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Old 03-01-2013, 01:31 PM   #16
desertblues
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Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
desertblues, is this non-fiction?
Well, I wondered about this nomination of mine as well, but I thought 'someone will chip in to ask if this is non-fiction or not'.
I am not sure; it is about a true event, but obviously the narrator wasn't present. Does he have to be?
I searched some on the internet; here from Wikipedia:

"Non-fiction (or nonfiction) is the form of any narrative, account, or other communicative work whose assertions and descriptions are understood to be factual. This presentation may be accurate or not—that is, it can give either a true or a false account of the subject in question—however, it is generally assumed that authors of such accounts believe them to be truthful at the time of their composition or, at least, pose them to their audience as historically or empirically true. Note that reporting the beliefs of others in a non-fiction format is not necessarily an endorsement of the ultimate veracity of those beliefs, it is simply saying it is true that people believe them (for such topics as mythology, religion). Non-fiction can also be written about fiction, giving information about these other works."

Another question: does the nomination have to be an ebook?

I'll leave the validity of my nomination to you and will withdraw it without a murmur, if asked.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by desertblues View Post
Well, I wondered about this nomination of mine as well, but I thought 'someone will chip in to ask if this is non-fiction or not'.
I am not sure; it is about a true event, but obviously the narrator wasn't present. Does he have to be?
I searched some on the internet; here from Wikipedia:

"Non-fiction (or nonfiction) is the form of any narrative, account, or other communicative work whose assertions and descriptions are understood to be factual. This presentation may be accurate or not—that is, it can give either a true or a false account of the subject in question—however, it is generally assumed that authors of such accounts believe them to be truthful at the time of their composition or, at least, pose them to their audience as historically or empirically true. Note that reporting the beliefs of others in a non-fiction format is not necessarily an endorsement of the ultimate veracity of those beliefs, it is simply saying it is true that people believe them (for such topics as mythology, religion). Non-fiction can also be written about fiction, giving information about these other works."

...

I'll leave the validity of my nomination to you and will withdraw it without a murmur, if asked.
Interesting post that has me pondering non-fiction. To me, I see historical non-fiction as an account where everything is represented as true or as close as can be known, and any speculation and such is clearly presented as such. Whereas something like historical fiction can weave fictional elements into true historical events making it look in the context of the story as if it were all true, even the fictional parts. I looked The Elephant's Journey up and it still looks more like historical fiction to me, and it's listed everywhere as one of his "novels". It's an interesting nomination; I'm just not sure if it's non-fiction.

What say others about it?

Quote:
Another question: does the nomination have to be an ebook?
Nope, no restrictions on that.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #18
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^^It sounds great, but yeah, fiction. Even though I already own it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:33 PM   #19
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Well, as I said before, I had my doubts about my first nomination, so I withdraw it. It's alright.

And....I had another candidate waiting:

I nominate for the non-fiction this very interesting book:
Frank Westerman. Engineers of the soul

Review Random House:
Engineers of the Soul is the riveting story of two journeys — one literal, one imaginary — through contemporary Russia and through Soviet-era literature.Travelling through present and past, Frank Westerman draws the reader into the wild euphoria of the Russian Revolution, as art and reality are bent to radically new purposes. Writers of renown, described by Stalin as ‘engineers of the soul', were encouraged to sing the praises of canal and dam construction under titles such as Energy, The Hydraulic Power Station and Onward, Time! But their enthusiasm — spontaneous and idealistic at first — soon becomes an obligatory song of praise. And as these colossal waterworks lead to slavery and destruction, Soviet writers labour on in the service of a deluded totalitarian society.Combining investigative journalism with literary history, Westerman examines both the landscape of ‘Oriental despotism' and the books — and lives — of writers caught in the wheels of the system. ‘It is easy to die a hero's death,' wrote Konstantin Paustovsky, ‘but it is difficult to live a hero's life.'Engineers of the Soul sweeps the reader along to the dramatic dénouement: the final confrontation between writers and engineers that signalled the end of the Soviet empire.

(I couldn't find it as ebook, but I asked Amazon to provide it as such. Won't be in time for the reading...).
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:48 PM   #20
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It's all updated and I'll second Engineers of the Soul.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #21
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I nominate Just Kids by Patti Smith.

Spoiler:
In Just Kids, Patti Smith's first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the ChelseaHotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work--from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:12 PM   #22
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I'll third South and Engineers of the Soul.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:22 PM   #23
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I'll nominate Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

Quote:
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues--Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple's hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

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Old 03-02-2013, 02:18 AM   #24
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I nominate Just Kids by Patti Smith.
I second this
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:32 PM   #25
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I'll fourth both Goodbye to All That and South.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:50 PM   #26
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I'd like to nominate France: The Dark Years, by Julian Jackson. From Amazon:

Quote:
This is the first comprehensive study of the German occupation of France between 1940 and 1944. The author examines the nature and extent of collaboration and resistance, different experiences of Occupation, the persecution of the Jews, intellectual and cultural life under Occupation, and the purge trials that followed. He concludes by tracing the legacy and memory of the Occupation since 1945. Taking in ordinary peoples' experiences, this volume uncovers the conflicting memories of occupation which ensure that even today France continues to debate the legacy of the Vichy years.
From Reviews in History:

Quote:
Julian Jackson’s monumental history of Vichy is a powerful contribution to the historiography. No one knows more about this subject than he: every book, article, memoir and dissertation on it seems to have been located, analysed and woven into this account. Despite the thickness of the work it is also a pleasurable read: judicious, well crafted, always with an eye for the telling quotation or anecdote.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:51 PM   #27
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Oh, and I'll fourth Engineers of the Soul.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:29 PM   #28
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I've been wanting to read this, so I'll nominate Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity by Katherine Boo. It's available as an ebook and at libraries via Overdrive. It won the National Book Award in 2012.

Spoiler:
Quote:
From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter--Annawadi's "most-everything girl"--will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call "the full enjoy."

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths,the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:14 PM   #29
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I'll second Behind the Beautiful Forevers - sounds very interesting.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:30 PM   #30
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Ah, the dilemma, running out of nominations: if Truman Capote's In cold blood classes as non fiction, I'd like to nominate it. Probably most of you have read it already, but this book is one of my very many gaps!

EDIT: sorry, here is the blurb from Amazon:
Quote:
The chilling true crime 'non-fiction novel' that made Truman Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics.


Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human.

Last edited by paola; 03-02-2013 at 09:18 PM. Reason: Added book description
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