Twelve non-fiction book recommendations for life in lock-down (or any other time…)

When I was younger, I would devour book after book after book and the vast majority would be fiction. I would never consider looking for non-fiction books to buy, asking for them as gifts or getting them out of the library. I had a few, such as my trusty encyclopedia which I would happily sit and flick through but my main interest was always reading stories. That all changed rather suddenly in my early twenties. Whilst I still very much enjoy fiction, I’ve found myself reading more non-fiction than ever before. I have a long list that I want to read and I find myself gravitating towards non-fiction new releases in bookshops.

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A few thoughts on life in lock-down

I’ve been mentally writing this post for four weeks now, for about as long as I’ve been working from home. If I had sat down and started writing it at any point before now, it probably would have been very different on each one of those days in that four weeks. As it is, this post won’t be as coherent or logically structured as some of my usual posts but will be a little more personal, focusing more on some of my thoughts and feelings. Believe me, there have been a lot of those over the last month.

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The travel stories that don’t get shared

Just over a year ago I wrote a post on places which are disappointing to visit and it ended up being one of my most viewed blog posts of the year, as well as sparking quite a bit of conversation on Twitter. It made me realise that there’s an appetite out there for sharing the less than perfect experiences that most of us have whilst travelling. I’ve been lucky that I’ve not come to any serious harm or danger whilst travelling, but I’ve still had some experiences which I don’t really talk about. At the time they might have been stressful and I didn’t want to worry anyone, or the anecdotes might not have fit with the rest of the tales I had to share from my trip.

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Cooking fresh meals with Schwartz dried herbs

I first discovered my enjoyment for cooking as a student, when I was living independently for the first time. I found it a really good way to relax after a busy day and also found that I enjoyed cooking for other people. Before too long, and like many of my friends, I dreamed of having my own spice rack, filled with different spices and dried herbs to enable me to add a mix of flavours to my cooking. I am now slowly building that collection and was really pleased when Schwartz asked me to review one of their dried herbs – basil.

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Travelling whilst fear of Coronavirus takes over

I’ve recently come back from a long weekend in Madeira and in many ways the entire trip was overshadowed by Coronavirus despite us having no issues on our trip. This post isn’t about how to travel whilst there’s a global pandemic, but is just to share some of my personal experiences in what has become a very strange time for many of us. Our trip was booked back in 2019, well before the virus had spread worldwide and it had been deemed a pandemic. It was only in the week before we flew that I imagined we might have any problems at all. Italy had closed down, more countries were closing borders and there was widespread criticism of the UK’s approach. However I knew we were travelling to somewhere with no confirmed cases, nobody I was travelling with was displaying any symptoms and there wasn’t anything at the airport (other…

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