I am so excited to participate in Non-Fiction November reading challenge and might I add, my first ever public readathon. Olive from ABookOlive and Gemma from Non-Fic Books have “dared” booktubers and other bibliophiles to pick up 1-4 non-fiction books over the next 30 days (well from November 1-30). I am sure you will agree with them that non-fiction is underrated and has the potential to blow your mind just like any other genre.They have divided the challenge into four: new, important, controversial and fascinating. For more details, please see the links to their channels. Since I do not have a Booktube challenge, I thought that I would post my potential TBR below:
New: When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Why I Picked it: It was published in January 2016 and its one of newest bookish additions. I don’t think this book needs any introduction given that it has made its rounds on Booktube. In my case, I am particularly excited to finally read it since I had put off buying it for some strange reason. However, I was super elated to be a gifted a hardcover copy by a good friend.
The rise of innovative finance over the last decade is seen to be making headway in areas where traditional forms of development aid have failed. Though I have become acquainted with innovations such as Mkopa Solar, (an award winning pay-as-you-go solar electricity innovation), I am keen to deepen my knowledge on the subject and cross it off my TBR since I requested a DRC copy a few months ago. Ooops!
I have to admit that my interest in Angola piqued after I caught a few episodes of the telenovela, Windeck. (That’s a story for another day). Growing up, I remember watching CNN and being disturbed by the civil war in Angola but never got to learn more about the people and their culture. So recently, my interest in China-Africa relations (see below) led me back to this country. I have to admit to admit that I have slightly more than 100 pages. I have to admit that I was excited to pick up Metcalfe’s travelogue starting from Sao Tome and Principe before heading to Angola but I hit a slump so I am hoping to get a back into it.
Controversial: The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis.
Lately, I have been really interested in China-Africa relations mostly because I live in Nairobi and the presence of the Chinese immigrants is quite apparent as more and more infrastructure developments are popping up…especially when the Standard Gauge Railway and Thika Super Highway form part of the daily news. I am keen on demystifying a lot of myths around the Chinese (and thanks to this podcast show, I learnt that Chinese don’t use convicts as cheap labour in developing countries).
When I reached out to China-Africa Project team on book recommendations, they suggested these. Since I read Howard French’s China Second Continent a few months ago and I found it quite enlightening, I am hoping to learn more on the subject with The Looting Machine. It’s no secret that a lot of world’s minerals are found in Central Africa and world powers like China seeking resources to support its industrialisation processes making it a hot-button issue. I am interested in finding out on his perspective on Beijing’s “win-win” agenda.
Fascinating: French Women for all Seasons by Mireille Guiliano
I am sure that if you have been following me for a while, you will notice that I am very curious about different cultures. Since I have always admired Parisian women, I picked up French Women for all Seasons to learn more about their way of life…and seriously who could pass up the opportunity of buying this newish hardcover pristine lifestyle-cookbook at KES 50 (£0.40) at an inama bookshop (second-hand street book vendor).
If you are looking for a variety of non-fiction recommendations, Olive has linked two playlists on her TBR video. Plus if you are keen on participating you could also join the Goodreads group.Follow the conversation across social media using #NonfictionNovember2016. If you are participating in this particular challenge or have read any of the above-mentioned books, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.