Fiction vs. Nonfiction
June 9, 2011 § 6 Comments
Despite my love for a good character-study (hooray for Henry James!) and my guilty pleasure of historical fiction, I gravitate toward non-fiction for my every-day reading.
You can keep your Pride & Prejudice, Harry Potter, and Twilight; I’d rather read a good memoir or biography any day. When I walk into a bookstore or a library, I head for the cookbooks or crafting books immediately. Then to the foreign-language section. Then to the biographies. Then to the sheet music section. Then to the children’s section.
We’re taught to read non-fiction at a young age – my first reports in school were on people (Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale, etc.) and on places (Ohio, Louisiana, Austrailia). I read fiction in school, but all I did was take quizzes on the content until I was in junior high and had to write a book report. At age 12, I read Doris Day’s autobiography of my own free will. Twice.
That being said, my favorite book is definitely Little Women. I read it when I was about 13, and Meg became my hero. She learned about responsibility, good friends, and vanity – all issues I was dealing with. “What about Jo?” you say? I think Jo is annoying.
My picks for non-fiction pleasure reading:
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
My Life in France by Julia Child
Puttin’ On the Ritz: Fred Astaire and the Fine Art of Panache, A Biography by Peter Levinson
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson