Shiny 6 has an absolutely bumper crop of non-fiction.
If you love life stories, you’re going to be in your element – there are no fewer than seven of them, both autobiographies and biographies. If you enjoy living people writing about themselves, you’ve got Jon Day on his time as a cycle courier, neurologist Oliver Sacks on his surprisingly racy youth, pianist James Rhodes describing how music helped him overcome the scars of childhood trauma and abuse, and Caitlin Doughty on her experiences working in a crematorium. If you’d rather look back in time, there’s a fantastic graphic novel, Sydney Padua’s lively take on the life stories of the two historical scientists Lovelace and Babbage, Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock, Kate Grenville on her mother, Julia Blackburn’s account of the Norfolk fisherman turned embroiderer in Threads, and Sarah Knights’ biography of David Garnett, the Bloomsbury Outsider.
Lovers of vintage crime stories have a real treat in store in Martin Edwards’ The Golden Age of Murder, and Martin also edited Truly Criminal, essays on true crime by contemporary novelists. Then there’s a short but pithy introduction to Shakespeare by Professor Stanley Wells, a book about seashells (Spirals in Time), a fantastically detailed account of Britain’s moorlands by William Atkins, and last but not least Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, a book of essays described as ‘mixing genres including memoir, philosophy, and criticism’.
So – a great range of books, excellently reviewed as always by our crack team of reviewers. Dive in and enjoy!
Harriet, Non-Fiction Editor, Shiny New Books