Or try any of these new books that our editors recommend . The others were just rough sleepers, down on their luck; they were alcoholics or ill. She really disproves what the ‘Ripperologist’ literature says about the victims and recovers these women’s lives with a good deal of sympathy. Here, the best nonfiction books of 2020. The Big Watch Book 2020 Is Here; Top-5 non-fiction books to look out for; by John Barton By Keith Rice • 12 months ago. Best nonfiction of 2020. As the world went into lockdown early in 2020, many of us without frontline jobs and lucky enough not to fall sick with Covid-19 found more time to read than usual. The sudden change to a slower gear also left more room to reflect on the state of the world and our place as humans in it. This is a fascinating history of West Africa, isn’t it? He in fact had rather an exciting life, including being a French prisoner of war. However, two bright spots amid the adversity have been the abundance of fabulous historical fiction titles and the additional time to read them. If you're looking for the best history books published this past year, the annual Wolfson History Prize is a great place to start. Darkly compelling, illuminated by the light of compassion and tenderness: Donoghue’s best novel since Room (2010). This time I've got macabre science stories, tales of obsession, badass women of World War II, current social and political commentary, multiple trips to Paris and Siberia,… You can see that in the process of colonization in the 19th century. The Best Nonfiction Books of 2020 Sex, Facebook, and an empty planet: 29 reads we're diving into this year. It’s humane, it’s scholarly, and it challenges, from a feminist position, a whole library of books on Jack the Ripper. The Old Testament—I suppose what we would now call ‘the prequel’—is closely tied to Judaism. Tell me about it. If you're enjoying this interview, please support us by donating a small amount. You don’t have to know a lot about cricket, or even be an enthusiast, to enjoy this book. Secondly, we write and research on an amazing range of topics, not just on British history but on European history, on American history, on global history. I was in India a year ago and travelling through Delhi and other towns and every spare patch of ground, every park, was full of kids playing cricket. The Best Books to Look Out for in 2020: Non-Fiction Posted on 19th December 2019 by Mark Skinner Whether it is broadening our understanding of the past or helping to craft a delicious, nutritious meal, 2020 promises a plethora of must-read non-fiction. It’s very wide-ranging scholarship, but it’s written in a witty, engaging style and it’s very, very accessible. Find our notable fiction books here and their complete list here. The best nonfiction books of 2020 offer wisdom and insight Explore the life of intrepid explorer Sanmao, how America rewrote its own history, and Abraham Lincoln’s legacy in the best … Read, We’re now at book number three on the 2020 Wolfson History Prize shortlist. She comes up with the absolutely convincing conclusion that only one of the women was a prostitute. One stays home in her Black community; the other passes for white in the wider world. That was a lovely introduction to all these history books. And after their death, they were dismissed as prostitutes, when they weren’t. A History of the Bible It’s intriguingly subtitled ‘a European life.’. Best books of 2020: Literary non-fiction. With that criterion you can narrow it down a lot. It gives equal weight to the whole range of seagoing civilizations. A knowing, loving evocation of people trying to survive with their personalities and traditions intact. 5 • He tells the fascinating story of these epic voyages, but also cuts it down to size. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. It’s a wonderful book. Nevertheless, attempts to rework the Bible without the Old Testament—such as happened in Nazi Germany, because the Nazis condemned it as a Jewish book—have never worked. by Marion Turner The author looks at these very advanced, powerful, prosperous kingdoms in West Africa—like Oyo or Benin or Dahomey—and argues that until the rise of the slave trade disturbed the economic equilibrium, they traded on equal terms with the Islamic world to the north. He travelled around Europe and he read European literature in a number of languages. Whether you're a history major in college, or you just want to expand your worldview, here's a list of the best history podcasts for anyone looking to add historical nonfiction to their media diet. Global history has made great strides in the last 15 years or so, and The Boundless Sea is a very good example of how history on a global scale is being written in Britain at the moment. Can you tell me a bit about why you chose it for the 2020 shortlist and why it’s so good? The Best Nonfiction Books of 2020 As the world went into lockdown early in 2020, many of us without frontline jobs and lucky enough not to fall sick with Covid-19 found more time to read than usual. Read. When the British tried to conquer the Ashanti, for example, it took them eight or nine wars to do so. Read it on Blinkist Untamed. It’s a very important book. You don’t have to be religious to read this book. Provocative and compassionate, Bennett’s book traces fascinating threads of American identity and is our hands-down winner for the 2020 Historical Fiction award. … Legends have inflated the size of these fleets to quite unbelievable levels, and Abulafia takes a more realistic view without in any way diminishing their achievement. The Best Nonfiction Books Published in 2020 So far, 2020 hasn’t ... Coe shows readers many sides of the glorified general, proving that the historical hero was just as human as the rest of us. I ask a version of this question every year, but I’ll ask it again for the 2020 shortlist: with so many good history books to choose from, how did you narrow it down to these six? It’s another example of how broad the scope of historical research and writing in the UK is. Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire A History of the Bible is another example of global history. Untamed: Stop Pleasing, Start Living by Glennon Doyle. Here are the 10 Best Books of 2020, along with 100 Notable Books of the year. It has exciting accounts of the matches in England. Yes, it does. The book is highly praised by critics thanks to a clever combination of a gripping novel, spy thriller, and historical events. 2020 Historical Fiction We’ve Been Loving ... For even more wonderful works of historical fiction, including ones that make great gifts, check out our list of Best Historical Fiction Books of 2020. It’s a great shortlist this year. It’s focused on the first all-Indian cricket tour of Britain in 1911, but it’s not a sports history, it’s really social history. by Toby Green You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. Each year, the judges pick out outstanding books that are both originally researched and readable. The Best History Books: the 2020 Wolfson Prize shortlist, The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans, The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution, Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire, The Best History Books: the 2019 Wolfson Prize shortlist, The Best History Books: the 2018 Wolfson Prize shortlist, The Coming of the Third Reich: How the Nazis Destroyed Democracy and Seized Power in Germany, The Third Reich at War: How the Nazis Led Germany from Conquest to Disaster, The Third Reich in Power, 1933-1939: How the Nazis Won Over the Hearts and Minds of a Nation, High School Teachers Recommend Books by Subject. It depicts a very sophisticated society, doesn’t it? by David Abulafia Why don’t we start with The Five by social historian Hallie Rubenhold, which is about the five known victims of Jack the Ripper. Although author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’ has written over eight books of fiction, poetry and nonfiction, The Mountains Sing is her debut English language novel. Read First of all, as I said, it’s for a book that is a serious historical work, based on serious research, but also readable and accessible to the wider public. These were complex political systems. This site has an archive of more than one thousand interviews, or five thousand book recommendations. 21 Life Changing Non-Fiction Books Every Christian Woman Should Read in 2021. Whether you’re looking for a work of historical fiction that highlights the resonances between the past and the present, or pure escapism into the past so that you don’t have to think about the present at all, we’ve got a recommendation for you! Is that your impression as well? These were economically prosperous and sophisticated states. So, for example, famously in the Middle Ages, the Chinese emperor had fleets built that sailed to at least Africa. It will fit the taste of those individuals who love stories about … The Newsweek staff has chosen some of the best of this season's fiction and nonfiction that should keep your mind far away from viruses all the way through Labor Day. Five Books interviews are expensive to produce. Five Books participates in the Amazon Associate program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Featured image: @OlgaM. David Abulafia is a historian of the Mediterranean, but here he’s expanded his vision to encompass the whole of human history. Cricket is the game in India. In the book, you’re pulled along by the narrative of their lives, but it also gives a very good sense of the desperate conditions of the poor in Victorian London, doesn’t it? Let’s move on to A History of the Bible next, by John Barton. by Prashant Kidambi It’s called Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire and it’s by Prashant Kidambi, a professor at the University of Leicester. First of all, in Britain, we’re very, very strong indeed, probably the best in the world, on writing serious history that is readable and accessible and not just written by academics for other academics. But it is one of my favorite books and I would be remiss not to include in our list for best nonfiction of the ... the managing editor at Lit Hub. For two to three hours, we discuss the various books each of us has shortlisted and narrow it down to six. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. They were powerful empires. The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers of 2020. It’s by Toby Green, who is at King’s College London, and it’s a history of West Africa before its colonisation by Europe—beginning with the Portuguese and going on to the French and the British and the Germans. If you’re reading one of the books submitted and you find three quotations of ancient Greek on page two, then you know it’s not for the general reader. This is a book that’s verging on the true crime genre, so I think will also appeal to people who don’t read history books that much. This is a biography of Chaucer by Marion Turner, who is a professor of English literature at Oxford. There are quite lot of surprises. It’s always had a central part in the Christian faith. Yes, and cricket has been a vehicle in India for upward social mobility. Read Marion Turner follows him around on his travels as an official—his daytime job. Note: The selections below are from January through April of 2020. We’re talking about the history books that made the 2020 Wolfson shortlist. There are a lot of academic books which are very good indeed but are not aimed at the general public. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. It’s also brilliant to get away from the slightly dull stereotype of Chaucer a lot of us have from studying him at school and find out what he was really like. Historian and Wolfson judge Richard Evans talks us through the six history books that made the 2020 shortlist. They couldn’t understand why the Africans kept on resisting them and refused to be defeated. It’s called A Fistful of Shells because cowrie shells were the main medium of the exchange until the Portuguese arrived with their coins. The range is quite astonishing. Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Cricket Country is really a story of the beginnings of the Indian game. It sums up a whole range of historical research of a very specialized kind and establishes West Africa as an important part of the world before the brief period of European colonization. If Hallie Rubenhold’s The Five is a book that concentrates on the minutiae of a small number of people in the East End of London in a specific period of time, David Abulafia’s The Boundless Sea goes to the opposite extreme: it’s a historical study of the human dimension of the oceans throughout the whole of recorded history. The book looks at the individual players, and how the tour was organized and financed. We’re talking about the history books that made the shortlist of the 2020 Wolfson History Prize and it’s a fantastic list. Let’s go to A Fistful of Shells next. It was very representative of Indian society in general. The NYTimes Notable Nonfiction Books of 2020. This literature has assumed that the women he killed were prostitutes. By Dan Kois and Laura Miller Read Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. Yes. Here are the best nonfiction books of 2020 so far. This list includes books about the importance of an address, the opioid crisis in Appalachia, a trip to every U.S. National Park, and much more. Historical nonfiction is so much more than the history books you read in school. The following books are some of the best books in the genre. Thanks so much, Richard. The maharajahs who put the team together, the selectors, were keen that the first Indian team to tour Britain and play cricket against the English sides should be representative. We’re appointed and reappointed year by year; we’re all professional historians. Cricket is an English game originally, but in the introduction the author explains that nowadays it’s the Indians who are completely cricket mad. It says, I think, two things about the historical profession. Read. by Louise Erdrich. It’s an authoritative, knowledgeable and readable survey of the early Biblical manuscripts, how they came together, how they changed in later versions, and what its influence was. O, the Oprah Magazine, presents the best books released in 2020—from Elena Ferrante to Raven Leilani, this is the best fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and more. It’s staggeringly learned but it’s also very readable. If you are the interviewee and would like to update your choice of books (or even just what you say about them) please email us at email@example.com. Her first novel, The Lightness, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins in June 2020. Your IP: 18.104.22.168 This year of course it’s been a virtual meeting, by Zoom. It is only May, and I have read more fabulous nonfiction than I did all of last year. Cloudflare Ray ID: 613a58b2d85a32bd Congratulations to all of our nonfiction books that made the 100 Notable Books of 2020 list by the editors of The New York Times Book Review! This is historical nonfiction at its most important and most ... (which I do constantly). It’s a fascinating work. It’s sweeping in its coverage across time and space, and he has a magisterial command of the scholarship on the extraordinarily diverse range of regions, periods and events tackled. Read. A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution The Bible has had a huge influence all over the world and in many different cultures. If, on the other hand, you’re reading a very racily told, well-written book and you go to the bibliography and the notes and find that it’s based on a handful of secondary, printed works, and not seriously researched, you can narrow it down from that end as well. Yes, it is. There are some journalistic works like that—though some journalists also write really superb, well-researched history. From powerful memoirs to historical biographies to eclectic essay collections, 2020 boasts fascinating nonfiction releases from both debut and … Congratulations to Fareed Zakaria on Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World, our pick for the best nonfiction book of the year.See the full list below, or browse all of the best books of 2020 He—and we assume it’s a he—partially dissected and eviscerated the women he murdered. Then we meet. Each of the judges has to draw up a personal shortlist of ten. Given the importance of the Bible to Western culture, it’s definitely a subject worth knowing more about. I’ve been following the prize a number of years now, and this one seems particularly strong on world history. RELATED: 40 … Sophie Roell, editor of Five Books, takes us through her personal choice of the best nonfiction books of 2020. Yes, it lifts the lid on the underbelly of Victorian London and shows you these poor, downtrodden women really suffering—and then ending in this squalid way. The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans One post of new nonfiction to look forward to is never enough, so here's a second roundup of some upcoming titles in 2020 that have caught my eye. The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper Wed, Jan 13, 2021. Some revisit conflicts that have shaped the modern world, as … It’s a rounded picture of Chaucer the man and, in a very convincing way, it relates the experiences of his life closely to his poetry and what he wrote about. The sea covers most of the globe, but here we have a history that takes it as a single topic. At a time of Brexit and cutting ties with Europe, it’s salutary to be reminded that English literature is deeply embedded in the broader European context. We publish at least two new interviews per week. It’s a moving book. T he best nonfiction books published in 2019 look to the past in order to better understand the present. It’s a great piece of detective work into some very obscure sources. It was the Indian elite, the great maharajahs, who financed and put this tour together, but it was a multi-religious Indian team, and even included two so-called ‘untouchables.’