The Jakarta Post
Author Tim Hannigan visited Indonesia for the first time 13 years ago and has been hooked on the country ever since.
Hannigan has spent more than a decade to compile materials for his latest book, titled A Brief History Of Indonesia ' Sultans, Spices and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia's Largest Nation.
The book he wrote could have become just another non-fiction history piece about Indonesia, but he presents it in a very entertaining way, with a refreshing touch compared to other history books.
Hannigan said he honed his skills in writing entertaining non-fiction by reading a lot of fiction works.
'What I write, I call it creative non-fiction. So it is non-fiction, it is history, but it is written in a creative way. So, actually I read a lot of fiction and a really broad range of fiction, because I use fictional techniques,' Hannigan said.
'My original writing heroes are Bruce Chatwin and Ernest Hemingway when I was young. When I just really want to relax, I like to read spy novels,' he said. 'I try to be inspired by techniques in writing fiction.'
However, his top three books of all time are non-fiction works, and all of them, according to him, have the same entertaining characteristics as his own works.
'The Way of The World'
by Nicolas Bouvier
He wrote in French. He was from Switzerland and he made a journey from Europe to Afghanistan in the 1950s, and it was just the most inspiring travel books. It always makes me want to travel. That one I love.
by Roger Kipling
It's a book about India during the British period. It has some of the best writing about places, on how to capture the feeling of a place. So for anyone with an interest in travel writing, it is just beautiful. And it is the only book that I can read again and again and again. I have read it about 20 times and I am sure I will read it plenty more times in my life.
'After The Ancestors: An Anthropologist Story'
by Andrew Beatty
It's about Nias, Sumatera, where he did research in the 1980s and it's the best book I have ever read in the last 12 months. It's a really incredible book by a professional anthropologist. It's a true story, but it is written in a literary style, and it is not very well known. It has only been reviewed in a few places, but it should be famous. A really brilliant piece of literary non-fiction.
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