Every month we at Daastan, not only keep you updated with the latest literary trends but also keep your TBR pile full with our recommendations. This month we are changing things up and marching into the often uncharted territories of non-fiction. Therefore, without further ado let’s talk about the best from the world of non-fiction.
Non-fiction – An under appreciated genre
Before diving into the recommendations, we would like to give non-fiction its due credit. We understand that most people read to escape reality. Therefore, the very term ‘non-fiction’ scares them away. However, while it’s true that non-fiction pushes not the bounds of reality, but it definitely makes you reconsider your worldview. From memoirs, biographies, encyclopaedias to anthologies and self-help books, non-fiction has a lot to offer. Take this as a sign to pick up your first non-fiction book and maybe you’ll be less skeptic of non-fiction than before.
The Prince – Niccoló Machiavelli
If you are someone who loves to watch period dramas, you may know about The Medici. In the last season of that drama, young Niccolo makes an appearance as a spy for Bernardi, the advisor to Lorenzo de Medici. Today the world knows him as Niccolo Machiavelli. He was a 16th century Florentine Diplomat, historian and philosopher. Niccolo compiled his political wisdom in a book named ‘The Prince’. Since its release in the 16th century, it is referred as an important political treatise. Even though the book may not have much relevance in the 21st century politics for its lack of consideration for morals, one might find insights about the structure of politics in 16th century florence.
The book focuses on the ‘acquisition & preservation of power’. For Machiavelli, attaining glory means sometimes paying a price that maybe too high. Moreover, Machiavelli talks about the struggle for power as a gray notion. He also talks about the images of great men as something being misjudged continually throughout the time.
“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are”
Overall, The Prince is a concise, clever and honest political treatise that will interest you if you love history and specifically that of florence during the Italian renaissance.
The Emperor of Maladies – Siddharta Mukherjee
The name of the book itself is self-explanatory. “Emperor of Maladies” traces the history of the life threatening disease, cancer. It covers the era from its inception all the way to its cure in the current times. The utterly talented author of the book, Siddharta Mukherjee has carefully crafted this biography of cancer not only in terms of scientific accuracy but also by approaching it humanely. For this purpose he has also received awards in the genre of ‘scientific literature’.
“The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception”. — Goodreads
The Dead Are Arising, Les Payne and Tamara Payne
Do you often think about great people from history and wonder what does it take to be them? Malcolm X was one such individual, who is a source of inspiration for people all around the world. From his childhood journey, fight against racism, conversion to Islam and his assassination, we find countless instances of bravery, pragmatism and wisdom. For those of you who wish to acquire deeper insights into the life of this legend, we have the perfect book in mind. The Dead Are Arising is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Les Payne with the help of his daughter Tamara Payne. Together both father and daughter with almost 30 years of research have delivered the world this vivid award winning biography.
We hope you enjoyed our non-fiction picks. Share in the comments with us your favourite non-fiction book. For more literary goodness, stay tuned.