Actress Zawe Ashton started her career at the age of six, and has played everything from “cute little girl” to “assassin with attitude”. In this short and powerful memoir, Pakistani-Canadian photographer Samra Habib discusses her search for the language to express her true self, and how she made peace with her sexuality, family and religion. These are books your commute is crying out for. Here is our edit of the must-read non-fiction books of 2021 and the best non-fiction books of all time. In this collection of work, writers including Margaret Drabble, Esther Freud, Deborah Moggach and Sophie Mackintosh share their stories of the pond and reflect on its history and present. So, wondering what life might look like if she was more open to new experiences and new people, she challenged herself to live like a gregarious extrovert for a year. Race science was probably most famously used by the Nazis, but it’s not something that we can comfortably confine to the past; in Superior, Saini reveals the scientists who are still advocates of it today, and how it’s experiencing a revival due to the misuse of science by certain political groups. Qandeel Baloch was a controversial social media star in Pakistan who was murdered by her brother in 2016. Any self-respecting fan of romantic films will immediately guess that comedian and writer Katy Brand’s book might have a little something to Dirty Dancing. Entertaining and incisive. I Carried a Watermelon is out on 24 October (HQ, £12.99). From memoirs to cookbooks, there's a tome here for everyone By Deborah Dundas Books Editor. The nature vs nurture debate regarding race is deconstructed with pertinent knowledge. Trick Mirror is out on 8 August (4th Estate, £14.99). Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Stephen Fry: Best classic … Funk’s story was partially told in the Netflix documentary Mercury 13, but Sue Nelson’s book about her is a fascinating read, telling us plenty we don’t know. One thing all of these non-fiction books have in common is that they’re great reads. From an essential look at the devastating effects of climate change to the politics around black hair, we’ve selected 41 of this year’s new books for your reading pleasure. Contributors include Jean Hannah Edelstein, Jenny Zhang and Chigozie Obioma. Our Favorite Nonfiction Books of 2019. Be it biography, history, nature writing or any other form of true story, non-fiction writing is often loaded with just as much suspense and character as the most exciting novel. An honest and fun look at everything from feminist porn to body image and menopause, this put women’s bodies and our right to pleasure firmly on the map. Palette brings Fetto’s advice to the masses. Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come is out on 30 May (Doubleday, £12.99). If you are a fan of Fleabag, you will love this collection of self deprecating, outrageous and painfully awkward encounters. Journalist Nesrine Malik’s We Need New Stories is an urgent look at the questions at the centre of the current culture wars. Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection Her Body and Other Parties was a look at the female body, women’s agency and relationships, told via fiction that included elements of magical realism and fantasy. Finishing the Hat Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). 22/10/2019 N/A. The US edition is no different. Author Rachel Hollis wins her first Goodreads Choice Award with this powerful collection of writings for women navigating the complexities of the 21st century. Biting and honest, this collection of essays revolve around themes of longing and obsession. Imagine Rebecca Solnit for the millennial. Partition – the splitting of India into India and Pakistan – was one of the most tumultuous events of the 20th century, and the effects are still felt decades later, although they’re rarely spoken about. This results in everything from medicines which work differently on women to the fact that women are 47% more likely to be seriously injured in a car accident. Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is out on 17 October (Picador, £9.99). Louis Theroux has turned his attention to various subjects throughout his career as a documentary maker, and now he turns the focus on himself in his biography. A devastating memoir about a mother mourning the tragic death of her 25-year-old son in an accident. Yes, this book will scare you, but it will also prompt you to take action to ensure the damage we as humans have done to the planet is stopped. They went to extraordinary lengths to get their husbands’ freedom, including lobbying government leaders, having covert meetings with antiwar activists and helping code secret letters to their imprisoned husbands. Be inspired by Martin’s achievements, and be the change. From a book about Dirty Dancing to memoirs about life as queer Muslims and a look at the life of a documentary maker, 2019’s non-fiction releases will provide you … No wonder Roxane Gay loves it. In times of turmoil, we turn to books to get a sense of the world around us. From page to screen, here are TV adaptations that are as good as the books they're based on. His This Is Going to Hurt was a phenomenal, record-breaking bestseller with its impeccable blend of humor and poignancy. Including fiction, non-fiction and cookbooks, we've found something to suit everyone. But what unconscious thoughts are we expressing with the garments we choose? Like the best rockumentaries, this history of a fictitious '70s rock band in their own… Here is my selection of the top nonfiction books of 2019 that will not only expand your horizons but are also compulsively readable. Contributors include Kerry Hudson, Riz Ahmed, Bridget Minamore and Salena Godden. Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala (Knopf, 2013). This book portrays a brazenly intimate portrayal of womanhood, love and desire. An eye-opening, disturbing read that is much-needed. Images: Supplied by publishers / photograph of Carmen Maria Machado by Art Streiber. Zeba Talkhani grew up in Saudi Arabia, and journeyed abroad to India, Germany and the UK - where she now lives - in her search for freedom. The Corner Shop is a very human look at how small these small and rather unassuming shops have shaped the way we live over the years. Information on endometriosis on the internet can be unreliable and scary, which is why Eleanor Thom’s Private Parts is so needed. The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective is a story of a woman ahead of her time who had to hide vital aspects of her own identity to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. Pan is a shy introvert who found herself jobless and friendless, sitting in a familiar sofa crease shaped to her body. The destruction of our planet is a terrifying thing to think about, but if we’re going to stop it, we need to talk about it. The Best Books of 2019: Non-Fiction PopMatters Staff. She’s a musical legend, and we can’t believe that Debbie Harry hasn’t released an autobiography. From the advantages – being able to speak candidly with other women at a Syrian medical clinic or being allowed to attend an exclusive beauty contest for sheep in Saudi Arabia – to the disadvantages – the difficulty of travelling without a male relative in Yemen, for example – the stories these women have to tell are unique, and deeply needed at a time when our gaze so often turns to what’s happening in the Arab world. From fashion to race to food, 2020’s non-fiction books are wide-ranging, and sure to arm us with new knowledge.. Martha Alexander. Wally Funk’s Race for Space: The Extraordinary Story of a Female Aviation Pioneer is out on 20 June (Saqi Books, £8.99). Our critics pick the best novels, poetry, sports, memoirs and children’s books of the year Bernardine Evaristo, Lee Child and more pick the best books of 2019 Save up to 30% on the books … They inform, entertain, surprise, deepen curiosity, and inspire. When you buy through these links, Book Riot may earn a commission. This includes 1.6 women in the UK, yet it still takes an average of seven years to get a diagnosis. You may have heard of the church Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in – Westboro Baptist Church is a religious sect that is aggressively homophobic and anti-Semitic, and jubilant about AIDS and natural disasters. Rejecting the traditional path her culture had chosen for her, Talkhani became financially independent and married on her own terms. Looking at how black hairstyling culture can be seen as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation, this book is a welcome focus on black hair. Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writings from the Me Too Movement, New Kings of the World: Dispatches From Bollywood, Dizi, and K-Pop, A Woman Like Her: The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch, When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back. The Heat of the Moment is both a look at the work of firefighters and the story of a woman in a traditionally male-dominated career. People of working class make up a third of the British population, but working class artists continue to be hugely underrepresented in the arts. But even before that, she’d spent years being asked by friends, family and strangers on the street for advice on products suitable for women of colour. The UK edition of The Good Immigrant, featuring essays by Riz Ahmed, Himesh Patel and Bim Adewunmi was an urgent, essential book. One of the most esteemed contemporary name in nonfiction, the writer of The Empathy Exams is back with another blistering book. Here, the chair of this year's judging panel Stig Abell talks us through the 2019 shortlist: a thrilling line-up of books that are as notable for their literary prowess as for their weight and significance.. Interview by Cal Flyn This look at class and wealth (or the lack of it) is among this year’s most essential reading. When Puri’s father finally spoke up about the horrors he had seen, he compelled his daughter to seek out the stories of South Asians who were once subjects of the British Raj and are now British citizens. Exploring black hair and its position in pre-colonial Africa, the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Power movement, Don’t Touch My Hair also looks at hair capitalists, forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids. At the age of 26, she left Westboro, her family and her life behind, and now advocates for the people and ideas she was brought up to despise. Photographed by Poppy Thorpe. She Speaks: The Power of Women’s Voices is out on 14 November (Atlantic Books, £10). Immerse yourself in candid and revealing memoirs, enlightening accounts of … We all get dressed, and often we’re portraying a certain view to the world with our clothes. Therapy used to be a taboo subject, but thankfully seeing a professional to help us is no longer looked down on. The Kenwood Ladies’ Bathing Pond is tucked away along a shady path towards the north-east edge of Hampstead Heath. For his second book, he turns his attention to the NHS at Christmas, giving us a peek at the hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking life of hospital staff during the festive period. Endometriosis affects one in 10 women. Candid and deeply personal, this is a book about being both patient and clinician, and one that offers hope to us all. is out on 8 August (Little, Brown, £16.99). Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been a firefighter for 18 years, and is responsible for making life-changing decisions, from which of her colleagues will run into a burning building to whether or not an evacuation is needed because a situation is beyond hope. Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope is out on 3 October (Quercus, £14.99). We first encountered the piercing words of Chanel Miller … We live in a time when we’re more self-aware than ever, but also more self-involved. The Moment of Lift is out on 23 April (Bluebird, £16.99). See for yourself from books about math and animals to biographies and memoirs. Stapleton weaves together tales from West’s own casebook with social history and research to uncover the reality of life as a female private detective in the early 1900s. The corner shop is an institution, and even in these days of massive retail centres and online shopping, the corner shop still holds a position in our hearts. Al-Kadhi is the founder of drag troupe Denim, and performs frequently as Glamrou. From the NBA-winning author and cultural icon, this is a sharply realized, poetic, and sophisticated memoir of a transformative year in Smith’s life. And she also gets personal, writing about her personal life and the road to equality in her marriage. The title of Jessica Pan’s book is something that many an introvert might find themselves living by. Know My Name: A Memoir, Chanel Miller. In Smashing It, edited by poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, leading musicians, playwrights, visual artists, filmmakers and writers share how they overcame obstacles, from the financial to the philosophical, to make it in the arts. How to Fail is ultimately uplifting reading about how learning how to fail is learning how to succeed better. Don’t Touch My Hair is out on 2 May (Allen Lane, £20). One of the most hysterically comical books you will read this year, Irby is at her smartest, candid best here. It opened to the public in 1925 and is the only wild swimming spot in the UK that is reserved for women. Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come is a chronicle of Pan’s hilarious and painful year of being an extrovert. Although she never got to go to space, her story is sure to inspire the next generation of female astronauts. What We’re Told Not To Talk About (But We’re Going To Anyway) by Nimko Ali is out on 27 June (Viking, £14.99). The Uninhabitable Earth is out now (Penguin, £20). The Best Books to Look Out For in November 2018. Taking the reader through his life, we learn about how Theroux created his award-winning documentary style, and learn about his biggest challenges, including the programme he made about Jimmy Savile before all the abuse revelations about the now-deceased TV presenter came to light. In Dressed, Shahidha Bari explores the secret language of our clothes, and looks at clothing in literature, art, film and philosophy. Her film and TV appearances include Fresh Meat, Guerilla and Nocturnal Animals. In Invisible Women, she’s turned her attention to the “gender data gap”, a term used to describe the way that most data is based on men’s experiences. She writes regularly about popular culture, particularly how it reflects and represents society. By Adrienne Westenfeld Lowborn is Hudson’s exploration of where she came from, recounting her journey as she revisits the towns she grew up in to discover what it really means to be poor in Britain today, and whether anything has really changed. The Best Nonfiction Books of 2019 Span Everything From True Crime to Scammer Culture These are our favorite reads of the year to help you expand your mind. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado is out on 1 October (Serpent’s Tail). Escaping her relationship and discovering who she wanted to be, Habib went on to find comfort in a mosque that was welcoming to LGBTQ Muslims. For those in a minority in a predominantly white institution, taking up space is an act of resistance. Part memoir about a personal obsession, and part homage to the film, Brand’s celebration includes her own memories and interviews with other fans of the film. Partition Voices is a book that confronts the difficult truths at the heart of Britain’s shared – and often ignored – shared history with South Asia. Before Carrie Bradshaw, there was her real-life inspiration Candace Bushnell. By The New ... and one of the books that has best helped me understand my new home is “Municipal Dreams,” a … Be the Change is a comprehensive toolkit for the modern activist to equip us to fight for change - big or small, local or global. The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective is out on 13 June (Picador, £20). This post contains affiliate links. In the Dream House is Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad. We Have Always Been Here is out on 5 September (riverrun, £9.99). The best nonfiction books of 2019 represent the