It’s November, and that means it’s time for Non Fiction November created and hosted by Olive @ abookolive and Gemma @ Non Fic Books!
It also means it’s time for NaNoWriMo, which I’ve signed up for this year, so who knows if I’m actually going to get any reading done or not.
I’ve read zero non-fiction this year and I’d like to be reading more, but to help me out with NaNoWriMo the majority of the books on my non-fiction TBR are books I’m using for research. I have also included some non-fiction books I’ve been meaning to read for a while and still haven’t, however, so they’re not all history books.
There are some prompts this year – prompts rather than challenges, because the point is to encourage people to read more non-fiction that they usually would – but quite a few of these books could fit those prompts in some way, so I’m not going to bother assigning any particular books to a particular prompt for now:
- Pastime/Past time
I don’t know if I’m going to finish any of these, never mind all of them, but I’m never going to miss a chance to chat about some non-fiction!
The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
My NaNo project is set in a different century and on a different continent, but considering how much the history of witchcraft and witch trials fascinate me it’s shocking how little I know about the Salem Witch Trials. Granted I’m not American, so I learned about British trials at school, but I’d like to know more and this seems like a great introduction.
The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for his Mother by Ulinka Rublack
This slim book is all about the period in history in which famous astronomer Johannes Kepler’s mother was accused of witchcraft, and his efforts to prove the charges were false. It sounds really interesting!
Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction by Tracy Borman
I’d never heard of this British witch trial before until a friend of mine bought me this book a few years ago and I still haven’t read it, so it’s time I got on that.
The Penguin Book of Witches ed. by Katherine Howe
Howe is the author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which I really enjoyed, and she’s edited this volume of real life accounts from real witch trials which will prove very useful for my project!
Grimoires: A History of Magic Books by Owen Davies
Another of my friends bought me this (and she bought me The Astronomer and the Witch, too!) knowing how much I’m interested in the history of witchcraft and magic, so this is another one that should be very useful. It’s a bit heavier and more academic than some of the others, but it looks really interesting.
Witchcraft by Suzannah Lipscomb
This dinky book is one of the new Ladybird Expert Guides and, at only 56 pages long, is definitely one I should be able to cross off my TBR this month. I’m going to see Suzannah Lipscomb at HistFest in December where she’s talking about the history of witchcraft, so I’m looking forward to dipping into this one.
Can you tell I’m writing about witches?
How to be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life by Ruth Goodman
As I’m writing characters who live in Tudor England, this book will be an ideal companion when I edit my incredibly rough draft to add in authenticity. This was bought for me by the same friend who bought me The Astronomer and the Witch and Grimoires, so she clearly knows me well.
The Lives of Tudor Women by Elizabeth Norton
Similarly, this is another book that will help when I want to check what’s historically accurate and what I can get away with when I’m writing about women in an era that didn’t like them much.
The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson
I’ve been saving The Butterfly Mosque, written by the author of the Ms. Marvel graphic novels, for November. I’m fascinated by Islam, and I’d love to learn what it was that made Wilson convert to the faith and learn more about its positive aspects when Islam is so often portrayed in a negative way in the media.
Eat Sweat Play: How Sport Can Change Our Lives by Anna Kessel
I’ve been meaning to read this book for years, especially as someone who’s always told myself that sport isn’t for me. In the past year and a half I’ve been taking steps to become healthier and have taken up fitness trampolining, which is really hard work but great exercise, and this book explores the relationship between women and sport in a society where we’re often encouraged to think that there’s no room for us in that area. I’m hoping this will encourage me to become even more active!
On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back by Stacey Dooley
I’ve been a big fan of Stacey Dooley’s documentaries for years, so I was really excited when I discovered she’d released a book about the women she’s met over the course of her career thus far. I read the first few pages in the shop when I first bought this and her writing style is so easy and conversational that I’m hoping this will be a fairly quick one for me to blast through.
Will I get to all of these? God no. I’ll be lucky if I get to any of them if NaNo goes well, and there are so many other books I’d like to read this year, but if I could read at least one piece of non-fiction this November I’ll be a happy bunny.