Read Our User Submitted Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Here you’ll find the best of our non-fiction reviews submitted by you, our readers. If you feel inspired you can submit a review yourself too!

Non-Fiction Reviews

Non-Fiction reviews are listed by genre below, you can use the links to navigate each section.



Biography

Maya Angelou – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The first of seven autobiographies by writer and poet Maya Angelou. This Autobiography takes you through her childhood up to young adulthood.

Jonathan Clements – The Silk Road

Clements takes us on a journey from the edges of the Mediterranean to the central plains of China, with all the rich history in between including languages, literature and art.

Leanda De Lisle – The White King, Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr

The elusive life of Charles I is brought to light through new manuscripts giving new information about the man who made radical changes in our history.

Emmett Grogan – Ringolevio

Join Emmett Grogan, the sixties legend of controversy through his travels from the streets of New York to the heights of the Haight. CONTAINS SPOILERS!

Matt Haig – Reasons to Stay Alive

At age 24 Matt Haig’s depression meant he could see no way to go on living, with the help from his family he came through his crisis and triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him.

A. J. Jacobs. – The Year of Living Biblically

A. J. Jacobs attempts to obey the hundreds of less-publicized rules within the bible to discover the relevance of faith in our modern world.

Piper Kerman – Orange is the New Black

Piper Kerman’s rebellious past has caught up with her, now she must leave her job, live in boyfriend and loving family to spend the next fifteen months as inmate #11187-424.

Katsu Kokichi – Musui’s Story

Samurai Katsu kokichi’s escapades are recounted along with a refreshing perspective on Japanese society, customs, economy and human relationships all set against the backdrop of a Japan still closed off from the rest of the world.

Kate Clifford Larson – Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

A look into the life of the Kennedy daughter hidden away, and the effect her circumstances had on shaping her siblings lives.

Sonia Mehta – Junior Lives: Mother Teresa

Follow the story on one woman’s life story as she went from being Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu to the beloved Mother Teresa.

Nick Offerman – Gumption

Nick Offerman combines both serious history with light-hearted humour as he focuses on the lives of those who inspired him, he describes twenty-one heroic figures and why they inspire in him such great meaning.

Tim Peake – Hello, Is This Planet Earth

Spending six months in space wasn’t enough for Tim Peake, find out what else he did during his time on the International Space Station with 150 stunning pictures.

Bebe Winans with Timothy Willard – The Whitney I knew

BeBe Winans and Whitney Houston considered each other family, BeBe gives a personal look into Whitney’s life as only he could.

Educational

Chitrita Banerji – Bengali Cooking Seasons & Festivals

Chritrita brings an excellent introduction to Bengali cuisine and culture, try your hand at some home cooked dishes of dals, fish, vegetables, and kedgerees.

Ruskin Bond and Namita Gokhale – Himalaya: Adventures, Meditations, Life

With more than fifty essays this comprehensive volume brings together a range of voices in an unparalleled account of the Himalaya.

Darryl Cunningham – Science Tales – Lies, Hoaxes and Scams

Lies, hoaxes and scams are explored within Cunningham’s essays, fiercely debated issues such as the moon landing, homeopathy and the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine are explained.

Giulia Enders – Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ

Get to know your Gut, one of the least understood organs and find out how looking after your Gut will have your Gut looking after you.

Philip Gooden – May We Borrow Your Language

Explore the intriguing and unfamiliar stories behind familiar words that the English language has borrowed from abroad and shed light on the wider history of the development of the English we speak today.

Greg Graffin – Population Wars – A New Perspective on (Co-)Existence

Will the human race be the saviour of this planet or its demise? Greg Graffin makes a scientific complex concept accessible to all.

Stephen Hawking – A Brief History Of Time

Where did the universe come from? Stephen Hawking answers this and other big questions in a way that non-scientist can understand.

Stefan Klein – We are all Stardust

Nineteen of the best known scientists talk to Stefan Klein about their work and the way their lives and work affect each other.

Bhakti Mathur – Amma, Take me to the Golden Temple

Join Amma and her children as they introduce readers to the history of different faiths and their associated monuments.

