Tag Archives: North Korea

Five best non-fiction reads of 2014

Following on from my top fiction reads of 2014 and top reads from Jayber, Robin and Gemma I’ve tried to distill my best non-fiction reads of last year.

The Governor – John Lonergan

A fascinating insight into life in the prison service and the Irish penal system. Some legal friends seem a bit sceptical of him. I found this hard to put down and kept reading bits out to whoever was near me – doing their heads in no doubt.

Falling Upward – Richard Rohr

My first encounter with Richard Rohr. As my thirties have entered their latter stages much of this book about the two stages of life really resonated with me and, reflecting back I feel I need to go and dip back in.

French Children Don’t Throw Food – Pamela Druckerman

Funny and practical, this was one of only two books I read on parenting before the arrival of Colm. This is a great read – honest, amusing and fascinating. This book resonated with us particularly as my wife spent part of her childhood growing up in Belgium. Pamela is an American journalist married to a Brit living in France, observing the differences between ‘Anglo’ parenting and French parenting. As about to be parents I’d thoroughly recommend it!

Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek

Given my day job I read a lot on leadership and this was the standout from 2014. Originally rooted in observations on leadership in the military, Sinek reminds us of the servant nature of leadership. Using a combination of anecdotal examples and brain science this is a manifesto for recovering leadership from ego and profit.

Nothing to Envy (Real Lives in North Korea) – Barbara Demick

Harrowing at times I struggled to put down these compelling stories of life in North Korea. Gleaned from escapees into South Korea, journalist Demick unveils the disturbing reality of life under the ‘great leader’.


Special shout outs too to the wonderful Pádraig Ó Tuama’s Sorry For Your Troubles (listen to him read some here – the best way to hear his poetry! ) and The Anatomy of Peace – Resolving the Heart of Conflict from the Arbinger institute.

What were yours? (and I can load up my reading list for this year!)