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I came across The Guardian’s list of The 100 greatest non-fiction books today and it once again reminded me of just how little non-fiction I read. Perhaps it’s because I mostly see reading as escapism and love a good story above all else which is why my default is set to ‘fiction’. With saturation levels of information assailing us every waking minute, I need to have quite a bit of energy level left over at the end of the day to want to take even more on board. The last non-fiction I attempted was Tom Holland’s Millennium which I was really enjoying until I took a break and found it impossible to get into again (although I haven’t given up entirely). It had both escapism and a rollicking good story but there was so much new information I found it a bit exhausting. Wimpy, I know.

So, from The Guardian’s list, I’ve chosen the following to add to my ‘must read’ list:

  1. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  2. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
  3. Postwar by Tony Judt
  4. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
  5. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)
  6. The Symposium by Plato

Any other suggestions? Does non-fiction reward the extra effort?