SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 NONFICTION BOOKS I WANT TO READ & THINGS I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT…

Hello Everyone and welcome back to The Book in Hand for another Sundays Seven post!

If you have been with me from the start of my blogging journey you will know I only really read fantasy and a small amount of sci-fi. Well, I realised when I was walking the other day how much I now listen to audiobooks. I listen when I am walking the dog, when I am playing around on Inkscape, cleaning and cooking. I even listen when I am at work sometimes so I can get few quite a few.

I want to challenge myself a little bit to broaden my reading genres but also use the gift that audiobooks have become for a little more.

I am one of those people that digests so much more information through listening to people than reading, all the way through university I recorded myself reading my textbooks so I could listen to them and do other stuff while doing some of my pre-class reading and revising, because revising for exams sucks.

Since finishing university, and being so thankful to finally not be in education I stopped learning much of anything, and despite having done five years at university doing my undergraduate and my master, I miss it. So, I am going to task myself with some nonfiction books about things I want to learn more about! They will likely be about history but it may change depending on how this goes, if I discover some cool fun things but…

LET US LOOK AT THE BOOKS THEN, EHH….


Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution by Helen Zia

TOPICS:

Chinese History | Politics | War | Asian Culture

The dramatic real life stories of four young people caught up in the mass exodus of Shanghai in the wake of China’s 1949 Communist revolution–a precursor to the struggles faced by emigrants today. 


Shanghai has historically been China’s jewel, its richest, most modern and westernized city. The bustling metropolis was home to sophisticated intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and a thriving middle class when Mao’s proletarian revolution emerged victorious from the long civil war. Terrified of the horrors the Communists would wreak upon their lives, citizens of Shanghai who could afford to fled in every direction. Seventy years later, members of the last generation to fully recall this massive exodus have revealed their stories to Chinese American journalist Helen Zia, who interviewed hundreds of exiles about their journey through one of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century. From these moving accounts, Zia weaves together the stories of four young Shanghai residents who wrestled with the decision to abandon everything for an uncertain life as refugees in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States.

Benny, who as a teenager became the unwilling heir to his father’s dark wartime legacy, must decide either to escape to Hong Kong or navigate the intricacies of a newly Communist China. The resolute Annuo, forced to flee her home with her father, a defeated Nationalist official, becomes an unwelcome exile in Taiwan. The financially strapped Ho fights deportation from the U.S. in order to continue his studies while his family struggles at home. And Bing, given away by her poor parents, faces the prospect of a new life among strangers in America. The lives of these men and women are marvelously portrayed, revealing the dignity and triumph of personal survival. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga

TOPICS:

Race | Politics | British History

In Black and British, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga offers readers a rich and revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination and Shakespeare’s Othello.

It reveals that behind the South Sea Bubble was Britain’s global slave-trading empire and that much of the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery. It shows that Black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of the First World War. Black British history can be read in stately homes, street names, statues and memorials across Britain and is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

TOPICS:

Genghis Khan | Mongol History | War | Asian Culture

Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed.

There was a far longer synopsis for this book but this one was still better, I’m pretty sure the other was jus an except from the book!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari 

TOPICS:

Science | Sociology | Anthropology | Evolution | Biology

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. 

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? 

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? 

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

1776 by DAVID MCCULLOUGH 

TOPICS:

Military History | War | Politics | Declaration of Independence | American Revolution

In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence – when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, an his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.

At the center of the drama, with Washington, are two young American patriots, who, at first, knew no more of war than what they had read in books – Nathaniel Green, a Quaker who was made a general at thirty-three, and Henry Knox, a twenty-five-year-old bookseller who had the preposterous idea of hauling the guns of Fort Ticonderoga overland to Boston in the dead of Winter.

But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost – Washington, who had never before led an army in battle. Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough’s 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

England’s Other Countrymen: Blackness in Tudor Society by Onyeka Nubia

TOPICS:

Tudor History | England | Race | Politics

The Tudor period remains a source of timeless fascination, with endless novels, TV shows, and films depicting the period in myriad ways. And yet our image of the Tudor era remains overwhelmingly white. This ground-breaking and provocative new book seeks to redress the balance: revealing not only how black presence in Tudor England was far greater than has previously been recognized, but that Tudor conceptions of race were far more complex than we have been led to believe.   

Drawing on original research, Onyeka Nubia shows that Tudors from many walks of life regularly interacted with people of African descent, both at home and abroad, revealing a genuine pragmatism towards race and acceptance of difference. Nubia also rejects the influence of the “Curse of Ham” myth on Tudor thinking, and persuasively argues that many of the ideas associated with modern racism are therefore relatively recent developments.  England’s Other Countrymen is a bravura and eloquent forgotten history of diversity and cultural exchange, and casts a new light on our own attitudes towards race.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE AMAZONS: WOMEN WARRIORS IN MYTH AND HISTORY by Lyn Webster Wilde

TOPICS:

Women | Mythology | Amazons

‘Golden-shielded, silver-sworded, man-loving, male-child slaughtering Amazons,’ is how the fifth-century Greek historian Hellanicus described the Amazons, and they have fascinated humanity ever since. Did they really exist? For centuries, scholars consigned them to the world of myth, but Lyn Webster Wilde journeyed into the homeland of the Amazons and uncovered astonishing evidence of their historic reality.
North of the Black Sea she found archaeological excavations of graves of Iron Age women buried with arrows, swords and armour. In the hidden world of the Hittites, near the Amazons’ ancient capital of Thermiscyra in Anatolia, she unearthed traces of powerful priestesses, women-only religious cults, and an armed, bisexual goddess – all possible sources for the ferocious women.
Combining scholarly penetration with a sense of adventure, Webster Wilde has produced a coherent and absorbing book that challenges preconceived notions, still disturbingly widespread, of what men and women can do.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?


Well, we shall see how I fare with these first!

2 thoughts on “SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 NONFICTION BOOKS I WANT TO READ & THINGS I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT…

  1. Like you I use audiobooks to get to books that I might not have read otherwise. They were such a great discovery! The Amazons book looks really interesting, I’ve just listened to Pandora Jar which was amazing, you should add it to your list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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