Fiction has always been my go-to. But recently, I’ve developed an interest in non-fiction books. I’ve read more non-fiction works this year and I’ll be discussing some of the books I read this year as well as the ones on my TBR (to be read) list.
I read The Elephant and The Bee by Jess de Boer in the summer. It’s the story of a young Kenyan woman who’s trying to discover herself and her career interests. Jess tries her hands at different things from insect farming in Thailand to working as a chef in Switzerland and New Zealand before becoming a beekeeper. She also participated as an athlete in the Commonwealth Games and while reading her book, I wondered how she got to do everything she did.
Then, I read Safe House edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey which is a collection of creative essays from across Africa. My favourite stories in the book were on the experiences of second-generation Chinese immigrants in Senegal and the chapter on living in Liberia during the Ebola crisis. Safe House explored stories beyond what the media tells us. When the Ebola crisis happened, there was a lot in the news but what was it like for the people who lived in Liberia at the time.
I liked the story on Chinese immigrants in Senegal as a lot of the media coverage is on African migrants in the West but it’s important to know the stories of people who migrate to Africa.
I was sent some lovely non-fiction titles from Jacaranda Books recently which I’ll be reading over the next few weeks – Beyond the Pale by Emily Urquhart and a biography, Evelyn Dove: The Black Cabaret Queen by Stephen Bourne. In Beyond the Pale, Emily writes about her experience as a mother to a daughter diagnosed with albinism. She also explores cultural beliefs associated with albinism in the book.
Evelyn Dove: The Black Cabaret Queen is a biography of Evelyn Dove, who was the first black female singer on BBC Radio. I received the biography a few days after watching Young, Gifted and Classical on the BBC, which is a documentary on Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who is the first black winner of the BBC Young Musician competition. Sheku plays classical music and his story can be compared to Evelyn Dove’s as they are both minorities on the musical scenes that they appear on.
A non-fiction essay, I would recommend checking out is This is Personal by Benjamin Zephaniah. He writes on his experiences of racism in England and the opinions of others towards immigration within the country. His writing is amazing.
As someone who loves to know what’s happening in the world, non-fiction keeps me informed. Non-fiction covers stories on disability, history, immigration, everything really and it deserves our recognition.
Let me know in the comments if there are any non-fiction books you would love to read.