Wednesday, 6 April 2011

My forty books. Part 3: non-fiction

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Stuff and Nonsense by Amy Cockram is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

I've realised when I started writing this blog that I read more non-fiction than I had previously given myself credit for.

My experience of choosing my 40 books has reflected this. I started off thinking that I would only want a couple of non-fiction books, and I wasn't even going to give them their own post. I was going to dismiss them as a numerical exercise in my post on fiction (if I have these 2 non-fiction, I can have all these fiction books to reach my 40). However, my 2 non-fiction has now grown to 5. It seems a bit unfair to give my one poetry choice its own post, and then not do the same for my non-fiction.

So my non-fiction choices so far are:

Steven Pinker "How the Mind Works"
I'm reading this at the moment. I am fascinated by psychology and the way the mind works. I don't have a scientific background so, although interesting, I am finding it tough going and I keep getting distracted by easier reads. If I was only allowed 40 books, I would be more likely to get around to finishing this one.

Sigmund Freud "The Interpretation of Dreams"
I've had this on my shelves for a while and not read it. Another good intentions book that I might be more likely to read if I eliminated some of the competition. I have very odd dreams, so I want to find out more about why we dream and what they mean. Although this is Freud, so probably every dream is about sex.

Sir James Frazer "The Golden Bough"

I find mythology, legends and superstitions fascinating. So I bought this one a few years back in a cheap edition because it sounded like an interesting ethnographic study of superstitions. Still not started it.

Germaine Greer "The Female Eunuch"

I like Germaine Greer a lot. Like many of the people I admire, she is fiercely passionate about her subject, articulate, intelligent, imaginative and quite, quite mad. I disagree with her quite a lot, but that is a good thing because it makes me examine my own attitudes.

Giacomo Casanova "The Story of my Life"

I bought this when we went to Venice on honeymoon; when I go somewhere on holiday, I like to read something set in the place. I decided on this. However, I didn't get very far because I hadn't allowed for how challenging the old-fashioned language would be (and, to add to this, translated from the original language). I'd like to give it another go.

Apparently non-fiction is paved with good intentions. I haven't read one of these yet...

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