November 1st kicks off an event called NaNoWriMo. Those participating have pledged to write an entire novel throughout the month of November. Maybe you don’t want to write a novel, but you would like to learn how to write a better essay. Maybe instead of fiction you like to write poetry. Or maybe you dislike writing altogether, but still want to brush up on your skills before you have to write that first college paper.
Wherever you stand with writing, the books listed below are sure to give you some guidance and inspiration. Swing by the library and check one out!
BIRD BY BIRD: SOME INSTRUCTIONS ON WRITING AND LIFE BY ANNE LAMOTT: "Anne Lamott recounts her personal experiences to reveal her writing techniques and how she overcomes obstacles that interfere with the writing flow. She offers concrete suggestions about character, plot, setting, and other topics of interest to writers. She also offers advice about how to navigate through the dark underbelly feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and jealousy that are inevitable parts of any writer's experience."
ORDINARY GENIUS: A GUIDE FOR THE POET WITHIN BY KIM ADDONIZIO: "A writer's guide to poetry that discusses line, metaphors, subject matter, voice, and more; and provides writing exercises along with wisdom from old and new poets."
ON WRITING WELL: AN INFORMAL GUIDE TO WRITING NONFICTION BY WILLIAM ZINSSER: "On Writing Well, which grew out of a course that William Zinsser taught at Yale, has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity, and for the warmth of its style. It is a book for anybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts, or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you both fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished practitioner."
WRITING DOWN THE BONES: FREEING THE WRITER WITHIN BY NATALIE GOLDBERG: "Natalie Goldberg's word-of-mouth hit has sold well over half a million copies. Goldberg, who has conducted writing workshops for both beginners and professionals all over the United States, sees writing as a practice that helps us comprehend the value of our lives. With insight, humor, and practicality, she inspires writers and would-be writers alike to take the leap into writing creatively and well."
"THEY SAY/I SAY": THE MOVES THAT MATTER IN ACADEMIC WRITING BY GERALD GRAFF, CATHY BIRKENSTEIN, AND RUSSEL K. DURST: "A guide to effective academic writing, featuring forty-four readings from a wide range of sources that serve as sources and models for students' own writing, and including study questions."
STUDENT'S GUIDE TO WRITING COLLEGE PAPERS BY KATE L. TURABIAN: "A guide to writing college research papers, looking at how researchers work, offering advice on how to find a research question, propose working answers, find and engage sources, write a draft, prevent plagiarism, cite sources, and other topics, and including a review of spelling and grammar."
ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT BY STEPHEN KING: "Stephen King reflects on how his writing has helped him through difficult times and describes various aspects of the art of writing."
You might have heard something about an election next month. In fact, you might be pretty tired of hearing anything about that election or the candidates. While politics can be divisive, most people can agree on this: books are basically the greatest things to ever exist in the whole entire universe. (I have no scientific data to back up this claim, but I feel good about it.)
If you’re curious about politics or want to learn more about some of our nation’s former leaders, swing by the library and check out some of these great books.
THE HAMMER AND THE ANVIL: FREDERICK DOUGLASS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, AND THE END OF SLAVERY IN AMERICA BY DWIGHT JON ZIMMERMAN AND WAYNE VANSANT:
"A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian presents a graphically illustrated dual portrait of the 16th President and the literary activist that traces the history of slavery, the Civil War and the Emancipation era while illuminating their respective and shared views."
LISTENING IN: THE SECRET WHITE HOUSE RECORDINGS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY EDITED BY TED WIDMER:
"Available for the first time to the general public, the transcripts and recordings of John F. Kennedy's time in office reveal his decision-making process and thoughts on world events, including the Cuban Missile crisis and the Civil Rights movement, giving a rare opportunity to step inside the Oval Office and Cabinet Room."
GAME CHANGE: OBAMA AND THE CLINTONS, MCCAIN AND PALIN, AND THE RACE OF A LIFETIME BY JOHN HEILEMANN AND MARK HALPERIN:
"Political reporters John Heilemann and Mark Halperin offer a behind the scenes look at the 2008 presidential campaign, discussing how Barack Obama rose from a virtual unknown to win the election, how the relationship between Bill and Hillary Clinton shaped her campaign, why McCain chose a novice governor for his running mate, and other related topics."
LINCOLN'S MELANCHOLY: HOW DEPRESSION CHALLENGED A PRESIDENT AND FUELED HIS GREATNESS BY JOSHUA WOLF SHENK:
"A dramatic reassessment of the life and era of Abraham Lincoln argues that America's sixteenth president suffered from depression and explains how Lincoln used the ailment and the coping strategies he had developed to deal with the crises of the Civil War and personal tragedy."
THE BIG BURN: TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND THE FIRE THAT SAVED AMERICA BY TIMOTHY EGAN (A LOCAL AUTHOR!):
"Describes a forest fire that erupted in August of 1910 in the Bitterroot Mountains along the Idaho-Montana border, discussing efforts to combat it and how the actions of individuals fighting the fires had a positive influence on popular opinion about Teddy Roosevelt's notion of conservation."
ASSASSINATION VACATION BY SARAH VOWELL:
"Presents a humorous exploration of the historical events surrounding the assassinations of three United States presidents--McKinley, Garfield, Lincoln--and travels to various sites, monuments, and museums, examining the role of death and violence in popular culture."
