As the year is drawing to a close, it’s the perfect time to start delving into some self reflection and looking forward to the year ahead. Especially after a year like this, motivation can definitely start to run dry. So we thought, what better time than now to look back at seven of the most inspiring non fiction books from 2020 to put our minds in a great place for 2021. From a memoir of one of the biggest names in fashion to a delve into the remarkable work of nurses, these seven books are at the top of our reading list right now. Keep scrolling…
1. Quite, by Claudia Winkleman
In her first ever book, Claudia invites us into her world. She shares her observations on topics such as the importance of melted cheese, why black coats are vital and dating advice. This is a love letter to life – the real, sometimes messy kind. Quite celebrates friendship, the power of art, the highs and lows of parenting, and of course, how a good eyeliner can really save your life. Heartfelt, wry and unmistakably Claudia, this book gets to the heart of what really matters.
2. Skincare, by Caroline Hirons
Caroline Hirons is an authority in the world of skincare – and for the first time, she’s sharing her knowledge in a book. Skincare is the go-to read for people of all ages and skin types who want to feel and look fantastic. It explains the facts, the myths and the best way to get good skin – on any budget. With everything from Caroline’s signature cheat sheets, simple tips and tricks to glow inside and out, understanding ingredients lists, and advice on how to choose the products that are right for you, this is the ultimate guide to healthier, brighter skin.
3. The Chiffon Trenches, by Andre Leon Talley
Discover what truly happens behind the scenes in the world of high fashion in this detailed, storied memoir from style icon, bestselling author and former Vogue creative director André Leon Talley. The Chiffon Trenches is a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion, and proof that fact is always fascinatingly more devilish than fiction. André Leon Talley’s engaging memoir tells the story of how he not only survived but thrived – despite racism, illicit rumours and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry – to become one of the most legendary voices and faces in fashion.
4. Hood Feminism, by Mikki Kendall
All too often, the focus of mainstream feminism is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. Meeting basic needs is a feminist issue. Food insecurity, the living wage and access to education are feminist issues. The fight against racism, ableism and transmisogyny are all feminist issues. How can feminists stand in solidarity as a movement when there is a distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others? Insightful, incendiary and ultimately hopeful, Hood Feminism is both an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux and also clear-eyed assessment of how to save it.
5. The Courage to Care, by Christie Watson
Nurses have never been more important and we benefit from their expertise in our hospitals and beyond. When we feel most alone, nurses remind us that we are not alone at all. In The Courage to Care, bestselling author Christie Watson reveals the remarkable extent of nurses’ work. Christie makes a further discovery: that, time and again, it is patients and their families – including her own – who show exceptional strength in the most challenging times. We are all deserving of compassion, and as we share in each other’s suffering, Christie Watson shows us how we can find courage too.
6. Furious Hours, by Casey Cep
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted. Intrigued by the story, Harper Lee makes a journey back to her home state to witness the Reverend’s killer face trial and spent many years trying to finish the book she called The Reverend. Now, Casey Cep brings this story to life, at the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.
7. How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right, by Pandora Sykes
Modern life is full of choices, but how do we know what our best life looks like? And what if we get it wrong? Incisive, wide-ranging and witty, How Do We Know We’re Doing it Right? explores the questions, anxieties and agendas that consume our lives. Pandora Sykes interrogates the stories we’ve been sold and the ones we tell ourselves – from happiness to wellness; womanhood to consumerism – in ways that are both surprising and reassuring. This will spark a thousand conversations and encourage us to find our own path to contentment.
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