Sunday 15 July 2012

Sunday Salon - Fact or Fiction?

At the beginning of January I made a ton of great resolutions (who doesn't?). I really did intend to keep them, but I have to admit that I haven't looked at the list at all between when I made it in January and now. Some, such as my book buying ban, I have drastically failed at (I think I made it three weeks this year...). Others, like the Amazon ban, I am still doing brilliantly with, although the missing of Amazon (which I hate myself for) has started to kick in, purely because I often wish I could afford to send people more books than I can, and nowhere else is quite so cheap as Amazon for new books, but oh well. There are worse things. 

The one I really want to do better with in the remainder of the year is reading more non-fiction than last year. In 2011, I read a grand total of 10 non -fiction books, most of which were of the memoir genre, so they made up approximately 6.5% of my total reading. This year I've so far only read 1/3 of the amount I read last year (I blame baby having and other such disruptive things in my personal life), but still eight of my 55 have been  non-fiction! This is astonishingly better than I though, and Alison Bechdel is mostly responsible for making me read non-fiction without realising :-) 

While I've been sorting out my books to make space for the baby, I've discovered that I've got some awesome non-fiction on the shelf that I really want to read. I figure the only way to effectively work it into my reading is to run a non-fiction book alongside whatever else I'm currently reading. I'm not sure if this will work, but I plan to try it this week. I'm currently two thirds through Maine by Courtney Sullivan, which I bought with some of my birthday Waterstone's vouchers, and which is brilliant, and alongside it I want to start reading Anything Goes: a Biography of the Roaring Twenties by Lucy Moore.
This is a fairly sizeable hardback with a beautiful cover which I bought while we were on honeymoon back in September. I got a little bit obsessed with the twenties last year when I read Tender is the Night and then again after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God earlier this year, and I also really want to read this for the Mixing it Up Challenge, so I'm going to start and see what happens!

Here's a little list of the non-fiction that I already have and would like to get through in the next few months, more as a reminder for me than anything else:
- Yes Man by Danny Wallace (currently reading)
- Join Me by Danny Wallace
- Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
- Books, Baguettes, and Bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer
- J.M Barrie and the Lost Boys by Andrew Birkin
- Mrs Beeton's Household Management by Isabella Beeton
- Toast by Nigel Slater
- At Home by Bill Bryson
- Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction by Tom Raabe
And finally one which doesn't yet count, as I don't currently own it but am DYING to read it,
- Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl by Donald Sturrock

Also just as a by-the-way, I'm going to be running another awesome giveaway of books this week. While sorting out for the baby, I've found a fair few duplicates in great condition, plus another book which is pretty much brand new and which I just don't have space to keep, so keep your eyes open! :-)

Rhys is at work until about 9pm, so exciting plans for the rest of the day include; finishing my first person shaped piece of knitting and hoping it ends up looking like a hoodie, not a mouse hideaway, cleaning the house, doing laundry, and many other such exciting things! If I can find the inclination, I may even go visit the sea. Hope you're all having a great Sunday!


  1. Oh, I hear ya. I have a tendency to BUY lots of awesome-sounding non-fiction, then keep skipping over it in favour of lighter reads. I really want to try to remedy that a bit this year. So far 5 out of 33 have been non-fiction, and I'm reading another now - must try harder! IN COLD BLOOD was well worth the wait though... :)

    I'll be watching for your review of ANYTHING GOES (it's wishlisted!), I have five more of your list on Mount TBR, and I've read three. BIBLIOHOLISM and BOOKS, BAGUETTES AND BEDBUGS are two of my favourite books, so I hope you enjoy them and BIBLIOHOLISM's so funny and light, you should have no problem fitting chunks in around your other reading! Good luck... :)

    1. In Cold Blood is AMAZING! So glad you finished it :-) I had to read it in uni for a journalism module, and I'm a huge fan of Breakfast at Tiffany's, so that was weird, but in the best kind of way!

      I'm only a few pages into Anything Goes at the moment but it's super readable and awesome.

  2. You have some great non-fiction books there. Like you, I want to read more non-fiction - I'm probably running at about 25% now, but before blogging I actually used to read more non-fiction than fiction and I miss it. All the reviews of lovely fiction books keep influencing me!

  3. Ooh ooh, Toast is fabulous! Seriously- I didn't even really know who Nigel Slater was before I read it (well, before I saw the BBC movie thing, anyway) and I was just like this is the BEST THING EVER!! And I'm going to assume that At Home is awesome too, because, well, Bill Bryson!

    1. I LOVED that BBC movie, it was awesome, and Freddie Highmore didn't even make his sad crying face once! And yes, Bill Bryson generally is awesome, which is kind of why I got the book, but it's really big and I keep looking at it thinking 'I should read that..' and then finding smaller books...