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.”. The following books are some of the best books in the genre. 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. There are quite lot of surprises. 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. 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. Her first novel, The Lightness, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins in June 2020. She comes up with the absolutely convincing conclusion that only one of the women was a prostitute. It is only May, and I have read more fabulous nonfiction than I did all of last year. Can you tell me a bit about it and why you chose it for the 2020 Wolfson History Prize shortlist? 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. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. There are four judges. Sophie Roell, editor of Five Books, takes us through her personal choice of the best nonfiction books of 2020. 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. Best books of 2020: Literary non-fiction. The sudden change to a slower gear also left more room to reflect on … It’s humane, it’s scholarly, and it challenges, from a feminist position, a whole library of books on Jack the Ripper. Yes, it is. Note: The selections below are from January through April of 2020. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. The Best Nonfiction Books of 2020 Sex, Facebook, and an empty planet: 29 reads we're diving into this year. Why don’t we start with The Five by social historian Hallie Rubenhold, which is about the five known victims of Jack the Ripper. Read. Read 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. What’s impressive about it is that it’s not Eurocentric. The Big Watch Book 2020 Is Here; Top-5 non-fiction books to look out for; 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. Is that your impression as well? Untamed: Stop Pleasing, Start Living by Glennon Doyle. by Hallie Rubenhold 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. Here are the best nonfiction books of 2020 so far. 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! It depicts a very sophisticated society, doesn’t it? This is a fascinating history of West Africa, isn’t it? It’s a great piece of detective work into some very obscure sources. 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. This site has an archive of more than one thousand interviews, or five thousand book recommendations. 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. We started the year with a list of our most anticipated historical fiction books. by John Barton That really is unexpected, that there were two Dalits included in the team. 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.’. Marion Turner follows him around on his travels as an official—his daytime job. Five Books interviews are expensive to produce. You might think a study of Chaucer would be a study of literature, but this is history as well as literature. We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview. This literature has assumed that the women he killed were prostitutes. It’s staggeringly learned but it’s also very readable. Find our notable fiction books here and their complete list here. 2 A knowing, loving evocation of people trying to survive with their personalities and traditions intact. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy. It’s not just a European topic, because the Christianization of Latin America puts the Bible at the centre of their culture too. Yes, exactly. When the British tried to conquer the Ashanti, for example, it took them eight or nine wars to do so. 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. 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? By Dan Kois and Laura Miller 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. 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. It says, I think, two things about the historical profession. Carl Wilkinson selects his must-read titles. Jump to navigation Jump to search. Cricket Country is really a story of the beginnings of the Indian game. 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. Some authors revisited historical figures to ask how their perspectives on race and religion shaped the world, for better or worse. 21 Life Changing Non-Fiction Books Every Christian Woman Should Read in 2021. 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 editor@fivebooks.com. Your IP: 37.59.48.151 We publish at least two new interviews per week. 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 don’t have to know a lot about cricket, or even be an enthusiast, to enjoy this book. A History of the Bible is another example of global history. 5 Here are the best non-fiction books, including celebrity memoirs, investigations into the royal family, and more, to publish in 2020. It’s a long process, but we manage it fairly successfully. Let’s talk about The Boundless Sea by David Abulafia next. 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. However, two bright spots amid the adversity have been the abundance of fabulous historical fiction titles and the additional time to read them. Tell me about it. If you're looking for the best history books published this past year, the annual Wolfson History Prize is a great place to start. Cloudflare Ray ID: 613a58b2d85a32bd Yes, it does. With that criterion you can narrow it down a lot. Here are the 10 Best Books of 2020, along with 100 Notable Books of the year. 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. T he best nonfiction books published in 2019 look to the past in order to better understand the present. 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. You can see that in the process of colonization in the 19th century. Given the importance of the Bible to Western culture, it’s definitely a subject worth knowing more about. These stories are well researched, thought provoking, and are just as riveting as fiction. Here, the best nonfiction books of 2020. The NYTimes Notable Nonfiction Books of 2020. 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. Read That was a lovely introduction to all these history books. Historical nonfiction is so much more than the history books you read in school. Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire If you're enjoying this interview, please support us by donating a small amount. And after their death, they were dismissed as prostitutes, when they weren’t. 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. 3 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. • 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. 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. 1 Or try any of these new books that our editors recommend . Before very long, the majority of Christians in the world will be Africans. 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 … Cricket is an English game originally, but in the introduction the author explains that nowadays it’s the Indians who are completely cricket mad. The Old Testament—I suppose what we would now call ‘the prequel’—is closely tied to Judaism. Each year, the judges pick out outstanding books that are both originally researched and readable. Let’s talk about the history books that made the 2020 shortlist individually. Featured image: @OlgaM. Read There are some journalistic works like that—though some journalists also write really superb, well-researched history. 6 … 2020 has been a rough year for the world, and one that many of us are anxious to see come to a close. by David Abulafia 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. Provocative and compassionate, Bennett’s book traces fascinating threads of American identity and is our hands-down winner for the 2020 Historical Fiction award. It’s a fascinating work. 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. It’s a wonderful book. Darkly compelling, illuminated by the light of compassion and tenderness: Donoghue’s best novel since Room (2010). RELATED: 40 … 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. 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 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. In fact, these historical nonfiction books are even harder to put down, because all of this stuff really happened. Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) 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. From powerful memoirs to historical biographies to eclectic essay collections, these are the nonfiction books we're excited to read in 2020. Each of the judges has to draw up a personal shortlist of ten. It has exciting accounts of the matches in England. Best Historical Fiction of 2020. by Emma Donoghue. Read, We’re now at book number three on the 2020 Wolfson History Prize shortlist. It was called an ‘all Indian tour’ so they had Muslims as well as Hindus and different castes were represented. Some revisit conflicts that have shaped the modern world, as … This is a biography of Chaucer by Marion Turner, who is a professor of English literature at Oxford. Read. This is historical nonfiction at its most important and most ... (which I do constantly). If you’re interested in global history, this is probably the best book to pick up and read during lockdown. It will fit the taste of those individuals who love stories about … He uses a lot of archival material, and presents a lot of original research, but writes it in a very engaging way. Read it on Blinkist Untamed. He travelled around Europe and he read European literature in a number of languages. This year of course it’s been a virtual meeting, by Zoom. The book really does establish their equality with other parts of the world. 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. 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. Chaucer: A European Life We’re appointed and reappointed year by year; we’re all professional historians. Read. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. Read It is also a summation of a lifetime’s work and knowledge: John Barton has been studying and writing about the Bible for decades. I’ve been following the prize a number of years now, and this one seems particularly strong on world history. Read more fabulous nonfiction than I did all of last year powerful memoirs to historical biographies to essay. New interviews per week it ’ s also very readable darkly compelling illuminated. Through her personal choice of the British tried to conquer the Ashanti, for,. Might think a study of literature, but here we have a history of the,. 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