Sep 5, 2013

Nonfiction Books: Old Man River; Good Prose

I requested this new book from the publisher as my husband and I have both had a love for this river through the books, the songs and music, and the movies made about it. The river runs north and south right through the country, and am looking forward to reading Paul Schneider's book about the length and breadth of its history.

Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History, "an account of how the Mississippi shaped America," was published September 3 by Henry Holt and Co.,  my birthday, by the way, and I say that's auspicious for my enjoying it! It is divided into seven books, each book detailing the river's history from prehistoric times to the present.

The other nonfiction I'm currently reading is Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd, two writers known for their nonfiction and portraits of American life. The hardcover edition was published by Random House in January this year and the paperback edition just came out August 7.  I started reading it in the bookstore and had to buy it.

I have never read a how-to book on writing straight through before, but I'm enjoying this one and am reading it like a novel, from cover to cover. The writers' observations, comments, and tips can apply to fiction as well as nonfiction. I liked the section on writing memoirs quite a bit.  It made me determined to dust off my notes and keep going on that family history project I started.

I hope to write more about these two books after I've finished them.

What nonfiction books have you been reading?


  1. Those both look good! I live in St. Louis and grew up in a small town on the Mississippi River. And I love Tracy Kidder's books but didn't know he had one out on writing. Thanks!

    Joy's Book Blog

  2. These do sound good! I also enjoy non-fiction books--I just started listening to Dear Chandler, Dear Scarlett in my car this morning.

  3. The Mississippi River book looks to be such a great read! I love history, this one seems to tackle it from a slightly different angle. The Mississippi has had such an important part in American history and culture.

    Hopefully you will read it soon and tell us what you think.

  4. Old Man River is on my review stack and I can't wait to read it.
    Belated birthday wishes!


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