Saturday Seven: Non-fiction Books and Quotes


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I have to admit... I'm read more fiction than non-fiction. Always have. Growing up, non-fiction was relegated to school work. Fiction was for fun. As I get older, however, I find myself turning to some non-fiction. Here are seven that I have enjoyed over the years.

C. S. Lewis—the great British writer, scholar, lay theologian, broadcaster, Christian apologist, and bestselling author of Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many other beloved classics—takes readers on a spiritual journey through his early life and eventual embrace of the Christian faith. Lewis begins with his childhood in Belfast, surveys his boarding school years and his youthful atheism in England, reflects on his experience in World War I, and ends at Oxford, where he became "the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England." As he recounts his lifelong search for joy, Lewis demonstrates its role in guiding him to find God.
“…the greatest service we can do to education today is to teach fewer subjects. No one has time to do more than a very few things well before he is twenty, and when we force a boy to be a mediocrity in a dozen subjects, we destroy his standards, perhaps for life.”

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
“Let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”

This charming classic love story, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that has touched the hearts of thousands of readers around the world.
“Why is it that people who wouldn't dream of stealing anything else think it's perfectly all right to steal books?”

In this delightfully funny, keenly intelligent, and unputdownably readable volume, writer Abby Adams has compiled a collection of the wittiest, wickedest quotes from fabulous femmes past and present.
"'Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. It's not fair -- He has Fame and Profit enough as a Poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people's mouths. I do not like him, &  do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it -- but fear I must.' - Jane Austen"

The Regency period was one of the most turbulent ages in British history, one that spanned the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, that witnessed unprecedented industrial progress, artistic accomplishment, and violent social unrest and--paradoxically--the most sparkling social scene English high society has ever enjoyed. Under the influence of the obese, loose-moraled Prince of Wales (to whom Jane Austen dedicated Emma), the Regency was the apex of British decadence, an era of lavish parties and relentless bed-hopping that set a standard for elegance and vulgarity. With wit and lively style, Venetia Murray chronicles the scandals, courtships, and daily life of these aristocrats, and evokes the tempestuous times of the early industrial and French revolutions. Sumptuously illustrated with rare contemporary cartoons, prints, diaries, and caricatures, An Elegant Madness is a book readers of social history and historical romance alike will devour.
"But it is also true that Society managed to behave at times with amazing vulgarity."

Blessed with enormous talents and the energy and ambition to go with them, Franklin was a statesman, author, inventor, printer, and scientist. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence and later was involved in negotiating the peace treaty with Britain that ended the Revolutionary War. He also invented bifocals, a stove that is still manufactured, a water-harmonica, and the lightning rod.

Franklin's extraordinary range of interests and accomplishments are brilliantly recorded in his Autobiography, considered one of the classics of the genre. Covering his life up to his prewar stay in London as representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly, this charming self-portrait recalls Franklin's boyhood, his determination to achieve high moral standards, his work as a printer, experiments with electricity, political career, experiences during the French and Indian War, and more. Related in an honest, open, unaffected style, this highly readable account offers a wonderfully intimate glimpse of the Founding Father sometimes called "the wisest American."
“In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as Pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself. You see it perhaps often in this History. For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my Humility.”

They're called Sweet Potato Queens, Steel Magnolias, Ya-Ya Sisters, and Southern Belles, but at heart they're just plain Grits—Girls Raised in the South!

Now, Deborah Ford, founder of Grits® Inc., reveals the code behind the distinctive—and irresistible—style of the Southern woman. Equal parts sweet sincerity and sharp, sly humor, The Grits Guide to Life is chock-full of Southern charm: advice, true-life stories from honest-to-god "Grits," recipes, humor, quotable wisdom, and more. Readers will learn vital lessons, including: how to eat a watermelon in a sundress; how to drink like a Southern lady (sip... a lot); and the real meaning of PMS (Precious Mood Southerner).

This charming book is destined to become a bible for the Southern girl—whether born and bred, expatriated, or adoptive—and her many admirers.

"Grits Pearl of Wisdom #13: If anyone tries to tell you a Southern girl shouldn't drink, just tell them the truth: we don't drink, we sip...a lot."

Comments

Aside from "On Writing", I've not even heard of these other books. Some sound really interesting, though. Thanks for sharing!
Peggy Jaeger said…
The STephen King book is like a textbook for me - I use it sososo much when I'm writing to make sure I'm not creating any "little monsters! Great list.
Lydia Schoch said…
"On Writing" was the only book on this list I've read so far, too. It was excellent.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin sounds good, though. I didn't know he'd written such a thing.

My Saturday Seven post for this week: http://lydiaschoch.com/saturday-seven-the-best-science-fiction-tropes/
Poinsettia said…
I typically read more fiction than nonfiction as well, but I've also come to appreciate nonfiction. I've read several books on the Victorian period, and I've been reading one on the Regency period. I've enjoyed them all. I've also read several books on The Beatles that were great as well.
Kathy said…
Oh my gosh...I bet we could get along :) These are all some of my very favorites too.
Love these!