Politics

13 Fascinating Non-Fiction Books That Should Be On Your Radar This Autumn

A fascinating work of non-fiction has the ability to change the way we view the world – and there are plenty of new titles on sale.

The first Thursday of September has long been known as “Super Thursday” in UK publishing: the day in the calendar when the largest number of new releases hit shelves. It’s also Bookshop Day – a nationwide celebration of all high street bookshops, big and small – on October 9, making autumn an even better time to stock up.

To mark the most wonderful time of the year for bookworms, we asked a leading bookseller which new non-fiction titles they’re most excited to read. We’ve also added a few suggestions of our own. Happy reading!

10 books recommended by Kate McHale, non-fiction buyer at Waterstones.

Renegades – Barack Obama & Bruce Springsteen, £35 Penguin

“Following on from their brilliant podcast, Obama and Springsteen discuss life, music and America alongside an array of photos and archive material.”

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows – Ai Weiwei, £25 Vintage

“The seminal artist looks back at both his own life and that of his father to create a memoir that is both an intimate personal and family story and a powerful portrait of twentieth century China.”

Windswept and Interesting – Billy Connolly, £20 Hodder & Stoughton

“The first full-length autobiography from the comedy legend, recounting his tough early days and later rise to stardom – with the odd digression along the way…”

Don’t Laugh, It Will Only Encourage Her – Daisy May Cooper, £20 Penguin

“A warm, honest and hilarious autobiography from the star of This Country.”

Don’t Laugh, It Will Only Encourage Her, Beautiful Country and 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows. 

Don’t Laugh, It Will Only Encourage Her, Beautiful Country and 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows. 

And Away… – Bob Mortimer, £20 Simon & Schuster

“Irrepressibly funny autobiography from one of our best-loved comedians.”

Beautiful Country – Qian Julie Wang, £16.99 Penguin

“A lyrical memoir of a family’s life as undocumented migrants in America. Written from the author’s childhood perspective, it is a powerful read but one that is full of love and hope.”

Manifesto – Bernardine Evaristo, £14.99 Penguin

“A powerful and urgent manifesto on never giving up from the Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman Other.”

Storyland – Amy Jeffs, £20 Quercus

“A beautifully illustrated mythology of the British Isles that uncovers the founding legends of our islands and brings them vividly to life.”

Powers and Thrones – Dan Jones, £25 Head of Zeus

“An epic new history of the Middle Ages, which grippingly chronicles the forces that defined the period – and which would go on to shape ours.”

A Cook’s Book – Nigel Slater, £30 HarperCollins

“A collection of over 200 favourite recipes from a life in the kitchen.”

Storyland, Manifesto and A Cook’s Book. 

Storyland, Manifesto and A Cook’s Book. 

3 non-fiction titles the HuffPost UK team are excited about

Black Joy – Edited by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff and Timi Sotire, £14.99 Penguin

This uplifting and empowering anthology, edited by award-winning journalist Charlie Brinkhust-Cuff and up-and-coming talent Timi Sotire, sees 28 inspirational voices come together to celebrate being Black British, sharing their experiences of joy and what it means to them.

Rough – Rachel Thompson, £14.99 Vintage Publishing

Rough explores the narratives of sexual violence that we don’t talk about. Through powerful testimony from 50 women and non-binary people, this book shines a light on the sexual violence that takes place in our bedrooms and beyond, sometimes at the hands of people we know, trust, or even love. Read our interview with the author here.

The Transgender Issue – Shon Faye, £20 Penguin

Author Shon Faye reclaims the idea of the ‘transgender issue’ to uncover the reality of what it means to be trans in a transphobic society. The book is a manifesto for change, and “a call for justice and solidarity between all marginalised people and minorities”.


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