Yesterday I posted my Best of 2014 list for fiction, and so today is my Best Books of 2014: Nonfiction. Each of these books has stayed with me for one reason or another, whether it be because of current events, cultural issues, my town of DC and its difficult past, the passion I’ve had for Greek mythology since childhood, my absolute and unapologetic love of all things NASA, or something else entirely. I loved and adored every book on this list; I found that they read for me as quickly as any tightly written work of nonfiction. They are not perfect; some have issues here and there, but they are unmatched for the way they have resonated with me.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End – Atul Gawande
I didn’t do a long form review for Jonathan Eig’s novel because I covered it at a third-party publication that has yet to publish my piece. Eig’s history of the birth control pill is completely fascinating; this book is an intersection of history, science, social issues, and more. Eig balances the history with insightful commentary, and does an excellent job showing how the birth control revolution changed women’s lives at that time, giving women a taste of true freedom, while also highlighting how women are being forced to fight the same battles now that we supposedly won decades ago.
Bad Feminist: Essays – Roxane Gay
S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, and Redemption in DC – Ruben Castaneda
Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space – Lynn Scherr
An Iranian Metamorphosis – Mana Neyestani
Neyestani’s is the one book that I haven’t yet reviewed, simply because the publication date kept getting pushed back (it finally released on December 2). This graphic memoir about cartoonist Neyestani’s time in an Iranian prison is full of dark humor and it highlights the scarily whimsical nature of Iranian “justice.” My review will be coming soon, and I’ll link it up once it’s posted.
[Edit: link has been posted]
Why Homer Matters – Adam Nicolson