Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nonfiction November: Ask the Expert

Yay I'm caught up with Nonfiction November! Today I'm linking up with Regular Rumination for this week's topic:

Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert: Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).
This year I'm Asking the Expert. I need your help! This year I started a casual project to read more on WWI over the next few years in commemoration of the centenary. Good thing it's casual, as I've only managed two this year so far! E.E Cummings' fictionalised memoir The Enormous Room and the historian Max Hasting's tome Catastrophe 1914. If the later taught me anything, it's that I already know the basics of the war (I did study it in-depth at university). I want some unique stories, the personal stories. Nonfiction that goes beyond and-this-happened-on-this-date-and-these-soldiers-moved-to-this-place-on-the-Western-Front.

What can you recommend folks? Let me at 'em . . . .


  1. I just treated myself to The Beauty and The Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War by Peter Englund. I haven't read past the introduction yet, but it sounds very promising. It tells the stories of twenty average men and women from around the world during WWI. In Englund's words, it is not a book about what the war was, but what the war was like. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  2. Have you tried Vera Brittain's Testament to Youth? (memoir) or Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy? (novels)
    Wilfred Owen's poems are also worth seeking out.
    For an Australian perspective try The Middle Parts of Fortune by Frederic Manning (memoir).
    And I believe Lawrence of Arabia's Seven Pillars of Wisdom is a fascinating read.

    I look forward to the reviews :-)

    1. I'm waiting for my sister-in-law to finish with Vera Brittain so I can borrow it! Thanks for the other recommendations!

  3. I have heard great things about Robert Graves' autobiography, Goodbye to All That, as well as Vera Brittain's book that Brona Joy mentioned. Good luck in your reading project!