If you saw this post from earlier in the year then you probably know that one of my reading goals for 2015 is to read more non-fiction. Now that we are 3 months into the year (I cannot believe it is already March!) I have realized that I am sorely lacking in this department having read exactly 0 non-fiction books so far this year. Recently, I have become (re)fascinated (This should be a word…) with history thanks to Crash Course History and Kahn academy, which fueled my interest so much that now I am searching for every book history related that I can find. Specifically those to do with ancient civilization and biographies of great people, with a few other things mixed in there as well. So without further ado, here is my non-fiction want to read list:
Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay
Being an art history major, this book immediately caught my attention. This one is all about where certain colors come from and what famous people of the past used them. I feel as though there should be a class on practical things like this for art history majors. To me it seems useful for understanding ancient art better, but who knows, maybe its just me.
Catherine The Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
There is something about Catherine the Great (And Russia) that has always kept me slightly fascinated. In elementary school I was obsessed with reading royal diaries, a fictional series that takes real queens/princesses and makes a story out of their teenage years. And in that series was one about Catherine the Great, so there started my interest. Now though, I would love to take an in depth look at her life and accomplishments.
The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan
I am not a huge WWII buff like some people I know, but I don’t think it is possible to not be at least a little interested in the subject. The Longest Day recounts the invasion of Normandy both before and after it occurred. I am looking forward to understanding WWII better, specifically how the soldiers really felt during those times.
Zelda by Nancy Milford
After reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald I wanted to know more about her. Z was a good book, but since it was fiction based on a real person you can’t really know what to trust and not trust. Zelda is one of those people that you can’t help but be fascinated with, especially since she was married to one of the best authors of the 20th century.
So what are some non-fiction books that you loved and would recommend?
Until next time x
Every year I challenge myself by creating a reading goal, and 2015 is no different! Usually, I base my goals on how many books I think I can actually finish rather than how many I want to read. I like to have my reading goal all about feeling good at the end of the year by how much I accomplished. I don’t want to feel that I should have read more. Although let’s be honest, I think we all feel that, at least a little bit.
This year I set my goal at 20 books. Last year I also set my goal at 20, but only managed to read 19. Close, but no cigar! I made it the same again because I really want to complete that goal and I know that I can. This year I was a little lazy in keeping up on my reading. I always start and end strong, but slag off in the middle.
Sadly, I have only actually finished one of these reading challenges after doing it since 2011. Hoping I can change that this year! The first time I did it I vastly overestimated how much I can read in a year by making my goal 52 books. I won’t be making that mistake again!
Some other readings goals I have is to read more nonfiction this year. I started last year and surprisingly really enjoyed it. I really want to jam as much knowledge as possible into this brain of mine!
What are some reading goals you have for 2015?
Until next time x
Current Obsessions will be a new (possibly monthly?) series where I ramble on about all the things I am currently loving.
Kitchen Nightmares – If you are into realty shows about food then I am sure you have seen this show by now. Famous for its swearing, Chef Gordan Ramsey goes to various restaurants that are close to shutting their doors and tries to revive them. While I was visiting Sean in maple ridge we began to watch this show obsessively. I think more than being obsessed with the show, we even began to obsess over Gordan Ramsey himself. Honestly, he is hilarious! I would also recommend the British Series over the US one. The US version is too dramatic and put on in my opinion.
Band of Brothers – OMG. I love this show! I think I should have talked about this sooner because the first time I saw it was actually a couple of years ago, but recently I have been watching it again. Band of Brothers was an HBO miniseries that documented a company of paratroopers going through WWII. Its a really good series if you are a history or WWII buff, but even if you’re not I would still recommend it. I think I like it a lot because you really get to know a lot of the characters well and become very attached. Another special thing about the show is that at the beginning of each episode they have the real veterans talking about different aspects of what they experienced in the war. So in case you were wondering, this is based on real people.
I have recently been loving The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Most of the songs I already knew, but it never hurts to revisit them. This soundtrack really makes you want to dance! I saw the movie twice in theatres and the second time was mainly to listen to all the songs in the movie again. :3
Other than that I have also been listening to Take Me to Church by Hozier, Coldplays new album Ghost Stories, and Soul by Rhodes.
