This is a much shorter list than the fiction list! I’ve read three and a half non-fiction books over the last year. Three of these I’ve written a short essay after each section about what it said – one thing I need to get better at is editing these to be shorter and more on point (and then perhaps including more of the book in each post). The first two of these books are about China – a broad sweep of the whole history up to the end of the Empire, and a narrower look at the art & culture of 18th century Qing dynasty China. My current project book is about Plantagenet England, I’m a little under halfway through, I think. And I also managed to fit in a book about the Arab Spring, which I reviewed rather than recapped.
- “China: The World’s Oldest Civilisation Revealed” John Makeham. Part of Chapter-by-Chapter, an overview of the sweep of Chinese history from the Paleolithic through to the death of the last Emperor in the 20th Century.
- “China: The Three Emperors 1662-1795” eds. Evelyn S. Rawski & Jessica Rawson. Exhibition catalogue from a 2005 exhibition at the Royal Academy, covering the art collection of the three Qing Dynasty Emperors the Kangxi Emperor, the Yongzheng Emperor and the Qianlong Emperor. Part of Chapter-by-Chapter.
- “Plantagenet England 1225-1360” Michael Prestwich. Part of the New Oxford History of England series, part of Chapter-by-Chapter.
- “The Arab Uprisings: The People Want the Fall of the Regime” Jeremy Bowen. A book about the Arab Spring, written by a BBC journalist.