Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2010 in The Reading Life Non-Fiction Review

2010 in The Reading Life
Non-Fiction Review

I am going to do several posts looking back on 2010.   I read and posted on just over 100 book  (so far, I have a few more to post) in 2010 and around 170 short stories and essays.     Among the books,  25 or so are Japanese novels, 15 are works of non-fiction and the rest are by novelists from all over the world.     I think now in addition to this post on non-fiction,  I will do one on short stories, one on Japanese works and one  on the other works I have read this year.     I do enjoy looking back at my reading year.    I  think and hope people just "getting started" in the reading life who as a result of blogs end up with life time records of their reading will find it incredibly gratifying  to have such a history available.   Long term this might be the one of the  best benefits  of having a book blog. 

As I did not read that much non-fiction in 2010 I will just list the books I did read along with a brief comment on them.     If  you have read any of these works please leave a comment on your feelings on the book.

They are listed in order read.

  1. The Yellow Light Bookstore by Lewis Buzbee.    This is an account of the author's work in book stores and his life time love of reading.   I would say it is kind of interesting but see no urgent reason others should read it right away.     
  2. The Journal of a Tour to The Hebrides by James Boswell-A canon status (OK my canon!) travel book that is sort of a pre-read getting us ready  for the world's best biography.
  3. Pinay:Autobiographical Writings of Women 1926 to 1998 by Cristina Hidalgo-If the topic interests you then this is a very good well done collection of articles by highly intelligent women.
  4. Songs of Ourselves:  Writings by Filipino  Women edited and introduced by Edna Manlapaz-more of a literary work than selection 3 but very worth reading
  5. The Broken Tower:   The Life of Hart Crane by Paul Mariani-First rate literary biography-I recommend it highly to anyone interested in the subject.
  6. Living with the Enemy:  A Diary of the Japanese Occupation by Pacita Pestano-Jacinto-this diary my a doctor's wife set in Manila during WWII is  required reading at the University of the Philippines and should be read by anyone interested in WWII in Asia.
  7. The Tobacco Monopoly in the Philippines 1766 to 1880 by Edilberto C de Jesus-the very model of a post colonial work of history of the Philippines 
  8. Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee-just a great biography period.
  9. Katherine Mansfield:  A  Secret Life by Claire Tomalin-a good book but not the best biography of Mansfield
  10. Vita-A life of Vita Sackville-West by Victoria Glendinning-a very interesting biography about the woman who was the model for the lead Character in Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  11. Leonard Woolf -A Life by Victoria Glendinning-a  must read for those interested in Virginia Woolf and her circle-about a man who was more than Mr Virginia Woolf
  12. Mrs.  Woolf and the Servants by Alison Lively-a very entertaining and informative book
  13. The March of Literature by Ford Madox Ford-a magisterial history of literature-a great resource-a quirky work by a genius 
  14. Lytton Strachey, Michael Holroyd- if you have a serious interest in Bloomsbury then this book is  a must read.   It is also very entertaining.
  15. Katherine Mansfield:   The Story Teller by Kathleen Jones-a MUST read for anyone into Katherine Mansfield-
Mel u


Fred said...

Mel u,

I don't read much non-fiction and seldom do I read biographies. Of the the fifteen you mention, I haven't read any of them, but I do have a copy of Ford's _A March of Literature_, which I picked up primarily because of your comments about it. That will be one of my projects for 2011.

Merry Xmas

Mystica said...

I have only read the Mr. Leonard Woolf's book. I am particularly interested in him - he was the Government Agent of Jaffna (in Sri Lanka) during colonial times and one of the few who was very popular with the local people. He also wrote 'The village in the jungle' which is up to date a text for English Literature in our schools at O level standard. That book is excellent reading.

Mel u said...

Fred-I hope you enjoy The March Of Literature

Mystica-I checked at the Book Depository for The Village in the Jungle and it is expensive-I will look for a used edition as I would love to read it-thanks for the information you shared

Rebecca Chapman said...

It was interesting reading that list. It makes me more determined to read some more non-fiction next year. I hope to pick a few countries that I would like to know more about, for example Somalia, Vietnam, and read a little bit more about there history