Three unconventional books to inspire your wanderlust

Go off the beaten track in London, UK, Mumbai, India, and Garissa County, Kenya.

This is London: Life and Death in the World City by Ben Judah

What side of London do you never get to hear about in general media? This book is a literary masterpiece, as journalist Ben Judah takes the reader on a tour around London, meeting the people who make the city live and move and who are usually ignored (literally – bus drivers, the homeless, shop keepers, amongst others).

Even residents of London will learn about a side of London they may have not previously encountered. Judah enlightens us with the immigrant side of London including those rich, poor, and everyone in between. This book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand London beyond the tourist attractions.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

This is an underrated book about the Annawadi slum in Mumbai, based near Mumbai Airport. It is written in narrative non-fiction style, closely following the lives of the residents. This style meant that the reader becomes deeply involved in the lives of the residents, which brings the story to life even more.

Boo wrote this book based on reporting in the slum, having lived and worked in Mumbai herself. Each person that Boo follows has a challenge that they are trying to overcome. As well as teaching the reader about the stark inequalities in Mumbai and India, it offers a new perspective on life and having hope for life to get better.

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.

Published by sharemylibrary

Non-fiction book reviews, summaries, and recommendations

2 thoughts on “Three unconventional books to inspire your wanderlust

    1. Ooh it’s hard to pick one! But This is London was particularly memorable for me and highly recommend it.


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