Chapter 2 of What’s on Your Nightstand

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On Tuesday, I shared the books on my bedside table. Today, I thought I’d show you my husband’s pile. It’s rather large 🙂

The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s enormous. And I’ll let you in on a little secret … it keeps growing. Why? you ask. Well, that’s because my husband does 99% of his reading electronically with the exception of the daily newspaper that still arrives at our front door.

Let’s have a look:

My Promised Land by Ari Shavit. This is on Ian’s bedside table because I read it and recommended it highly. It’s about the complexities and contradictions of Israel – how it came to be, whether it can survive, and the issues and threats facing the country.

The Gambler by William C. Rempel … or how penniless dropout Kirk Kerkorian became the greatest dealmaker in capitalist history. If you thought Donald Trump was a dealmaker, think again.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari … from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. Lots of accolades for this book. You’ll notice there are two copies!!

Riel and the Rebellion by Thomas Flanagan .. an examination of Canada’s Northwest Rebellion that took place in 1885.

WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us by Tim O’Reilly. This book “explores the burning question of how to master the technologies we create before they master us.”

Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum .. the title speaks for itself.

Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides … the grand and terrible polar voyage of the USS Jeannette which took place in 1879.

Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch … a wine buyer’s tour of France.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen … an autobiography of this highly acclaimed musician and performer.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight … the founder of Nike tells his story.

As you can see, they are exclusively non-fiction and cover a wide range of topics. I wonder whether the pile will continue to grow or will it diminish over time?

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

 

What’s on Your Nightstand?

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Do the books beside your bed beckon or taunt? Do they make you feel guilty or make you crave the time required to dip into their pages?

Five books and a Kindle reside on my beside table. Since I share a Kindle account with my husband, the Kindle can provide hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of reading pleasure. A huge portion of them mysteries — my husband’s favourite genre — but many others as well. I’m currently reading Beartown by Frederik Backman. I had been reading Gone With the Wind but found it rather slow and long-winded (no pun intended).

Next we have The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson. I started this after seeing Dunkirk and Darkest Hour and reading a biography of Clementine Churchill. Unfortunately, Boris Johnson’s Brexit nonsense has interfered with my enjoyment of the book. Whether I will complete it remains to be seen. I’m on page 41.

Just Imagine: A New Life on an Old Boat by Michelle Caffrey is on loan from a friend. It tells the story of a couple who leave their jobs in the software industry to buy a converted 1906 Dutch barge and boat along canals and rivers from Holland to France. Now wouldn’t you love to do that? It definitely beckons!

Story by Robert McKee was recommended by my friend and fellow author Barbara Kyle. While McKee’s focus is on screenwriting, the advice is equally helpful to those of us writing novels. I’m on page 121.

Aging Backwards by Miranda Esmonde-White was a Christmas gift from my husband. It’s described as “a groundbreaking guide to understanding how aging happens [yes, I’m getting older] and how to repair and reverse its effects.” I’ve read a few chapters but haven’t attempted the exercises outlined in the book. Sigh. Too busy writing the next novel!

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson is at the bottom of the pile. In a fit of frustration with my inability to figure out what I – one little person – should do to combat climate change, I purchased this book. It has lots of useful advice but many suggestions that I would never adopt – like making my own toothpaste. It’s more of a resource book than something to read.

An eclectic mix, but not as much historical fiction or historical non-fiction as I usually have waiting for me.

What’s on your virtual or real bedside table?

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

Who’s Saying What about Historical Fiction

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I thought I’d take a look via Google at what others are saying about historical fiction.

First up – a list from Read It Forward of Historical Fiction We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019 and written by Keith Rice, freelance writer and editor @Keith_Rice1. By the way, there are many other lists of interesting historical fiction for 2019.

In Why Are We Living in a Golden Age of Historical Fiction?, Megan O’Grady writes: “As visions of the future increasingly fail in the face of our present moment, literary authors are increasingly looking back, not to comfort us with a sense of known past, or even an easy allegory of the present, but instead — motivated by a kind of clue-gathering — to seek reasons for why we are the way we are and how we got here, and at what point the train began to derail.” She has a lot more to say than this one quote and I encourage you to read the full article.

In Read Brightly, tagline Raise Kids Who Love to Read, Ellen Klages writes Why Historical Fiction is Important for 21st Century Kids … “I think it’s important for kids to be aware that the past was often less than savory, that they learn about what actually happened, not what some would like to pretend it was like.”

Why is Holocaust Fiction Still So Popular? Writing in Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, Emily Burack tackles this topic. She says: “I came to understand that Holocaust fiction remains popular for four key reasons: a mix of who is telling the story (the third and fourth generations), the types of stories (not straightforward, but morally ambiguous), the historical truth at the heart of all these novels and our current political moment.”

Historical Fiction – How, What, When and Why … this article appears on a site called Writers & Artists – The Insider Guide to the Media. The article, written by members of Triskele Books, includes top research tips, visual approaches, inspiration, and reliving the past.

The Walter Scott Prize for 2019 Shortlist is out … the shortlisted novels include The Long Take by Robin Robertson, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller, The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey, After The Party by Cressida Connolly and A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.