Andrea’s Book Nook: Nonfiction Book Recommendations

By Andrea Silva, October 29, 2022

There are many people who have experienced life-changing events or helped change the lives of others – and others are willing to share what they have learned. Here are some factual books that are definitely worth your time.

A Crime Was Born: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah:

This book is The Daily Show host’s memoir, Trevor Noah’s experiences growing up biracial in South Africa. In this book, Noah shares his view as the child of a Swiss father and an African mother born during apartheid, whose existence was considered a punishable criminal act. The author shares many tales of growing up amid poverty, violence, and systemic oppression, and how the color of his skin gave him advantages and challenges in a divided and hostile environment. Personally, I recommend listening to the audiobook narrated by Noah himself.

Why We Sleep: Unleashing the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker:

After watching a TED Talk about the book and researching the information, I felt compelled to read it. Why We Sleep is an insightful non-fiction read that delves into the tremendous impact of sleep on every aspect of our lives, and how it is systematically underestimated by modern society. In this book, sleep expert Matthew Walker examines how our sleep habits determine our mental health, well-being, and productivity, and how they help prevent many diseases. Overall, the message of this book is important: sleep is something that people need to be more attentive to in order to enjoy a better quality of life.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari:

This is a different type of reading from the two mentioned above. Throughout this book, Harari tells the story of humanity from how it all began 13.5 billion years ago to the present day. At first, it may seem like a scary read, but the narration is very fluid, amusing, and contains some nice humor. This book not only describes the events and processes that got us this far, but also invites the reader to think about the future, the kind of world we want, and the sustainability of the current model. I recommend reading this book not only for all the information you will learn but also for how to change your view of the way the world works.

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – and How to Make the Most of It Now by Meg Jay:

As indicated in the title, the premise of this book is that the choices we make in our twenties are the most important and impactful we will ever make. Divided into three sections Work, Love, and Body Brain, this is a thought-provoking read packed with practical advice on how to be conscious and intentional about the decisions we make in this period of our lives. The author combines her research with clinical work to provide the reader with a sobering picture of typical issues and challenges that people in their twenties face, and what scientifically proven strategies for dealing with them. Overall, this is a non-fiction book that invites the reader to think about the importance of your twenties and how to make them worthwhile.

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