A Guide to Reading David Eddings’ Fantasy Series

David Eddings is a very famous American writer of high fantasy with a number of series under his belt.  Many of his books were written together with his wife, Leigh Eddings.  If you are planning to read Eddings for the first time here is the info to help you navigate reading the series in the best order accompanied by some nice maps.

A1 – Prequels to Belgariad & Malloreon:

  1. Belgarath the Sorcerer (1995)
  2. Polgara the Sorceress (1997)
  3. The Rivan Codex (1998)Belgariad & Malloreon Map david eddings

A2 – The Belgariad

  1. Pawn of Prophecy (1982)
  2. Queen of Sorcery (1982)
  3. Magician’s Gambit (1983)
  4. Castle of Wizardry (1984)
  5. Enchanters’ End Game (1984)

A3 – The Malloreon (sequel to the Belgariad)

  1. Guardians of the West (1987)
  2. King of the Murgos (1988)
  3. Demon Lord of Karanda (1988)Elenium Map david eddings
  4. Sorceress of Darshiva (1989)
  5. The Seeress of Kell (1991)

B1 – The Elenium 

  1. The Diamond Throne (1989)
  2. The Ruby Knight (1990)
  3. The Sapphire Rose (1991)Tamuli Map david eddings

B2 – The Tamuli (sequel to the Elenium)

  1. Domes of Fire (1992)
  2. The Shining Ones (1993)
  3. The Hidden City (1994)

C1 – The Dreamers

Dreamers Map david eddings

  1. The Elder Gods (2003)
  2. The Treasured One (2004)
  3. Crystal Gorge (2005)
  4. The Younger Gods (2006)

Eddings’ books were firm favourites in my house when I was growing up.  I haven’t read them yet myself but hopefully I’ll get to them in the near future.  Have you read any of these books?  Share your thoughts.




A Writer’s Fiction Reading List – A Study in Elements of Fiction Writing

This list of novels comes from the Warwick University reading list for The Practice of Fiction and the following novels will be helpful for the study of the elements of fiction writing.

For a closer look at Entrances, Openings, and Beginnings:  A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (2000)

A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius : A Memoir Based on a True Story“Dave Eggers is a terrifically talented writer; don’t hold his cleverness against him. What to make of a book called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Based on a True Story? For starters, there’s a good bit of staggering genius before you even get to the true story, including a preface, a list of “Rules and Suggestions for Enjoyment of This Book,” and a 20-page acknowledgements section complete with special mail-in offer, flow chart of the book’s themes, and a lovely pen-and-ink drawing of a stapler (helpfully labeled “Here is a drawing of a stapler”).  But on to the true story. At the age of 22, Eggers became both an orphan and a “single mother” when his parents died within five months of one another of unrelated cancers. In the ensuing sibling division of labor, Dave is appointed unofficial guardian of his 8-year-old brother, Christopher. The two live together in semi-squalor, decaying food and sports equipment scattered about, while Eggers worries obsessively about child-welfare authorities, molesting babysitters, and his own health. His child-rearing strategy swings between making his brother’s upbringing manically fun and performing bizarre developmental experiments on him. (Case in point: his idea of suitable bedtime reading is John Hersey’s Hiroshima.)”

For a closer look at Shapes and Structures: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (2004)

“Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story Gileadabout fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America’s heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson’s beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows “even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order” (Slate). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.”

For a closer look at People and Things: Austerlitz by W G Sebald (2001)

Austerlitz“In 1967, the narrator bumps into a man in the salle de pas perdus of Antwerp’s Central Station. Thus begins a long if intermittent acquaintance, during which he learns the life story of this stranger, retired architectural historian Jacques Austerlitz. Raised as Dafydd Elias by a strict Welsh Calvinist ministry family, it is only at school that Austerlitz learns his true name–and only years later, by a series of chance encounters, that he allows himself to discover the truth of his origins, as a Czech child spirited away from his mother and out of Nazi territory on the Kindertransport. He returns to confront the childhood traumas that have made him feel that “I must have made a mistake, and now I am living the wrong life.”

