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Four non-fiction books to keep you learning

By Admin User on March 24, 2020

With social distancing the new normal, you may be stuck at home instead of in class. Here are a few of my favourite non-fiction books to keep your mind occupied during this strange time!

Becoming by Michelle Obama

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

This biography explores Obama’s childhood, her education, her relationship with Barack Obama, and her time in the White House.

There is a reason this was 2018’s best-selling book in the United States. Obama is incredibly insightful as she reflects on her life and the choices she made. She manages to touch on more serious topics, such as race, while also breathing humour into her writing. I am a big fan of hers, so having the opportunity to read about her journey was fascinating to me. Plus, I loved reading about her and Barack’s relationship- so cute!

Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

2. Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

In 2017, Farrow wrote an investigative piece for the New Yorker, exposing Harvey Weinstein for decades of sexual abuse against women. This book gives us an inside look at what it took for Farrow to get the story, and the challenges he came up against.

Honestly, this book reads like a crime novel. It’s almost unbelievable the lengths some organizations and individuals, such as MSNBC and Harvey Weinstein, took to bury this story. For example, Weinstein hired men to track and intimidate Farrow, to the point where Farrow could no longer live at home.

But while this story focuses on incredibly serious topics, Farrow also describes it as a love letter to his fiancé, Jon. The moments that Jon appears in the book are some of my favourite, and he definitely adds some happiness to the book.

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

3. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

Written by a co-founder of Pixar, this book gives you a glimpse into Pixar’s history, how it operates now and what it takes to create a Pixar movie.

Pixar has always held a special place in my heart, so reading this book was magical. I learned there’s a group known as The Brain, whose job is to consider the logistics of this made-up world. For example, while making Inside Out, the creators knew they wanted memories to travel and be stored. The Brain loved this idea, but pointed out that there needed to be a way to show this. The amount of thought put into the planning of each film is amazing- and that’s before they even start to animate!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler

In this biography, Poehler takes a look at her childhood, what drew her to comedy and the career she has built upon her passions. She also makes it clear that writing a book is very hard. Therefore, friends and colleagues of Poehler, such as Seth Meyers, write the odd chapter in the book.

My favourite part of this book was reading about her Parks and Recreation days. She lovingly writes about each cast member and recounts her fondest memories. She also discloses how often the show came close to cancellation, a fact which surprised me, considering its lasting fanbase.

You may not be in school at the moment, but hopefully these books will teach you something new! Stay safe out there!



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