My Top Ten Non-fiction Books 2012

I tend to read more novels than non-fiction, but I did read plenty of cracking non-fic books this year, and a real mixed bag of topics and styles. Here are the best:

1. John Jeremiah Sullivan, Pulphead (Vintage)

Pulphead-by-John-Jeremiah-Sullivan

Essays from a brilliant new American talent. Like Hunter S. Thompson but with research, class, empathy and drive. If that makes any sense.

2. Ewan Morrison, Tales From The Mall (Cargo)

515DFi9w5eL._SL500_AA300_

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? A brand new hybrid book – part urban folk tales, part stories, part sociological study – and a brilliant, poignant look at that strangest of modern phenomena, shopping malls.

3. Ioan Grillo, El Narco (Bloomsbury)

9781408824337

Mexico is fucked. How fucked? Very fucked. Drug cartels run everything. This book tells you how much. Fucked.

4. Kathleen Jamie, Sightlines (Profile)

Sightlines-215x300

Ooh, I love Kathleen Jamie. These seemingly unassuming essays on nature and humankind wind up being profound and full of insight. Genius.

5. Richard King, How Soon is Now? (Faber)

how-soon-is-now-cover

I love indie music. Always have, always will. This is a fantastic trawl through the indie labels of Britain over the last forty years. Worth it for the KLF chat alone.

6. William Gibson, Distrust That Particular Flavor (Viking)

0670921548.02.LZZZZZZZ

Welcome to the future. Great essays, reviews, and general cultural missives from a guy who knows a thing or two about the bleeding edge of technology.

7. Jean Sprackland, Strands (Jonathan Cape)

img.asp

Beautiful nature writing, as Sprackland spends a year writing about what she finds on her local beach. Surprisingly resonant and touching.

8. David Trilling, Bloody Nasty People (Verso)

Bloody-Nasty-People-The-Rise

The BNP are pricks. This is not a nice book, but it is a necessary one, because it highlights just how much of a bunch of pricks the BNP are.

9. David Byrne, How Music Works (Canongate)

HowMusicWorks_hires2

David Byrne. Writing about music. Several thousand years’ worth of music. What a great fucking idea for a book.

10. Matt Thorne, Prince (Faber)

9928b5737f9ce406a5d9e81989d10ec9

His name is Prince. And he is funky. The definitive book on the man.

Advertisements

About doug johnstone

I like whisky
This entry was posted in doug johnstone and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My Top Ten Non-fiction Books 2012

  1. Adrian says:

    Sightlines and Pulphead both appeared in my top 5 books of the year. I also had another beautiful piece of nature writing: Olivia Laing – To The River.

    Interested to see El Narco there. I recently read Don Winslow’s excellent Power of the Dog and was looking to read some non-fiction about the narcotics trade in that part of the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s