Here Be No Dragons: The Score So Far…
If you remember (obviously you remember), way back in January I wrote about five non-fiction books I wanted to read in 2018. I completed my Goodreads reading challenge for the year in mid-October, so it seemed like an appropriate moment to look back and take stock of what I read over the course of the past 10 months. The result of this soul-searching is that I have three confessions to make.
If you’d asked me last week which five non-fiction books I’d picked at the beginning of this year to make the First Ever, Very Important Installment of Here Be No Dragons…well, let’s just say I probably could have only named two of them.
There’s a ‘however’ coming.
HOWEVER. It turns out that I have read four of the five and eight works of non-fiction in total. Not bad, eh?
The book on that list I was secretly hoping would be my favorite was something of a disappointment.
That book was Ghost on the Throne. Sure, I learned things, and the period after Alexander the Great’s death is fascinating enough to hold my interest regardless. But the author displayed some habits of which I wasn’t overly fond. The primary offenders were repetition (beyond what was necessary to remind readers of identities and events) and the tendency to describe the very few women in the book who have any serious part to play as grasping—while the men are ambitious, resourceful, and clever.
Dude. This is not a good look.
Is the disappointment partially my fault? Did I put too much expectation on it simply because it carried the name of Alexander? Possibly.
The book from the January list I haven’t read is The Plantagenets—and if all the books I want to read before the end of the year were to participate in a melee in order to determine reading order…it wouldn’t win. I imagine it’d suffer a rather ignominious and swift death, landing in the mud, possibly with an arrow in the eye, etc.
(I’ve been using the shrug emoji A LOT lately, so imagine one or three of them here.)
It’s not that the notorious Plantagenets have become less interesting in the past 10 months, it’s just that my brain has wandered in other directions recently. And let’s face it, the Plantagenets have endured through the centuries—in the minds of those who care about these things, at least—so I highly doubt my current indifference is going to have any dead kings and queens rolling over in their graves.
So, where does that leave me for the remaining days of 2018?
- I’m buried deep in a hefty biography. Not telling who the subject is—but if you really want to know, Goodreads will readily spill the secret.
- I think I know which non-fiction book will be my top choice of the year—but there are still books to be consumed and I’m not ready to name names yet! Watch this space.
- And—as always—if you have a great non-fiction title to share, do it!