August 24, 2012

This isn't Fiction - Recommended Reads #2

So you like to read books. Or even more so, you like reading novels. Maybe the classics. Maybe mainstream bestsellers.

Now tell me, are you ever curious about why the author implemented this or that in the plot? How (s)he decided on the title? After all, many of us love to read author interviews or guest posts in which they let us in on their little secret world of creating their characters and the likes. This kind of background information is often fascinating and brings even more dimension to the actual novel. Put it all together in a book and call it non fiction which it invariably is, and you shy away in fear. Or maybe I only underestimate your curiosity!

I admit, some books about books can border on dull, but then there are those that are worth reading. In Why Not Catch-21 (Gary Dexter) you learn about how books got their titles. And, come on, who's never wondered about how certain books got their title? A lot of titles are pretty much self-explainatory, while others seem, well, strange and certainly ask for some further explanation.
Presented as brief and succinctly written nibbles you'll encounter fifty books here, from The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus and Moby Dick, straight to The Postman Always Rings Twice and Clockwork Orange. Personally I found this to be a fresh, entertaining and intelligent read which admittedly might not be for everyone. Unless, of course, I piqued your curiosity about the stories behing the titles.

But maybe you want to delve even deeper. The title isn't all there is to a novel after all. Have you ever wondered why certain books make it onto bestseller lists, or even more so, why some books will rank high in sales for decades? In Hit Lit (James Hall) this is exactly what you'll find out about. Which character traits do your protagonists need? Why is geography important? This and more is being discussed here with twelve examples from, obviously, the bestseller lists. Just think Gone With The Wind and The Da Vinci Code. The books, not the movies, mind you. This engrossing, informative, and accessible book is not just for the reader, but also something I can recommended to writers.

Who do I recommend these books to?
Everyone who's interested in a look behind the covers (pun intended).


Are you interested in books about books? Maybe you've even read such books before. If so, please share which ones - recommendations are always welcome!

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