any book-lover will love. Topics covered include whether it is okay to dog-ear books, secondhand bookshops, the favorite part of our bookshelf that we don’t want others to know about, reading books together with a dear one, and others. Such a beautiful delight.
India Discovered by John Keay
It is about how ancient Indian history unraveled – things such as how it was discovered that Buddha was Indian, how the identity of Ashoka was discovered and who are the people who played a role in this discovery. John Keay loves India and his love shows in every page.
Hornby picks his favorite songs and shares his thoughts on each of them. A music lover’s delight.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
When Murakami is not writing or giving guest lectures at the university, he runs marathons. Here he talks about his marathon running experiences and how he is not competing with others but with himself and he relates running to writing and reading and books and literature – so beautiful!
John Carey’s love letter to the arts, especially to literature and books. In the first part Carey explains why it is hard to define art. In the second part, he makes a case for why literature is the best of the arts. Beautiful!
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Essays by Gay on her experiences as a woman. Very insightful and very beautifully written, and the book is so accessible and not academic, making her experiences so relate-able.
Sidney Lumet directed some wonderful movies like ’12 Angry Men’ and here he talks about how movies are made and shares his own experiences. This book was published in the middle ’90s and so some parts of it might be dated, but it is still a beautiful, insightful read.
My favorite book on science written for the general reader. Bryson uses his trademark humor to describe the important concepts in many fields of science and how they were discovered. So wonderful!
The Universe in your Hand by Christophe Galfard
My favorite book on physics and the universe written for the general reader. In this book Galfard covers most of the important areas of physics – Relativity, Quantum Physics, Black Holes, the Big Bang theory – in normal everyday English. Galfard was a student of Stephen Hawking, but by evidence of this book, he has clearly outdone his teacher.
Susan Cain’s love letter to introverts.
Probably the best one-volume history of the world in print. The newest edition covers recent developments like the rise of India and China in the 21st century.
Didion’s grieving memoir when her husband passed. Beautiful, poetic and heartbreaking.
Seductions of Rice by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
A love letter to rice and all its forms and the delicious food we can make from it. Enticing!
Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran of the ’70s and ’80s told in graphic novel form. So charming!
Spiegelman’s story about his father and the Holocaust. Beautiful, yet heartbreaking.
It is about Bertrand Russell and mathematics and the futility of war and Greek tragedy told in graphic novel form. A beautiful, beautiful book!
Beyond a Boundary by CLR James
James’ love letter to West Indian cricket – it is also part memoir, part history of West Indian cricket, and part commentary on English literature. James’ prose is gorgeous and its beauty shines in every page.
Hessler’s account of his time in China when he spent two years teaching English to Chinese students in a town on the banks of the Yangtze River. Beautiful, insightful and charming.
Enjoyed this booklist? Check out more such booklists here.