If you're in the library, you might notice that a section of books has gone missing. The story collection books have been moved from their former location and are now interfiled in the regular fiction section. Our fiction section is the most browsed area in the library, and we knew if we moved the story collection books there they'd reach a wider audience. Short stories are an important but sometimes overlooked form of literature. The folks at Ebook Friendly have put together the following infographic highlighting some of the benefits to reading short stories.
Via Ebook Friendly
If you'd like to pick up a book of short stories, check out some of these new additions to our collection.
Favorite Monster by Sharma Shields
"Sharma Shields' Favorite Monster is a deliciously bent collection of short stories -- funny, disturbing and surprisingly profound. A wildly entertaining survey of the modern habits of the cyclops, the Sasquatch, the werewolf, and perhaps the most monstrous of all, the human -- this book is fantastic in every sense of the word."
Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson
"Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed and bestselling novel The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson is one of America's most provocative and powerful authors. In Fortune Smiles--his first book since Orphan Master--he continues to give voice to characters rarely heard from, while offering something we all seek from fiction: a new way of looking at our world."
The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
"A collection of interwoven tales explores themes of family, sacrifice, war, and the redemptive power of art."
A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls edited by Jessica Spotswood
"An anthology of historical fiction and fantasy by young adult writers featuring a diverse array of daring heroines."
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
"The stories collected here are linked by more than the exquisitely winding prose of their creator: Helen Oyeyemi's ensemble cast of characters slip from the pages of their own stories only to surface in another. The reader is invited into a world of lost libraries and locked gardens, of marshlands where the drowned dead live and a city where all the clocks have stopped; students hone their skills at puppet school, the Homely Wench Society commits a guerrilla book-swap, and lovers exchange books and roses on St Jordi's Day. It is a collection of towering imagination, marked by baroque beauty and a deep sensuousness."
We've got many other collections available, so come see us and we can help you find a book that's right for you.
We have a new page for you to peruse! (You're welcome.) It's a list of the books LC staff members love. To Kill a Mockingbird was the clear winner, but there are a lot of different books listed that might surprise you. Take a look at the list, and come by the library if you'd like to check something out. We're ordering what we don't own, so if we don't have it now it will be on its way soon.
Tell us in the comments what books you love.
This week in the library, we have a new section of both fiction and nonfiction books: the local collection. This is the place you'll find books by Spokane writers and stories set here in the Lilac City. Check out some of these books that are brand new to the library. You'll find them in the local collection alongside more great titles.
American Copper by Shann Ray: "As Evelynne Lowry, the daughter of a copper baron, comes of age in early 20th century Montana, the lives of horses dovetail with the lives of people and her own quest for womanhood becomes inextricably intertwined with the future of two men who face nearly insurmountable losses, a lonely bull rider named Zion from the Montana highline, and a Cheyenne team roper named William Black Kettle, the descendant of peace chiefs."
The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac by Sharma Shields: "A dark, fantastical, multi-generational tale about a family whose patriarch is consumed by the hunt for the mythical, elusive sasquatch he encountered in his youth. Eli Roebuck was nine years old when his mother walked off into the woods with 'Mr. Krantz,' a large, strange, hairy man who may or may not be a sasquatch. What Eli knows for certain is that his mother went willingly, leaving her only son behind. For the rest of his life, Eli is obsessed with the hunt for the bizarre creature his mother chose over him, and we watch it affect every relationship he has in his long life--with his father, with both of his wives, his children, grandchildren, and colleagues."
Daredevils by Shawn Vestal: "Fifteen-year-old Loretta slips out of her bedroom window to meet her 'Gentile' boyfriend. This time, however, her strict Mormon parents catch her returning at dawn and quickly arrange for her to marry the upstanding Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids, some not much younger than Loretta herself."
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes: "A handless teen escapes from a cult, only to find herself in juvenile detention and suspected of knowing who murdered her cult leader."
Assisted by John Stockton: "A fast, gritty, durable player who could read a basketball floor as well as anyone who ever played the game, John Stockton left the NBA after nineteen seasons with the Utah Jazz, holding a massive assist record, including the career mark (15,806). He also twice led the league in steals with a career total of 3,265, retiring as the NBA's all-time leader. During Stockton's career, the Jazz never missed the playoffs. Coach Frank Layden said, 'Nobody thought that he was going to be this good. Nobody. But the thing was, nobody measured his heart.' John's autobiography, Assisted, pulls back the curtain on his very personal life to show fans a thoughtful recounting of the people, places, and events that influenced John along his path of extraordinary success. This book clearly illustrates the importance of his family, his faith, and his unparalleled competitive spirit."
Over at Book Riot, they frequently post lists of 100 must-read books in many different categories. There's something for everyone, and a lot of great suggestions. Check out some of these lists if you need a bit of reading inspiration.
100 Must-Read Young Adult Historical Fantasy Novels
100 Must-Read Retellings of Myths, Folklore, and Classics
100 Must-Read Plays Not by Shakespeare
100 Must-Read Short Story Collections
100 Must-Read Books about Mental Illness
100 Must-Read Fantasy/Sci-Fi Novels By Female Authors
100 Must-Read Young Adult Novels in Verse
100 Must-Read Essay Collections
See more of Book Riot's lists here.