Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful folks over at The Broke and the Bookish
This week is a top ten freebie week, which is always exciting! I talk about fiction books 90% of the time over here, so I decided to branch out and talk about some of my favourite non-fiction books this week. I don't read a huge number of non-fiction books - I'm very picky - but I have some firm favourites that I love returning to. Funny, moving, and some exquisite travel books, this list has a little bit of everything!
1. Paris in Love by Eloisa James
Eloisa James and her family uprooted themselves for a year from America to Paris, and this book is a collection of events, memories, musings and snapshots of living in the capital of France and the unexpected beauty you can find in a strange city. This book helped me in my own transition and reminded me to look for the beauty in the little things and to appreciate the incredible experiences on offer. Written in little bite size chunks, this is a wonderful book to dip in and out of.
2. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
I have never laughed so hard when reading a book. I genuinely thought I might have cracked a rib at one point. When reading this on lunch breaks at the office I had to remove myself to my car to read because of the weird looks I received... This book is a masterpiece, and Lawson's humour is unparalleled. An incredible account of her life, this book is insane, brilliant and hilarious.
3. The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle de Jour
I discovered this book whilst researching for my non-fiction writing module at university and was utterly engrossed from the very first page. Belle's writing is blunt, compulsive and intriguing. Utterly filthy and incredibly factual. This was my first real foray into non-fiction writing and I absolutely loved it. Infinitely better than the tv show they made from it, this is an eye opener of a book.
4. Immoveable Feast by John Baxter
When Baxter fell in love with a French woman, he moved to Paris to marry her. Her family set him the ultimate test - to cook Christmas dinner for the family of eighteen. The book follows his year long adventure collecting recipes, travelling France and making some truly outstanding food. This is a feast of a book, delving into an incredibly important element of life in France - the food.
5. Talk to the Snail by Stephen Clarke
For anyone who is living, is going to live or who has lived in France, this book is a must read. Funny, bitingly true and full of useful tidbits of information, this book helped make the transition to living in France easier and provided me with a lot of insider information I never would have learned otherwise.
6. Perfection by Julie Metz
Also a find for my non-fiction module, I have very vivid memories of reading this curled up in front of the fire drinking copious amounts of tea whilst having my heart slowly broken. It was beautiful, terrible, brilliant and heart breaking. One woman's account of how her life fell apart when her husband died, and then shattered when she discovered he had a long term mistress. This is a quiet and tragic book.
7. The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter
Another book from Baxter, again set in France, but this time exploring Paris by foot. Paris is an incredible city and Baxter explores it in ways that most people would pass by entirely. Whether you're preparing for a trip to Paris, or simply want to explore the city in the pages of a book, this is a gorgeous book filled with the elegance of Paris and a plethora of stories that have unfurled within its streets.
8. A Slip of the Keyboard by Terry Pratchett
A collection of non-fiction by Terry Pratchett, this book dips back and forth in time and writings and is an absolute must for Pratchett fans. His writing is fantastic, regardless of whether he is taking you through Discworld, or talking about his process. This is a wonderful collection of pieces.
9. As You Wish by Cary Elwes
If you love 'The Princess Bride' this is a must read. Twenty five years after the film was made, Cary Elwes has collected together tales from the majority of the cast of filming this incredible cult classic. A book infused with love and adoration for each other and the source material, this is an incredible book that will make you fall in love with the film all over again.
10. My Family & Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
This was such a big part of my growing up. My Mother used to read it to me (and she did all of the voices) and I have incredibly fond memories of listening to the Durrell family's exploits. It's an absolutely incredible and wildly funny book that I love going back to again and again.
So those are my top ten non-fiction books. Are you a fan of non-fiction? Or are you tempted by any of these? Let me know in the comments below and link me to your own top ten lists!