Barry Miles, Grant Scott and Johnny Morgan – The Greatest Album Covers of All Time

Take a look through some of the best album covers of all time, from pop to folk and everything in between, this wonderful visual record of art in the music industry is an essential read for music lovers around the world.

Fernand Miron and Anita Royer – Boletes, Quebec and Eastern Canada

Discover which of the 111 species of boletes from eastern Canada are edible and which will cause serious health problems.

Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown – ASAP Science

The fun, illustrated format of their addictive YouTube videos, AsapSCIENCE takes the science that people actually want to learn, shared in a friendly, engaging style.

Anita Nair – Muezza and Baby Jaan Stories from the Quran

Read about some of the stories from the Quran, God breathing life into the first man and woman, the gift of free will, the ninety-nine names of God, the blessed she-camel, the mighty King Sulaiman and much, much more.

Kalpish Ratna – The Secret Life of Zika Virus

An in-depth biography of Zika Virus explaining what the Virus is where it came from and why it’s so dangerous.

Mary Roach – Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science

Sexual arousal and orgasms are two scientific phenomena, find out what science is doing to make the bedroom more satisfying.

History

Bill Bryson – One Summer: America 1927

Bill Bryson is Britain’s favourite storyteller and quite a raconteur as he shows in this fantastic tale as America joins the modern world.

John Buntin – L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City

Mickey Cohen and William (Bill) H Parker battle it out for the soul of Los Angeles. A no spoiler review from Colin Ricketts.

Luca Caioli – Messi Vs Ronaldo

Spending £80 million to sign a readymade superstar Real Madrid started a chain reaction that would start football’s greatest ever head-to head.

L. A Carlyon – Gallipoli

A review of Gallipoli, a no-holes barred, historical account of The Great War by Les Carlyon. Reviewed here by prolific reviewer Campbell McAulay.

Saumya Chaki – A Journey Through 100 Years of Indian Cinema

This quiz structured book shows Indian cinema over a hundred years. No spoiler review by Danob N.

Bipan Chandra et al – India’s Struggle For Independence

Five expert authors have created the most exhaustive and precise account of the struggle of Indian independence.

Roshan Dalal – India at 70: Snapshots since Independence

Follow India’s 70 year progression depicting the time from when it became a united political entity and the whirlwind journey that ensured.

Len Deighton – Bomber

Bomber is an account of a RAF bombing on a single German town and our reviewer, Campbell McAulay says to call it fiction is to do it an injustice.

Bethany Hughes – The Hemlock Cup

We come to understand the profound influences of time and place in the evolution of Socrates’ eternally provocative philosophy.

Eric Jager – Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris

November 1407 a band of masked men murdered Louis of Orleans, the crime stunned and paralyzed France, the city’s chief law enforcement officer, Guillaume de Tignonville investigates.

Fergal Keane – Road of Bones

Fergal Keane captures perfectly the pain and losses in the epic siege of Kohima, 1944. A comprehensive review of this WWII wartime account by prolific reviewer, Campbell McAulay.

Glenn Kurtz – Three Minutes in Poland

An entire book based on three minutes of family footage belonging to Glenn Kurtz’s grandfather inspired this meticulously researched biographical account of the horrors of living under the Nazis.

Robert Ryan – Death on the Ice

Death on the Ice is Robert Ryan’s novelisation of one of the greatest adventures of all time. Reviewed here by Reading Addicts regular, Campbell McAulay.

Shokdung – The Division of Heaven and Earth

“Shokdung” wrote this book as a response to the protests at the time but it soon became a banned book and “Shokdung” imprisoned.

Instruction

Stephanie Milton – Minecraft Essential Handbook

The perfect book for those starting to enter the world of Minecraft, from creating tools to building shelter, this book will keep you alive in the early days.

Memoirs

Mitch Albom – Tuesday’s With Morrie

Mitch Albom’s memoirs about Tuesday’s spent with a terminal ALS sufferer and how he learned about living from the dying.

