My Summer TBR: Non-Fiction books reading list

Here are ten books on my summer TBR list, non-fiction edition! 📚 I’m excited to read them and share reviews in the coming months.

What do you want to read this summer? Have you read any of the below, and if so, what did you think of the books? Comment below 👇

We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai shares her own story of being an Internally Displaced Person and losing the world she was familiar with. She meets girls on her journeys through refugee camps who have also been displaced by war.

This book is unique in its focus on the female experience, whose voices are often lost or concealed as part of the refugee experience. By sharing their stories, Malala has created a very personal and powerful collection of refugee experiences.

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

Why are smartphones designed to be one-size-fits-all? Why are medical experiments based on a default of men? Even government policy and the workplace overlook women. In this eye-opening and thought-provoking book, Perez uses evidence and statistics to expose how the world is designed around men.

This book will change the way you view the world. In an age of technology and data, this book has never been more relevant.

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh

This book is written by Henry Marsh who shares his unconventional journey into neurosurgery after studying medicine as a second degree. The title of the book is reminiscent of the first hippocratic oath, which is an oath often taken by medical physicians: “first do no harm”.

The book is littered with candid examples of his patients and his reflections, through his time in medical school to becoming a neurosurgeon. The book tries to address how to deal with the consequences if everything goes wrong, but this time in a life and death situation. It crosses the fields of philosophy, ethics, and medicine.

City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence

The book is based in the world’s largest refugee camp, but not one that I have seen widely discussed or mentioned in mainstream media. This is a key premise of the book: it tries to highlight how the majority of refugees in the world will never reach Europe, which may be linked to why it’s not a generally discussed refugee camp in Western media.

Rawlence takes the reader to the Dabaad camp in Kenya to share the stories of nine refugee individuals and families, based on his time there when he was interviewing and recording in the camp. It crosses politics, human rights, and humanitarian aid to provide an insight into life in the Dabaad camp.

Karachi Vice: Life and Death in a Contested City by Samira Shackle

Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan and this book tries to reveal the different sides of the city: corruption, conflict, but also its charm and life. In this travel journalism book, Shackle takes the reader to meet five residents to reveal the inner workings of Karachi, though it is not clear how she selected these five individuals.

The book seems to offer a mostly negative view of Karachi, of violence and conflict. However, it seems interesting to see what the perspective of the journalist, who is herself British born to Pakistani parents, is of the country of her ancestors.

The Prison Doctor: My time inside Britain’s most notorious jails by Dr Amanda Brown

There have been a few medical memoirs on my reading list, both read and to be read. However, this one offers a unique perspective of a women’s prison. Women’s health in general is less visible, but in this book Dr Amanda Brown allows the reader to see a side of medicine – and society more broadly – that is usually tucked away: those in prison and women.

This book follows Dr Brown’s resignation from working as an NHS General Practitioner, after being frustrated with the UK government’s new targets system, through her career change when she becomes an advocate on behalf of prisoners. It offers an account of what it is like to work behind bars.

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple

Dalrymple is a renowned historian who recounts the East India Company’s growth, with history spanning across Britain and India. After reading Inglorious Empire (review here) which dispelled myths about the British Empire, this book seemed like a good fit for a deeper exploration of colonial history.

He spent several years in Delhi, surrounded by Indian history and art. The book aims to bring this history to the present by explaining that in fact, imperialism still exists. Through recounting colonial history, the book seems to offer lessons for today to address the distorted history in both Britain and India.

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

David Kahneman, a Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, offers an insight into how the human mind works and how people make decisions. Spanning his specialisms of psychology and economics, he takes the reader on a new and revealing tour of the human mind.

It is about understanding why people think and act the way that they do, so that individuals can understand human irrationality and have a greater influence on their behaviour. I’m curious to learn more about what goes on inside the human mind.

Mother Country: Real Stories of the Windrush Children by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

In the UK, the Windrush Scandal had recently been uncovered, resulting in many people being wrongly deported or denied citizenship when they are otherwise British citizens. This book offers an account of an important part of Black British history which is not taught or widely discussed.

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff reveals stories of those who are the children of the Windrush generation, whose parents arrived in the UK by boat under the pretext that they would be welcomed warmly. The book offers the reality experienced by the children over a period of 70 years.

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

This book offers a fresh and optimistic outlook on human history, which is welcome after the uncertainty and pain of 2020-21. This book aims to understand what is the core of human nature. Are we all as selfish and violent as we have come to believe? Why do we treat others suspiciously?

Bregman draws on the theories of famous philosophers, he explains which forces have impacted human nature and wider society, and why at the root of it, we are all friendly and peaceful. By crossing the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, and anthropology, Bregman addresses the negative view that people have of the human race.

Published by sharemylibrary

Non-fiction book reviews, summaries, and recommendations

7 thoughts on “My Summer TBR: Non-Fiction books reading list

    1. Thank you! If you enjoyed them, then I reckon I’d really like them too. I’m particularly looking forward to reading Humankind for some much needed optimism.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read it at the end of last year when things were feeling a bit bleak and uncertain still and it did cheer me up considerably 😊hope it does for you too! Excited to hear your thoughts on these!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for commenting! It’s really good to hear the positive review of Do No Harm – looking forward to it especially to understand more about the medical profession, which deserves all the praise and appreciation they can get.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The Anarchy has been on my radar for a long time, and it’s been on my shelf for a shorter time waiting to be read! I’ve heard really good things, I’ve just got a couple of books I wanted to read first…

    I’m excited to see what you think of it! (And of the others)

    Liked by 1 person

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