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Andrea’s Book Nook: Non-fiction book recommendations

By Andrea Silva, October 29 2022

There are many people who have gone through life-changing events or have helped to change other people’s lives — and some are even willing to share what they’ve learned. Here are a few non-fiction books that are definitely worth your time.

Born a Crime: stories from a South African childhood by Trevor Noah:

This book is a memoir of The Daily Show’s host, Trevor Noah’s experiences of growing up biracial in South Africa. In this book, Noah shares his perspective as the child of a Swiss father and an African mother born during Apartheid, where his existence was considered a criminal and punishable act. The author shares various anecdotes of growing up surrounded by poverty, violence and systemic oppression, and how his skin colour gave him both privileges and challenges in a divided and hostile environment. I personally recommend listening to the audiobook, which is narrated by Noah himself. 

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams by Matthew Walker:

After watching a TED Talk about the book and the research behind the information, I felt compelled to read it. Why We Sleep is an insightful non-fiction read that goes into the massive impact that sleep has on every aspect of our life, and how it is systematically underrated by modern society. In this book, sleep expert Matthew Walker examines how our sleeping habits are determining factors of our mental health and wellbeing, productivity and how it helps in the prevention of many diseases. Overall, the message of this book is crucial: sleep is something people need to be more attentive about in order to have a better quality of life.

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

This is a different type of read from the last two mentioned. 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 an intimidating read, but the narrative is extremely fluid, entertaining, and contains some subtle humour. This book not only describes the events and processes that have brought us this far, but also invites the reader to reflect on the future and what kind of world we want to have and how sustainable the current model is. I recommend reading this book not only for all the information you will learn but also for how it can change your perspective on the way the world works. 

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them 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 crucial and impactful ones we will ever make. Divided into three sections “Work,” “Love,” and “The Brain of the Body,” this is a thought-provoking read filled with actionable advice on how to be conscious and intentional about the decisions we make in this period of our life. The author combines her research and clinical work to provide the reader with a realistic picture of what are the typical issues and challenges people in their twenties face, and what are the scientifically proven strategies to deal with them. Overall, this is a non-fiction book that invites the reader to reflect on the importance of our twenties and how to make them worthwhile.

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