Welcome back to The Minis – a section where I do mini reviews of a couple of books at the same time! And this time the theme is non fiction. I tend to really love non fiction, when I pick it up, the only issue is I do it very rarely. But I got excited once everyone started doing Non Fiction November so I finally got around to some non fiction that has plagued my TBR. I read two non fiction books in the last couple of weeks and I loved both of them, so I am excited to talk to you about them! Let’s dive in!
1. Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder
This book is a take on the huge topic of Big Data and how it can be used to learn something about people that we otherwise can’t. Christian Rudder is one of the founders of OkCupid, an American dating website service, and he draws from this site’s data (and Twitter, Facebook etc.) and he tries to find patterns and meaning in that huge ammount of data.
I really, really enjoyed this. It might be due to the fact that this is exactly my wheelhouse – it’s statistics and it also has some aspects of social psychology in it. There’s a really interesting part on relationships and there’s a really deep qualitative analysis of race and commonly used words. It was fascinating at times.
I did find that it got old quickly, with everything starting to feel similar and like it told the same story. And I did think that the graphs and their explanations weren’t always completely clear, so they might be kind of hard to understand for people who don’t have a lot of statistical background. On the other hand, I personally lacked a lot more “technical” info – about statistical significance for example. But that’s a very personal thing and doesn’t diminish the book’s worth.
To Sum Up: This was really interesting and I think it’s definitely worth your time. It wasn’t ideal, but it’s definitely quite insightful. And Big Data is so big, and I think the book really showcases that.
Final verdict: 3.5 stars
2. What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohalia Abdulali
I requested this ARC because it’s feminist fiction and because it references one of my favorite books by Carver. But I did not expect to love this as much as I did. And that’s a lot. It’s one of the best books I read this year and that’s saying something. I’ve said this time and time again – feminist literature is getting kind of repetitive for me and it’s starting to feel like preaching to the choir. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and I totally think that it’s important to have those books, but for me personally it’s just reaffirmation of things I already know. This surprised me because of its nuance. I think that nuance is what I always lack in the books I’ve read so far and this was so refreshing. There’s a fantastic chapter on consent and it’s so smart and it’s worth to read this book solely for that. But all of it is so amazing. It’s a fantastic discussion of rape and rape culture, with a deeply personal aspect of it. I was so involved while reading this and I was nodding along with the book. This comes with all the trigger warnings obviously, but if you can handle it, it’s so intelligent and amazingly written.
To Sum Up: A brilliant, nuanced and personal look at rape and rape culture. Also super intersectional!
Final verdict: 5 stars
And those are the two non fiction reads I read recently! I recommend them both, but especially What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape. Sound off in the comments and let me know about your favorite non fiction reads recently!