Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Nonfiction November | Bookish Nonfiction Recommendations


Throughout the month of November I'm taking part in the bookish event of Nonfiction November - a month dedicated to, and encouraging the reading of, nonfiction titles.

There are a number of content creators who hosts events surrounding this initiative to promote nonfiction books in the month of November, and I'm combining (& taking part in) two. One of which is hosted on YouTube by booktuber abookolive - I have compiled my TBR using her challenges. Secondly, I'm taking part in an event hosted here in the book blogging community by five wonderful bloggers - Katie at Doing DeweyRennie at What's Nonfiction?Julie at JulzReadsKim at Sophisticated Dorkiness and Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves. Each week I will be sharing a new post that relates to the topic of nonfiction books, with post prompts being provided by those five bloggers mentioned above.

PROMPT
Be the Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert hosted by Julie at JulzReads

As some who has only really gotten into reading nonfiction in the last few years, I'm by no means an expert on any one specific area, however today I did want to talk about something I read fairly often, and the genre/type of books that helped me find my footing within the nonfiction realms - books about books.

I have three titles I want to share with you today.

Every bookshop has a story.

We're talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses and in old run-down railway stations.

From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book explores the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at more than three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents. (Sadly, we've yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).

This book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.
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The Bookshop, Wigtown, is Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. It's a booklover's paradise, a Georgian townhouse full of twisting corridors and roaring fires, set in a beautiful town by the edge of the sea. A rummage on its crooked shelves can produce anything from a sixteenth-century leather-bound Bible to a first edition Agatha Christie. 

But behind the scenes of this slice of literary heaven, things are very different. Meet Shaun Bythell, owner of The Bookshop, bibliophile and misanthrope extraordinaire. Seen through his honest and wryly hilarious diaries, we get a very different view of bookselling: one beset with malfunctioning heating, eccentric customers, bad-mannered, bin-foraging employees and a perennially empty till. 

As Shaun takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the charms and horrors of small town life, we gain an inside look at the trials, tribulations and joys of life in the book trade.
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Britain by the Book is a fascinating literary travelogue around writers' unusual haunts and the surprising places that inspired some of our favourite fictional locations. We'll learn why Thomas Hardy was buried twice, how a librarian in Manchester invented the thesaurus as a means of coping with depression, and why Agatha Christie was investigated by MI5 during the Second World War. The map of Britain that emerges is one dotted with intriguing literary stories and bookish curiosities.
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All three of these books take a different look at the world of books - with The Bookshop Book being a staple for any bookworm who finds joy and comfort in wandering a bookshop, The Diary of a Bookseller being a witty read whilst also taking a look at book buying and selling, and lastly with Britain by the Book exploring Britain and sharing small literary snippets that you perhaps otherwise wouldn't know. 

I highly recommend all of these titles for those of you who, like me, enjoy books about books... However, if you were to read just the one from this list, then The Bookshop Book is one of the nonfiction titles I recommend the most. 
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20 comments

  1. One of the best books about books I've read recently was 84 Charing Cross Road - http://bronasbooks.blogspot.com/2018/02/84-charing-cross-road-by-helene-hanff.html
    There's a movie too apparently.

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    1. I think I've heard that title referenced before when it comes to books about books - thanks for recommending! Happy to hear you enjoyed :-)

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  2. I don't usually read much non fiction, however, these seem like such interesting reads!

    Lotte | www.lottelauv.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. Great recommendations! I read one of Jen Campbell’s other nonfiction books. I think it was Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops. It was really funny.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I need The Diary of a Bookseller and I also need to go to that bookstore! I've been wanting to read Jen Campbell's books too!

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    1. The Bookshop in Wigtown actually features in Jen Campbell's The Bookshop Book - that one will leave you wanting to not only visit Shaun's bookshop, but many more too!

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  5. OMG, we chose the same theme! I added your last title to my TBR, sounds really good

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    1. Books about books are great! If and when you do get round to reading that title, I hope you enjoy!

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  6. I love books about books although I don't read nearly enough of them. Great suggestions.

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  7. Great recommendations! I love books about books, and The Bookshop Book sounds like a really fun read.

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  8. Books about books are the best! Something so cozy about them. I will have to add some of these to my list!
    One of the most interesting books about books I've read was When Books Went to War, all about the efforts made to send books to war with WWII soldiers, combating the book burning the Nazis engaged in as well as introducing a generation to a love of reading.

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    1. I quite agree, Eva - there is a distinct cosiness to books about books.

      Thank you so much for the recommendation; I'll be looking into it for sure!

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  9. I haven't read any of these, but they all sound great. I agree with Eva about the cozy factor here. 😊

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  10. Haha, I went to type 'books about books are the best' and saw Eva has already said the same thing. But it's true, they're great! And I've not read and of these yet, so thanks for the list :)

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