Friday Fun – What are you reading now (non-fiction)?

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 writerLisa 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.



headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie 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!!

hennrikus-web2J.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.

DLLDeborah 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.

18 thoughts on “Friday Fun – What are you reading now (non-fiction)?

  1. I am reading a book called Not a Fan, which is about not just being a fan of Jesus Christ, but a true follower. My faith is first and foremost the trait I want to improve. I also just downloaded Self Editing for Fiction Writers after seeing several recommendations.

  2. Just picked up ‘Consoling the Heart of Jesus’ by Fr. Michael Gaitly. Have heard wonderful and inspiring stories about the transformation of hearts after reading this book – both for devout Christians and newbies 🙂

  3. I’m reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ‘Ethics’ and ‘How the Other Half Lives by Jacob A. Riis. The Bonhoeffer is challenging but fascinating; the Riis is a bit of a slog, but informative.

  4. I am currently reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”. A very interesting book about the woman who unknowingly contributed her cells to the world of science. Her cells are still living today and have helped cure such diseases as polio and certain cancers.

  5. Various books on geography and creative industries. Finishing Sharon Zukin, ‘Loft cultures’ (about New York). Starting Susan Luckman, ‘Locating cultural work’ (about rural creativity). Dipping into Peter Hall’s extraordinary ‘Cities in civilization’.

  6. Hello!

    Just picked up Stephen Koch’s absorbing book, ‘The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop’ and it is a superb read, filled with insights from a myriad of authors. I highly suggest this book to add to anyone’s burgeoning reading list.

    Also, Lisa Cron’s ‘Wired For Story’, a fascinating look into brain science to attract readers.

    And ‘Scrivener for Dummies’, by Gwen Hernandez. I’m not familiar with this software, so I thought I’d peruse these pages in order to better understand the intricacies of organizing any kind of manuscript. Does anybody out there use this program?

    Take care,

  7. Voyages to the Moon and the Sun by Cyrano deBergerac
    Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
    Finding Your Voice by Les Egerton

    All of which have much to do with fictitious writing! 🙂

  8. I am reading an old book called Running With Scissors. It’s about the author’s childhood. His mom didn’t want him so she sent him to live with her psychiatrist! It is an amazing book

  9. Pingback: Friday Fun – Ebooks vs. Print Books « Live to Write – Write to Live

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s