You don’t really see me talking about non-fiction very often because I don’t tend to read it. That’s not because there’s none that interests me. There most definitely is! I adore history and I want to read more on it. There are even a couple of history books that I own, but I struggle to focus on it. I don’t want to be sitting and reading about facts like I do fiction, it just doesn’t work. So the history books I’ve bought just aren’t getting read and I want to change that.
I need to somehow find a way that I can sit and read them. It might be that I need to just read a little bit at a time along side my fiction. It would be very little, not even full chapters, but I really want to do it. I want to learn more history and watching documentaries just isn’t enough. So today I’m going to list the books I own, why and what I’m hoping to learn! There might not be much on some of them, but maybe you’ll be interested too!
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
This is a book that I’m sure you’ve seen many people talk about. We all know about Jack the Ripper, what we don’t know as much about is his victims. The Five looks into the lives of the women who were murdered by Jack the Ripper. It looks at them not as victims, but as the women they would’ve been in life.
Rubenhold didn’t want people to see these women just as prostitutes or victims. Her research suggests they might not have even been. They might have solely been working the streets so they could have a room for the night.
Now, I studied Jack the Ripper in GCSE history. I’ve also done research into the murders myself. It’s a mixture of history and true crime that I find fascinating. But I’ve never learned that much about the women whose names we remember simply for being murdered. So this is definitely a book that I need to read.
I bought this one in audio in the hope that maybe listening to a history book would work better seeing as I enjoy history podcasts. But I still wound up bored pretty quickly. I don’t know how I’m going to get myself into but I want to try.
She-Wolves by Helen Castor
I watched the documentary series based off of this book a few years ago. I found it fascinating, so when I found the book in a charity shop, I had to pick it up. I have tried to read it, I just didn’t get past the introduction.
This book looks at several queens of England before Elizabeth 1st. She is considered the original she-wolf and is someone I’d love to read more on too. But she’s also a queen that we know a lot about. There were queens before her, maybe they didn’t rule in the same way. Maybe they aren’t as famous. Yet these were powerful and intelligent women from the medieval period.
I don’t remember much about the documentary, but I know I learned a lot at the time. I want to read this book and find out more details on women like Matilda. I want to know how they changed things and who they were. I’m fascinated by the medieval period but we obviously don’t know a huge amount. It’s known as the dark ages because we don’t know much about it after all.
I have this one physically so I’m thinking I might start with this one!
The Time Travellers Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
This was a book that I saw in Waterstones a few years ago. I was interested but I never wound up picking it up. Luckily for me, I found a copy in a pile of books that my Dad was getting rid of. I claimed it and have since tried to give this a read. Once again, I didn’t get very far. You might be seeing a theme here, sigh.
I said before that I want to learn more about medieval history. So much of fantasy is based in medieval Europe, but I’m sure there’s so much more we can explore there. I want to explore the cultures of other countries too. I know there’s a lot to see and learn about. I just thought starting with a fake historical travel guide for England? That could be fun.
I don’t really have much else to say about this book. It’s split into sections and there’s lots of pictures and charts. This is laid out closer to a school text book then some of the other history books. So I might find it easier to get through. I find history books easier when I can read small chunks. It’s why I like magazines and kids history books. I just want to try to read more adult history books too
Persian Fire by Tom Holland
This final book I know next to nothing about. It’s the book that I picked up most recently and I grabbed it from a charity shop. My mum had caught sight of it and since I wanted to do some research on the Persian empire for a book? She thought I might be interested. The book isn’t actually inspired by Persian history. But the fictional civilisation works in a similar way so I wanted to read more on them. I’ve yet to actually do that.
This book looks at the war between the East and West during the time of Xerxes. It claims to make comparisons between modern culture and that could be interesting. I know little to nothing on the Persian empire. What I do know I’ve picked up from history podcasts recently. It seems like a fascinating civilisation.
I’ve said before that if I could study history, I’d like to study the ancient civilisations. I want to know all about the cultures and the past of these groups of people from the across the world. These are countries that were so successful back when Europeans were still failing and in the dark. I want to know know more and I’m excited to dive into this one. I just don’t know when I will.