Compulsive Overreader

Along with borderline hypergraffia, my other literary disorder is -- I'm a compulsive overreader. I'd like to say that I'm trying to get it under control, but I'm clearly not. Check out the archives here to find what I'm reading and what I think of it. If you came here directly through blogger --if your page has no yellow frames and no pretty pic of me in the top left corner -- you may want to visit my main site at, where you can read this blog and much much more.


I'm Trudy Morgan-Cole, a writer from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. My books include "The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson," "Esther: A Story of Courage," and "Deborah and Barak." I'm also a married mom of two, a teacher in an adult-ed program, and a Christian of the Seventh-day Adventist kind. I blog about writing, reading, parenting, teaching, spirituality, and shiny things that catch my eye.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Lost Painting, by Jonathan Harr

I was confused about this book. Everything from the cover blurbs to the introduction made me assume this was a novel -- one of those "Adventures in Research" stories I like so much, but about art instead of literature. Then I got a couple of chapters in and realized ... this was non-fiction.

Those who know my reading habits well know that I'm primarily a fiction reader. When I pick up non-fiction, it's often a memoir, so there's still a strong narrative line to carry me through. A book like The Lost Painting reminds me of all the reasons why reading nonfiction can be great.

The book tells about the art historians involved in the quest for a lost Caravaggio painting called The Taking of Christ. Harr's descriptions and characterizations are so vivid that the story is as engrossing as a novel, while delivering a huge amount of information about art history and the process of restoring old paintings. He takes a subject about which I knew nothing and educates while entertaining. The Lost Painting was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I highly recommend it, even to those, like me, who know little about art.


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