genre in all of its eclectic glory. As an actress, she treads a thin line between life and art, trying to keep sight of where a character ends and the real Ashton begins. Sarah Shaffi is a freelance journalist and editor. Featuring Black, Latinx, Asian, and queer voices, this book is a galvanizing effort to propagate this much needed movement. Taking Up Space, by recent Cambridge graduates Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi, is a guide and a manifesto for change. Invisible Women is out now (Chatto & Windus, £16.99). The long-awaited sequel to Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was the most eagerly anticipated book of 2019. After two years of careful consideration, Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the 100 greatest nonfiction books of all time. A vital and urgent addition to political science. Take a quick look back at five centuries of great writing Instead, it will feature rare personal photos, original illustrations, artwork by fans, and more, alongside Harry’s honest look at her life. Taboo-breaking and important, this book puts paid to the notion that it’s rude to talk about the vagina. In The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells - climate columnist for New York magazine - talks about the troubles that await us if we let climate change continue unabated, from food shortages and refugee emergencies to the way our politics, culture and relationship to technology will shift. Through asking questions including whether women have mistaken access for arrival, and if the concept of political correctness has bee weaponised to avoid giving space to those traditionally excluded, Malik argues that we need to find new narrators to challenge the status quo and create new frames of reference in our pursuit of a progressive vision. Her memoir looks at being an outsider and examines Talkhani’s relationship with her mother and the challenges she faced at a young age when she began to lose her hair. This is an immersive insight into a job which few of us could do, by a woman whose award-winning research into decision-making in the emergency services has transformed policy at a global level. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013). Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me is out on 4 April (Picador, £16.99). Taylor Jenkins Reid amazon.com. Kavita Puri’s father was 12 when he and millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were caught up in the devastating aftermath of a hastily drawn border. Funk, who is now approaching 80, became America’s first female aviation safety inspector and taught 3,000 pilots to fly. My Past is a Foreign Country by Zeba Talkhani is out on 26 June (Sceptre, £14.99). The best non-fiction books can educate readers on vital subjects, offer fresh new perspectives, or simply give us a valuable, and often entertaining, insight into the lives of others. To find out if life’s better for introverts of extroverts, you’ll have to read the book. In higher education, where there are currently just 25 black female professors, ethnic minority students feel like they have to constantly justify their existence within institutions that weren’t made for them. How to Fail is out on 4 April (4th Estate, £12.99). From novels anchored in the mess of Brexit to non-fiction discussing the vices and virtues of social media By . As expected of Harry, Face It will not be the usual celebrity memoir. The Corner Shop is out on 18 April (Two Roads, £16.99). A tender, funny and unflinching account of the friendship, insecurities, jokes, jealousy and love that make up the sisterhood, whether you’re bound by blood or not. Black hair can often be seen as political and subject to societal pressures. If learning about the … The American Michael Lind is another hard-to-place maverick, whose forthcoming book, The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite (Atlantic, £14.99) is the best … by Kristin Iversen. Formerly called Rude: There is No Such Thing As Oversharing, Ali covers everything from first periods to pregnancies, orgasms to the menopause, looking at the experiences of women from all walks of life and addresses questions including what you do if you’re living on the street and having your period, how your vagina repairs after a fourth-degree tear and how you know if you’ve ever really orgasmed. An important zeitgeist of our time. Looking for a book that will broaden your horizons, tell you a real-life story you’ve not heard before or give you the knowledge to argue a point of view? Face It is out on 1 October (HarperCollins, £20). Pushing the boundaries of non-fiction, Lisa Taddeo’s book is the story of three women’s unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions. It's been a big year in the world of words. Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future by Pete Buttigieg. In What We’re Told Not To Talk About (But We’re Going To Anyway), activist Nimko Ali shares her own personal story of living with FGM, and talks to other women about their relationships with their vaginas. 