This week, Nonfiction November is hosted by JulzReads.

Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that youโ€™d like to read (become the expert).

Be the Expert – Biology

Whilst I am far from an expert in biology, it is the topic I seem to read the most of when it comes to non-fiction. I’m generally fascinated at how the human body works. It’s amazing we’re all here, reading the internet, when you think about it!

The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code
by Sam Kean
Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus
by Bill Wasik + Monica Murphy
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery
by Henry Marsh


These three books look at aspects of biology from different angles, I’m not really the kind of person who reads a lot on a very niche subject, I like to spread my learning around! The first book looks at the basic building blocks of life on earth; DNA. Sam Kean manages to make something very complex a lot easier to understand whilst taking an alternate trip through history.

I’ve mentioned Rabid already this month, but reading about deadly diseases appeals to me somehow. Maybe the more I understand it, the less I have to fear? Although rabies is a pretty scary virus and I’m glad I live in a country that is (mostly) free of it. This book looks at the virus from a cultural view as well as a biological, which adds a bit more material.

My third pick is the memoir of an NHS neurosurgeon. The brain is such a mystery yet every day surgery is carried out on it. People put their most precious organ in the hands of fallible human beings. I liked both the technical and the personal aspects of Henry’s book.