While I was struggling through NaNoWriMo, I was also listening to a book written about something that happened more than 100 years ago, by a man that was actually there when it happened.
The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard (or just "Cherry") is a memoir concerning Captain Scott's 1910-1913 expedition to the South Pole, in what Cherry himself called the last spasms of exploration in a shrinking world.
In 1910, Captain Scott and his crew sailed south in the Terra Nova, a wooden sailing ship with a steam engine for extra propulsion. In 1913, the Terra Nova returned under the command of First Mate Pennel, leaving her captain and four men dead on the unmelting ice of the Antarctic continent.
Now, nonfiction isn't usually my forte, but as it happens, I'm currently supporting a wonderful artist whose goal it is to translate this book into a graphic novel series. Her passion was what convinced me to read this book, to better know the story that she was so excited about that she's actually in Antarctica right now for research purposes.
Now, obviously there are some of my standards for fiction books that it would be a little unfair to apply to the realm of nonfiction, but I can say in all earnestness that I very much enjoyed this book. Though there were times when I skimmed passages because let's be honest, I'm not actually that invested in the weather patterns of an Antarctic spring or the process of setting up and checking scientific equipment, there were many places where I simply couldn't put the book down. I got myself in a bit of trouble, in fact, for reading when I ought to have been paying attention to my work.
For this reason, I'm giving The Worst Journey in the World a solid 4 stars. I probably won't go back to read it again, at least not anytime soon, but it was a fascinating read, and I learned far more than I anticipated I would (though why I thought anything of the sort is a mystery, because I know nothing about antarctic travel).
So here's my question for you, Inklings - when was the last time you read a nonfiction book? Did you enjoy it?