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Friday, March 08, 2013

A Little Nonfiction

I have a couple of nonfiction books in process that I neglect and then return to after gulping down a novel or two.  One is More Baths Less Talking by Nicholas Hornby.  Hornby is always entertaining, but this monthly review of his reading life makes you jot down more books that you want to read.  I'm going to mention one that I want to recommend to my daughter, a film enthusiast, and this will remind me to do so.

Hornby discusses his reading of The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film by Michael Ondaatje, a series of interviews with Walter Murch.  If you are a film buff, you may already know the name, but unsurprisingly, I did not.  Murch edited Apocalypse Now, American Graffiti, The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley,  and The Godfather, and Hornby remarks that the book is
"a dream not just for cineasts, but for anyone interested in the tiny but crucial creative decisions that go into the making of anything at all." 
 Hornby mentions details from the book such as the sound of a door closing and why it is important in The Godfather and how the change of a character's name gave Francis Ford Coppola the idea of a semitransparent raincoat for Harry Caul in the 1974 film The Conversation (not to be confused with the title of Ondaatje's book).  So yes,  Ondaatje's conversations with Murch is on my list of want to reads, and one that my daughter would surely enjoy.

The other nonfiction that I'm reading in between novels is: The Queen's Agent:  Sir Francis Walsingham and the Rise of Espionage in Elizbethan England by John Cooper about the first great English spymaster.  I like this period and Walsingham comes up so often in fiction (as well, of course, as in any nonfiction about Elizabeth I) that it is interesting to take a closer look at his life and exploits.

Of course, the gardening continues, and I'm reading and rereading favorite gardening books.


  1. I'm reading like crazy but so far not motivated to blog about it or anything else. Not sure what's up with that...

  2. Isn't Hornby great? He always makes me want to read books that I had no interest in until he makes them sound so good.

  3. Teresa - blogging enthusiasm comes and goes with me, but reading, while it is sometimes more and sometimes less, is always there!

    Stefanie - Yep, Hornby broadens my horizons and makes me laugh!