A Non-Fiction Adventure

A project to get me reading non-fiction again.

Here’s how it works:

Inspired by Jillian’s Classic Club, Michelle of The True Book Addict has put together a spin-off for non-fiction novels, A Non-Fiction Adventure.

These are the guidelines:

  • Choose 50+ non-fiction books; the number is up to you. Choose 50, 75, 100, 200. It’s entirely your choice.
  • Books must be non-fiction–biography, autobiography, history, memoir, cooking, travel, science, etc.
  • List them at your blog (or on Goodreads or another social media site, if you do not have a blog)
  • Choose your completion goal date five years in the future…

I’ve listed fifty books. I kept the number low because, I hope, many of these books will lead me to other books. And because who knows what might happen over the next five years.

My original list is here but it’s going to change along the way.  I want to include books I discover along the way and I want to give myself room to change my mind about what I want to read

My five years run from April 2012 to March 2017.

And here’s the list, as it stands right now:

Interesting Women & Their Lives

  • A Profound Secret: May Gaskell, her daughter Amy, and Edward Burne-Jones by Josceline Dimbleby
  • Becoming Queen by Kate Williams
  • Born to Rule: Granddaughters of Victoria, Queens of Europe by Julia Gelardi
  • England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton by Kate Williams
  • Katey: The Life and Loves of Dickens’s Artist Daughter by Lucinda Hawksley
  • Love Among the Butterflies: Travels and Adventures of a Victorian Lady by Margaret Fountaine
  • Period Piece by Gwen Raverat
  • Red Princess: A Revolutionary Life by Sofka Zinovieff
  • The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey by Leanda de Lisle
  • Wedlock: How Georgian Britain’s Worst Husband Met His Match by Wendy Moore

Houses, Homes & Domesticity

  • Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England by Amanda Vickery
  • Four Hedges by Clare Leighton
  • We Bought an Island by Evelyn E Atkins
  • Madresfield: One house, one family, one thousand years by Jane Mulvagh
  • The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton by Kathryn Hughes
  • If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home by Lucy Worsley
  • Other People’s Daughters: The Life And Times Of The Governess by Ruth Brandon
  • Buried Treasure: Travels Through the Jewel Box by Victoria Finlay

Writers and Writing

  • Through the Magic Door by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Colette: Secrets of the Flesh by Judith Thurman
  • How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis
  • One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty
  • Slipstream by Elizabeth Jane Howard
  • Thomas Hardy: The Time-torn Man by Claire Tomalin
  • My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
  • Young Romantics by Daisy Hay


Life Stories

The Big, Wide World

  • Nine Pounds of Luggage by Maud Parrish
  • Daughters of Britannia: The Lives and Times of Diplomatic Wives by Katie Hickman
  • Liberty: The Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France by Lucy Moore
  • Maharinis: The Lives and Times of Three Indian Princesses by Lucy Moore
  • The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders
  • The World That Was Ours by Hilda Bernstein
  • In The Vine Country by Somerville & Ross

2 responses

  1. I love this list Fleur!

    May I recommend a couple of others to add to your domesticity list? Laurel Thatcher Ulrich writes incredible books about the lives of women in 17th/18th century New England, with an emphasis on their domestic lives. And Susan Strasser is a historian who writes books for a popular audience about domestic-related topics, primarily focusing on US women but also a bit of Europe. I’ve read Waste Not, Want Not: a Social History of Trash, and am now in the middle of Never Done, her book on housework throughout history.

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