Hello all! I didn’t manage to get anything read in February so I’m skipping on the monthly wrap up. I did, however, purchase a few books so I thought I’d do a little haul to show you what I picked up. As you can guess by the title of this blog, the books I picked up are all non-fiction. I’m definitely going to attempt to read more non-fic this year and branch out the type of non-fiction I’m reading too. This mini haul is the start of that journey!
American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts by Chris McGreal
Synopsis: One hundred and fifty Americans are killed each day by the opioid epidemic, described by a former head of the Food and Drug Administration as ‘one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine’. But as Chris McGreal reveals in American Overdose, it was an avoidable tragedy driven by bad science, corporate greed and a corrupted medical system.
In a narrative brimming with the guilty, the victims and the unlikely heroes, Chris McGreal travels from West Virginia ‘pill mills’ to the corridors of Washington DC as he unravels the story of Big Pharma’s hijacking of American healthcare and politics to push mass prescribing of ‘heroin in a pill’.
He meets the police and FBI agents who struggled to get prosecutors to go after doctors they called ‘drug dealers in white coats’; the families devastated by painkillers they thought would heal, not kill; and the physicians and scientists who took on the drug companies behind the epidemic. The result is an immensely powerful account of the terrible human cost of the crisis, and a stark warning of the consequences of a healthcare system run as a business, not a service.
Starting off with this book I originally saw on What’s Nonfiction’s blog, I was interested in this one for the political, health and sociology focus it’s got on such a large crisis in modern day America. It’s going to be different to anything else I’ve read before, but I think it’s a gentle start into more political focused non-fiction reads.
Synopsis: On Saturday 23 November 2013 ten children were shot dead. The youngest was nine; the oldest was nineteen. They fell in suburbs, hamlets and ghettos. None made the national news. It was just another day in the death of America, where on average seven children and teens are killed by guns daily.
Younge picked this day at random, searched for their families and tells their stories. What emerges is a sobering, searing, portrait of youth and guns in contemporary America.
Now this book I’ve had on my TBR for absolutely years and I actually got accepted to read it on Netgalley, but I never got around to it and I find reading on my Kindle/phone really difficult now. It’s only when I saw this in 66 Book Club that I remembered it even existed! This is more my standard type of non-fiction read, it being about crime, but again, it has that political undercurrent that I’m excited to delve into.
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
Synopsis: Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman.
Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.
Lastly, let’s get super feminist with this shit! I read an article on the Guardian by this same author about this same topic and it was SO interesting. If a woman has a car crash, she is 47% more likely to be seriously injured and 17% more likely to die than and man, and why is that? Because the safety proportions in vehicles are designed with men, not women, in mind. I can’t wait to read this entire book and fill my head with all kinds of interesting facts about how the world works!
So those are the few books I picked up recently. I really want to branch out into reading more education non-fic this year, rather than all the true-crime I’m used to reading. Books focused on politics, feminism and race are high on my radar this year. I’d also like to explore more historical and religious non-fic reads.
A book I recently added to my TBR (again thanks to What’s Nonfiction) is The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel. It’s the kind of book I never thought I would be interested in, but something about it is intriguing and I think as I’m getting older and learning more about real life, my thoughts and feelings on certain things are evolving.
Another I added is No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn M. Brodie. It’s no secret that I love learning about the history of the Mormon church and this is supposed to be the book to read in terms of learning about how Joseph Smith managed to convince so many people of his importance and to follow this new branch of Christianity. It’s quite a chunky book at just under 600 pages but it has good reviews and I think I’d find it deeply fascinating.
Other books non-fic books on my TBR that aren’t true crime related are Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and How to Argue With a Racist by Adam Rutherford.
Have you read any interesting non-fic recently? Share your recommendations with me, I’d love to hear them!