Tag Archives: National Non-Fiction Day

Water for non-fiction day

Whatever you do, stop buying water in plastic bottles all the time! It’s not good for the environment, and the water rarely tastes better than its sibling out of the tap.

Paul Younger, Water - All That Matters

Hodder Education have a series of books on many different and interesting subjects, and I’ve got a copy here of Water, by Professor Paul Younger. It’s short and relatively easy to read and appears to my untrained eye to contain absolutely everything you’d want to know about water. And I’m so relieved that Paul is with me on the bottled water issue.

Recalling a heated disagreement I once had with someone on whether or not we should be careful with the water we are lucky to have, it’s good to see what Paul has to say. And I reckon he agrees with me there as well.

Starting with water molecules, this little book covers every area of water in our lives. It has some illustrations, ranging from the feet of someone with arsenic poisoning, to that wet drought we had in Britain earlier this year, and the Cochabamba Water War in Bolivia, featuring the sad banner for a young hero who gave his life for water.

I found the map showing the major ocean currents of the world quite interesting, since I’ve never known much more than the gulf stream. I will also find it much harder eating a banana from now on, because I had no idea it uses so much water before it turns up in my kitchen. (Although it beats beef.)

The book ends with a list of 100 ideas, ranging from wells and spas and stuff to water movies.

‘Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet.’ (African proverb)


The Complete Philosophy Files

The Pig Book. That’s how I always thought of it. The Resident IT Consultant gave Son (a younger sort of Son than the present one) a book with this ugly pig on the cover. I never liked it, but surprisingly Son seemed to think it was interesting and fun. So, nearly all was well.

It seems that it was only half a book. I know this, because I now have the whole book, and nothing but the book, and it’s got no ugly pigs on the cover. At all. (Had to go back and check again, just to be sure. No pig.)

The Complete Philosophy Files by former postman Stephen Law. This former postwitch never really ‘got’ Philosophy at school. Before starting, I used to think it sounded interesting. And then it was all a lot of formulae and peculiar stuff and the teacher was weird, and I never knew if that had anything to do with the subject or not. So, I came away from it feeling stupider than when I went in.

Stephen Law, The Complete Philosophy Files

But this complete pig book; it’s not bad. Quite interesting, in fact, and with a great cover. It asks lots of hard questions about the universe and eating your fellow plane passengers and that kind of thing. And Stephen doesn’t give you the answers. He philosophises and  sort of shows that whatever opinion you have, you might be right. Or wrong.

There is God. And there are feet that hurt, even though you no longer have a foot. Time travel (again, sorry) and the Big Bang, although not necessarily at the same time. I’m not sure postman Law would believe in bookwitches. He could probably argue the case against.

You can kill people. Either to punish them for doing that very same thing to someone else. Or to eat them.

The chapter on vegetarianism made me feel sick. I’ve thought most of the arguments before. And it’s ‘ew’ all the way. But as with most things, no one side is totally right.

Curried cat, anyone?

(It’s National Non-Fiction Day today. Just so you know.)


Do you remember the weird girl who used to sit two rows ahead of you in the classroom at school? Or that other girl who was really boring, and who wanted to be your friend but didn’t get the message that you didn’t feel the same way? Not to mention the odd woman who lives across the road from you?

National Non-Fiction Day

For National Non-Fiction Day (that’s today) I have been reading a book about those girls. I would have read it regardless of the day, because the moment I saw the title I knew it was going to be good. I actually went on the Jessica Kingsley website to look for another book, but Aspergirls trumped everything else, so I asked for that instead.

Isn’t it a brilliant title? Or rather, isn’t it a great word play to describe females with Asperger Syndrome? Rudy Simone is an Aspergirl and she’s the one who wrote this lifeline for other Aspergirls. Anyone above the age of about ten would find this the most useful book imaginable. If you have Asperger Syndrome you need to hear that you’re not alone. Someone else has felt just as you do. Another girl has done what you do.

If you aren’t an Aspie, you still need this book. When you’ve read it you will be an expert (well, nearly) on Aspergirls and your understanding of the weirdo at school will make you regret you didn’t befriend her a little, and in future you will be really good at seeing that someone is about to have an Aspie meltdown and maybe you can even help. Not help her melt down, help her survive the ordeal. It may be a party to you, but to her it’s the worst thing imaginable. And she needs to get out NOW.

National Non-Fiction Day

This cute logo for Non-Fiction Day might seem inappropriate, but remember that for some Aspergirls he is the only friend she has. Sometimes by choice. Sometimes not.


If you think the cover of Aspergirls looks a bit dreamy, don’t let it deter you. The inside is pure dynamite, and I have rarely read so much sense on Aspergirls as in this book. It takes one to write about them. I may have said this before: Specialists’ books are all very well, but what people really, really need are the ‘case histories’ told from the inside.

And so far, this is the best I’ve seen. Aspergirls is a mix between Rudy’s own experience and that of other Aspergirls, as well as pure advice, both to other Aspies as well as to Neurotypicals.

There are chapters on most things in life from early schooldays to marriage and having your own children. As for the two-page list of female Asperger Syndrome traits, it’s pure gold. You may even discover you’re an Aspergirl yourself. There’s an explanation to all your little quirks. And if not, you’ll develop an understanding for why your neighbour always…