I was thinking about this yesterday because books by both these authors are on my bed side table. One is in the form of a printed book. It’s a book by award – winning historical author Ross King. He may have published a more recent book but I am reading his book on the Last Supper. I purchased it earlier this year and since I own it I can read it slowly and savour it like a good box of chocolates.
I have read other titles by this gifted Canadian author who now lives in England. My absolute favourite was The Judgement of Paris, a book about artists Edouard Manet and Ernest Meissonier. Many people have heard of Manet but few have heard of Meissonier even though he was the most famous, and wealthiest, artist in mid 19th century France. You will understand why this is so when you read this book. It’s an excellent read, even if you might not care that much about art history. I had Mr. King autograph my copy of his book when I went to see him speak at the Alberta Art Gallery a couple of years ago.
Another favourite historical author of mine is Bill Bryson, an American also currently living in England. He has won several awards as well and has written a history of just about everything (and he’s even written a book about that!). His latest book is a history of one year in American history – 1927. This book is not, technically speaking, on my bedside table unless I bring my IPad to bed with me to read – which happens fairly regularly anyway. I downloaded a copy of this book in audio format from my local library and I bring it with me as I do dishes, prepare meals and run errands.
What I enjoy the most about his books is that they read like a story. Even though you may know the outcome of the story, you really still want to know how it came about. He has a real gift for finding the most absurd and obscure details that leave you scratching your head in amazement. He also writes excellent travel books – but travel books with a twist.
Have you read books by either of these authors?