Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Non-Fiction Kick

I have been on a non-fiction kick lately, with two very different books: Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley and Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose. I enjoyed both books, although I have my issues with each :)
Sink Reflections is written by a woman nicknamed "FlyLady," who runs a very successful website about organization (www.flylady.com). On her website and in her book, she talks about how to keep your home in order, starting with shining your sink. She recommends getting dressed "to your shoes" every day in order to feel more ready for housework and life. This is the part I don't think I could do - everyone knows I love to be barefoot. Anyway, she goes on to talk about performing daily housework routines, de-cluttering your home and keeping "hot zones" tidy. It really is a helpful book. It's not extremely well-written, but the author comes off as sweet and confirming. I wish she had addressed more time-management strategies, but she sticks mostly to cleaning house, with only a few pages on other subjects. All in all, it's worth picking the book up, especially if you are living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome).
Prose's book is also instructional. It's subtitle is "A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them," but it's not a how-to guide. It's actually a manual for what Prose calls "close reading." She encourages would-be authors to study the classics, paying close attention to the writers' techniques. She devotes whole chapters to words, paragraphs, details, gestures, etc. Although the book is a bit dry, it's thorough and well-written. It's not a book you would want to read while on the treadmill to make your workout go faster, but it's one you should read - closely - for its apt examples. The book also includes a list of "Books to be Read Immediately," which is interesting for its wide range of selections.

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