New Non-Fiction Books
We’re in the last Bank Holiday of August, which means we have to face it: summer is nearly over. To soften the blow, we’ve got some great new non-fiction books in the shop.
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death
Her most recent novel, This Must Be the Place, has been a favourite in the shop, but Maggie O’Farrell is now gracing our nonfiction shelves with her new memoir. I Am, I Am, I Am tells of the 17 (17?!) near death experiences that O’Farrell has experienced: a childhood illness she was not expected to survive; a teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster; a terrifying encounter on a remote path; a mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. The book is being widely praised, and has been described as shocking, eloquent, and compelling.
Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man’s Voice From the Silence of Autism
Naoki Higashida was only thirteen when he wrote his bestselling first book, The Reason I Jump, which was his personal account of having autism and being nonverbal. His new book is a continuation of his story, now as a twenty-four year old man, as he further describes his experiences and behaviour. Rachel is currently reading this and is finding it insightful and moving, especially when Naoki describes his awareness of his inability to fully express himself—the description about how he wishes he could tell his mom how much he appreciated her is heartbreaking.
Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain
Drawing on an amazing array of unusual and surprising sources, Clair Wills’ new book brings to life the incredible diversity and strangeness of the migrant experience. The battered and exhausted Britain of 1945 was desperate for workers – to rebuild, to fill the factories, to make the new NHS work. Irish, Bengalis, West Indians, Poles, Maltese, Punjabis and Cypriots battled to fit into an often shocked Britain and, to their own surprise, found themselves making permanent homes. She shows the opportunities and excitement as much as the humiliation and poverty that could be part of the new arrivals’ experience.
The Mother of All Questions
This follow up to Rebecca Solnit’s vital collection essays, Men Explain Things to Me, continues the necessary and overdue conversations about gender. We think her introduction describes it best: “The longest and newest essay in this book is about silence, and I began it thinking I was writing about the many ways women are silenced. I soon realized that the ways men are silenced were an inseparable part of my subject, and that each of us exists in a complex of many kinds of silence, including the reciprocal silences we call gender roles. This is a feminist book, yet it is not a book about women’s experience alone but about all of ours—men, women, children, and people who are challenging the binaries and boundaries of gender.”
The Secret Teacher
There is something about an anonymous author that feels especially exciting. If the writer doesn’t want to provide their name or face, does it mean they are free to be more honest? This brings us to one of our latest bestsellers, The Secret Teacher, the story of a man’s first few years as a teacher in an inner-city state school. “I was abandoning the world of bohemian flakery to become a man of purpose. A man of solvency. A man who wore M&S jumpers.” He manages to be light-hearted and funny, while grappling with the complicated questions of how to teach, how we learn…and how little he actually knows. He celebrates the world’s greatest stories, the extraordinary teachers he has worked with, and the kids: bolshy, bright, funny and absolutely electric. The result is a book full of wit, insight and tenderness.