History is the fuel for fiction. Without it, I'd be lost for plot structure. I imagine many others would as well. I try to always have one non-fiction that I haven't finished on my kindle. You never know when you'll be in the perfect mood to sit back and read some non-fiction. Currently, I'm reading a great book by Ron Chernow simply titled Washington: A Life. It's great not only for a biography of the man, but as a great resource for learning about the Revolutionary War before, during and after through the eyes of one man. When will I use it in one of my stories? Who knows? Maybe tomorrow, maybe never. You don't know what you'll use until you've learned it.
I say this because I'm really excited about a recent purchase I made. By recent, I mean today. I've always wanted something like this and I really hope it's what I expect: http://www.amazon.com/Timelines-History-DK-Publishing/dp/0756686814/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360701477&sr=8-1&keywords=timelines+of+history
This one's a Smithsonian joint, so I'm inclined to think the quality will be high. Either way, I've long wanted a comprehensive book of the world's history, but that obviously seemed pretty lofty and pretty difficult. My hope is that through a different medium, I can find different inspiration. This book seems chock full of great pictures and short bits that can really move things along. Most of the time, I just read straight print non-fiction. One of my favorites to this day is The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, which is an incredible, detailed account of the formation and growth of Australia from a penal colony to an independent sovereign. Will I use that in a future story? Abso-friggin-lutely. Already have in some ways, and will more. Let's hope this new book stokes some new fires. That's what it's all about after all. Either you're writing or you're finding new things to write about. Til next time.