Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Reading Non-Fiction Taught Me

I'm an art lover, no question about it, and it isn't just the viewing that I find enjoyable.  I read about various subjects in the art world to learn more.  Currently on my TBR stack is Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Michael Gross and for Christmas I was given Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World by Sharon Waxman.  About ready to delve into writing another Mythological Messes Redux book, I picked up Loot, and ended up with a lesson in how not to write.

There were all sorts of interseting twists and turns that were brought up, and details I knew nothing about as a bog-standard art lover.  Yes, I'm eager to revisit The Met, Getty, British Museum and Louvre, and go to others for the first time, with a fresh outlook.  However, the tone permeating the book was decidedly uncomfortable, and left me with a sour taste.  Nevermind.  It's personal how a reader reacts to a book and this one had all sorts of interesting and, oddly enough, timely events within the art world explained that I'll hold onto despite the negative flavor.

One of these was within days of finishing the chapters on Egypt, Zahi Hawass [Secretary General of Supreme Council of Antiquities], and the country's stance to protect and share the ancient monuments only to have the news come out that they were closing King Tut's Tomb for good.

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