Anonymous – A Fucked up Life in Books

A memoir, viewed through the books the author was reading at each moment, brilliant written thoroughly enjoyable, funny and touching!

Lawrence Anthony – The Elephant Whisperer

South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony ignored his common sense and excepted a herd of ‘rogue’ elephants becoming their last chance of survival.

Johnny Bock – A Bus Will Take You There

From the owner of a 1962 VW Microbus owned for 40 years, travelled the North American Continent, from Yukan to Montana with all the problems along the way.

Ruskin Bond – Looking for the Rainbow My Years with Daddy

Escaping his jail-like boarding school in the hills Ruskin goes to live with his father in Delhi. Bond travels to his past, recalling his favourite adventures.

James Bowen – A Street Cat Named Bob

For James living hand to mouth on the streets of London wouldn’t stop him from helping an injured cat curled up in a hallway, once back to health Bob stuck around, a true friend.

Rick Bragg – My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South

Explore the southern truths in these insightful and humorous essays written over a decade.

Jim Corbett – The Hunter’s Friends

Jim Corbett gives insight into the life of a huntsman, as he protects the community in which he lives and works.

Jim Corbett – Man-eaters of Kumaon

Jim Corbett offers ten fascinating tales of hunting tigers in the Indian Himalayas in a bygone era of big-game hunting.

Deborah Feldman – Unorthodox – The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

A review of the instant New York Times bestselling memoir of a young Jewish woman’s escape from a religious sect, reviewed for us by LadyMeritaten.

Winifred Foley – Shiny Pennies and Grubby Pinafores

1950’s in a crumbling cottage without heating or hot water, Winifred Foley’s determination to give her children the rural upbringing she had enjoyed.

Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl

A record at the height of the Nazi occupation, seen through the eyes of Anne Frank while hiding with her family and others, fearing for their lives.

Thor Heyerdahl – Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft

Thor Heyerdahl’s memoirs are a timeless boys-own adventure. Review reproduced here with kind permission of Campbell McAulay.

Naoki Higashida – The Reason I Jump

Through the eyes on a thirteen year old boy, this book explains why Naoki does some of the things he does and therefore shows an insight into the life and mind of a autistic child.

Susan Hill – Howards End is on the Landing

Howards End is on the Landing: A year of reading from home – is a documentation of Hill’s personal journey through her own collection of books.

Sally Hyder – Finding Harmony

With her youngest child Melissa diagnosed with severe autism, Sally needs help, she finds much more in Harmony.

Paul Kimmage – Rough Ride: Behind the Wheel With a Pro Cyclist

Paul Kimmage always dreamed of cycling glory but as he turned professional he discovered it’s drugs that allow you to finish the race, he speaks out about the drug issue in sports.

Sally Mann – Hold Still

An amazing collection of photos in Sally Mann’s memoirs and family history. No spoiler review by Denise Conner.

Sy Montgomery – The Spell of the Tiger The Man-eaters of the Sunderbans

Enter the world of the Sundarbans where tigers frequently eat people, from snatching fisherman at night, to woodcutters from the forest these great creatures are revered.

Caitlin Moran – How to Be a Woman

Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.

Clare Pedrick – Chickens Eat Pasta

After watching a video showing a chicken eating spaghetti in a village in central Italy, Clare heads out to start a new life.

Dave Pelzer – A Child Called “It”

Dave isn’t a child he’s an it, a slave and a thing to play torturous, unpredictable games with. The story of his Dave’s early years and the horrors of child abuse.

Mary A. Perez – Running in Heels

Running in Heels: A memoir of grit and grace is a memoir that delivers. A personal story with many ups and downs, well written and complete.

Carissa Phelps with Larkin Warren – Runaway Girl

The unexpected kindness of a teacher and a counsellor helped turn Carissa Phelps life round leaving the streets and graduating from UCLA with a law degree and an MBA.

Sylvia Plath – Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963

Letters home gives a look into one of twentieth-century’s greatest poets, starting from her time in Smith College up to February 1963.

