Non Fiction November

Non fiction November: temptations to buy


We’re into the final week of Non Fiction November 2018.

Katie @ Doing Dewey has asked us to highlight books that we’ve seen mentioned by other contributors that have tempted us to add to our TBR/wishlist.

I haven’t rushed out and bought anything yet but have been making a lot of notes about books I’ve seen mentioned by other participants in the last few weeks. I could have listed a stack of other titles but the chances I will ever read them are very slim since I seem to manage only a handful of non fiction titles each year. Consequently I have limited myself to three.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. I’m curious about life in this country. It’s such a politically controlled society that we get only  smatterings of information. I’m wondering if this book digs a bit deeper. It was highlighted by Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction who described the book as a biography of loosely connected people from the North Korean port city of Chongjin. She added:

Demick painstakingly fleshes out the lives and memories of these successful defectors; the stories have stuck with me down to the minutest details.

I enjoy the odd spot of investigative journalism and true crime. There have been some excellent podcasts that have kept me enthralled this year but I haven’t read many books from the category. Fortunately Sarah at Sarah’ had plenty of suggestions. 

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara 

The one that most appealed was I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara.  McNamara, previously a true crime writer and blogger at, investigated the unsolved crimes of a 1970’s-80’s serial rapist and murderer that she dubbed the Golden State Killer. She died before her book could be published and before she learned that the killer   was caught via DNA evidence.

The Hollow Crown by Dan Jones

This one comes via a suggestion by Helen at She Reads Novels . I’m familiar with the Tudors and Stuart periods of British history but my knowledge of the Wars of the Roses is somewhat confused. I’d be interested to read about the period but I don’t want a turgid academic work. Nor do I want something this is just superficial. Dan Jones’ book seems to fit the bill. He is a trained historian so I know the book will be based on accurate and detailed research but he is also a writer and broadcaster so knows how to convey information in a compelling and engaging manner.

These are books that will definitely feature in my letter to Santa this year (so if any members of my family are reading this, I hope they take the hint.)



What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

13 thoughts on “Non fiction November: temptations to buy

  • Some interesting sounding books to ask Santa for. I hope you find them in your stocking!

  • Judy Krueger

    Best wishes for interesting non-fiction reading in the coming months!

    • Thanks Judy. Hope you have something appealing on your horizon too

  • I’m glad you’re interested in reading The Hollow Crown. I thought Dan Jones did a good job of making a very complex period of history easy to understand.

  • I started reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark…and I was enjoying it. But then my Paperwhite “glitched” on me, and I had to return the book to the library before finishing. Sigh. I’ll get it again! I have a new Kindle.

    • Thats the trouble if you get a popular book from the library, you cant renew it and have to go to the back of the queue again

  • I found Nothing to Envy both fascinating and gut wrenching. I’d also recommend Demmick’s Besieged about a street in Sarajevo where she lived for a while.

  • I’m keen to read I’ll Be Gone in the Dark too. I recently read Suki Kim’s book on North Korea – Without You There is no Us – and it was really eye-opening.

  • Kelly @ STACKED

    I’ll Be Gone In The Dark is phenomenal. Hope you love it!

  • I’m so glad I could give you a suggestion! I promise Nothing to Envy is worth it even if you’re being careful about limiting.. It’s just extraordinary.

  • I am very curious too about North Korea, I would bet that will be a fascinating book.

  • I’m tempted by the Dan Brown myself. My knowledge of The Wars of the Roses really only comes from Shakespeare’s ‘Henry VI’ plays.


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