For a closer look at Places and Domains: I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal (1983)

“Sparkling with comic genius and narrative exuberance, I Served the King of England is a story of how the unbelievable came true. Its remarkable hero, Ditie, is a hotel waiter who I Served the King of Englandrises to become a millionaire and then loses it all again against the backdrop of events in Prague from the German invasion to the victory of Communism. Ditie’s fantastic journey intertwines the political and the personal in a narrative that both enlightens and entertains.”

For a closer look at Voices: Drown by Junot Diaz (1996)

Drown“This stunning collection of stories offers an unsentimental glimpse of life among the immigrants from the Dominican Republic–and other front-line reports on the ambivalent promise of the American dream–by an eloquent and original writer who describes more than physical dislocation in conveying the price that is paid for leaving culture and homeland behind.”

And finally, for a closer look at Endings, Finales, and Conclusions: Short Stories by Anton Chekhov

The Best Stories of Anton Chekhov is an unforgettable journey through the complexities of the human heart. Celebrated as one of the greatest short story writers of all time, The Best Stories of Anton ChekhovChekhov’s masterpieces are given the difinitive treatment by editor John Kulka in this edition.  Among the twelve stories included here are some of Chekhov’s most famous and celebrated “The Lady with the Dog,” “The Darling,” and “Peasants” as well as a few less familiar though equally accomplished masterpieces. All of the stories in this round-up reveal Chekhov as a master of storytelling.”


Must Have Writers’ Reference Books

books writers must have

While searching for literature reading lists online I came across the Warwick University reading list for The Practise of Fiction and here are the reference books every writer needs in his arsenal to take on writing fiction:

The Oxford English Dictionary

Your own copy of the Oxford English Dictionary is essential.  The list talks about the twenty volume Oxford English Dictionary as being the best reference tool but if you don’t have all those they say the desktop version is good enough for everyday use.  I personally have the Concise Oxford English Dictionary which continues to serve me very well.  Don’t see myself buying a 20 volume dictionary set but if that’s for you, get it.

“The Concise Oxford English Dictionary is the most popular dictionary of its kind around the world and is noted for its clear, concise definitions as well as its comprehensive and authoritative coverage of the vocabulary of the English-speaking world. Authoritative and up to date, this eleventh edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary contains over 240,000 words, phrases, and definitions, including 900 new words. It offers rich vocabulary coverage, with full treatment of World English, rare, historical, and archaic terms, as well as scientific and technical vocabulary, and provides hundreds of helpful notes on grammar and usage.”

The Roget’s Thesaurus

Another essential tool is a thesaurus.  The Roget’s Thesaurus is the best unless you are American in which case an American thesaurus would be best.

“Roget’s Thesaurus is the world’s most trusted wordfinder and is the essential companion for anyone who wants to improve their command, creative use and enjoyment of the language. It remains, definitively, a writer’s best friend.”

The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage

The recommended book on English Usage is the 1996 New Fowler’s edited by R. W. Burchfield.

“First published in 1926, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage is one of the most celebrated reference books of the twentieth century. Commonly known as “Fowler,” after its inimitable author, H.W. Fowler, it has sold more than a million copies and maintained a devoted following over seven decades, in large part because of its charming blend of information and good humor, delivered in the voice of a genial if somewhat idiosyncratic schoolmaster.”

The Oxford English Grammar

A good book on grammar is also essential and the Oxford English Grammar by Sidney Greenbaum comes recommended.

“Written by one of the world’s leading grammarians, The Oxford English Grammar is an authoritative review of and topic reference for English grammar.”

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style by W Strunk and E B White is well known and a must for every writer.

“You know the authors’ names. You recognize the title. You’ve probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book’s unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of “the little book” to make a big impact with writing.”

Line by Line

Line by Line by Claire Kherwald Cook is the recommended reference book on editing.

“The essential guide for all writers. With over 700 examples of original and edited sentences, this book provides information about editing techniques, grammar, and usage for every writer from the student to the published author.”