. It really does lift the lid on the surprising and engrossing origins of the Indian game, which has now come to play such a dominant part in Indian cultural and sporting life. In fact, these historical nonfiction books are even harder to put down, because all of this stuff really happened. He uses a lot of archival material, and presents a lot of original research, but writes it in a very engaging way. We’re now at the last of the books on the 2020 Wolfson History Prize shortlist, which I’m embarrassed to say I left till the end because it’s about cricket, a subject I don’t know much about. You can't have informed opinions about anything without understanding its historical context. Jump to navigation Jump to search. 4 He makes the interesting point that there isn’t complete overlap between Judaism and Christianity as religions and the Bible as a book—and that some parts of the Bible are actually quite problematic for Christianity. It was called an ‘all Indian tour’ so they had Muslims as well as Hindus and different castes were represented. It’s not just a European topic, because the Christianization of Latin America puts the Bible at the centre of their culture too. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. The sudden change to a slower gear also left more room to reflect on … There are four judges. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. 1 It’s a long process, but we manage it fairly successfully. by Hilary Mantel. It’s a multi-millon pound business and the great cricketers are national heroes. via Twenty20. So, it’s mainly an economic history, or perhaps you can call it a political history with the economy as its centre. Before very long, the majority of Christians in the world will be Africans. And you end up with probably a couple of dozen books that you have to consider really carefully—maybe 30, perhaps more, it depends. 2020 is a banner year for nonfiction releases. “Global history has made great strides in the last 15 years or so and The Boundless Sea is a very good example of how history on a global scale is being written in Britain at the moment.”. These stories are well researched, thought provoking, and are just as riveting as fiction. What’s impressive about it is that it’s not Eurocentric. Hallie Rubenhold, the author of The Five, has researched the lives of these five women absolutely brilliantly. Chaucer: A European Life That really is unexpected, that there were two Dalits included in the team. Carl Wilkinson selects his must-read titles. Yes, exactly. The author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth selects five of his favourite books about the theatre from the thousands that grace his bookshelves, taking in nonfiction, histories of music hall and amateur dramatics, plus a 16th century ‘romp’ starring one William Shakespeare. Read 6 It’s a terrific shortlist and it reflects the extraordinarily high quality of historical research and writing in the UK—because the prize is for the best book written by an historian and author living in Britain. 2 Here are the best non-fiction books, including celebrity memoirs, investigations into the royal family, and more, to publish in 2020. Let’s talk about the history books that made the 2020 shortlist individually. 2020 has been a rough year for the world, and one that many of us are anxious to see come to a close. Read Hallie Rubenhold has rescued them, to use Edward Thompson’s famous phrase, from “the enormous condescension of posterity.” It’s a very moving book. Read. You might think a study of Chaucer would be a study of literature, but this is history as well as literature. Here at Read it Forward, we love losing ourselves in stories of past tragedies and triumphs. Sir Richard Evans is a British historian known for his work on German and European history. by Hallie Rubenhold Chaucer is regarded as one of the fathers of English literature, but what Marion Turner shows, in this deeply researched and highly readable life, is that he was a European figure. Read. These first 10 books are my recommended must-reads. Jack the Ripper was a notorious late Victorian murderer who killed a number of women in the East End of London and has somehow inspired a very large literature, known colloquially as ‘Ripperology.’ The identity of the murderer was never discovered. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy. It is also a summation of a lifetime’s work and knowledge: John Barton has been studying and writing about the Bible for decades. Best Historical Fiction of 2020. by Emma Donoghue. From powerful memoirs to historical biographies to eclectic essay collections, these are the nonfiction books we're excited to read in 2020. • We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview. The 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years Slate’s books team selects the definitive works of reporting, memoir, and argument of the past quarter-century. If you’re interested in global history, this is probably the best book to pick up and read during lockdown. He is Regius Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cambridge and Provost of Gresham College in the City of London. Let’s talk about The Boundless Sea by David Abulafia next. At the moment, Christianity is expanding faster in Africa than anywhere else. But for anyone who routinely gravitates to the nonfiction titles, this is the list for you. Read We started the year with a list of our most anticipated historical fiction books. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. The book really does establish their equality with other parts of the world. Some authors revisited historical figures to ask how their perspectives on race and religion shaped the world, for better or worse. Can you tell me a bit about it and why you chose it for the 2020 Wolfson History Prize shortlist? 3 Whether you’re looking for a book that will help you love the body you’re in or a riveting memoir about postpartum depression, 2020’s newest offerings have you covered. 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