I recently read Daughter of Duchess by Pamela Hicks and really enjoyed it. It made me start thinking about how I should start reading more nonfiction. I always thick I won’t enjoy it when I really do. This particular book is a memoir about Pamela’s childhood in England and India as the daughter of Lord Louis and Edwina Mountbatten. What makes it especially interesting is how many royal ties she has. I didn’t know it was possible to have so many!
I am obsessed with underwater cameras right now! For a long time I have wanted to purchase one of my own but didn’t want to spend the money on it. So instead, I have been staring longingly at others underwater adventures. Then, my boyfriend asked why I didn’t just go buy a disposable one. I feel so stupid for not even thinking of this! We have been having a lot of fun taking photos so far, except none of us want to open our eyes underwater and we didn’t have goggles so I have no idea what any of my shots look like. I am hoping they are ok! I’ll probably be getting the film developed in a couple of weeks so I can share it here. :)
Until next time x
As some may know I am a lover of vintage things. I have even begun to collect vintage cameras and also got a typewriter for my birthday. The past seems so elegant to me, and elegance is something I crave, as ridiculous as it seems. I know, I am romanticizing it beyond belief and ignoring all the problems, such as voting rights and the fact that we had two Wold Wars. But even when I think about all that, I can’t help it.
A couple of years ago I began writing letters to two pen pals in the US. There is something romantic about letter writing that really gets to me. It seems easier to write down all your thoughts with pen and paper rather than a keyboard and mouse. I am hoping that when I got to Amsterdam I will be able to write a lot of letters home to friends and family. It takes a lot more effort, but thats also the appeal. It is such a good feeling when someone sends you a letter!
Constant Puyo, Au Jardin Fleuri ,1899
And of course because of my love of photography, I love looking at old photos of people living in the 20’s and 40’s. It seems like another world entirely! Sometimes I really think that I would prefer to live in those times rather than todays modern world. Where if you can’t keep up with it, it will just leave you behind.
My favorite genre of movie is definitely period dramas and even book wise I love to read about places set way before my time.
My love for old things is also a key aspect of why I love art history. Its fascinating to see the things that people were interested in painting years ago and how the styles evolved up till now.
Robert Frank, New York, 1950s
I am thinking about all these things right now because today a random thought popped into my head. I began to think that I should stop living in the past and start being more conscientious of the present. I spend so much time thinking about how other people lived that I am not properly living my own life. However, as soon as this thought came up I immediately waved it away. Vintage things are sort of a passion of mine. I love reminiscing, seeing how photography advanced and how computers came to be. The fashion in the 20s was to die for and I love seeing photos of pin-up girls too. So for now I’ll give myself an excuse. This is just a distraction for when things get hard. For when I am stressed out beyond belief and need an escape. I’ll escape into the past.
Until next time x
I look at all the books on the bookshelf but only see what I will never have time to read.
The adventures I will not partake in, the fantasies that will not consume my mind, and mysteries I will never solve.
The palaces and kingdoms I will not rule. The simple folk I will never meet.
The monsters I will not slay and the creatures I will not befriend.
I look at all the books on the bookshelf, instead of looking at the world outside my door, waiting for me.
I found this video a couple of weeks back and absolutely loved it. I am one of those people who absolutely hates ebooks. I will never buy a kindle or download a book on my ipod. Never being well, never. It makes me sad that so many bookstores are now closing because of this new technology. I suppose we’re supposed to embrace this new format of books as in many ways it does make reading easier, but it really just makes me sad.
I love holding a real book in my hands. Turning each page to discover something new. The smell of new books or books that have been left out in the rain. I love collecting books and adding or reorganizing my bookshelf.
For me, ebooks takes away a lot of what I love from a book. And sure, what you should love from books is mainly the story itself, and the themes and meanings behind the book, but it isn’t complete if I can’t hold that story in my hands.
Thats why I love this video so much. It shows the traditional way of making and binding a book. I love the heard work that goes into making a single copy, it makes me feel as though what I am holding is more special in some ways. Its hard to believe that at one point in time, printing books itself was a new technology that people were amazed by. We’ve come along way since then.
But still, I can’t forget the origins of the book.