Let’s Talk Non – Fiction

On any given day, for the longest time, whenever I had to pick a book or curate a TBR, my go to genres would be anything but non-Fiction. Because Non-Fiction was dry, boring, challenging, a bit of a gruelling read even.

Call it growing up or call it an urge to explore unknown realms of literature, I finally found the courage to pick up a fiction, and oh my word it was hard work!

That being said, although it comes with its challenges, I aim to read at least 1 non-fiction every year (eep I know!!).

I should admit though, they are certainly thought provoking, and help me get some much needed perspective in my life ever so often.

Presumably, this has taken a bit of work, but I have curated a short list of non-fiction books that had a lasting impact on me. Have you read any of these? Are there any that you would recommend to me?

  • A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

Adam Rutherford explores the concept of evolution in this short but brilliant book, with the underlying theme of Human Genetics. He takes us on a captivating journey from the cradle of human evolution, to Russia, Europe and Asia, in the end eventually helping us understand and make sense of who we are and how we came to be.

I was left spellbound by this book and I get genuinely excited to recommend it to anyone who cares to ask, moreover, I know it is a book I will be revisiting very soon.

  • Those Magnificent Women and their Flying Machines

The Year was 2013 when the Indian Space Research Organisation launched Mangalyaan – India’s first mission to Mars. Their budget was lesser than that for the movie Gravity. The mission was spearheaded by some of the most extraordinary women. And as it goes, India became the first Asian country to reach Mars, and the first in the world to do so in it’s first attempt.

Minnie Vaid has documented the stories of these women scientists, who responded to naysayers and critics, not with aggression, but by simply tuning them out and doing their job.

Read it, for inspiration, and a great insight into India’s Space Programme, which has increased by leaps and bounds ever since ISRO was established in 1969.  

  • Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End

It was by sheer coincidence that I picked up Being Mortal during a particularly challenging time in my life, and rather than being a welcome distraction, this book turned into my biggest solace.

Dr. Atul Gawande tackles the topics of life, illness, death and what it means to be mortal, not just for us as a person but as family of someone who is nearing their end. With his uncanny insight into the topic as a surgeon, Atul Gawande examines with astonishing sensitivity the themes of life, medicine, how medicine can prolong death, but most importantly our own concept of death and the perpetual fight against finally letting go.

This is a very important book and is highly recommended if you are looking to gain some perspective.

Trigger Warning: Death, Terminal Illness      

  • This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a junior doctor in the NHS? Adam Kay swiftly demolishes all your delusions in 256 pages.

Full of painfully funny stories, Adam Kay documents the inhumanly long weeks, and the resilience and the strength it takes to do their job as a doctor, thus making this book an extremely honest insight into how the NHS works, what is costs to be a doctor and above everything else, why we really, truly need to preserve the National Health Services.

Trigger Warning : Death, Loss, Terminal Illness


  1. I struggle with nonfiction too, but I’ve been trying to read more of it. The past two years, I’ve read a lot of social justice/race-related titles. Since your favorites seem to lean towards science and medicine, though, I think I would recommend When Breath Becomes Air. It was written by a 36 year old neurologist who got cancer, so while medically precise, it was also very reflective and lyrical.

    Liked by 1 person

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