Monday 23 November 2020

#5OnMyTBR | Non-Fiction

This meme was created by E. @ Local Bee Hunter's Nook and you can find the announcement post here. Also, side note, these aren't necessarily books that I own physically but they're all on my Goodreads TBR and they'll mostly be the five most recently added.  

This Week's Prompt is...

Non-Fiction. I do actually really like reading non-fiction, I've always liked learning new things and researching about obscure topics. I also try and read at least one non-fiction book a month which so far is going pretty well! I tried to choose five books off my tbr that look at different subjects so without further ado...

1. Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
I've heard about this book a lot online and was really interested in reading about this woman who had such an unconventional childhood without a formal education so I knew I had to pick it up.

2. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari    

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? 
Another book I've heard tons of people mention but I honestly don't know what to expect from this book. I picked it up in a charity shop last year but I'm yet to pick it up and honestly I'm kind of intimidated by it. I'm worried it's going to be very scientific and go over my head. I do want to give it a try though as it's been so popular.

3. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach  

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

I read a similar book earlier this year, Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, which detailed the authors time working for the New York Medical Examiners office and it was a fascinating book. After reading it I added some other books on the subject to my TBR and this was one of them. The topic is extremely morbid for some reason I'm really interested in it. 

4. Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, realizing that Ivan from the corner shop might just be the only reliable man in her life, and that absolutely no one can ever compare to her best girlfriends. Everything I Know About Love is about bad dates, good friends and—above all else— realizing that you are enough. 

This is a collection of essays and anecdotes that examine adulthood and life, and I think I'm at a point where I could really benefit from reading it.

5. Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe: A Treasury of British Folklore by Dee Dee Chainey  

Did you know, in Yorkshire it was believed a person lying on a pillow stuffed with pigeon’s feathers could not die? Or that green is an unlucky colour for wedding dresses—in Scotland they would not even serve green vegetables at the wedding breakfast? In the West Country, the seventh son of a seventh son has the power to cure ringworm. You’ve heard about St. George, but how about the Green Man, who was believed to rule over the natural world? Or Black Shuck, the giant ghostly dog who was reputed to roam East Anglia? As well as looking at the history of this subject, this book has a directory of places you can go to see folklore alive and well today. The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival, for example, or wassailing cider orchards in Somerset.

I've recently gotten more into folklore and where better to start reading properly then with a book that details British folklore. I'm interested to learn about different legends that were born from the country I grew up in.

Which non-fiction books are on your TBR? If you've already read some of these, let me know what you thought! Leave a comment with your own #5OnMyTBR posts for me to check out! Happy Reading!


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