Thursday, September 10, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Recent Informative

This week's Booking Through Thursday question (What’s the most informative book you’ve read recently?) is a little hard for me to answer. I mean, all books are informative in one way or another, aren't they? And even though I don't read much nonfiction, I feel that I learn something from most of the books I do read.

Several of the books I've read this year showed that their authors had done quite a lot of solid research on their subjects before writing. I'm thinking especially of The Longshot by Katie Kitamura, The Book of God and Physics by Enrique Joven, Angels & Insects by A.S. Byatt, and The Master by Colm Toibin; all of these were explorations of subjects I knew very little about when I started reading.

Recently, though, one of the books that impressed me the most was Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant. Her descriptions of life in a 16th Century Italian convent were fascinating and seemed chillingly real. I had never really given much thought to what that life must have been like, particularly if you were a young woman sentenced to a life shut up behind convent walls, against your will. It's a great story that really kept me turning the pages, but also taught me a lot. And isn't that what a good historical novel should do?


  1. There have been a lot of very positive reviews of Sacred Hearts's on my wish list. Renectly discovered Toibin with Brooklyn and now I want to read The Master, too.

  2. You chose so well. I do like fictions which are informative too.

    Weekly Geeks: Reviewing and rating

  3. I had a quick peek at your review actually of Angels and Insects. I've read Possession and it looks like that is similar in that it requires a certain level of awareness (or that it helps to have that!). Perhaps that means it makes you want to find information rather than being informative!!

  4. Alfred Chester Beatty, From Miner to Bibliophile by Charles Horton is the most recent informative book I've read. I knew him as an industrialist and engineer, but did not know about his extensive book collection.

    What a great question! And here's one for you: What's on your desk?

  5. I have had my eye on Sacred Hearts. Great choices!

  6. You have some great picks there. I tend to read Historical Fiction primarily, and of course those are always informative. So I chose the Historical Non-Fiction that I've read.. most recent, though not quite recent. Made me realize that I am bust doing too much reviewing of new books and not digging into my own library of non-fiction of which I am so enthralled. I also really enjoyed Sacred Hearts as well, that was a read that was full of delicate prose and silent questions about how faith fits into everyone's life. Loved it.

  7. Second mention of Sacred Hearts I've seen today - now I'm really getting interested!

  8. I absolutely loved Sacred Hearts. What a great book!

  9. I can't believe how many people listed this book as the most informative, myself included. It really did convey a lot of historical context that was fascinating.


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