Rachel and Rebecca

R n R’s guide to non-fiction (600s)

18.04.13 | Comment?

You may have noticed that when it comes to non-fiction books, adults get the most choice (there’s two floors of it here at central to half a floor of fiction) followed by kids and then finally, there’s a small and select non-fiction section dedicated to our lovely YA patrons. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with good stuff! And to help you find all those gems, we give you: R n R’s guide to non-fiction. We’ll start with the 600s.

Under the Dewey Decimal system, the books classified as 600s are all those pertaining to technology. In the children’s section you’ll find lots of books about how planes, trains and automobiles work. But in the much more selective ya section the 600s are limited to four major subject headings; 610 – Health, 641 – Food, 646 – Fashion and 650 – Working Life.


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTake it from us, puberty is not all fun and games. But on the bright side, it will get better. In the meantime you could read these books and know that you’re not alone. Let’s start with the body health stuff which is often addressed by gender. So we’ve got The ‘S’ word: a boys’ guide to sex, puberty and growing up or the Girl’s guide to becoming a teen both of which are great but if you’re after some more gender neutral infromation then check out Annie Rose’s Sex and other stuff: the A to Z guide of everything you need to know which is a to-the-point guide to all those terms you may hear but don’t fully understand. Things like depo provera or molluscum contagiosum, as well as the more common ones like abstinence or testosterone.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe ‘health’ category also includes mental health and issues like eating disorders or depression which are alarmingly common. Although no book can give a quick fix for depression, My Kind of Sad : what it’s like to be young and depressed by Kate Scowen has a whole lot of information to help you get through it, or to help you understand it if someone you know is going through it. Depression is messy, confusing and very rarely makes sense. If you need to, then also check out the depression.org.nz site for more information.


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIs by and large ruled by Sam Stern’s cookbooks. Which is a good thing because they’re awesome. He started with Cooking up a Storm (the teen survival cookbook) in 2005 and has since written another five cookbooks to date! The latest, Virgin to Veteran: how to get cooking with confidence is a comprehensive guide to all things kitchen related. It’s divided into food types (chicken, dairy, beef, puddings, salads and so on) with each section having its own guide before the related recipes. For example the section on lamb explains which cuts are best for which meals, how to store it, what to look for when buying lamb, cooking times, flavouring and all sorts of other handy tips.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAnother great here is Girlosophy : real girls eat by Anthea Paul which is so much more than a cookbook! It’s extremely pretty to look at, while also extolling the virtues of taking time to prepare food that provides one’s body with needed nutrition and celebrating the spiritual connection between body and soul. Along with the recipes there are anecdotes, healthy eating information (as opposed to dieting) and information about cultural differences in food. The Girlosophy books have a lusciously loving vibe and if you’re yet to discover them then this one is a great place to start! Spoiler alert: the rest will probably be featured in the guide to non-fiction (300s) post.


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAre you particularly crafty and creative? Or just bored with your current wardrobe? Rather than spending a small fortune on a new one why not turn your old stuff into new stuff! I wanna make my own clothes by Clea Hantman can help you do just that! This book promises to teach you how to make wrap skirts and halter tops out of old tee shirts, kickin’ cargo pants out of blah pants, and chokers and other stylish accessories out of the scraps. The 646 fashion books are all about making your own fashion, if you’re after the fashion-bible-coffee-table-books full of fashion advice then you need to check out the 700s. The guide to which is still coming. In the meantime, The book of styling : an insider’s guide to creating your own look by Somer Flaherty is a nice mix of DIY tips and fashion advice.

Working Life

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIn this section you’ll find books with some seriously practical advice about working. From job hunting to cv writing (bonus points if you know what cv stands for) and tips on how to ace a job interview. For all this information and more check out Getting a brilliant job : the student’s guide by Karen & Jim Bright. If you want information on more than just getting a job but on how to start your own busisness then there are books about that as well. Start it up : the complete teen business guide to turning your passions into pay by Kenrya Rankin for example provides an A-to-Z on getting a business going and making it successful, whether it’s baking, dog walking, house painting or something else.

So that’s the 600s done. Keep an eye out for more non-fiction guides, they’re on their way we promise!

R n R

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