Sunday, March 06, 2011

Let's Talk Non-Fiction

by Jamie Freveletti

I don't usually read fiction while I write, and definitely avoid thrillers and mysteries. I just don't think I'm free of influence enough yet, (though I'm told by other thriller writers that this will come with time). So, I end up reading a lot of non-fiction. Some relates to crime non-fiction and the rest to subject areas that I find interesting. Here's the latest batch:

1. Magnificent Mind: Natural Ways to Unleash Your Brain's Maximum Potential. Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

This book I picked up because I'm pretty much in for anything that will unleash my mind's "maximum" potential. The author, a clinical neuroscientist, runs the Amen Clinics, where he scans brains and helps ADD kids, anxiety patients, and treats depression and memory problems. A quick search on google revealed many critics of the brain scan aspect of his methods, but I like his "let's try a natural product before we bring out the big guns" approach. He has chapters such as: Ignite Your Passion, Light Up the Brain Circuits that Drive Success. You've just got to love that title!

He suggests things we've all heard: fish oil, gingko biloba, but also suggests other natural remedies like Phosphatidylserine, Vinpocetine and Huperzine A. Heard of them? Me neither, but that's what I liked about this book.

2. Life, Keith Richards

This book captured my interest, and while one critic complained that it was a MEmoir, I must say that I really enjoyed Mr. Richards' memories about how the blues influenced him. Especially his memories about the iconic Checkerboard Lounge here in Chicago and the blues musicians that cycled through that bar during the '60's and '70's. (As I mentioned in an earlier post, my mother was a jazz singer in Chicago during that time and knew many of the musicians mentioned).

While Mr. Richards keeps his drug fueled exploits to a minimum, and I'm sure there are many that never made it into this book, his description of America and England during the rise of rock and roll in the 60's is of interest to anyone who wants to learn about that era.

3. Tapping the Source: Using the Master Key System for Abundance and Happiness. By Gladstone, Greninger, and Selby.

I picked this book up on a whim. It's what I'd call the typical New Age book, but this one had an interesting twist. The authors are expounding on an older method recommended by a man named Charles Haanel. Mr. Haanel lived from 1866 to 1949, and in 1912 wrote a book that attempted to explain and teach a method to explain the Law Of Attraction.

I'm a non believer in certain new age claims, but I am seeing the sense in some of what this book is saying. For example, try not to think negative thoughts, because while you may be right and all is lost, it doesn't really add to your life to think in such a way. (I couldn't agree more).

I'm only a third of the way through, but I'm enjoying it. I think it's worth a read, and apparently the author of The Secret referred to this man and his master key system and we all know how many books that author sold!

I'm headed out tomorrow to get some more non-fiction, because between writing my own number four (number three is written, called The Ninth Day and launches in late October) and working on the Ludlum Covert One series, I'm pretty much writing all the time. I see no fiction in my immediate future.

If you have any suggestions for me do tell!