7 Books By UK Female & Non-Binary Journalists That You Won't Be Able To Put Down
Reading is one of life's great and simple pleasures. Escaping whatever is causing you stress and entering a world that is not necessarily yours is one of the most important and objectively easy self-care methods around. However, I'll be real and say that, in recent years, finding the time to sit down, calm down, and read a damn book has been a struggle. But soon I came to realise that it was actually the type of book I was reading that was the problem; and once I started gravitating towards books by UK female and non-binary journalists, things began to change. Reading these books, I found all my usual distractions melting away, and I haven't been able to put them down since.
Below are seven books by seven journalist who have seen and done it all. Through their work — be it fiction, memoir, reportage, or even recipes — they are kind enough to show you the world through their lens and help you learn about the experiences of others. Their passion and eloquence will keep you glued to the page, and you'll certainly walk away feeling a lot smarter than when you started. Keep reading to find out more.
1. 'Slay In Your Lane' by Yomi Adegoke & Elizabeth Uviebinene
Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene are friends who felt inspired to write a book about how to succeed as a young black woman in a world designed to knock them back.
In this book, they speak to 39 incredibly successful black British women spanning all kinds of industries. Their interviewees include DJ Clara Amfo, author Malorie Blackman, and space scientist Maggie Aderin.
Slay In Your Lane is a truthful and eye-opening exploration of the challenges that black women face in areas such as health, work, and education.
2. 'Twenty-One Locks' by Laura Barton
This is the first of what's sure to be an absolute laundry list of wonderful books from the brilliant mind of journalist, writer, and broadcaster Laura Barton.
Managing to make her aural mellifluousness translate perfectly onto the page, this story will take you away to a different place.
That place is Lancashire, and a town filled with people who are living lives they're not sure that they're happy in. Jeannie is young, working at a perfume counter in a department store, and due to marry her childhood sweetheart. But does she even want to? Her story and the tales of those around her paint a bleak and poetic picture of lives half lived.
3. 'In Extremis' by Lindsey Hilsum
Lindsey Hilsum is a British journalist who specialises in international news and reporting on major conflicts. This book is a biography of her friend and colleague Marie Colvin. The phrase "in extremis" is Latin for "in the farthest reaches," and in the case of Colvin, that title couldn't be more accurate.
Colvin was one of the top female war correspondents in the world and she sadly lost her life in Syria in 2012. She went further and deeper into war torn zones than anyone in her field. She made bearing witness to the horrific truth of war her life's mission. She sought to tell the stories of ordinary people and to give a first-hand account of history that was as honest as it could possibly be.
This book will have you at the edge of your seat from start to finish and is an amazing insight into a truly amazing woman.
4. 'Brit(ish)' by Afua Hirsch
Afua Hirsch's book on the truth about race and identity in Britain today is a must read.
Hirsch examines the UK's denial of its imperial past and the racism that is still so much ingrained in British society. Looking at her own experiences and those of others, Hirsch lays bear exactly what it's like to be British and black in today's world.
A beautiful, honest account of identity that is not only a tool for education, but also a call to action. In a time when change is becoming more and more vital.
5. 'Cooking On A Bootstrap' by Jack Monroe
Jack Munroe is a very well known and loved writer and broadcaster working in the food world. They are also outspoken in relation to LGBTQ rights, poverty, and hunger in the UK and globally.
In this book, Munroe shares recipes that are not only super easy, convenient, and delicious — but also cheap as chips. Austerity never tasted so sumptuous.
6. 'Unicorn' by Amrou Al-Kadhi
Amrou Al-Kadhi, or Glamrou, is a Muslim non-binary drag queen and all-round icon.
This book is an examination of their experience in a world where being who they were was not a safe or positive thing.
A memoir that includes heartbreaking anecdotes as well as stories of joy. All from the acerbic and hilarious voice of Al-Kadhi who'll keep you entranced throughout this wonderful book.
Truly unique, like its wonderful author.
7. 'Forgotten Women' by Zing Tsjeng
The Forgotten Women series comes from Singaporean, UK-based journalist Zing Tsjeng. These books are compilations of truly incredible women who history was unkind enough to forget. Women who were trailblazers, but somehow never made it into the history books. Perhaps because of who those books were written by.
Their her series, Tsjeng highlights characters such as Camille Claudel, the incredibly talented sculptor whose star was unfairly overshadowed by her lover Rodin; Noor Inayat Khan, a brave woman who went undercover to spy for the French Resistance; and Margaret Sanger, the nurse who didn't care about what society said and paved the way for the legalisation on contraception in a way that would shape millions of women's lives.
The series includes The Writers, The Artists, The Leaders, The Scientists. And you need to read every single one.