Sometimes I feel like the only person I know who finds reading history fascinating. It’s so full of amazing-yet-true stories of people driven to the edge and how they reacted to it. I keep telling friends that a good history book (as opposed to some of those textbooks in school that are all lists and dates) does everything a good novel does–it grips you with real characters doing amazing things.
Am I REALLY the only person who feels this way? When is the last time you read a history book? Historical biography? You know, something that took place in the past but was REAL.
No, of course not! How would historical nonfiction get published if you were the only person who read it?
I’m reading a history right now—Alberto Manguel’s A History of Reading, which I’m enjoying. While I was at home for the summer, I read Studs Terkel’s oral history of the Great Depression, Hard Times, which was fascinating. I like historical nonfiction as much as I like anything else, to be totally honest. It’s the quality of the book that interests me; a good writer can make any historical event fascinating, while a bad writer can make even the most amazing historical event flat and uninteresting.