Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 Non-Fiction on The Reading Life

Here are the non-fiction works I read in 2014, listed in order read.  I have rated them with one to five stars and made brief comments.  Normally I do not finish or even go very far in a book I don't  like so most of my non-fiction reviews are  favorable.  Life is too short to finish a bad book just so you can review it.

1.  Out Witting History - Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky. **. A very interesting combination of culture history and book collecting.  Must read for those into Yiddish culture.

2.  How Paris Became Paris  The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean. * good history 

3.  Twilight of the Belle Epoch -  Paris Between 1901 to 1918. *.  By Mary  - lots of interesting cultural information 

4.   Collecting Shakespeare -  The Story of Henry and Emily Folger by Stephen Grant ** fact rich and interesting bibliophiles work.

5.  Penelope Fitzgerald - A Life by Hermione Lee ** a good literary biography, for fans of the subject.

6.  Four Sisters:  The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Dutchesses by Helen Rappaport
** for those into late Czarist history

7.  The Impossible Exile - Stefan Zweig at the End of The World  by George Prochnik
**** must reading for those into Stefan Zweig and between the wars European literary history.

8.  Out of Dublin - A Memoir by Ethel Rohan. Very moving work ***

9.   The Edge of the City -  A Scrapbook 1976 to 1991 by Desmond Hogan. *** a very interesting selection of essays by one of Ireland's greatest contemporary writers.

10.  The Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust by Howard Moss *** a very rewarding highly literate commentary.  

11.  The Snows of Yesterday by Gregory von Rezzori **** a beautiful memoir 

12.  Marcel Proust - A Life by William C. Carter ***** the best secondary work on Proust 

13.  The Most Dangerous Book:  The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham **.  For those very into the subject matter

14.  Vera (Mrs Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacey Sciff *** a book for those very into Nabakov 

15.  The Wandering Jews by Joseph Roth ***** Must read book for those interested in the subject.

16.  Chasing Lost Time:  The Life of C. K. Scott Moncrieff by Jean Findlay ***** I loved this book.  

17.  The Last Jews of Berlin by Leonard Gross **** must reading for anyone into Holocaust history and literature.  

18.  Lewis Carroll:  The Man and his Circles by Edward Wakeling ** only for those very into Lewis Carroll

19.  From Holocaust to Harvard by John Stoessinger ** an interesting memoir

20.  Marcel Proust's Library by Anka Muhlstein *** a very interesting and illuminating book

21.  Balzac's Omlette:  A Delicious Tour of French Food by Anka Muhlstein *** - helped me understand Balzac a bit better and made me very hungry.  

22.  Alive Inside the Wreck:  A Biography of Nathanael West by Joe Woodward *** - a wonderful biography of West and his era.  Lots of data on Hollywood in the 1930s.

23.  In The Garden of the Beasts:  Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson.  *** very well done popular history.

24.  Art of a Jewish Woman by Henry Massie ** good edition to Holocaust literature 

What were your favorite nonfiction reads of 2014?

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