I’ve recently read a lot of non-fiction, and I’ve been loving the small break away from what could be called my “usual” selection of darkly intense characters and situations! The shift happened after an afternoon in the pub with Sarah (@WBites) who started telling me about all the hilarious autobiographies she had been reading on her holiday. I left the pub feeling like I was missing out on something awesome by not really reading non-fiction. I wanted to dip my toe in!
However, there was a bit of a snag: I don't really take much interest in "celebrity lives", all the latest critically accliamed shows are still waiting for me on Netflix/Tivo, and I watch Youtube for about 10 minutes a month - usually to check out how good a band is live. For a woman in my 20's, I'm pretty old! What was I going to read? WHO was I going to read?! I approached autobiographies with trepidation: if I bought one, would I know what the author was on about half the time? How meta would their book be? Would it matter I hadn’t had much experience of their other work? Could I read and enjoy their books if I just thought they were pretty cool on Twitter?!
Turns out, I flippin’ well can.
I chose a couple of women I loved on Twitter/ Instagram; Lena Dunham always seems to have something to say, and my miniscule TV viewing list includes The Mindy Project, which always makes me laugh. So Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling ended up on my Kindle.
I think these were great choices because although the books referenced the women’s most notable work, the books were actually a series of essays on life, not a life story. This was perfect! A lot of personality came across in their views on different topics, and anecdotes of their past experiences were amusing most of the time, and cringey at a few others!
I finished the books I bought wanting Mindy Kaling to be my friend, and never wanting to watch Girls. Make of that what you will. But I finished my larger adventure into non-fiction by wanting to read a lot more of it!
I think I will need to stick to essay based books. The moments the titles I bought did stray into “authors work” territory left me feeling a little lost as I didn’t get the in-jokes and name-dropping. But it did actually make me want to see more of what the authors do outside of the book world.
Do you have any autobiographies you would recommend? I’ve heard so much about Amy Poehler and Tina Feys books, but having never seen any SNL, would they be good choices?! Let me know in the comments!