I didn’t read a damn thing in November of course. Because I was writing my Novel in a Month, and I hope you too had no time to read novels because you were writing your own.
But in October I did read. So in the interest of addressing that cliche of “All writers read” here is a list of what I own, or have downloaded on my kindle and what I read.
The Dead Sea Cipher – Elizabeth Peters
I know I’ve read this before, but Peters is a great favorite and I like to read a whole mystery in one Sunday afternoon. I’ll take this to Nevada City and add it to my mother’s detective book collection which spills off the shelves and into the drawers of my former bedroom.
The Glamour of Grammar – Roy Peter Clark
Love this! Mostly because the author agrees with me. I’m working through this because I am fascinated by language, grammar and whether or not we should bother. Clark proposes we should bother.
No Plot? No Problem! Chris Baty
This is the initial NaNoWriMo manifesto, since I’ve supported this novel writing project for the last two years (and won both years) I thought I’d better have the official book. Baty is fun, interesting and truly committed to helping writers get out of their own way.
Trickster Makes the World – Lewis Hyde
This is another academic book that I pick up, then put down, then pick up again. But now I’m more “in to it” I’m finding it quite interesting!
The Best of It – Kay Ryan. US Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize, I wanted to read what is considered the best.
We wanted to be Writers – Life, Love and Literature at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. To be famous and recognized and successful, a writer must be part of this workshop. In Iowa. I am reading parts and pieces since this short memoirs written by now famous authors.
Fearless Creating – Eric Maisel – I love most of Maisel’s books, this one is very helpful for stuck or just beginning artists, including writers. I am not reading the whole thing cover to cover, but like We Wanted, there are relevant entries that apply to my own specific situation.
Seventy-Seven Clocks – Christopher Fowler Couldn’t put it down.
The Boating Party – Susan Vreeland I put it down. I ended up watching A Bug’s Life instead.
What Type Am I? and Opposites Attract – Renee Baron If you’ve ever sat through a sincere, let’s all just get along and communicate seminar at work and have taken the Myers- Briggs test, perhaps many times, this book will tell you want to do about and with that information. I was very entertained. (I’m an ENFJ)
Boneshaker Cherie Priest. A Steampunk adventure set in Seattle, which we visit often enough to make this relevant. I liked it.
Players, the Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare Bertram Fields I finally had to read the alternative theories of who the playwright really is. This, like any inquiry, has not definitive answers.
The Designful Company by Marty Neumeier. Just like Apple and Think Tank Photo, the future will be much better designed and built.
The Use and Abuse of Literature Marjorie Garber. This is a great, academic book and because of its density of ideas and language, it will be on this list for a while. I’m at chapter 2.
Full Dark House – Christopher Fowler – this is what I reached for when the Use and Abuse of Literature was too much. This is a murder mystery set in London during the blitz. You can read the facts, you can read history, but I got a much better sense of London life during a terrine time by reading this absorbing book.
Leaves of Grass, 1855 version – Walt Whitman. Working through this massive and exuberant paean to American in the mid nineteenth century.
Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World – Timothy Brook.
Eminently readable and fascinating. I’m a 19th century fan, so reading about the 17th century (see also the book on Shakespeare) and the exploration and trade with China was surprisingly compelling, I read this in one afternoon
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