There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)
But then there are books that only YOU read. Instructional manuals for fly-fishing. How-to books for spinning yarn. How to cook the perfect souffle. Rebuilding car engines in three easy steps. Dog training for dummies. Rewiring your house without electrocuting yourself. Tips on how to build a NASCAR course in your backyard. Stuff like that.
What niche books do YOU read?
I am currently wading through quite a number of sewing books as I refresh my sewing skills and attempt to sew (rather than buy) clothing for my children. I’m planning to stick to items like skirts for my daughter and pyjama pants for the boys. I have strong memories of home-sewn clothing as a child and would never want to inflict that kind of psychological damage on my own children (thanks for the chocolate brown and gold pin-striped pants and vest Mum).
I also love to browse through cookbooks. My kids regularly look through three birthday cake decorating books that I have, picking out which cakes they want. At last count they have enough chosen to cover the next 20 years. As for me, reading Monica Pradhan’s The Hindi Bindi Club last year sent me on a mission to find some beginner Indian cookbooks like Ramola Parbhoo’s Traditional Indian Cooking.
I’m always happy to flick through family meal cookbooks and in the past six months have managed to add the following to my collection:
- The Credit Crunch Cookbook
- Allergy Safe Family Food – Suzanna Paxton
- Fast, Fresh and Fabulous – Janelle Bloom (this one has become a family favourite)
- The Basics: A Really Useful Cookbook – Anthony Telford
- Annabel Karmel’s Complete Family Meal Planner
- destitute gourmet cookbooks – Sophie Gray
I’ve also been on a bit of an Australian history kick in the past 18 months and seem to have gravitated towards both fiction and non-fiction accounts of early settlers/explorers and Australian military history. I have Peter Fitzsimons’ Charles Kingsford Smith and Those Magnificent Men near the top of my TBR pile. Other titles include:
- Captain Cook’s Apprentice – Anthony Hill
- The Donkey who Carried the Wounded – Jackie French (Gallipoli)
- The Camel who Crossed Australia – Jackie French (Burke & Wills exploration)
- A Rose for the ANZAC Boys – Jackie French (World War I)
- War’s End – Victoria Bowen
- Heroes of Tobruk – David Mulligan
- Angels of Kokoda – David Mulligan
- Breaking the Bank – Carol Baxter
- 1788 – David Hill (Arrival and early years of the First Fleet)
- The Forgotten Children – David Hill (Fairbridge Farm children)
- War Behind the Wire – Michael Caulfield (ed) (Australian prisoners of war)
- Cruel Conflict – Kathryn Spurling (HMAS Perth)
- Sacred Places – K S Inglis (Australian war memorials and tributes)
Thanks to my younger son’s obsession with steam engines, I also read a ridiculous number of books about steam engines and railway history (he’s only five and stubbornly refuses to learn to read well enough to read them to himself). My favourites are Robert and Bruce Wheatley’s Railway Portraits, Jim Powe’s Trains and Railways of Australia and Jim Turner’s Early Australian Steam Locomotives (1855-1895) and Australian Steam Locomotives (1896-1958). I also share an interest in art books with my daughter.
I have been known to flick through a mathematics text book for pleasure as well. Is that niche or just weird?
Do you have any favourite niche reading pleasures? Quirky genres or favourite non-fiction topics? Share your favourite niche topics/books in the comments below or add a link to your own Booking Through Thursday post.by