Whistles Book Club: The Non-Fiction Titles To Inspire And Educate

If you’re seeking inspiration for books that will mix up your reading list, we’ve rounded up the non-fiction titles that everyone is talking about. From the books that explore race relations to the books that will inspire your next trip, look no further for your next non-fiction read.

The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History by John Murray

When we talk of lives hanging by a thread, being interwoven, or part of the social fabric, we are part of a tradition that stretches back many thousands of years. Fabric has allowed us to achieve extraordinary things and survive in unlikely places, and this book shows you how — and why. With a cast that includes Chinese empresses, Richard the Lionheart and Bing Crosby, Kassia St Clair takes us on the run with escaped slaves, climbing the slopes of Everest and moonwalking with astronauts. Running like a bright line through history, The Golden Thread offers an unforgettable adventure through our past, present and future.

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch

Challenging the harmful legacy of white-centred British history, this is a powerful, hard-hitting examination of modern, divided Britain. Hirsch argues that we are a nation in denial about our imperial past and the racism that plagues our present. Brit(ish) is Afua Hirsch’s personal and provocative exploration of how this came to be – and an urgent call for change.

Do Something: Activism for Everyone by Kajal Odedra

Full of lessons from the real world Do Something: Activism for Everyone includes practical steps and a blueprint anyone can follow – from helping you to pinpoint the fundamentals of what you want to achieve to mobilising supporters and harnessing traditional and social media.

Having worked as a campaigner for over a decade Kajal Odedra knows the tricks that have typically been held by people in circles of power and believes that everyone should know how to speak up and be heard. Whether you simply want to challenge your local shop to reduce their plastic or go big and demand a new law to be passed, this book is the place to start.

How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Stirring and provocative, How to be an Antiracist is a rousing and deeply empathetic book, where Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, shows that when it comes to racism, neutrality is not an option: until we become part of the solution, we can only be part of the problem.

Using his gifts as a teacher and story-teller, Kendi helps us recognise that everyone is, at times, complicit in racism whether they realise it or not, and by describing with moving humility his own journey from racism to antiracism, he shows us how instead to be a force for good.

This Book is Anti-racist by Tiffany Jewell

Split into twenty sections, each confronting a different theme related to race and prejudice, This Book is Anti-Racist is an invaluable tool to help self-educate and foster activism. After examining the concepts of social identity, race, ethnicity and racism, learn about some of the ways people of different races have been oppressed, from indigenous Americans and Australians being sent to boarding school to be ‘civilized’ to a generation of Caribbean immigrants once welcomed to the UK being threatened with deportation by strict immigration laws. Covering history, theory and practical measures, Jewell and Durand’s guide is an essential read for all.

Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope by Johann Hari

Across the world, scientists have uncovered evidence for nine different causes for anxiety and depression – which are now both at epidemic levels. Some are in our biology, but most are in the way we are living today.

Lost Connections offers a radical new way of thinking about this crisis. It shows that once we understand the real causes, we can begin to turn to pioneering new solutions – ones that offer real hope.

The Atlas of Happiness by Helen Russell

From the bestselling author of The Year of Living Danishly, comes an entertaining, reassuring and useful trip around the world, discovering the secrets of happiness from 30 countries. Bringing together a diverse collection of countries and philosophies, alongside unique illustrations, it would also make the perfect gift for curious friends who enjoy educational books.

Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Underclass by Darren McGarvey

The winner of this year’s Orwell Prize, Poverty Safari offers a fresh, utterly compelling exploration of the real causes and consequences of contemporary social inequality with humour and candour.

McGarvey invites you to come on a safari of sorts. A Poverty Safari. But not the sort where the indigenous population is surveyed from a safe distance for a time, before the window on the community closes and everyone gradually forgets about it. This is McGarvey’s story of childhood poverty, class and social problems and is a challenging, yet powerful must-read.

Around the World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

A gloriously entertaining travelogue spanning the concourse at Kings Cross to the sky-scraping peaks of Tibet’s Qinghai railway, Around the World in 80 Trains is a warm and witty hymn to locomotive travel. Packed full of delightful pen portraits of fellow passengers and evocative descriptions of both trains and destinations, this is a charming, uplifting book that is sure to be a hit with every reader.


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