Non-Fiction Books and Novellas
Non-Fiction Book Reviews With A Difference
Reviews of non-fiction books can often be dry and boring, bogged down in too much detail and spoiling the discovery process for the reader. In my reviews of non-fiction books I give a brief summary of what the book is about, the structure and the style of writing, and include all the fascinating extras you won't find in other reviews - snippets about the author's life, the reason they wrote the book, their previous books, their writing process and any other interesting facts I've discovered about the topic.
True Crime has been around for years, but has had a major resurgence of popularity recently, with books and podcasts providing millions of devotees with their vicarious fix of vice.
Much as I love fiction, nothing beats a well-written memoir, proving over and over that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. In fiction the story has to make sense ; real life is often random and illogical.
I've been a self-development disciple from way back. I love reading books that will help me to improve my life in some way. Self-improvement is a lifelong process, so I still have plenty to do!
As an author, I'm always studying my craft to improve my writing. Over the years I've read dozens of books on Creative Writing, and learnt something from every one of them.
Writing a Non-Fiction Book
If you're thinking of writing a non-fiction book, be prepared for a lot of hard work. Some would say the writing is the easy part.
First, there's the researching and planning. While you can get away with not planning a fiction book and going with the flow if that's what you prefer, it's difficult to write a non-fiction book without some sort of structure or plan.
Once you have an outline in place, there's the writing of the first draft, editing, re-writing second and subsequent drafts, (and no matter how good your outline is you'll decide to change bits of it), more editing, proofreading, and after the 93rd edit, collapsing in a heap on the floor clutching an empty wine bottle and moaning, 'I never want to lay eyes on this book again!'
The non-fiction authors presented and analysed in the posts on this page have put in the hard yards and become successful in their craft. You and I see a finished book. The author sees him or her self laid open for the world to look at and judge. This is true of fiction as well, but probably never more so than in memoir. Publishing a memoir is an act of bravery.
In my other career as a ghostwriter/life story writer I have written a number of non-fiction books, and I enjoy the process, even though it is very different from writing fiction. The two complement each other and ensure I never get bored!
Types of Non-Fiction
There are as many types of non-fiction as there are topics to write about, but I have chosen four genres to review, and here's why they're my favourites:
As a former probation and parole officer, I have a longstanding interest in crime, so I've been a True Crime fan for years. And Memoir because I find other people's lives endlessly fascinating and have even written my own, Making The Breast Of It.
Self-Development because I am always trying to improve myself and enhance my life (and have yet to master the art of daily meditation) and as an author, Creative Writing is a given. Along with reading a variety of well-written fiction and non-fiction books, books on the craft of writing have contributed enormously to the development of my writing skills.
In my book reviews, I'm honest. If there's an aspect of a book I don't like, I'll say so. I'd expect the same from someone reviewing my books. But I am never going to review a book that I haven't enjoyed overall; I can't see the point of that. I want you to enjoy the books as much as I have.
I'm also upfront about whether I make money from the book. When I review a book, I use affiliate links for the retail sites when I can. This means that I get a small commission if you buy the book using that link, at no extra cost to you.
Affiliate commissions are a bonus, but just a small portion of my income. I'm an author first and a book reviewer second. I'd love to know your thoughts and opinions on the books, so please leave your comments at the bottom of the review.
I look forward to seeing you there.