Tag: review

Reading Non-Fiction

Posted September 15, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 0 Comments

I’m not a non-fiction reader, much to my own disappointment. A few of the non-fiction books I have read have been good and the book that inspired me and turned me into a reader was in fact a non-fiction book. Recently I’ve been inspired with an idea; this idea will require a lot of non-fiction reading and research. So I need to motivate myself in becoming a bigger non-fiction reader.

My research will require some reading up on philosophy, art history and maybe even pop culture which will be good for my blog Knowledge Lost and hopefully will give me some new posts for that poor neglected site. Here is what I need, I want to become a better non-fiction reader so I would love some recommendations of books that I might be interested in and are really interesting reads. It doesn’t have to be related but that would be a bonus; I just want some motivation and I hope some great recommendations will help. Also I need tips and advise to become a non-fiction reader. Do audiobooks make for a good way to get through a non-fiction book?

My idea may never be realised but I feel inspired to research it, even if it takes me a lifetime. My goal to become a non-fiction reader will hopefully be a result in this inspiration. My goal is to read at least one non-fiction a month; this challenge may turn me into the type of reader I want to become. I love learning new things but I need to force myself into reading those non-fiction books. One of the biggest problems is working out how to review these books, so I might just do a mini review or something in order to take some of my pressure off.

I’m not going to tell you about my idea but I will give you a list of books I plan to read; this is a very random list but these books I hope will give me some inspiration and guide me down different paths that might help. I know some of these books will be a big help, others are just interesting or books on my shelves already that might help in one form or another.

  • Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder by Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss
  • If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland
  • Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury & Aly Sujo
  • The Culture Club by Craig Schuftan
  • The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick
  • The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan
  • The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas G. Carr
  • You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney
  • Young Romantics: The Tangled Lives of English Poetry’s Greatest Generation by Daisy Hay

Book Ratings

Posted September 19, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 0 Comments


My dad asked me the other day, How do you rate books?” This is an interesting thought, I’ve got a system for rating but I never really thought of it into great details. I’m not talking about my 1-10 scale that I use but what factors determine the rating. So I thought I would brainstorm my thoughts into this blog post. When I finish reading a book I often got to Goodreads, mark the book as read and give an initial rating of the book; this is basically my feeling of the book at the time of finishing the book. But I often spend some time thinking about the book and how I would like to review it (yes, that’s my excuse for always being over three reviews behind and I’m sticking to it).

While thinking about how I want to review the book I often look at some key elements. I normally have a think about the plot, writing style, characters, grammar, research, my personal experience, insightfulness and any other elements that should be factored in. But should I have a standard criterion or should each rating be based on a tailored scale for that book? I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and I feel like while I really liked the parody novel Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, I could never put it on the same rating criteria as Crime and Punishment.

I think the fact that I’m trying to explore the different genres out there a rating template would never work but I should look at some key elements no matter what the book was and I think the main ones would be plot, characters, style and my personal experience of the book. These for elements make up my end rating; I often change the rating of a book when I finish reviewing it.

 The problem with ratings are the fact that they are very personal and when looking at your reading list as a whole some books shouldn’t be considered to be on the same level as others. But should you review a book without a rating or is adding a rating just a good way for people to quickly look at what you thought of that particular book?

I would love to hear people’s thoughts on ratings. I know most people have different scales and ways of picking the final rating so please tell me about your process. Also if there was ever a standard criterion for book ratings what would you put on it. For example if you to break down the characterisation, would you look at believability, personality and so on?