Books Unblogged

So, the other books (besides Twins) I’ve read but not written about turn out to have something in common: they’re nonfiction.

I enjoyed all three but I think I know why I don’t have much to say about them here: they were best-sellers and easy reads. What’s to say? It’s like offering up an English-to-English translation. I can see, however, why nonfiction so far outsells fiction: decent nonfiction just skips right along. You get a ripping good story, a pleasant sense of the author’s voice, and lots of information, but, really, very little thinking is involved. The point of view doesn’t shift, the metaphors are deliberately pedestrian--making the unusual common rather than the other way around, and the pacing intends to just pull you right along.

So, yes, I liked the book-length Freakonomics as devoutly as I’d enjoyed the article in the Sunday Times. And though I found Julie Powell annoying at times, I got a lot of pleasure out of Julie and Julia. Finally, Simon Winchester’s great tale of the origins of the OED, The Professor and the Madman, did not disappoint.

None of these books disappointed, in fact.

I do want more, however. Deep in Woolf’s diaries, behind in my reading for the LitBlog Co-op, and otherwise feeling the pressure of looming Woolf deadlines, I am pondering, somewhat abstractly and abstractedly, where to turn next…