Quite by chance on the evening of the first of November I found myself starting Saga Land, a highly anticipated book on my TBR pile. Inadvertently I had begun non-fiction November, which I decided to roll with and perhaps clear a few I’ve had sitting for a while. What have I read this non-fiction November I hear you ask? Well, cast your eyes downward and see.
Saga Land – Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason
A compendium of the Icelandic sags, mixed with a personal journey, mixed with modern sagas of Iceland involving an infamous chess match and a haunted house during the Cold War, mixed with a journey around Iceland. This book is blended with topics and alternate chapters are written by our authors. It is glorious and funny and touching. Do read it.
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher – Kate Summerscale
The original murder mystery house that helped shape the future of crime fiction. Definitely for lovers of the crime fiction genre but also fascinating on it’s own. I learnt many a random fact and was pleasantly surprised to see Australia make an appearance. A little wordy at times but a fascinating insight.
Beyond Veiled Cliches – Amal Awad
A book about Arab women both in Australia and the Middle East. This is about breaking down simplistic stereotypes and taking on a different perspective to gain understanding into a culture and religion that is a hot topic for debate in todays society. A perspective that many of us can gain much from, a understanding that is important for harmony in the future.
The Wicked Boy – Kate Summerscale
Yet another Summerscale but this time about two naughty boys in the 1890’s who murder their mother while their father is at sea and pilfer her money to attend the cricket at Lourdes. Further scams ensue as the boys keep an elaborate charade for ten days until the decomposing smell brings it all undone. Expect, again, a wordy read as Summrscale sets the London scene of the time from politics to literature and how it shaped the trial at the time. Another fascinating insight.
The Trauma Cleaner – Sarah Krasnostein
A late edition this book has been on my radar for some time and finally reading it, it did not disappoint. The Trauma Cleaner tells us of the life of Sandra Pankhurst, born a boy into a violent and neglectful life into performing as a drag queen and prostitute and finishing up as a trauma cleaner visiting sites of violence, death and decay. Perhaps not one to be read with lunch but one certainly not worth missing. Do give it a go.
I also had several more on my list, two I acquired from a raffle and that I ultimately decided to rehome due to not being overly excited about reading them. Life is too short to read books you aren’t truly interested in (even for non-fiction November), especially when you have a whole cart of more interesting books calling your name. Five is not a bad effort, with that equating to more than one non-fiction a week and I’m definitely happy with my efforts.
Did you participate in non-fiction November? Do you tend to read non-fiction in general? Let me know!