Besides the overt slowing of my metabolism, the most distinct sign of aging is my enhanced interest in nonfiction books and documentaries.
i have always enjoyed documentaries, but not to the level that i now do. mostly, i equated them with school...mostly. and i can't remember reading nonfiction in my yesteryears, it was usually sugar coated prose designed to entice, but not necessarily stimulate the ol' think tank. or, as my nerdery is as boundless as the known, and unknown, universe, i read comic books...tons and tons of comic books.
An example of the documentary deep fried goodness is Why We Fight, a documentary named after the World War II-era propaganda newsreels. it is centered around President Eisenhower's farewell address and his statement warning his fellow citizens about the rise and maintenance of the United States military-industrial complex and focuses on the wars led by the United States of the last fifty years. a very interesting and poignant watch.
Other nougat filled documentaries:
The first nonfiction book that i remember reading of my own volition was one that, and i say this with no fear of hyperbole, changed my perception on life, is sadly one that Ms. Oprah tainted with her self-aggrandizing sanctimonious tirade for "truth": A Million Little Pieces.
If nothing else we can see from that fiasco that the truths of his book are just as relevant now as before the discovery of fabrications. he wrote about taking responsibility for his actions as his only way to really get through his addictions; not relying on excuses or others to bail him out.
i am sure he knew what he was getting into when he went back on Oprah...but he didn't back down, he owned up to his so called mistakes and never denied the fabrications. He merely took the verbal lashings of a scorned, self-proclaimed, literary goddess and the boos of her minions and stood by the truth of his book. hardly the act of a liar...and while there are some fabrications, the honesty of his book remains.
Anyway, sorry...apparently the issue still irks me. i know that whole James Frey debacle is old news and i don't mean to rehash everything that has been said time and time again. i only bring it up because it was and is one of, if not the best book i had read up to that point. and it was the turning point where i realized that nonfiction could be as entertaining as fiction.
Other fine nonfiction works:
• My Friend Leonard
• A Short History of Nearly Everything (most anything by Bill Bryson really)
• Angela's Ashes
• Devil in the White City
• How the Irish Saved Civilization
mostly, i am just feeling the need to justify the new heavier me, with accompanying weariness and joint ache.