The Future through the Eyes of Famous Works of Fiction – A Visual Recounting & 10 Reading Picks

I came across the coolest visual representation of the works of fiction that portray a version of the future that I have ever seen.  This info packed graphic comes from BrainPickings and was originally created by Italian information visualization designer Giorgia Lupi.  For any readers out there who are lovers of any kind of future related genre you will love this graphic and may be great inspiration for bibliophiles.  It has organised the novels along an X and Y axis where the X axis is the year in the future the novel (or short story, comic, comic novel) deals with and the Y axis is the date that the novel was published.  You will notice that each novel is either red, black, or grey and these colours denote whether the story has a positive (red), negative (black), or neutral (grey) take on the future.  Another feature which I thought was very helpful was the symbols placed along the X axis which let you know what the novels are more or less about; environmental, sociological, travel-adventure, technological, scientific, or political.

Enjoy perusing this awesome table (click the image to see a larger version) and immediately after you’ll find my 10 reading picks from the novels on this table.


My 10 Reading Picks (in order of date in the future) from the Table

Set in 2020, Air by Geoff Ryman

AirChung Mae is the only connection her small farming village has to culture of a wider world beyond the fields and simple houses of her village. A new communications technology is sweeping the world and promises to connect everyone, everywhere without power lines, computers, or machines. This technology is Air. An initial testing of Air goes disastrously wrong and people are killed from the shock. Not to be stopped Air is arriving with or without the blessing of Mae’s village. Mae is the only one who knows how to harness Air and ready her people for it’s arrival, but will they listen before it’s too late?

Set in 2035, The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

The Speed of DarkIn the near future, disease will be a condition of the past. Most genetic defects will be removed at birth; the remaining during infancy. Unfortunately, there will be a generation left behind. For members of that missed generation, small advances will be made. Through various programs, they will be taught to get along in the world despite their differences. They will be made active and contributing members of society. But they will never be normal.  Lou Arrendale is a member of that lost generation, born at the wrong time to reap the awards of medical science. Part of a small group of high-functioning autistic adults, he has a steady job with a pharmaceutical company, a car, friends, and a passion for fencing. Aside from his annual visits to his counselor, he lives a low-key, independent life. He has learned to shake hands and make eye contact. He has taught himself to use “please” and “thank you” and other conventions of conversation because he knows it makes others comfortable. He does his best to be as normal as possible and not to draw attention to himself.   But then his quiet life comes under attack. It starts with an experimental treatment that will reverse the effects of autism in adults. With this treatment Lou would think and act and be just like everyone else. But if he was suddenly free of autism, would he still be himself? Would he still love the same classical music–with its complications and resolutions? Would he still see the same colors and patterns in the world–shades and hues that others cannot see? Most importantly, would he still love Marjory, a woman who may never be able to reciprocate his feelings? Would it be easier for her to return the love of a “normal”?

 Set in 2038, Everyone’s Just So So Special by Robert Shearman

Everyone's Just So So SpecialThe history of the world. All of it. Its wars, its empires. Each and every one of its decline-and-falls. It’s really terribly simple. It’s the story of a bunch of mediocrities who are trying to look special. And it is my duty, it is my pleasure, to expose the lot of them.  A little boy who betrays his father to the mercies of Santa Claus. An assassin whose personality is so insipid he erases people with his very presence. A kitty cat that likes to hunt only endangered species. Camel marriages, killer angels, and conjuring tricks that cause worldwide plague.  The history of mankind. As told through twenty-one tales of the comic and the macabre. Frightening and funny. Heartbreaking and wise.

Set in 2082, the Otherland series starting with The City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams

City of Golden Shadow (Otherland, #1)Renie Sulaweyo, a teacher in the South Africa of tomorrow, realizes something is wrong on the network. Kids, including her brother Stephen, have logged into the net, and cannot escape. Clues point to a mysterious golden city called Otherland, but investigators all end up dead.

