Sophie Roell is editor and one of the founders of Five Books.
Interviews with Sophie Roell
If you’re looking for escapism, crime novels can be a good way to go. Which is strange, given that nearly all of them revolve around murder. Sophie Roell, editor of Five Books and an avid consumer of the genre, picks her personal favourites published in 2020.
How to Live a Good Life: A Guide to Choosing Your Personal Philosophy
by Daniel Kaufman, Massimo Pigliucci & Skye C Cleary
Transcendence: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time
by Gaia Vince
Slavery and Bristol
by GM Best
War: How Conflict Shaped Us
by Margaret MacMillan
A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond
by Daniel Susskind
Twilight of Democracy
by Anne Applebaum
As the world went into lockdown early in 2020, many of us without frontline jobs and lucky enough not to fall sick with Covid-19 found more time to read than usual. The sudden change to a slower gear also left more room to reflect on the state of the world and our place as humans in it. Sophie Roell, editor of Five Books, takes us through her personal choice of the best nonfiction books of 2020.
Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli's Lifelong Quest for Freedom
by Erica Benner
Talk on the Wild Side: The Untameable Nature of Language
by Lane Greene
Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas
by Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough
Haig's Enemy: Crown Prince Rupprecht and Germany's War on the Western Front
by Jonathan Boff
Ottoman Odyssey: Travels through a Lost Empire
by Alev Scott
It goes without saying that I have more than five favourite books and some important ones are missing from this page (even though I’ve cheated and included six). I suppose the nonfiction ones are books that opened doors for me in some way or enabled me to see the world more clearly, including professionally. The fiction ones are ones I was completely overexcited about when I read them.