Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about reading non-fiction…
Do you read non-fiction regularly? Do you read it in a different way or place than you read fiction? (question courtesy of Diane)
I do enjoy reading non-fiction sometimes although it's rarely my first choice. I occasionally feel a little bit guilty about that but the draw of fiction is simply too strong for me, I suppose. Even if I'm interested in a topic or a certain book, I often seem to need a little encouragement to pick it up. So no, I can't say that I read non-fiction regularly, and in fact, I haven't read any yet this year. I have a few titles that I'd like to get to before too long though, which I'll mention below.
I think I do read non-fiction a little bit differently than fiction, at least in the sense that it's not a story to just get lost in so I need to read it when I'm able to concentrate on it. I usually only read one book at a time, but with non-fiction it's much easier for me to read something alongside it, and that's what I often will do when I read non-fiction. Without a story arc to follow, it's not a problem to put it down to read something else and then pick it back up again later.
The best non-fiction is the kind that grabs your attention and reads like fiction. However, if it's a bit more challenging I might leave that particular book at home and take something else out with me for commuting and whatnot. But where I read or how often I pick up a specific book ultimately comes down to not whether it's fiction or not, but my mood at the time and how engrossed in the book I am. On that note, I plan to start a mystery tonight. Oops.
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I kept meaning to post about Trish's Non-Fiction Five Challenge but just hadn't got around to it yet. With today's Monday Musing topic though, it seems the perfect time to finally do so. I really enjoyed participating in the Non-Fiction Five Challenge the previous two years when it was hosted by Joy, so I'm glad that Trish has decided to take it over. Like I mentioned above, I often need a little encouragement to read non-fiction so thanks to a little nudge from the challenge, I'm looking forward to reading some more non-fiction this year. The challenge runs from May to September and, like the name suggests, the goal is to read 5 non-fiction titles during that time. For more details about the challenge, and how to join, click on the button or the link above.
A few of the non-fiction titles that I read last year and fully enjoyed were The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur by Daoud Hari, Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation by Michael Zielenziger, and A Geisha's Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice by Komomo. Perhaps not too surprisingly, I'm very curious about all things Japanese so quite a few of the non-fiction books that I'm interested in are related to Japanese history, society, or culture, but not exclusively of course. So here are some of the non-fiction books I have on hand that I'd like to read this year. Some of these I already mentioned as possibles for the World Citizen Challenge, but I'm all about the cross-over challenge books.
Shakespeare Wrote for Money - Nick Hornby
Tears of the Desert - Halima Bashir & Damien Lewis
Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures - Kyoko Mori
The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto - Pico Iyer
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books - Azar Nafisi
Dickens - Peter Ackroyd
Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II - John Dower
Re-enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West - Jeffrey Paine
Goodbye Madame Butterfly: Sex, Marriage and the Modern Japanese Woman - Sumie Kawakami
Have you read any good non-fiction lately?