February 8, 2013

This isn't Fiction - Entertainment, Ehrenreich, and Eternity

Let meeeee entertain yooooou! That caught you a little bit off guard, admit it! After all, what on Earth has ENTERTAINMENT got to do with non fiction? Well, actually, quite a bit.

While it's usually quite easy to spot, say, a biography or a self-help book, it might be a bit harder, for the non fiction newbie at least, to define the sub-genre of Entertainment.

Entertainment is an action, event, or activity that aims to amuse and interest an audience, in this particular case, the reader. Literature contains many genres designed, in whole or in part, as entertainment.

What does this mean in regard to non fiction books then? Basically it's like this - think entertainment industry. Think Hollywood. Think about people working as actors, comedians, musicians, or the likes, then imagine them writing a book, preferably non fiction, of course. As so often is the case these books will usually merge various genres, so it's not all that surprising if a certain book falls into both the category of e.g. Biography and Entertainment.

Of course it does not necessarily have to be someone who escaped Hollywood to jump onto the author-train that qualifies a book to be classified as Entertainment, but in many cases the content of these books does revolve around the rich and famous, and with a bit of luck those tremendously funny (and entertaining) too.

Let's take a little stroll down Entertainment lane now ...

Feeling entertained yet? I would hope so.


Barbara EHRENREICH is an American feminist, democratic socialist, political activist, and a widely-read and award-winning columnist and essayist. She is probably best known for her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

Curious? Find out more about her work on Goodreads.

Some economists argue that the apparent paradox rests on an illusion: there is no real 'labor shortage,' only a shortage of people willing to work at the wages currently being offered. You might as well talk about a 'Lexus shortage' — which there is, in a sense, for anyone unwilling to pay $40,000 for a car.


Still not convinced that non fiction can be quite entertaining? Maybe I can tempt you with eternity, evanescence or emancipation?

An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark (Mark McKenna)

Evanescence and Etiquette: The Search for Meaning and Identity in Japanese Culture (Charles Inouye)

The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam (Ayaan Hirsi Ali)


Feeling entertained already? Or more like nickled and dimed ... for all eternity?

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