Informative Reads… Fiction or Non Fiction?

Today’s Booking Through Thursday question asks ‘what is the most informative book you have read recently’ and my initial reaction was that all books you read inform you in some way. It could be on the authors thoughts on people/life/certain subjects, it could be the level of research they have put into it or it could be based on factual things that have happened.

If I go on the fact that fiction can be informative reading then without a doubt Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel would be the most informative read that I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. The lengths that Mantel has clearly gone into researching Cromwell and the Tudor era (and in a way looking extra hard for new information and a different viewpoint to the era as many people have written Tudor based books in the last few years) was immense and you felt you walked the street, breathed the musty air and were actually there. Some people may say that fiction isn’t fact and I am aware fo the difference but when its based on fact, researched and thoroughly written I still think, with the right mindset, we can learn from it. I could also apply this to The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt, Daphne by Justine Picardie or the Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan I just haven’t read those as recently.

When it comes to non fiction, which I suppose is really the most informative books that you can read, then it’s a bit harder for me because I don’t read very much of it. My instant thought was The Letters Between Six Sisters all about The Mitford’s but that I read almost a year ago. Then looking back how could I have not thought instantly of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote which is one of the best books that I have read in 2009. Based on the savage murder of a family in rural America Capote writes the factual events (in such a stunning way you almost cant believe its not fiction) and looks at why people kill people, what makes people murder and how does it effect the surrounding village and population and their lives and how does it effect the families of the victims and the murderers themselves. It’s an incredibly insightful, moving and very informative and shocking book.

So what’s your most recent informative book? Do you agree or disagree that some fiction, or all fiction, can be informative in its own way? Have any fictional novels based on fact blown you away and made you feet like you were actually there? What fiction have you learnt from? What non fiction must I read?


Filed under Book Thoughts

25 responses to “Informative Reads… Fiction or Non Fiction?

  1. Pam

    Oh, I really really need to read Wolf Hall. Oh, TBR list…
    And I love In Cold Blood, of course.

  2. Schatzi

    I picked juvenile fiction for my most informative (recent) books. Top that!

  3. I think it may be too early in the morning to come up with a good list for me, but would have to agree with you on In Cold Blood. One of the best books of all time, I think. I’m going to have to do some more thinking on this one…

  4. jo

    I found this hard tolimit to just a few! I think most books are informative in some way. I agree with In cold Blood though. It is brilliant.

  5. Ah…I completely forgot about fiction!! when they ask about informative all I can think is about non-fiction.

    In cold blood sounds like my kind of book…I’ll look it up 🙂

  6. I want to read In Cold Blood!
    The most informative fiction book I have read recently is Illyrian Spring by Ann Bridge, an out of print gem that I highly recommend. It’s set in the Dalmatian region of the Italian and Croatian coasts and while the scenery is the background for a lovely story of personal growth and discovery, the immense detail of the beauty of the coast and its towns, cities, sights, etc, was remarkable and has made me want to go and explore it for myself.

  7. I forgot that In True Blood qualifies. I read it two months back and forgot to write a review too.

    Booking through recent informative

  8. Oops!


    In Cold Blood

  9. I read In Cold Blood not too long ago and thought it was just amazing. And I agree that all reading is informative. However light or fluffy the book, you’re learning something–even if it’s just shoe-shopping tips!

  10. Fiction can definitely be informative! I’m looking forward to Wolf Hall, and loved In Cold Blood.

  11. novelinsights

    Oh of course, I should have thought of Capote. I much prefer being informed in a roundabout way through fiction!

  12. I agree that fiction can be really informative and I respect the writers who do the research and incorporate it into their works. My most recent informative was an Arctic adventure, My Life With the Eskimo.

  13. cjz111

    Outstanding choice for In Cold Blood. That is one of my favorites!

  14. reviewsbylola

    In Cold Blood is truly revolutionary. One of my favorite books ever.

  15. Pingback: What Have You Enjoyed Lately? « Savidge Reads

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