Three Brilliant Non-Fiction Recommendations

Shutterstock / LeicherOliver © Book lying open on a table with bookshelf in the background

This might be a bit odd, considering that I work on the Fiction team at The People’s Friend. But, I love reading all kinds of genres and I have three brilliant non-fiction recommendations to share.

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

How many of you can remember the teacher telling you to ‘speak up’ more in school? It becomes a running theme in the lives of introverts. Society seems preoccupied with the strengths of extroverts, while forgetting that being introverted isn’t a weakness.

This book is the perfect balm if you’ve ever struggled with being ‘the quiet one’ or wished you were ‘the outgoing one’.

Susan Cain has filled the book with studies and research that shines a light on the strengths of introverts.

You can get an idea of what to expect from the book by watching Susan Cain’s TED Talk.

H Is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald

This is perhaps the most beautifully written non-fiction book I’ve ever read. It’s “a powerful and profound mediation on grief expressed through the trials of training a goshawk.”

I’m not even sure how this one came into my possession, but it was one of those books that I read at exactly the right moment in my life. Reading it helped me through my own grief.

I re-read certain sentences so many times because they expressed the feelings I couldn’t put into words.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks

I’ve always been fascinated with how our minds all work so differently. We still don’t fully understand our own brains. They’re one of the mysteries of the universe, one closer to us than the ocean floors or deep space.

Dr Sacks was a neurologist and his book is a ‘collection of clinical tales from the far borderlands of neurological and human experience’.

The titular case study is of a man who had visual agnosia – a condition that means a person is unable to recognise and identify objects and/or people on sight.

Oliver Sacks’s writing is never detached, it’s a sympathetic and kind look at his patients and how their lives were affected. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in psychology and the human mind!

Read more book recommendations from the team here.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.