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  • Writer's pictureEmily


Harmon, Claire- Jane's Fame

Zinsser, William- Writing Places

Collis, Clark- You've Got Red on You

I wrote about Tales of Kentucky Ghosts by William Lynwood Montell in October.

I've really enjoyed the non-fiction reading challenge that I set myself. I have never read enough non-fiction in the past, but I really think that I'm going to keep up this habit.

I was going to set myself another challenge to read a book from each number section of the dewey decimal system and round it out with a couple of biographies, but I do want to cut back on any challenges that will make me feel boxed-in, which my challenges this year did a few times. (I do have a challenge planned, which I'll write about in another post.)

This challenge was supposed to be divided, with YA and children's books falling in this category as well, but I enjoyed the non-fiction so much that it took over. I only read one children's book all year, and, I think, two YA books. Oops. But I don't care! I have a new non-fiction habit.

I saw so many books that I want to read. So much of the literature section- I love reading about books, authors, and reading itself. And art and history and biography and poetry... YUM!

OK, now onto these books that I read this fall and into the winter to round out my 2021 reading challenge.

Jane's Fame- I loved this book. It begins with an overview of Jane Austen's life and career, but after her death, it carries on the history of her works. How her popularity rose and fell, the huge surge in popularity that began in the late 90s. The author even dislikes the two Mansfield Park movies that have come out in the late 90s and in the mid-00s just like I did! And also really approved of the movie Miss Austen Regrets, which I have on DVD and LOVE. This will be enjoyable for Janeites, but also probably interesting to literature students. Oh, and the narration was very good- Wanda McCadden is one of my favorite readers. I listened to her read Jane Eyre about ten years ago, and in the library service Hoopla, you can search books by performer, so I have listened to several of her readings.

Writing Places- This is a memoir of a writer's life and work spanning newspapers in 1950s New York to teaching at Yale in the 70s to writing and revising a how-to-write manual that went on to sell millions of copies (On Writing Well). There's a bit about his background and family life, but most of the book is about his work. How, when, and where he wrote. There were so many changes to the way people work over these years. He seems to have been able to roll with the changes in the status of women and BIPOC writers, and to see the need for the changes.

You've Got Red on You- This was a very detailed account of the writing, development, shooting, editing, and promoting of Shaun of the Dead. Honestly, I thought it was slightly dull from time to time, but I let myself skim, and that didn't happen often. A good book to read for a little while before going to sleep. It also talks a bit about Spaced and the rest of the Cornetto movies. It's got me wanting to watch Shaun of the Dead again. This book is just what you'd expect, lots of interviews and behind the scenes photos. If you're enough of a nerd to like the documentaries about making Lord of the Rings that come with the extended versions, you'd probably like this.

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