Category Archives: Non-fiction

Different for Girls – Joan Smith

(Chatto & Windus 1997) Joan Smith’s book about how the world treats women differently, is a little dated – one of the main women she considers as an icon of womenkind, Princess Diana, was to die not long after Smith’s … Continue reading

Posted in 2011 New Reads, Feminism, Non-fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Hungry City – Carolyn Steel

(Chatto & Windus 2008) This book has been sitting in my to-read pile for quite some time, and it’s only now that I’ve got round to reading it and wishing I had done sooner. I should state upfront that Carolyn … Continue reading

Posted in 2010 New Reads, Non-fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism – Natasha Walter

(Virago 2010) Like Ariel Levy in her earlier book, Female Chauvinist Pigs: The Rise of Raunch Culture, Natasha Walter argues in this well-researched and quietly angry book that women* are themselves becoming complicit in a current “hypersexual” culture, particularly aimed … Continue reading

Posted in 2010 New Reads, Non-fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

The Image of the City – Kevin A. Lynch

(MIT Press, 1960) This is an interesting (but slightly dated) little book which looks at how people who live and work in cities see them and navigate around them – in short, how their image of the city is constructed. … Continue reading

Posted in 2010 New Reads, Non-fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Voyage of the ‘Beagle’ – Charles Darwin

(Vintage edition with On the Origin of Species) The Voyage of the ‘Beagle’ is the publication which made Charles Darwin’s name as a naturalist: he accompanied HMS Beagle, whose captain and crew had the remit to undertake a detailed survey … Continue reading

Posted in 2010 New Reads, Non-fiction, Reviews, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime – Misha Glenny

Glenny is known as a journalist and foreign correspondent, particularly for eastern Europe, and has previously written about the Balkans and the fall of Yugoslavia. McMafia is a fascinating study of the way organised crime has spread throughout the world, … Continue reading

Posted in 2010 New Reads, Journalism, Non-fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Travel books – Lawrence Durrell

My first acquaintance with Lawrence Durrell was as Gerald Durrell’s irascible brother Larry in ‘My Family and Other Animals‘, and then through his thriller, White Eagles over Serbia, and Antrobus stories. Recently I’ve been reading his travel books – the … Continue reading

Posted in Discussion, Non-fiction, Reviews, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Ascent of Money’ – Niall Ferguson

Trying to make sense of the current global financial meltdown is not easy, but Niall Ferguson’s very accessible and readable history of money (and its derivatives, such as bonds, insurance and banking) is a good place to start. The book … Continue reading

Posted in Non-fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Book of Silence – Sara Maitland

Exactly what it says on the tin – a book about Maitland’s long search for and attempts to live in silence. I found it interesting, though she looks at things largely from the viewpoint of a committed Christian, and therefore … Continue reading

Posted in Non-fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Churchill’s Wizards – Nicholas Rankin

Subtitled ‘The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945’, this is a history of those men (and they were nearly all men) who began and continued the arts of wartime deception: propaganda, camouflage, ruses, misdirection, rumour-mongering, double-agents, false suggestion, and so on. … Continue reading

Posted in Non-fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment