Monday, May 16, 2016

What makes a great read?

I was clicking through on some good comments on Modern Mrs Darcy's blog a week or two ago. MMD has that podcast where she asks people 3 books they loved, 1 they hated and what they're currently reading.

By the way, this is often how I find new blogs. I read something in a comment that resonates and then I go follow.

Anyway, on one of those blogs, the lady had posted about the type of books that are a good read for her.

So I got thinking and this is what I came up with in the area of non-fiction:

(I wrote all about my favourite 5 books over on the organising blog)

3 books I loved
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
The Life-changing magic of tidying up

1 book I didn't care for...
(hate is a strong word...)
I didn't care at all for Notes on a blue bike, Sparkly green earrings and A million little ways

Books I've just finished
When Breath Becomes Air

What are the commonalities?

the 3 books I loved all had a combination of big picture thinking and practical how-to
I also love a good research element, so not just blah blah blah, but this is why this works, and this is how that research plays out practically in my life

didn't care for - all of these are blog writers with book deals. I personally think they write better blogs than they do books. I also think many of the blog writers don't translate well, because of the shorter-form essay-type format. Lots of faffing and not getting to the point, structure not great and I find myself thinking, "what is she actually trying to say?" which is a touch annoying in something I'm trying to learn from

So tell me, what makes a good non-fiction read for you?

I'll do the fiction reads next time, so start thinking :)


And the books I read in April?

April was a great reading month again with 9 books, 1 of them non-fiction.

Favourites were the Ella Griffin (READ IT!), the Jojo Moyes and the Sheila O'Flanagan. All library reads which I LOVE!

What were your favourite reads in April?


  1. Totally, totally get you. "I personally think they write better blogs than they do books." Exactly that... I feel compelled to buy the books of bloggers I love and follow, you know support them and all that... but blogging is what they do best and blogging is what they should stick with. I recently read The Crossroads of Should and Must... in a sitting, totally, totally loved it a couple of things are going to change around here because of that!!!

  2. Straight to the point, facts backed up by research. I find many non-fiction self help type books kind of all say the same things. My favorite non fiction is usually biographical I like reading about the lives of others (nosy me)

    1. You should read my top non-fiction read of last year! Esp after our conversation about Nigerian Tiger Mothers :)

  3. I didn't care much for Sparkly green earrings either. I still want to read Konmarie though. You know I am not great with non fiction but one of the few I did love was "The Happiness project"

    1. Oh and my April/May books are on the blog.

    2. You should definitely read Konmari - everyyyyyone should read Konmari!

  4. My favourite April Reads were Room and Between Shades of Gray. Both were emotional reads but very good. I read 5 books in April but May is not going so well because of my super thick book that I can't seem to finish.

    1. Did you stop reading your book, Terisha?

      (you know you're allowed, right?)

    2. Sorry only seeing your response now after I read part 2. Yep I gave up 500 pages into the book. There was another 1100 pages to go. I eventually ended reading 5 books in May so it wasn't too bad

  5. I am not one for non-fiction, unless it has something to do with WW2 or something along those lines.

    1. Anything war is not for me :o

  6. I need big picture thinking. I need for the author to speak to me in a normal voice. Not in an “I-know-all-the-big-words” voice. Also not in a “you-are-so-dumb-and-if-my-way-is-not-your-way-then-I-am-judging-you” voice. Also not in a soppy “I-love-you-so-much-my-baby” voice.
    I also need practical tips. I need to NOT feel bad about myself while I’m reading. And I ultimately need to feel inspired. I need to feel like I REALLY want to apply their thing to my life.
    One of my favourite NF reads of all time is Battle Hymn of the Tiger mother. I think that this is my preference for NF. As much as I love the practical tips and exercises, I LOVE the memoir-style even more.
    Way too little May reading. Am knitting a lot!

    1. Agree with Battle Hymn. It was the perfect non-fiction end to 2015 for me.

      Have you read Bread and Wine? I think you'd like it - a memoir-style blend of hospitality and relationships :)


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