Non-Fiction

Review: Dreams From My Father

Dreams From My Father Book CoverDreams From My Father by Barack Obama, published June 2008 by Canongate Books.

Read: January 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction/Biography/Politics
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 442
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Goodreads Synopsis: The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama was only two years old when his father walked out on the family. Many years later, Obama receives a phone call from Nairobi: his father is dead. This sudden news inspires an emotional odyssey for Obama, determined to learn the truth of his father’s life and reconcile his divided inheritance.

Written at the age of thirty-three, Dreams From My Father is an unforgettable read. It illuminates not only Obama’s journey, but also our universal desire to understand our history, and what makes us the people we are.

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Review: The Opposite of Loneliness

the-opposite-of-loneliness-book-coverThe Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan, published April 2015 by Simon and Schuster.

Read: August 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction/Fiction/Short Stories/Essays
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 208
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Goodreads Synopsis: Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’, went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord. Even though she was just 22 when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle we all face as we work out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

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Review: Don’t Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It’s Raining

Don't Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It's Raining Book CoverDon’t Pee On My Leg And Tell Me It’s Raining by Judge Judy Sheindlin, published January 1997 by Harper Perennial.

Read: January 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 256
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Goodreads Synopsis: “Can we get some reality in here?” asks Judy Sheindlin, former supervising judge for Manhattan Family Court. For twenty-four years she has laid down the law as she understands it. If you want to eat, you have to work. If you have children, you’d better support them. If you break the law, you have to pay. If you tap the public purse, you’d better be accountable. Now she abandons all judicial restraint in a scathing critique of the system – filled with realistic hard-nosed alternatives to our bloated welfare bureaucracy and our soft-on-crime laws.

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Review: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Books 1 & 2

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops Book CoverWeird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell, published April 2012 by Constable and Robinson.

Read: November 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction/Humour
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 128
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Goodreads Synopsis for Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops: A John Cleese Twitter question [‘What is your pet peeve?’], first sparked the ‘Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops’ blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller’s collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. From ‘Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?’ to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year’s weather; and from ‘I’ve forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter’ to’Excuse me… is this book edible?’

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Review: Hot Feminist

Hot Feminist Book CoverHot Feminist by Polly Vernon, published May 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton.

Read: March 2016
Genre: Feminist/Non-Fiction
Source: Publisher
#Pages: 368
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Goodreads Synopsis: Polly Vernon, Grazia columnist, Times feature writer (hair-flicker, Brazilian-waxer, jeans obsessive, outrageous flirt) presents a brave new perspective on feminism.

Drawing on her dedicated, life-long pursuit of hotness – having dismissed many of the rules on ‘good’ feminism at some point in the early 90s – she’ll teach you everything you ever wanted to know about being a feminist when you care about how you look. Hot Feminist is based on a principle of non-judgement (because there’s enough already), honesty about how often we mess this up, and empowerment through looks. Part memoir, part road map, it’s a rolling, raucous rejection of all those things we’re convinced we shouldn’t think/wear/feel/say/buy/want – and a celebration of all the things we can. It is modern feminism, with style, without judgement.

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Review: Not That Kind Of Girl

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, published July 2015 by Fourth Estate.

Read: August 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction/Biography/Feminism
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 300
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Goodreads Synopsis: “There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told,” writes Lena Dunham, and it certainly takes guts to share the stories that make up her first book, Not That Kind of Girl. These are stories about getting your butt touched by your boss, about friendship and dieting (kind of) and having two existential crises before the age of 20. Stories about travel, both successful and less so, and about having the kind of sex where you feel like keeping your sneakers on in case you have to run away during the act. Stories about proving yourself to a room of 50-year-old men in Hollywood and showing up to “an outlandishly high-fashion event with the crustiest red nose you ever saw”. Fearless, smart, and as heartbreakingly honest as ever, Not That Kind of Girl establishes Lena Dunham as more than a hugely talented director, actress and producer – it announces her as a fresh and vibrant new literary voice.

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Review: The Good Psychopath’s Guide To Success

Good Psychopath Book CoverThe Good Psychopath’s Guide To Success by Dr Kevin Dutton and Andy McNab, published February 2015 Corgi.

Read: April 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction/Psychology/Self-Help
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 384
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Goodreads Synopsis: What is a good psychopath? And how can thinking like one help you to be the best that you can be?

Dr Kevin Dutton has spent a lifetime studying psychopaths. He first met former SAS hero Andy McNab during a research project. What he found surprised him. McNab is a diagnosed psychopath but he is a GOOD psychopath, able to dial up or down qualities such as ruthlessness, fearlessness, conscience and empathy to get the very best out of himself – and others. Drawing on the combination of McNab’s wild and various experiences and Dr Dutton’s expertise, together they have explored the ways in which a good psychopath thinks differently and what that could mean for you. What do you really want from life, and how can you develop and use qualities such as charm, coolness under pressure, self-confidence and courage to get it?

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Review: Dumped – Stories of Women Unfriending Women

Dumped Women Unfriending Women CoverDumped – Stories of Women Unfriending Women, edited by Nina Gaby. Published March 2015 by She Writes Press.

Read: March 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction/Essays
Source: Publisher
#Pages: N/A
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Goodreads Synopsis: Being dumped by a woman-friend is excruciating: you expect romantic relationships to break up eventually but you don’t expect it from your friendships. And when it happens, you feel as though there should be an Adele song for you but there isn’t. Dumped: Women Unfriending Women fills that void, exploring the universal experience of being discarded by those from whom you expected more. The essays in Dumped aren’t stories of friendship dying a mutually agreed upon death, or of falling out of touch and reconnecting years later to find you haven’t missed a beat. These are stories by established and emerging authors who, like you, may have found themselves erased, without context. These, like your own, are stories that stay with you, maybe for a lifetime.

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