No, not great sex, you dirty-minded bastards. I mean a good book! I justed finished The Bolter by Frances Osborne, a novel about Idina Sackville, a woman who lived a life of glamour, riches, debauchery, sexual promiscuity, multiple husbands, and in the end died a lonely and broken-hearted shell of a person. The other great read I had recently was Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, a novel of parallel stories about a French journalist investigating the 1942 roundup and deportation of Jews at the Vel D’Hiver (Velodrome D’Hiver) in Paris. I usually don’t read fiction, but because there was so much history in this novel, and because it was so well written, I found it enthralling and informative.
So, why the tendency toward non-fiction? I find real life so much more interesting than anything one can imagine, and I tend to crave the tangibility of real events and real people over the stylized mystique of fictional characters and places. Are there exceptions to this? Why, of course. The first novel that comes to mind is The Godfather. Fiction, yes. Compelling beyond imagination – most certainly. Other fiction writing has captivated me, but nothing appeals to me more than the immersing myself in the scenarios of “what really happened.” And like great sex, I just don’t want it to end.