2011 Reading: Best Nonfiction

I went through all the nonfiction I read in 2011, and the books below are the volumes I enjoyed the most; they cover a range of topics.

London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis, by Jonathan Schneer, is pretty much what it says on the cover – it gives a detailed picture of the different ways British imperialism affected and interacted with London in 1900. I particularly liked chapters which gave me a lot of good information on anti-imperialists of the period.

The Art of Time in Fiction: As Long as It Takes, Joan Silber is a book I will probably read more than once. Possibly several times. It’s short, but crammed with concepts and new ways to think about writing.


Experiencing Fiction: Judgments, Progression, and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative, by James Phelan
, is probably not for everyone, but I was delighted with its theoretical density, and am still mulling over its implications for my own writing. This is another book that I will have to read again, so I can deepen my understanding of what Phelan is saying.

Finally, Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England, by Judith Flanders, is perhaps the most useful book I’ve read yet on everyday life in the English Victorian household, and I highly recommend it both for general interest and for writers interested in setting fiction during that period. The book’s bibliography is even more valuable!

Published by Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s writing showcases her voracious lifelong love of books. She reads over 120 new books each year, especially historical romance, fantasy, and space opera, and incorporates these genres into her erotic fiction. Her first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. When not writing, Victoria conducts research in libraries and graveyards, lectures about writing and selling erotica, and speaks at literary conventions on topics such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotic science fiction/fantasy, and the empowerment of women through unconventional means. Her daily writing blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and author interviews. She also guest blogs for Heroes & Heartbreakers and The Criminal Element. She lives in Philadelphia.