Last year I decided I wasn’t reading enough non-fiction. I’ve never been a great fan of non-fiction and I released it takes me longer to read than fiction so I rarely picked it up. I decided that there were certain topics that did interest me and the best way to read more non-fiction about these topics would be to set myself a challenge. I set a challenge of one non-fiction book a month. Seventeen months on, I’m glad to report Im pretty much keeping up with that challenge. I may have missed a month or so, but I have read lots more non-fiction than ever before. Now comes the next challenge, to write about it!
I find it harder to write full reviews about non-fiction so I am going to do a little round up every now and then. This first one is for my January, April and May reads from this year.
Happy Fat by Sofie Hagen
I’ve been a fan of Sofie Hagen since I started listening to The Guilty Feminist podcast the year before last. I found her really funny and I liked that she was body positive. I wanted to read Happy Fat because of this as I thought her humour would bring a lot to the book. I really enjoyed Happy Fat and the studies that Sofie shares which focus on the other side of the story. The book constantly reiterates that being fat does not equate to unhealthiness and thats a message that should be reinforced at every opportunity. There was a lot missing from the book that I had hoped to see and it was a little repetitive. There was a lot about loving yourself but not a lot about the journey of getting to that point. Which I think a lot of people struggle with. Its not like you just wake up one day and decide to love your body no matter what. Its a learning curve and there wasn’t much of the learning curve shared.
100 Nasty Women of History by Hannah Jewell
So many women I would have never heard of. So many ethnicities, from all over the world and all the way through history. Standing up for themselves and other women and talked about by a hilarious author who made me laugh out loud every step of the way. I LOVED 100 Nasty Women of History and I didn’t want it to end. Hannah Jewell was hilarious and the book is not one for people who don’t like swearing. For me it was great. I have never really enjoyed history. But I love learning about badass women and I have found that I love history if its talked about in a really funny way, so this was right up my street. This is like a grown up’s “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” and I will recommend it to everyone!
Because I am a Girl by Various Authors
This boo is technically not non-fiction exclusively. Its a collection of stories and articles from journalists and authors who travelled the world with Plan UK, a charity which supports children and their wellbeing all over the world. There are 7 authors and journalists and 8 pieces of content within the book. Some are fictional but they are fiction based on the stories of the women and children that the authors meet during their travels. There were some that weren’t fiction and they were the hardest to read, but none of this book is an easy read. I am a feminist, but just because I am a woman doesn’t mean I have the same inequality as other women in the world, and if there was ever a book that reinforces that, for anyone who needs to recognise it, its this one.
The things that the girls of this book go through are horrific. It’s these things we need to be fighting the most for, because the girls who are growing up in the countries that see females as sex objects to be bought and sold as they like are the ones that need the help. In one of the pieces there was mention of girls as young as 4 needing operations because of sex acts carried out on them. It was a difficult read but one that should be read by more people. The more we can help in the countries that need it the most, the better. I found it a little strange that the charity produced the book and had to include a response from one of the writer’s pieces in the book. Like it was a “don’t view us too badly” piece. However when I read the whole thing it made sense. There are two sides to every story and not everything is black and white, but I can imagine its hard not to see it that way when you’ve been in the midst of the hell that some of the girls you meet are in.