Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Nonficiton Reader's Block

I may have taken on a few too many non-fiction books at the moment, and might have to mix in some fiction. The problem is, the fiction will most likely become my book of choice, shoving the non-fiction options to the wayside.

Currently on my plate:
  1. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
  2. Delusions of Gender, by Cordelia Fine
  3. The Subjection of Women, by John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor
All: fantastic books. I say this, of course, not having finished any of them.

I'm not sure how much I'll participate in the NPR book club -- it just happened to have sprung into being the day after I started the book! Unbroken is great so far, actually, but so intense -- I wanted to read something out of my comfort zone, so a story-like tale of a man surviving through Olympic trials and WWII seemed an excellent choice. The other two are feminist texts that I want to read, and almost wish I had to for some post-graduate class. Delusions of Gender is also a fantastic read so far - packed with witty, well-researched and well-supported debunkings of our favorite gender stereotypes.

The Bookeater makes some insightful and timely suggestions about reading nonfiction, and I really do believe the rewards will be great. It's just harder to curl up by the fire with a feminist essay or fall asleep to scientific studies turning absurd stereotypes on their head - not at all to knock those topics, as I love them. But I love them by day... not as much by night. Perhaps it's that night feels like more of an escapist time - a time to retreat away from the harsher realities of this world and into an alternate reality, soothing because it's not entirely real, but instead only shares certain aspects with my own reality.

Possibly this suggests it's time to explore and expand my reasons for reading to encompass grander purposes outside of escapism. I'm hoping that writing about what I'm reading helps offer a more grounded raison de lire.

We shall see.


  1. I've heard great things about Delusions of Gender. Lately I have added a lot of non-fiction to my TBR wishlist, and this was one of them.

  2. I love non-fiction and I loved books 2 and 3, but you and The BookEater are certainly on to something. I need to have a novel going alongside my non-fiction. It means I read it slower, yes, but otherwise I just get burned out.

  3. Brenna - Definitely read Delusions of Gender. It's great so far. Nymeth - I may have to do just that! Unbroken is pretty captivating, though, so it just might suffice. So far, I recommend it!


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