In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Great Divide.”
When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?
I can’t say either genre solely holds my favor. I think my preference lies mainly in the author and their story telling abilities. An author that can get me to sit down and read cover to cover, I automatically respect. I used to think it was a bit of ADD, but now I know it is just that I can’t stand shallow characters with thin plot lines.
I’ve read some excellent non-fiction, recently Doris Kearns Goodwin books. What can I say but wow! amazing what an amazing writer. I finished “No Ordinary Time” and looking forward to starting another one of her books.
Also David McCullough’s book on John Adams is fascinating. Don’t watch the HBO series, it was so very bad! The book tells you more about what made the man tick, not just a chronological order of events. I love the part where John Adams (and I am paraphrasing it) says something to the effect of “No woman never need to blush in my company.” meaning he never took advantage of a woman or made indecent or unwanted proposals. Nice to know he was a good guy in that way and you would certainly never get this sort of detail out of the HBO series.
Finally Cokie Roberts, yes Cokie, that journalist you hear all the time on NPR is a great historian. Read, “Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation.” Good stuff everyone needs to know about the founding of a our great nation. While the men were of to the Continental Congress thinking great thoughts, someone had to stay behind, raise the family, run the plantation, publish the newspaper, etc. and they did it because they had to….interesting look at a topic we don’t hear much about.
On the fiction side, I must have to admit….I am against anything that requires you to believe in vampires, wizards and other supernatural beings. I just can’t get into it…..I love dressing up as a zombie every Halloween for various events….I make a great zombie but for the sake of spending some good quality time with a book- it just doesn’t ring my bell.
Love the books of Tracy Chevalier. The best one, in my opinion, is Falling Angels. Everyone knows Girl With a Pearl Earring, but I think this one does an excellent job at illustrating how society was changing (or not) in the Victorian era. She writes of two families and their struggles with the morale’s of the day. One moving forward and one trying to stay the same. I think it would be a great book for a book club to dissect.
One of my favorite authors is Annie Proulx. She is gritty, really gritty, insightful and honest. You all know the movie based on her book “Broke Back Mountain.” Read “Shipping News” and “Accordion Crimes”. Accordion Crimes follows a handmade accordion from Italy through America, dark humor…..trust me, you won’t regret picking this book up.
After reviewing this short list…I am struck by the books and authors I’ve listed….all of these books make you think long after the last sentence has been read. Maybe that is the common thread- I like a book with substance.