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My attitude to non-fiction is exactly the same as yours. I love it and am not sure why I don't read more. This year I too decided that must change. I started well with 3 in January and then went down to 1 each in Feb. and March. I'm halfway through the rivers book now. I thought I wasn't doing too well but actually when I think about it, 5 is a quarter of the books I've read so far this year, and that's not too shabby.

Borrowed Finery sounds rather good so I'll be investigating that a bit further.


I've actually got at least four nonfiction reads under way at the moment--one I will likely finish this weekend--another book by Paula Fox, which is a bit slighter but just as good, so I'll be adding more 'finishes' to my list. I think I am going to read the first of the Call the Midwife books next. Three in a month is great--at least it would be for me. I guess if I can manage at least one a month I'll be doing well, though I have such a towering pile I hope to read more than that. I loved Borrowed Finery and highly recommend it. She was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for it. I love memoirs in general but I have a few history books I want to get to this year as well.


As I mentioned before, I love her writing.
This sounds like a book I'd like a lot but it needs to wait, I have others on my piles. Poor George and a collection of short fiction or essays.
My biggest problem with non-fiction is that I have a tendency to read too many in parallel.


Sounds like a good memoir. Does she talk a bout becoming a writer in it at all or does it stop before that happens?


This is on my wishlist now and I've got some of her fiction books there, too. She sounds such an intriguing woman and I've loved the teasers and quotes you've posted. I'm on a real non-fiction kick this year, so am delighted to get such a cool recommendation!


Was it Desperate Characters you said you read and liked? I've ordered several of her books and am looking forward to reading her fiction next. I am nearly finished with The Coldest Winter and it pretty much confirms that I want to read all her work now! I tend to only (surprisingly) read one NF at a time, though at the moment I do seem to have several nonfiction books started (though one is a book of letters and another a diary). I suppose as long as they are different enough maybe it isn't too hard to keep them all straight?


It's excellent--I could happily read it again. She doesn't talk about her life as a writer--only about growing up until her early 20s. The Coldest Winter moves on to her early to mid-20s when she was a "stringer" in post-war Europe--writing special interest pieces for a British wire service. It's been fascinating reading. I'm not sure if she wrote any other memoirs, but I will certainly be reading her fiction next.


I think this will fit in very nicely, then, with your other creative nonfiction reading your doing. I would love to hear your take on this book. She's a wonderful writer and I've been impressed with the two books I've read by her. Now on to her fiction I think!


My favourite was The God of Nightmares but I liked Desperate Characters a lot too.


Oh, yes, that's right. I added it to my wishlist--I think I will have to buy it next time I put an order together--thanks for the reminder!

Buried In Print

Reading this made me want to read all of her other books too....and, of course, I've gathered a few, but haven't read any others (typical!). Thanks for the reminder of how enjoyable this was to read!


I'm definitely adding this to my list--and I came from your post on The Coldest Winter, which will also be added!


I have done exactly the same thing--started collecting her other books. Maybe I can try and squeeze in one of her novels now. I do like her writing style and wonder how much her fiction varies from her memoir-writing.


Both are excellent. I know she was up for the National Book Award (well, some award anyway) for Borrowed Finery. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!


Hi Danielle, I've arrived here following Victoria's (litlove) comments on one of my blog posts as I've just reviewed Desperate Characters by Paula Fox. (Victoria mentioned that she'd read about Fox on your blog so I thought I'd drop by to take a look at your review!) I'm actually very interested in reading Borrowed Finery at some point as I wonder how much of Fox's own life experience has worked its way into her fiction. She seems to have lived quite a life.


Hi JacquiWine--thanks so much for stopping by and so nice of Victoria to mention I'd read Paula Fox as well (she has a very good memory since it has been a few years now since I read the book!). I have been wanting to read more of her work--I've just read a couple of books but loved them both and this one especially. I know what you mean about wondering how much of an author's own life experience has influenced their fiction writing-and conversely I also wonder if when writing nonfiction if there is some 'creative nonfiction' going on as well. She has had a most interesting life, and she writes about it well. Now you make me want to go right now and grab one of her novels from my own bookshelf! Oh, and I do highly recommend Borrowed Finery--it was one of my favorite reads the year I read it!

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