Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fiction or nonfiction

Fiction is stories. Nonfiction is information. Like most readers,I started my reading journey with stories. I passed through phases like ‘only fiction’ and ‘no-fiction’ and now settling down, hopefully into a balanced reading habit.

My English reading started literally overnight. A friend told me that you have to improve your english or else you would do badly in a medical college.( She advised me to read Agatha Christie to improve my english!) I had read only marathi for first 18 years of my life and gave it up just like that one fine(or not so fine) day ! My initial Agatha Christies were read with a dictionary by my side.’N or M ‘was the first title I read and I actually did not understand much.(Now I know that it is a boring book and I would not recommend it to anyone!) 

It is easier to enumerate the genres which I avoid than the ones I enjoy. I don't read thrillers, too dark or depressing novels(I need some positivity in the book), novels with medical background ( probably because I am in that profession? A notable exception is Arthur Hailey's ‘The final Diagnosis’. As a pathology resident, I was asked to read this novel and I enjoyed the book).

My favourite nonfiction genres are psychology/spiritual(Brian Weiss , M.Scott Peck), autobiographies, travelogues(I suspect that I prefer them to actual travelling!), popular science books( The emperor of all maladies , A short history of nearly everything ) and essays on easy to read subjects such as food, movies,books and writing. I also enjoyed reading ‘The Penguin nonfiction collection ,volume 1 to 3 ‘ as it allowed me to try out samples from various topics outside my comfort zone.

Most interesting fiction I read recently : Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. I have read first two books in the series and they are fantastic. I love the parallel universe in which these books are set. It is a universe where books are important. There are literary detectives and people have ability to enter the books to interact with the characters.Ingenious , fascinating and complicated!

What I am reading currently : Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I had started it a few months back ,then dropped it and read a lot of fiction.