Fact or Fiction?

You’ll see on my Goodread’s sidebar that I have several books on my “reading” shelf and they are a mix of Fact (London: A Biography) and Fiction (The Fiery Cross).  Of course those two aren’t that different — one reason I enjoy historic fiction is that I’m learning about history at the same time as I’m enjoying the story about people living during that historic time.  I enjoy mixing it up — and that’s one reason I joined Ann Patchett’s Parnassus bookstore’s First Edition club.  (I’m in Warwick’s First Edition Club as well, but it almost always features fiction, whereas Parnassus mixes it up.

The Parnassus First Edition monthly selection a few month’s ago was In The Kingdom of Ice: The Grand And Terrible Polar Voyage.  I have exactly no interest in ice or the North Pole or voyages thereto, or even the 1880s time period.  So never would I have picked up that book to read.  But dutifully, and trusting Ann’s judgment, I opened to page one and started reading and soon was enthralled by the courage and preparation and adventurous spirit and attitude of those brave men who went forth to find a sea passage to the North Pole and wound up in a place where Northern Siberia — 1,000 miles away — looked like heaven on earth.  In fact I sometimes pick up non-fiction books more often just to try to up our average, after reading that in general after graduation adults read only two non-fiction books for the rest of their lives!!!  Seriously?  Two?  There is so much to learn, and it’s so much fun doing it, I can’t imagine missing out on all the wonderful non-fiction that’s right at our fingertips, thoroughly researched and beautifully written words of wisdom and insight and knowledge.

But after a non-fiction I’m always ready to just have fun with or be scared by someone’s imagination by digging into a good novel.  I’m glad I can move between the two without having to read just one and not the other.  The answer to the Daily Prompt for me, then, is Fact AND Fiction … one right after the other, learning and imagining and enjoying them all!

9 thoughts on “Fact or Fiction?

  1. I had this come up with another blogger yesterday (I think it was); my beef with historical fiction is how often they get simple things wrong and it makes you pull back from the book and ask yourself why the author couldn’t get those simple things right. However, a well researched historical fiction… I’m all over that! 😉

    • I agree it turns you off of a book when you see a glaring mistake — it takes you out of the story. And researching the history is my favorite part of trying to write my historic fiction so I hope if I ever finish my book it will be well-researched and worth reading … but at the rate I’m going I’ll be history before it’s done!

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  4. It’s surprising and, at the same time, not surprising that adults read only two non fiction books in the lifetime….. I’ve yet to pick one up but I am on the look out for a good though….

    • Unbroken is excellent, and about to come out in a movie. Give it a try! It’s about an amazing man who died just recently who had nothing, somewhat randomly decided to run and was at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in track and field, then horrible crazy experiences in WWII, and continued to skateboard until he was in his 90s … truly unbelievable story of human capacity and endurance and living a full life.

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