A Non-Fiction Adventure

NF Adventure

I don’t read as much non-fiction as fiction. I find it needs more concentration and so often pick up and read fiction. But I do like non-fiction and own quite a lot of it. I’ve been trying to read more and one way that helps me to focus on reading it is the This Isn’t Fiction Reading Challenge run by Birgit at The Book Garden.

Now, thanks to Bev at My Reader’s BlockI’ve found another wayA Non-Fiction Adventure.  Like The Classics Club this one runs for five years. It’s hosted by Michelle of The True Book Addict

The Sign- up is here.

These are the guidelines:

  • Choose 50+ non-fiction books; the number is up to you. Choose 50, 75, 100, 200. It’s entirely your choice.
  • Books must be non-fiction–biography, autobiography, history, memoir, cooking, travel, science, etc.
  • List them at your blog (or on Goodreads or another social media site, if you do not have a blog)
  • Choose your completion goal date five years in the future…

My five years run from 14 August 2013 to 14 August 2018.

My Goal: 50 books, initially choosing from these 60 books: all books I own; there are more, but I think this is enough to start with. I like the idea that your list can change, so this is just a starting point and no doubt I’ll find other books I want to read during the next five years!


  1. Jane Austen’s Letters
  2. Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years 1969-1979 – Michael Palin
  3. Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople: From The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates – Patrick Leigh Fermor
  4. Great Meadow: an Evocation – Dirk Bogarde
  5. Slipstream: a Memoir – Elizabeth Jane Howard
  6. Trollope: an Autobiography
  7. A Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela
  8. The Snow Geese – William Fiennes
  9. A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep – Rumer Godden
  10. Corvus: a Life with Birds – Esther Woolfson
  11. The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters – Charlotte Mosley  editor
  12. Chronicle of Youth – Vera Brittain


  1. Being Shelley – Anne Wroe
  2. The Wolf That Never Sleeps – Marguerite de Beaumont (Baden-Powell)
  3. The Innocent Man – John Gresham
  4. Mary Queen of Scots – Alison Weir
  5. Victorian People – Asa Briggs
  6. D H Lawrence: the Life of an Outsider – John Worthen
  7. Billy – Pamela Stephenson
  8. The Life of Samuel Johnson – James Boswell
  9. William Barclay – Clive Rawlins
  10. Thomas Hardy: the Time-torn Man – Claire Tomalin
  11. Howard Hughes – Peter Harry Brown
  12. Marilyn Monroe – Barbara Leeming
  13. Shakespeare: the biography – Peter Ackroyd
  14. Charles Dickens: a Life – Claire Tomalin
  15. Dickens – Peter Ackroyd
  16. The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey – Leanda de Lisle
  17. Virginia Woolf: a Writer’s Life – Gordon Lyndall
  18. Mary Queen of Scots – Antonia Fraser
  19. L S Lowry: a Life – Shelley Rhode
  20. Agatha Christie at Home – Hilary Macaskill


  1. Great Escape Stories – Eric Williams
  2. Big Chief Elizabeth – Giles Milton
  3. Band of Brothers – Stephen E Ambrose
  4. How the Girl Guides Won the War – Jane Hampton
  5. The Making of Modern Britain – Andrew Marr
  6. After Elizabeth: the death of Elizabeth and the coming of King James – Leanda de Lisle
  7. Stalingrad – Anthony Beevor
  8. The English – Jeremy Paxman
  9. Shakespeare’s Restless World: An Unexpected History in 20 Objects – Dr N Mcgregor
  10. Wartime Britain – Juliet Gardiner
  11. 1599:  A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare – James Shapiro
  12. The Games We Played – Susan Kelleher
  13. Glencoe – John Prebble
  14. On the Trail of the Assassins – Jim Garrison

Philosophy/ Religion

  1. Sovereignty of Good – Iris Murdoch
  2. Think: a compelling introduction to philosophy – Simon Blackburn
  3. Meditations – Aurelius
  4. C S Lewis: the Man and His God – Richard Harries
  5. Islam: a very short introduction – Malise Ruthven

Reading/ Writing

  1. Virginia Woolf on Women and Writing
  2. A Reading Diary – Alberto Manguel
  3. The Companion to the History of the Book – Simon Eliot & Jonathan Rose editors
  4. How Fiction Works by James Wood
  5. You English Words – John Moore


  1. Weeds – Richard Mabey
  2. Gorillas in the Mist – Dian Fossey
  3. Rivers – Griff Rhys Jones
  4. The Penguin Book of Lies – Philip Kerr editor

Author: Margaret

Contact me at booksplease@gmail.com