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Reflection

Non-fiction Five Challenge 2010

Non-fiction Five Challenge 2010

The Non-fiction Five Challenge ends this September. 6 months ago, I have several Non-fiction books to read, so I have signed up for this challenge, hoping that it gives my non-fiction read a big boost. The Non-fiction Five Challenge is hosted by Trish.

The Rules of the Challenge:

1. Read 5 non-fiction books during the months of May – 30 September, 2009

2. Read at least one non-fiction book that is different from your other choices (i.e.: 4 memoirs and 1 self-help)

Although I have a few more non-fiction books to read, I don’t think I am able to finish them in time for the closing date. So here are my choice:

  1. Zeitoun, Dave Eggers (Memoirs)
  2. Understanding Judaism by Carl S. Ehrlich (Religion)
  3. The Complete Book of Mothers-in-law, Luisa Dillner (Self-help)
  4. Sky Burial by Xinran (Travel)
  5. Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, Xinran (Memoirs)

Xinran’s books on China revealed a startling account on abandoned baby girls and an unusual ritual practiced by the Tibetans. She gave a voice to women who had none, and expressed an urgent plea for peace and reconciliation.

Understanding Judaism introduces me to the rudiments of the Jewish faith. It’s all new to me and I welcome it.

Why do I read about Mothers-in-law? I am very fortunate to have a kind one but there are many women out there who have trouble with theirs. It is interesting to read about Mothers-in-law of famous personalities, poems about a daughter-in-law love to Mother-in-law, and mothers-in-law of different cultures.

Of the five, I like Zeitoun best. I thought Dave Eggers writes brilliantly. The book is very readable, it doesn’t feel like a boring non-fiction. Open and honest, celebrating the best of human spirit and humanity, you feel what Zeitoun feel, you suffer what he had suffered. It’s the kind of memoir and non-fiction that I like. I will definitely read other memoirs and novels by Dave Eggers again.

What I really want to read is his book titled A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a memoir by Dave Eggers released in 2000. It chronicles his stewardship of younger brother Christopher “Toph” Eggers following the cancer-related deaths of his parents.

The book was an enormous commercial and critical success, reaching number one on The New York Times bestseller list and being nominated as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. Time Magazine and several newspapers dubbed it “The Best Book of the Year.” The book was chosen as the 12th best book of the decade by The Times.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is usually classified as a memoir or autobiography, and its foundation is certainly laid in true events. However, Eggers takes great creative liberties. He often writes wild, tangential fantasy scenes. He occasionally “compresses” time, making events in the book closer in time to one another than they actually were to enhance the flow of the story. Thus, this work probably falls into the category of creative non-fiction. (Source: Wikipedia)

Similar creative non-fiction I read last year would be Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (Read the review and see if you can relate to what creative non-fiction means). In the near future, the line between fictional novels and non-fiction will become blur and I wonder if we will ever make a distinction between what is fiction and what is not?

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About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Non-fiction Five Challenge 2010

  1. Well done, Jo! Interesting choice of books. I don’t read enough non-fiction, I always end making making tons of notes because I’m afraid to forget everything and it takes me so long to read them that the library wants them back before I’m done.

    Creative non-fiction is an intriguing concept, I love the blurring of genres.

    Posted by Bina | October 2, 2010, 12:21 pm

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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