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76. Read a Work of Non-Fiction

76. Read a Work of Non-Fiction

“Many people have observed that truth is stranger than fiction. This has led some intellectuals to conclude that it’s stranger than non-fiction as well.” –Brad Holland

Let’s step back into reality for a moment, and look at works of non-fiction. This time I want you to read two books (I know, the horror). The first should be something biographical, a story about a person or an event. The second should be educational, a “how to” story.

Now for the fun part, I want you to compare them. How can both of these stories fit into the narrative structure. Do they? Are you seeing similarities between the way documentaries are shot and the way biographies are written? How could each of these genres be improved by taking elements from the other. How could the fiction you read earlier be improved by taking elements of these non-fiction tales.

Compare, contrast and analyze.

My suggestions for non-fiction: anything by Malcolm Gladwell, A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel and as for How-To’s, I’d go with anything from O’Reilly Media.

Here’s Random House again, with another top 100 book list, this time for non-fiction.

I’m sure you’re getting used to this question by now, but what works of non-fiction would you suggest?

The video is a CNN interview with Malcolm Gladwell on his newest book, Outliers.

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