Non-fiction books – based on facts

Non-fiction books, unlike fiction, are based on facts. Non-fiction includes memoirs, biographies, essays, documentaries, self-help and textbooks. Non-fiction covers a wide range of information and material. Whatever your interest, there’s sure to be a book about it.

non-fiction books

Like fiction, non-fiction entertains and stimulates . Sometimes, an author intends to educate and instruct us. Non-fiction provides information, expands the reader’s vocabulary and improves the memory. For more good reasons to read a book, see my recent blog.

Four main types of non-fiction books

  • Narrative writing, which tells a true story about a person or event or place. Examples are histories, memoirs (like my book, Other People’s Country) and biographies.
  • Expository writing explains and informs the reader about a topic such as photography, gardening, cooking, etc.
  • In persuasive writing  the writer argues strongly that his or her position on an issue is right. Examples include publications such as Quarterly Essay. (Newspaper opinion pieces are excellent examples of persuasive writing.)
  • Descriptive non-fiction uses sensory language, details and figurative language. Some forms of travel books fit into this category.
Memoirs like this one of mine are narrative non-fiction

Benefits of reading non-fiction books

  • Reading non-fiction books increases our knowledge about a wide range of new topics.
  • Through non-fiction, we can deepen and broaden existing knowledge about subjects we are already interested in.
  • We can learn at our own pace, because we can go back to a chapter or section we want to understand better.
  • Learning new information, facts and skills through reading boosts our self-confidence. Think how useful the knowledge we acquire could be at a quiz night!
  • Our ability to socialise and engage in conversation can improve as a result of reading non-fiction.
  • Reading memoirs and biographies deepens our understanding of the human condition.
  • Through life-writing, we come to an understanding of how other people live or have lived. We read how they overcame problems and dealt with conflict. This improves our ability, also, in these areas.
  • Self-help books, a special type of non-fiction, cover much ground. We can improve our skills and performance through reading them. There’s probably at least one book, if not shelves of them, about any skill we want to learn.
  • Using self-help books can also increase our ability to manage problems.
  • Through non-fiction books, we can learn to make better decisions in life.
  • Reading non-fiction helps to combat loneliness and boredom.


17 replies on “Non-fiction books – based on facts”

  1. Don’t know what happened here – posted a comment and, for whatever reason, it dissapeared – anyway – i agree with you 100% Maureen. I love both narrative non-fiction and descriptive non-fiction. Not only do we learn about characters, places, times etc. we also learn about the author, can ‘connect’ with him/her. Your book, Other People’s Country, certainly fitted in – i loved it. I think my book – A Different Shade of Seeing – would also fit in that category?

    1. A Different Shade of Seeing certainly fits the category of narrative non-fiction, Elizabeth. I look forward to reviewing it on my blog soon, and discussing it in light of this post.

  2. If my comment doubles up its because the first one seemed to vanish.
    A great overview, Maureen. I enjoyed Other People’s Country.

    1. Thanks, Susan. Glad you enjoyed the overview AND OPC. Hope to catch up soon after Christmas if you are available.

  3. Hi Maureen

    I started following you after your talk at the Floreat library.
    Enjoyed your post on non-fiction as I have just had a non-fiction book published which is due to be released in January. I have just set up my own blog so have gained much inspiration from looking at yours. Do you source your images from Pinterest? They look great. Wishing you well in 2020. I have just posted my resolution for the new year on my site if you would like to check it out.


    1. Hi, Moira. I see this is another ‘old’ comment that I’ve just discovered in my spam folder. Thank you for your comment. What is the name of your blog so I can follow you? Also, the name of your book?

      About my images. I almost always use my own photos, and use Canva to add captions, overwriting, special effects, etc.

      1. Hi Maureen

        I’m glad you found my post. I was concerned that they may have been lost in Cyberspace. I did email Amanda Kendle when I read your recommendation as I had a few problems setting up my own blog but she didn’t reply. I would like to get some help with master blogging classes or whatever it is she does.

        I am presenting an author talk at the Floreat Library on Wednesday 11 March at 11am. They have also asked me to include some Chair Yoga with my talk as I am a yoga teacher. If that appeals to you feel free to join us. Thanks for continuing to inspire me.

        On Tuesdays I attend the sign language classes at Floreat Library as part of the Better Hearing Group.


        Check out my blog site on

      2. Hi Maureen

        I’m not sure If my last reply reached you as I have been having a few technical problems. I tried to email Amanda Kendle as you had mentioned her on your site but she didn’t reply. Does she still run workshops on blogging?
        My recently published non-fiction book, “Chasing Marigolds” was released on New Year’s Day and I am having a book launch on 16 February. I am also presenting an author’s talk at the Floreat Library on Wed 11 March and they have asked me to include some Chair Yoga. Feel free to join us if that appeals to you.
        I usually go there on a Tuesday to learn sign language with the Better Hearing Group. Hope this reaches you and is not lost in cyber-space.


        1. Hi again Moira, I think the technical problems are on my website, not yours. Enjoy your talk at the Floreat Library.

          Amanda Kendle does still facilitate mastermind blogging groups. The next series begin in February, so this is a good time to contact her if you are still interested. I find it helpful and entertaining. Here’s the link to Amanda Kendle Consulting. You can read about her work and find the contact details there:

            1. Hi, Moira. I can highly recommend Amanda’s consultancy and the Mastermind groups. They include many aspects of social media, not just blogging, but they all add up to having an excellent social media presence.

  4. Hello Maureen,
    First of all I would like to say thank you for sharing your information. It helps me to continue my writing project.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: