Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Non-fiction that tells a story

I've been reading more non-fiction lately than fiction and most of us are used to the non-fiction text books we had to read and study in school. BUT, the non-fiction I've been reading of late actually tells a story - or two.

The most recent book I'm reading is by Dr. Andrew Weil and titled, Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform Our Future. I'm only into the first chapter but already Dr. Weil is telling a story, and a very important one at that. He's telling the story of how the health care system in America is near it's breaking point, if it hasn't actually hit it already. Another author, Malcolm Gladwell writes about tipping points and how little things can make a big difference.

The book I finished just before picking up Dr. Weil's book is by Judith Lasater titled Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life.

In my group for fiction writers we often discuss finding our voice as a writer and I think that is true for non-fiction as well. While reading Judith Lasater's book I found myself drawn into her story about her evolution with yoga and it was because of her ability as a story teller that her non-fiction teachings came across so strongly, at least for me. Based on what I've read so far of Dr. Weil's book, I suspect the same will be true for his work as well.

I'm grateful that those non-fiction writers who seek to share their knowledge with others do so by actually telling stories throughout their written works. It just goes to show you that nothing beats a good story, especially when it is told in a genuine and honest voice.

So, what story do you have to tell?

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