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!

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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