The Best Non-Fiction Books To Read Right Now

If you're all fictioned out, here's a few non-boring factual books to tide you over

Autumn Non-Fiction Books

by Alexandra Heminsley |
The Truth - Neil Strauss
The Truth - Neil Strauss

The Truth by Neil Strauss

Neil Strauss is author of The Game, a 2.5 million selling guide to the art of seduction. It was really just about pick-ups, and introduced a generation of men to the concept of ‘negging’. Thanks for that, Neil. This follow-up sees him realising the nirvana he’d created wasn’t a long-term solution.

He seeks help for sex addiction, joins a commune and it dawns on him that dealing with his depression and finding a relationship where the women is a little less commodified might make him happier. So many of these conclusions prompt instant and epic eye roll, but it still makes for a compelling read as he’s genuinely great at telling a story.

Out now – Canongate

Perfume: A Century of Scents - Lizzie Ostrom 
Perfume: A Century of Scents - Lizzie Ostrom 

Perfume: A Century of Scents by Lizzie Ostrom

Taking the 20th century and looking at 10 scents per decade, this is more social history than beauty book. It looks at what inspired the Patchouli wafts of the 1960s, the horrendously strong scents of the 1980s and then the unisex grunge craze of the 1990s.

Along the way it takes in Gloria Vanderbilt and the evolution of celebrity scents, as well as questions about how we actually feel about getting close enough to someone to sniff them. There are no real details on ingredients or how these are made (there’s a Luca Turin book that has this covered), but the witty insights and fun, chatty style makes this a lush treat or a gorgeous gift.

Out now – Hutchinson

Literary Lunch
Literary Lunch 

Literary Lunch

Ever read the description of someone preparing a meal in a novel and spent more time musing on that than on what the character is supposed to be thinking? Me too. We’re in luck. Part literature, part cookbook, this is a compilation of classic meals from classic writing, plus the actual recipes to make them yourself.

If the description of that fish stew in Ian McEwan’s Saturday stayed with you, you can now make it yourself. Some of the recipes make extravagant feasts, but others are, well, Bridget Jones’s blue string soup. Best of all is the inclusion of the rabbit stew Jeanette Winterson made when she live-tweeted catching a bunny in her garden.

Out now – Vintage Books

Big Magic
Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

The author of Eat, Pray, Love takes on creativity in this charming and self-proclaimed self-help book. There’s some great stuff about the power of ideas themselves, about how utterly useless emotions such as fear are when trying to do anything creative, and why we all have a right to live creatively – even if that doesn’t mean actually earning your living from creative endeavours.

But there’s also some crazy: for example, at one point she suggests she had the idea for The Osbournes, but never ‘got around’ to doing anything about it. There’s something freeing about her daftness at moments like this though, and her tone is relentlessly endearing. It’s like talking to your hippy-est friend, the one who never turns up at the right bar but always makes you feel great once she’s got there. Really enjoyable.

Out now – Bloomsbury

Cabin Porn
Cabin Porn - Zach Klein And Friends 

Cabin Porn by Zach Klein And Friends

This is a slightly ridiculous but strangely soothing book. Zack Klein, the 33-year-old co-founder of Vimeo, decided to build a cabin in the woods with some friends. They kept a Tumblr of other handmade cabins as inspiration, and it went massive, with London providing the most traffic - clearly we all want to escape.

Now it’s a luxurious coffee-table book. The images are gorgeous, and there’s real passion here with writing about the community, the building of cabins and why they’re so coveted these days. But there’s also a sneaking suspicion throughout that Socality Barbie might pop up on one of the pages…

Out now – Particular books

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Here’s The Books Everyone’s Going To Be Reading This Autumn

How Many Of The Country’s Favourite Books Have You Read?

Room And 5 Other Books To Read Before The Films Come Out

Follow Alexandra on Twitter @Hemmo

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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