16 January 2019. The Best Books Of 2020, So Far. Best romantic comedy book For fans of Sophie Kinsella's novels, as well as Jane The Virgin series, … Author Kate Clanchy’s Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me is a celebration of her 30-year teaching career. This will challenge what you think a memoir can do. Character Breakdown is out on 4 April (Chatto & Windus, £16.99). Journalist Daisy Buchanan takes us inside her upbringing in The Sisterhood, an upbringing that can be best described as the Bennet sisters in a 21st century, Kardashian-influenced world. Is There Still Sex in the City? Enter Wendall, a quirky but seasoned practitioner who helps Gottlieb with the questions she’s been struggling with. It is the culmination of thousands of hours of research over eight years, telling the stories of Lina, in a marriage with two children and a husband who won’t touch her; Maggie, in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town; and Sloane, a sexual object of men, including her husband, who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. Must-reads of 2019: the best new books of the year Voyage into the planet's past and future with Robert Macfarlane, return to Gilead in Margaret Atwood's explosive follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four. Here is my selection of the top nonfiction books of 2019 that will not only expand your horizons but are also compulsively readable. Now, she’s a prizewinning novelist who’s travelled the world. A path-breaking peek into the privates lives of three ordinary women. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is out on 9 May (Scribe UK, £14.99). Among the speeches included are Sojournor Truth’s ‘I am a Woman’s Rights’, given in Akron, Ohio in May 1851, Maya Angelou’s ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ given at the inauguration of president Bill Clinton in January 1993, and Michelle Obama’s ‘When They Go Low, We Go High’ from the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. Cooper gives an introduction to each speech, which is then reproduced in full. Our Women on the Ground: Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World is out on 8 August (Harvill Secker, £14.99). 20 Dec 2019. Including book recommendations from Maggie O’Farrell, JoJo Moyes and Sophie Kinsella. Superior is out on 30 May (4th Estate, £14.99). Add these brilliant books to your reading list, pronto. We Need New Stories is out on 5 September (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £16.99). Tolentino gives razor-sharp cultural commentary about our era of hyper individualism and tech obsession with shrewd insight. It was the subject of a Louis Theroux documentary, and now it’s the subject of this fascinating memoir. Here he continues to simultaneously crack us up and make us feel sympathy for the hectic life of hospital staff during Christmas time. In 1961, Wally Funk was one of 13 American female pilots in NASA’s Women in Space programme, and the youngest. The story picks up 15 years after her seminal novel and promises a … Dressed is out on 13 June (Jonathan Cape, £25). is a funny and honest first-person account that includes the wit we’ve come to know and love from Bushnell, with guidance on everything from what to do when your age-appropriate date asks you to pay for his kitchen renovation to the pluses and minuses of being older and wiser. Emma Dabiri takes us on a journey into why black hair matters and how it can be viewed as a blueprint for decolonisation. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo is out on 9 July (Bloomsbury, £16.99). From ... for you, to round up the best non fiction books to buy right now. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me is an honest and heartwarming look at a career path that is often demeaned, diminished and under-resourced, and will show you why it shouldn’t be. Palette by Funmi Fetto is out on 3 October (Coronet, £25). Buchanan is one of six sisters, and in this book she looks as what it’s like to live as a modern day woman, using her sisters as examples. Babita Sharma was raised in a corner shop in Reading, getting a view of a changing world from behind the counter. Is There Still Sex in the City? I dare you all to not howl with laughter while reading anything written by Adam Kay. (Perhaps the answer is: more than you would like.). The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent. Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Art, Life and Making It Happen is out on 3 October (Saqi Books, £12.99). Unicorn: The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen is out on 3 October (Fourth Estate, £16.99). In this debut collection of essays, New Yorker culture writer Jia Tolentino covers the internet, the self, feminism and politics, all while exploring her own coming of age. Elizabeth Day is the host of How to Fail, a podcast in which well-known people talk about their biggest failures. You’ve heard of the pay gap and the gender data gap, but how much do you know about the orgasm gap? Partition Voices is out on 11 July (Bloomsbury, £20). Dressed is about clothes as objects and as a means of self-expression, and a look at who we are and how we see ourselves. Books & Art • Entertainment. Covering hair, skincare, makeup and body products, this is for women of colour, who have been so often ignored by mainstream beauty coverage. The League of Wives is out on 4 April (Constable, £20). 10 best books to read in 2019… By turns sensitive and scathing, Tea leads timely and important conversations about our current culture. At the Pond: Swimming at the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond is out on 20 June (Daunt Books, £10.99). Covering religion, culture, sexual politics and more, this is moving exploration of the relationship between a mother and her child, and the life-long search for belonging.