January 20, 2013

The Reading Files - All the things you'll never do ...

To set a good example in my This isn't Fiction reading Challenge I continued with my, you may have already guessed, non fiction reading this week. And without further ado I present you places you'll never see and parties you'll never attend ...

100 Places You Will Never Visit (Daniel Smith)

Thoughts. How about a walk through restricted areas or risking a glance towards places whose existence is unacknowledged? Succinct, not always surprising, and with a heavy emphasis on the USA, this sure isn't your average travel guide.

Conversation starter. Axum (Ethiopia) is allegedly the home of the Ark of the Covenant.

Verdict. A worthwhile trip to secret and not-so-secret places!

A Curious Invitation (Suzette Field)

Thoughts. What an eclectic collection of bookish parties! Who's thrown the wildest one? Alice (in Wonderland)? Rebecca? Carrie? The focus on parties as literary device, and possible inspiration for your own fictional party, sounded fascinating and certainly did not disappoint.

Delicious tid-bit. Negus (a hot drink of port, lemon, sugar, and spices) is being served as refreshment at the ball at Mansfield Park

Verdict. A delightfully bookish party planner!


  1. They both sound interesting. I really need to get going and find a few books or the challenge, but, hey, I have all year!!!

    1. Just you wait - before you know it it's December and you only read half a book for the challenge! And THAT would put a real strain on our friendship! ;-)

      P.S.: Why don't you have a field day on NetGalley? They have tons of non fiction to choose from. Just sayin!

  2. A Curious Invitation sounds so good! I need to find that. Thanks for the review, I had never heard of it before.

    How are you finding reading nonfiction vs fiction? Is is slower reading, are you as interested (does it hold your attention)? I'm curious as one of my weaknesses is getting easily distracted while reading nonfiction books, which I am not proud of.

    1. I love reading non fiction as much as reading fiction, but in both cases it very much depends on how the author manages to grab me. I need my non fiction books to be just as gripping as any old novel and can't stand it when it's so dry and boring that my mind drifts off.

      It's really hard to give advice though. First of all the topic needs to interest you, otherwise why bother. Then head to Amazon where you can browse through the first few pages of most books - that usually gives you a good idea about the writing style and whether it will work for you. Last but not least, some non fiction books aren't meant to be read fast, but need to be slowly digested instead. After all there's a lot more information between those pages than in an ordinary novel and it takes time for that to sink in. Of course not all non fiction books tend to be "slow" and there are lost which you could even call fast-paced too.

      Say, why don't you sign up for the *This isn't Fiction reading Challenge* I'm hosting? The first level is "only" five books. And it's probably a lot more fun (and motivating) to plow through non fiction within a group! To sign up just go to the Reading Challenge button in the side bar of my blog.