Thursday, March 1, 2018

5 Non-Fiction Books I Want To Read In 2018!

Hello, everyone! I hope you're all having a great week so far! Mine has been a little busy so I apologize for not being active as of late but things are starting to calm down which is nice and means more blogging and Instagram time for me. I'm happy to finally be catching a break as Spring starts rolling around so I'm sending good vibes to everyone! Anyhoo, I want to get right into this post because it's a bit different.

I've been thinking about reading more non-fiction books especially since there are a few that have caught my eye in recent weeks that I would really love to read. I decided to write a post showcasing all the non-fiction books I plan on reading this year. I would love to read a non-fiction book every month but quite honestly, I don't have that many non-fiction books that I want to read. It's not my favorite genre but I do enjoy a good biography every now and again and I do have my favorites.

Anyhoo, here are the top five non-fiction books I really want to read in 2018!

1. Columbine by Dave Cullen
What really happened April 20, 1999? The horror left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we "know" is wrong. It wasn't about jocks, Goths, or the Trench Coat Mafia. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on scene, and spent ten years on this book-widely recognized as the definitive account. With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, he draws on mountains of evidence, insight from the world's leading forensic psychologists, and the killers' own words and drawings-several reproduced in a new appendix. Cullen paints raw portraits of two polar opposite killers. They contrast starkly with the flashes of resilience and redemption among the survivors.

I really love stories about survival and redemption so this book caught my eye as soon as I found it at the bookstore one day. I know I'm probably one of the last people to read this book but I have good reason for it. The story of Columbine is one I've always been interested in learning more about and I've seen plenty of documentaries and specials on the subject. However, since the recent school shooting in Florida has dominated the news across the country, I think it's important that we start talking about the issues we face and finally take the first step into changing the way we do things in order to protect schools, kids, teens and young adults from having to face the fear of simply going to school. It's an incredibly important subject that the young generation refuses to sweep under the rug and I want to learn more about what I could possibly do to make myself more aware.

2. Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over by Amy Bleuel
Sara Sargent at HarperCollins has bought Amy Bleuel's Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over. This book from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon chronicles the global phenomenon of the semicolon tattoo, combining photos of individuals' tattoos with their stories about struggling with suicide and mental illness.

I just recently bought this book for no real reason other than that it looked interesting. I haven't heard many things about this book so when I researched a little bit about this book, I grew more and more excited to read it and see all that it contained. I love books about mental health, whether non-fiction or not, as it's also a very important subject that is continuing to be talked about more and more as the years go on which is great. I've always been a supporter of Project Semicolon so I'm excited to dive into this book.

3. Shades Of Blue by Amy Ferris
The silent epidemic of depression affects millions of people and takes dozens of lives everyday, while our culture grapples with a stigma against open discussion of mental health issues. Editor Amy Ferris has collected these stories to illuminate the truth behind that stigma and offer compassion, solidarity, and hope for all those who have struggled with depression.

Shades of Blue brings the conversation around depression and sadness into the open with real, first-hand accounts of depression and mental health issues, offering empathy to all those who have been affected by these issues.

It’s time to scream out loud against this silent annihilator: We are not alone.

This book was one I stumbled upon while researching the Project Semicolon book. This one I was very interested in reading and ordered online as soon as I read about it on Goodreads as it seemed like a book I needed to have in my library. This one is a bind-up of various stories by various contributors to create an anthology of discussion for those dealing with or wanting to learn more about depression and suicide. I think this book will end up being a favorite just based on the synopsis but I guess we'll see.

4. What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan
If you scrolled through the Instagram feed of 19-year-old Maddy Holleran, you would see a perfect life: a freshman at an Ivy League school, recruited for the track team, who was also beautiful, popular, and fiercely intelligent. This was a girl who succeeded at everything she tried, and who was only getting started. 

But when Maddy began her long-awaited college career, her parents noticed something changed. Previously indefatigable Maddy became withdrawn, and her thoughts centered on how she could change her life. In spite of thousands of hours of practice and study, she contemplated transferring from the school that had once been her dream. When Maddy's dad, Jim, dropped her off for the first day of spring semester, she held him a second longer than usual. That would be the last time Jim would see his daughter.

WHAT MADE MADDY RUN began as a piece that Kate Fagan, a columnist for espnW, wrote about Maddy's life. What started as a profile of a successful young athlete whose life ended in suicide became so much larger when Fagan started to hear from other college athletes also struggling with mental illness. This is the story of Maddy Holleran's life, and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people, and college athletes in particular, face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.

This book was one I currently plan on reading within the next few weeks and I'm really looking forward to reading it. This book was one I found just days after one of my favorite singers from one of my favorite singing groups had passed away from suicide. I was a really huge fan of his so the news really hurt at the time and still does, especially when I listen to his music. I guess you could say that I was wanting to better understand the thoughts of depression in young people since it's a subject that adults and parents are now having to learn more about. It's sad that it's a subject many people are having to become more aware of but I think the more we learn, the better we can understand and figure out better ways to keep more lives from ending too soon.

5. Dare To Be Kind by Lizzie Velasquez 
When Lizzie Velasquez was 17 years old, she came across a video online titled "The World's Ugliest Woman"--only to discover that the 8-second viral video featured her. Born with a genetic condition that makes it impossible for her to gain weight, Lizzie had always known she was "different," but after her online bullying went public she decided to stand up on behalf of victims everywhere. She also made it her mission to help create a kinder world.

Today, her popular YouTube channel has half a million followers and her massively popular TED talk has been seen more than 10 million times. In this daring and revelatory book, she draws on her experiences overcoming bullying--from the schoolyard to the Internet--to reveal the hidden forces that give rise to cruelty, and how we can redirect them to unlock empathy and kindness. Lizzie shows how each one of us can use everyday acts of empathy to create a kinder culture and a better world.

I've been a big fan of Lizzie for years so when this book came out I was really excited to read it. I've watched Lizzie's YouTube videos and have become a big supporter of her movement of just simply daring to be kind in a world that doesn't have nearly enough love. I've always believed that treating people with respect no matter where they come from or what they are or choose to be is the only way to treat people. I love people simply because they're human and deserve to be treated with love and respect, which is why Lizzie is one of my role-models. Seeing how she's changing the world in small ways by just encouraging people to be nice is really refreshing and I can't wait to read her book!

So those are all the non-fiction books, (well, five at least) that I REALLY want to read this year. If anyone has any suggestions on other non-fiction reads I should take a look at, please leave them in the comments! I would love any and all suggestions that anyone has for me! Read on, bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

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