I love reading, but to be honest most of my book preferences skew fiction and I find it difficult to get into non-fiction often because I find it depressing or boring or both. But earlier this year my book club opted to read Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill and, let me tell you—it was not boring (though it was plenty depressing). So, for 2020, I’ve decided I need to give non-fiction a real change—and not just in my regular wheelhouse of witty essays by women who have important stuff to share (but more of those too, please). I’m looking to read outside my comfort zone and pick up books that normally I’d overlook. Here are the non-fiction reads I’ll be adding to my reading list this year.
It’s cheating because I’ve actually already read this, but since this is also a list for you, dear reader, please add this one to your own to-be-read pile, stat. It’s about #MeToo and breaking the Weinstein story, but it’s also about spies and complicity and power. It would make for one hell of a thriller if we didn’t already know that all of it is true (that’s the depressing part). The bonus is, that Farrow is an excellent writer, offering up bits of himself as he tells the story of the investigation.
I can’t wait to read this book from award-winning journalist Lauren McKeon. It promises to dig into power—how it’s used, divided and threatened, in our patriarchal world. There’s a lot of research here and quite a few different voices and experts sharing their own thoughts on how women can (according to the back cover), “stop playing by the rules of a rigged game”.
Comedian Sofie Hagen, in this memoir-meets-criticism that promises to be funny and angry and radical. (And how could it not be that last one when the woman writing it is daring to be happy, despite our society’s preference for slim figures.)
When Lye was 15 she was diagnosed with a form of leukemia that earned the nickname Natural Killer, thanks to its reputation of leaving no survivors. Despite the diagnosis, Lye is 15 years older, and managed to get pregnant (something that she was told would likely be impossible). In this book, she recounts her experience, armed with her own 15-year-old letters and notes.
Perhaps it’s because the premise of this hits close to home, but I’m fascinated by Rachel Matlow’s story of her mom’s cancer diagnosis and the subsequent medical treatment that her mom ends up ditching in favour of natural remedies. (My own Mom opted for aggressive medical treatment.)
Linda Sarsour is one of the leaders of the Women’s March on Washington (the largest single-day protest in American history), a child of Palestinian immigrants and a force of resilience in her community and beyond—this book promises to share more about her experience as a Muslim American, her community organization and her own personal family and friendships.
I’m a sucker for myth-busting and so I’ll be picking up this “no-nonsense guide.” When it comes to skin-care ingredients and products, there’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of fear-mongering and Hirons’ book promises to give you the straight talk on your beauty products.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Alexandra Donaldson)