Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is ‘Super Long Book Titles’, and a lot of non-fiction books are guaranteed to have long titles because most of them have subtitles.
So with Nonfiction November, created and hosted by abookolive, just around the corner, today seems like the perfect time to recommend some non-fiction books!
The Creation of Anne Boleyn: In Search of the Tudors’ Most Notorious Queen by Susan Bordo: Rather than being a history of Anne Boleyn, this is a cultural history of Anne Boleyn in which Bordo looks at how people have perceived Anne throughout the centuries and I thought it was fantastic.
Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII by Karen Lindsey: Continuing with the Tudor theme, I think this book is a really good place to start if you’ve only just started learning about Henry VIII’s wives. I don’t love it – I don’t think Lindsey wrote about Jane Seymour particularly well, from what I remember – but it’s very readable.
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold: This was my favourite book of 2019 and probably my favourite non-fiction book, to be honest. Whether you’re interested in history or not I think this book is required reading.
Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill: Sadly I didn’t love this one as much as I expected to, but it is a really fun book and, if you’re new to non-fiction or history, this book would be a great starting point if you’re interested in the 19th century.
A History of Magic and Witchcraft: Sabbats, Satan and Superstitions in the West by Frances Timbers: I received an eARC of this book which I’m actually reading right now loving! If you’re interested in the history of witchcraft from the ancient world to the present day, this is one for your bookshelf.
The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson: I find religions really interesting, and I’m particularly interested in Islam because I think the media always portrays it in a negative light and, if I’m going to have an opinion on something like Islam, I’d like to educate myself first. I really enjoyed this memoir about SFF author G. Willow Wilson’s time in Egypt and how she converted to the faith.
Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: This book is short and sweet, but I so wish it had been around when I was a teenager and it’s so very quotable.
Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family, and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes by Emily Urquhart: When folklorist Emily Urquhart’s daughter was born with albinism, she decided to research the representation of albinism in folklore. That research resulted in this memoir which explores folklore, Urquhart’s journey as the mother of a child with albinism, and her research into her own family history. It’s brilliant.
Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale by Catherine Orenstein: This is the kind of book I would love an updated version of, because I was fascinated. Orenstein traces the roots of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, from its beginnings in 17th century France to 1990s films, and it’s so interesting!
How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis: If you like books about books, then this is one you need to check out. In this memoir playwright and author Samantha Ellis looks back at the fictional heroines throughout her life, from childhood to adulthood, and considers why they were her heroines then and if they’re still her heroines now.