Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The BBC awarded its first Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 1999. The prize "is the richest non fiction prize in the UK, worth £20,000 to the winner. . . . [T]he prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of all non-fiction books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts." A few non-fiction books are included in some of the Must Read lists here on Rose City Reader, but this is the first exclusively non-fiction list I have posted. I enjoy non-fiction more and more, but my default reading choices are novels. To remind myself to read more non-fiction, I have adopted this list -- it is a short one, the books are contemporary, and (so far) only one is pure military history. A couple, shown in blue, are on my TBR shelf right now, but I haven't read any of these books yet. 2008 The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale 2007 Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran 2006 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro 2005 Like A Fiery Elephant: The Story of BS Johnson by Jonathan Coe 2004 Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder 2003 Pushkin: A Biography by TJ Binyon 2002 Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 by Margaret MacMillan (the American title is Paris 1919) 2001 The Third Reich: A New History by Michael Burleigh 2000 Berlioz Volume 2: Servitude and Greatness by David Cairns 1999 Stalingrad by Antony Beevor If anyone else is reading these prize winners, please leave a link in a comment and I will add it to this post.