The Lazybones of El Dorado

Yesterday I did something I haven't in ages–I took a guilt-free day off, in which to do nothing productive. (Or, at least, nothing intentionally productive.)

I slept in late late late, watched this week's Supernatural, then spent most of the day reading David Grann's The Lost City of Z. With time off for an omelet and a biscuit and a scandalous nap. (Duddiness is the new exciting!)

Anyway, I've been having fits and starts with every novel I picked up this week, so I thought I'd do a spate of nonfiction. And Z turns out to be very nearly the perfect book for me–there are echoes of two of my favorite nonfiction books contained within it, Redmond O'Hanlon's In Trouble Again: A Journey Between the Orinoco and the Amazon (really, all his books are among my favorite travel narratives) and Miles Harvey's The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime (this book's writer becomes similarly obsessed with the target of his investigations, criminal Gilbert Bland). And then you lay on top of that the truly fascinating material of lost explorers and the Royal Geographic Society–I am an extremely happy reader. 

Anyone have any similarly excellent nonfiction suggestions? I was thinking I might track down The Sisters of Sinai next, but would be willing to depart the Victorian era too…

1 thought on “The Lazybones of El Dorado”

  1. Ooh, I haven’t read The Island of Lost Maps but will hunt it up.
    In the Victorian way, the other nonfiction I enjoyed in Dec. (besides the AMAZING Lost City of Z) was “The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher” by Kate Summerscale. Uses a true crime case to tell how the idea of Holmesian detectives/ mystery novels developed. Like Z., very good at synthesis of lots of interesting things.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top