Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: What non-fiction are you reading right now?
Lisa J. Jackson: I’m going back through “Your Book Starts Here” by Mary Carroll Moore. It’s a fantastic book for writers and now that I’m back to my fiction, it’s my go-to guide for getting work done. Here’s my review on the book.
Jamie Wallace: Oh, BOY, is it ever a long list!
- As I shared in my recent post Why we write – a novel answer, I just finished Letters to a Young Novelist by Mario Vargas Llosa.
- Because I just saw Peter Jackson’s first installment of The Hobbit trilogy, I bought a beautiful copy of The Annotated Hobbit by Douglas A. Anderson. This exploration of Tolkien’s original master piece earned its author the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inkling Studies. (I have no idea what that is, but it sounds very impressive.) The book includes all kinds of fascinating details about the sources, characters, places, and things of Tolkien’s Middle Earth along with artwork, maps, and insights into Tolkien’s writing approach.
- I’m about halfway through Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering and taking notes madly as his brilliant methods demystify the six “core competencies” of good writing: concept, character, theme, structure, scene execution, and voice.
- I’m about a third of the way through Jonathan Gottschall’s entertaining and enlightening The Storytelling Animal – How Stories Make Us Human. LOTS of underlining going on with this one – major fodder for future blog posts.
- Technically, I haven’t cracked this one open yet, but I’m eagerly anticipating Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story. I’ve heard great things and am sorely tempted to stop writing this post and pick up my copy right now!
- I also just borrowed a copy of Michael Bungay Stanier’s Do More Great Work from my local library, but I think I’m going to have to buy my own copy of this one.
- Finally, in the creative non-fiction category, I’m just starting Susan Orlean’s Rin Tin Tin. I picked up my copy when I saw her speak in Portsmouth last fall, an event I wrote about in the post Susan Orlean on Curiosity and Courage. She’s an inspiring woman.
- Oh, wait! I forgot the collection of Anna Quindlen’s essays that I just downloaded to my Kindle: Living Out Loud.
I think that’s it. Geesh! I need to carve out more reading time!!
J.A. Hennrikus: Wow. Remind me not to go after Jamie again. Hers is quite the list! I just downloaded Linchpin: Are You Indespensible by Seth Godin. And after a conversation today, I am planning on rereading Stephen King’s On Writing. Always inspiring.
OK, a true confession. I am also reading The Virgin Diet. It is a new year, after all.
Deborah Lee Luskin: For a review for the local paper and as a favor to my local librarian, I’m reading City of Promises, A History of the Jews in New York, from 1654 to the present. Not light reading, not something I would have picked up on my own – but extremely well done and very interesting. My job as a reviewer, as I see it, is to give my readers enough of the book so that even if they decide not to read it, they will have a good idea of what it’s about.