Top Ten Books That Aren’t Novels

Being an English student, it’s fair to say I do an awful lot of reading. Not that there’s anything awful about reading, but when the lecturers decide to release the reading list a week before the course starts, there are many afternoons spent in my room, book in one hand, mug of tea in the other. Luckily I love most of the amazing stories we get to study, and tend to follow them with more books of my choice.

Sometimes however, I like to put down the phenomenal, charismatic, gripping, ingenious invention that is the novel, and read something a bit more, how shall I put it? Direct. I love memoirs and self-help books, hearing people’s experiences and lives and tips, whether in lifestyle or fashion, or just something different and unique.

As well as those, I am quite a sucker for poetry. After ordering one collection, Amazon recommended me another, and another, and before I knew it I had volumes worth of books arriving through the letter box. I love them because they’re perfect for just breaking everything up. Filling the reading gaps with a sip of beautiful words, angst, or metaphors, but I won’t try to read them all one after the other again because that got a little boring.  Anyway, after a lot of comparing and rereading the best bits, I have come up with my top ten books.

  1. Barbara Ann Kipfer, 14,000 things to be happy about

One of the cutest things ever. This woman recorded every little thing that makes her happy for years and made it all into a giant list in this book. It reflects all the beautiful things that are often overlooked, and renders in the moment of happiness that each one brings her. I could feel myself glowing as I read the lists, agreeing with everything she talks about. Well almost everything (Sunday school? I would have run away before going to Sunday school).

  1. Alicia Cook, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately

Yep, it’s a poetry book. One of the most unique collections I’ve ever read. Whilst writing the poems, Alicia would listen to a song and then write that song at the end of each poem, as if she was weaving the two beautiful forms of art together. It focuses on the strain and suffering caused by addiction, touching on love, death, and spiritual growth. Beautifully written and perfect for anyone in need for inspiration.

  1. Brooke Barker, Sad Animal Facts

After reading this you will never see animals in the same way. This book is full of weird funny and sad facts about animals. Did you know that an ostrich spends 7 months alone every year? That if a wolf is kicked out of its pack it never howls again? Or that cows produce the most milk when listening to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”? It shows that animals can be just as troubled and complicated as us.

  1. Kate Spade, All In Good Taste

This is a book about what Kate Spade loves more than anything else: parties. It is a guide to being a modern-day hostess, full of tips, recipes, soundtracks and sparkling additions. I read it buzzing at the thought of all these events, ever so excited to be in my mid-twenties and hosting the most glamourous parties for my friends, where we all get dressed up with glitter decorations and champagne handed as they enter… Ok maybe I should work for a few years before I start doing this.

  1. Amy Chua, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

This is the first memoir I read, and so far the best. It’s written by a Chinese woman who moved to America to raise her two daughters, filled with stories and methods she used to bring them up under what she calls “Chinese parenting”. She focuses on the belief that grade A students were meant to represent good parenting, reflecting on her own upbringing and the hopes she had for her daughters. Although I don’t agree with everything she says and I’m certainly glad she wasn’t my mum, I was compelled by her stories and parenting beliefs that she delivers exceptionally well.

  1. Alexa Chung, It

All moments from fashion enthusiast Alexa Chung. Full of stories, doddles, and pretty pictures of fancy clothes. One look at the description and it was mine. She details the growth of her modelling and fashion career, reflecting her early fashion trends and inspiration. Worth getting because Alexa’s amazing, it’s all about fashion and it’s really pretty.

  1. Kate Tempest, Let Them Eat Chaos

One of the coolest, unique, most creative things I’ve ever read. It’s poetry but not the normal sort. The whole book is one long poem that’s written for live performance, focusing into the lives of seven strangers who live on a street in London, awake in the early hours of the morning dealing with their problems. It’s quite hard to describe exactly, so I’ll just tell you that it is phenomenal. Honestly I picked it up to dip into the first pages and read the entire thing (I mean it’s not that long but still!)

  1. Michael Faudet, Dirty Pretty Things

Ok this is a normal poetry full of romantic poems. A beautiful, touching collection full of raw descriptions and stories about love, loss, living, and sex. Yep there is a lot of sex in these poems, but if that’s what you like to read then read this because it is very well written. “Lips: Kisses dream of lips like yours”, and a whole lot more like that.

  1. Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

I spent a while choosing which poetry book to put first, but I had to go with this one because it is just so breath-taking. I bought this book after seeing multiple screenshots of the poems on aesthetic twitter accounts, and they weren’t wrong. From beginning to end the poems grip you with the beautiful words and the meaning embedded beneath them. I’m certain there’s one poem that everyone can relate to.

  1. Garance Doré, Love Style Life

The title fits well, because this book changed my life. Garance Doré is an utter legend, gracing us with this book full of her witty, authentic writing to explore her life, visions and love of the fashion world. This is so much more than a normal style guide, this is about expression and development, not just in fashion but in living and people. I remember reading it to take a breath from the ghastly period of A level revision, and was hooked by her amazing story telling and beautiful narrative. It’s for anyone who has dreams and ambitions, and in Garance’s case, an overwhelming love for Zara.

So there we have it, and this is just a selection of many other books I love. What are your favourites?

Until next time, cheerio x

54 thoughts on “Top Ten Books That Aren’t Novels

  1. This is such a good list! All of them are definitely going to my TBR and it’s been a long time I haven’t read something that’s not a novel. I’ve only read two of these: Milk&Honey (I loved it so much <3) and It (I love Alexa and the book is so aesthetically pleasing, I can't even <3) but I'm super excited to get my hands on the other 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve not read a single one of these! My to-read list is ever expanding, but I feel like I hardly ever have time for it anymore – a few of these are definitely getting added to the list, though 🙂

    Kirsty x

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  3. Some of these books sound amazing, and you’ve really inspired me to pick up a good book again! I go in such phases of reading, and have been out for a while. Hopefully some of these might make it into my Christmas presents! x

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  4. I have had the Alexa Chung book for a while now and never got round to reading it but i will do! That animal book sounds right up my street aswell!! xx

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  5. Love the list, some I have already thought about reading and haven’t got around to and some I have never heard of but sound so interesting. Will be bookmarking this for when I next need a book to buy!

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  6. I love Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur such an amazing poetry book, i would recommend her second sun and her flowers poetry book it’s great! Also i really want to read 14,000 to be happy about it, it’s always been on my list but not something i got round to buying! Great post i loved reading it and great recommendations! xx

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  7. I haven’t read any of these books but I’ve really wanted to read the Milk and Honey one as I’ve heard so much but the thing I worry about with some of these books are that I’ll buy it, open it once and close it and never pick them up again… I might have to go and look at some of these tho as I’m looking for great coffee table books!

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  8. This is such a great list! I’m definitely going to be reading some books from here, especially the one about animals sounds sooo interesting! The one book I’ve read from this list is milk and honey and I absolutely loved it and want to read more books similar to it! xx

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