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

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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