Marjane Satrapi – Persepolis

This graphic novel styled memoir follows Mariane Satrapi growing up in Iran during the time of the Islamic revolution.

Jonathan and Angela Scott – The Leopard’s Tale

Half-Tail and her daughter Zawadi become the stars of this story as Jonathn and Angela through photographs and text.

June Steenkamp – Reeva: A Mother’s Story

June Steenkamp talks about her time sitting in the Pretoria courtroom, Reeva’s life and her own life after the verdict.

Cheryl Strayed – Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail

Cheryl Strayed’s memoir follows her epic journey inspired after the loss of her mother to cancer. Raw and Gritty according to our reviewer.

Corrie Ten Boom – The Hiding Place

Corrie and her family live above the watchmaker shop that Carrie’s father runs, their strong morals lead them to help Jewish people during the war.

Steven Toast – Toast on Toast

From school plays to RADA and from “It’s a Right Royal Knockout” to the Colony Club, Steven Toast draws on his vast and varied experiences, providing the reader with an invaluable insight into his journey as an actor

Jeanette Walls – The Glass Castle

Walls doesn’t pull her punches in this personal memoir, gritty, unputdownable and well-received. Be aware that this review contains some spoilers.

Karen Wheeler – Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France

After her boyfriend Eric leaves, Karen gives up her life as a fashion editor and heads to rural France for a new start. Contains Spoilers.

Xinran – Sky Burial

The story of one 26 year old woman’s amazing journey as she tries to find out what really happened to her husband.

Narrative

Jon Krakauer – Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

A narrative account of the rape culture in Montana illuminating the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape.

Personal Development

Ruskin Bond – A Little Book of Happiness

Ruskin Bond brings together his own pithy observations and those by artists and thinkers he admires in this beautiful little anthology about what makes people happy.

Akhil Khanna – Let’s Talk Money

Well written educational book to help anyone looking for financial advice and investment options. Reviewed by Prathamesh.

Anne Lamott – Bird by Bird

Advice on life and writing by Anne Lamott. Reviewed here by Kasturi.

Luis Carlos Montalvan – Until Tuesday

An ex US Army captain, hurt in more ways than one and a golden retriever make perfect companions.

Thomas Moore – A Religion of One’s Own

A religion of one’s own is a non-fiction philosophy read for those who are trying to find a place to fit in in this secular world.

Randy Pausch – The Last Lecture

Based on the lecture given by Randy Pausch shortly after being given the diagnosis of terminal cancer. This review contains spoilers.

Gretchen Rubin – The Happiness Project

The search for true contentment is the subject in The Happiness Project, follow the year-long attempted discovery.

Poetry

Darrielle Cresswell – Spilling Ink

A beautiful collection of poetry from newly published poet, Darrielle Cresswell. Lovely book, lovely poems, lovely everything! Highly recommended.

Hakim Ali Elhaj – A Conversation with one of My Selves

A Conversation with one of My Selves is a collection of poetry and prose from Sudanese writer and poet, Hakim Ali Elhaj. Loved by our reviewer Maria Gonzales.

Hakim Ali Elhaj – Age of Arsonist

Age of Arsonist follows is the second book of Hakim Ali Elhaj’s literary project “The Other”, the first being “A Conversation with one of My Selves”

Sylvia Plath – Collected Poems

Sylvia Plath’s brilliant poetry is brought together in “The Collected Poems”. Reviewed by Bo Jack.

Gertrude Stein – Tender Buttons

Gertrude’s best known work is separated into three section; food, objects and rooms. Read what Molly thought of her works.

True Crime

John Berendt – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

It’s a crime novel, but it’s based on true events that happened in the 1980s and our reviewer loved Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

David Grann – Killers of the Flower Moon

A small Federal police force took up the case of the oilmen who were being murdered, The Federal police force soon became the F. B. I. and this was the organization’s first major homicide investigation.

Neil Woods and J. S. Rafaeli – Good Cop, Bad War

Neil Woods worked undercover dealing with some of the most violent and unpredictable criminals in Britain, here is the true-account of his time.