Set in 2086, Blindsight by Peter Watts

BlindsightIt’s been two months since a myriad of alien objects clenched about the Earth, screaming as they burned. The heavens have been silent since – until a derelict space probe hears whispers from a distant comet. Something talks out there: but not to us. Who to send to meet the alien, when the alien doesn’t want to meet? Send a linguist with multiple-personality disorder, and a biologist so spliced to machinery he can’t feel his own flesh. Send a pacifist warrior, and a vampire recalled from the grave by the voodoo of paleogenetics. Send a man with half his mind gone since childhood. Send them to the edge of the solar system, praying you can trust such freaks and monsters with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they’ve been sent to find – but you’d give anything for that to be true, if you knew what was waiting for them.

Set in 2107, Blind Faith by Ben Elton

Blind FaithAs Trafford Sewell struggles to work through the usual crowds of commuters, he is confronted by the intimidating figure of his priest, full of accusatory questions. Why has Trafford not been streaming his every moment of sexual intimacy onto the community website like everybody else? Does he think he’s different or special in some way? Does he have something to hide? Imagine a world where everyone knows everything about everybody. Where what a person “feels” and “truly believes” is protected under the law, while what is rational, even provable, is condemned as heresy. A world where to question ignorance and intolerance is to commit a crime against Faith. Ben Elton’s dark, savagely comic novel imagines a postapocalyptic society where religious intolerance combines with a confessional sex-obsessed, self-centric culture to create a world where nakedness is modesty, ignorance is wisdom, and privacy is a dangerous perversion. A chilling vision of what’s to come, or something rather close to what we call reality?

Set in 2108, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death. In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.  When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Set in 2240, Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler

Lilith's Brood: Dawn / Adulthood Rites / Imago (Xenogenesis, #1-3)Lilith Iyapo is in the Andes, mourning the death of her family, when war destroys Earth. Centuries later, she is resurrected — by miraculously powerful unearthly beings, the Oankali. Driven by an irresistible need to heal others, the Oankali are rescuing our dying planet by merging genetically with mankind. But Lilith and all humanity must now share the world with uncanny, unimaginably alien creatures: their own children. This is their story…

Set in 2312, is 2312 by Kim S Robinson

2312The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity’s only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.  The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.

Set in 2320, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Windup GirlAnderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko.  Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.   What Happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism’s genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.


A Guide to Reading Terry Brooks’ Shannara Series

Terry Brooks is most famous for his Shannara Series of fantasy fiction.  For those of you interested in embarking on the Shannara journey, here is a guide to reading the series in chronological order.

1. Word and Void Series
1 – Running with the Demon (1997)
2 – A Knight of the Word (1998)
3 – Angel Fire East (1999)

2. Genesis of Shannara Series
1 – Armageddon’s Children (2006)
2 – The Elves of Cintra (2007)
3 – The Gypsy Morph (2008)

3. Legends of Shannara Series
1 – Bearers of the Black Staff (2010)
2 – The Measure of the Magic (2011)

4. Paladins of Shannara Series
1 – Allanon’s Quest (2012)
2 – The Weapons Master’s Choice (2013)
3 – The Black Irix (2013)

5. Original Shannara Series
1 – The Sword of Shannara (1977)
2 – The Elfstones of Shannara (1982)
3 – The Wishsong of Shannara (1985)

6. Heritage of Shannara Series
1 – The Scions of Shannara (1990)
2 – The Druid of Shannara (1991)
3 – The Elf Queen of Shannara (1992)
4 – The Talismans of Shannara (1993)

7. Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Series
1 – Ilse Witch (2000)
2 – Antrax (2001)
3 – Morgawr (2002)

8. High Druid of Shannara Series
1 – Jarka Ruus (2003)
2 – Tanequil (2004)
3 – Straken (2005)

9. The Dark Legacy of Shannara Series
1 – Wards of Faerie (2012)
2 – Bloodfire Quest (2013)
3 – Witch Wraith (2013)

10. Defenders of Shannara Series
1 – The High Druid’s Blade (2014)
2 – The Darkling Child (2015)
3 – The Sorcerer’s Daughter (2016)

11. The Fall of Shannara Series
1 – The Black Elfstone (2017)


I’ve shared with you the chronological order of the Shannara books but if you are interested you can also follow Brooks’ suggested order for new readers to the series.


Appreciating Irish Literature Reading List

In celebration of St Patrick’s Day I’ve put together this list of famous writers who you may or may not have known hail from Ireland.  The list includes both classic and contemporary works of notable fiction.  Today, wear something green and pick up a book by an Irish author!  Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) by Oscar Wilde

Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker

Ulysses (1922) by James Joyce

The Chronicles of Narnia (1949) by C S Lewis

Under the Net (1954) by Iris Murdock

Amongst Women (1990) by John McGahern

Circle of Friends (1990) by Maeve Binchy

Every Dead Thing (1999) by John Connelly

Artemis Fowl (2001) by Eoin Colfer

The Sea (2005) by John Banville

The Gathering (2007) by Anne Enright

Brooklyn (2009) by Colm Toibin

Room (2010) by Emma Donoghue

The Brightest Star in the Sky (2011) by Marian Keyes

Authors’ Top Ten Books

I found my way to toptenbooks and was happily surprised to find that J Peder Zane, editor of The Top Ten – Writers Pick their Favourite Books, has posted the top ten favourite books of a large selection of authors.  I particularly like to see what authors are reading and which books are their favourites.  This is a good way to find new authors to read.

For your enjoyment I have included only a small collection of authors’ favourite books – for the rest of the list go over to the toptenbooks website.  I found that some of my favourite books are on Jodi Picoult’s list; Life of Pi by Yann Martel is a book I treasure and The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffennegger is by far the most beautiful, realistic and well written love story.


Top Ten List for Michael Connelly

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Day of the Locusts by Nathanael West
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  5. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  6. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
  8. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  9. The Public Burning by Robert Coover
  10. Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain


Top Ten List for Alice Hoffman

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  5. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  6. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  7. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  8. The Stories of Grace Paley by Grace Paley
  9. Fahrenheit 451 by Raymond Bradbury
  10. Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm


Top Ten List for Stephen King

  1. The Golden Argosy by Van H. Cartmell & Charles Grayson, editors
  2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  3. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  4. McTeague by Frnk Norris
  5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  6. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  7. 1984 by George Orwell
  8. The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott
  9. Light in August by William Faulkner
  10. Blood Merdian by Cormac McCarthy


Top Ten List for Joyce Carol Oates

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  2. Ulysses by James Joyce
  3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  4. The Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
  5. The Stories of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka
  6. The Red and the Black by Stendhal
  7. The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence
  8. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
  9. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain


Top Ten List for Jodi Picoult

  1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  4. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
  5. Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman
  6. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffennegger
  8. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
  9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  10. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare


If you enjoyed these few lists then you might very well want to buy the book The Top Ten edited by J Peder Zane in which case follow the link: http://www.toptenbooks.net/buy.html

3 Personal Book Suggestions to Help Your Writing

These three books on writing and the writing life are the best and most helpful that I have read so far.  Since there are so many books out there that seek to help the budding writer, I thought I would share with you the ones that have most helped me.

Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird is not so much about giving you step by step instructions or tips on how to get your writing done or your career going but more a commentary on what the writer’s life is like, what to expect, and how to tackle it.  Using beautiful examples from her own life, Lamott communicates the joys and difficulties of being writer.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said. ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'” With this basic instruction always in mind, Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer’s life. From “Getting Started,’ with “Short Assignments,” through “Shitty First Drafts,” “Character,” “Plot,” “Dialogue.” all the way from “False Starts” to “How Do You Know When You’re Done?” Lamott encourages, instructs, and inspires. She discusses “Writers Block,” “Writing Groups,” and “Publication.” Bracingly honest, she is also one of the funniest people alive. If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this book is for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eyes open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.”  (GoodReads)

Andrew McAleer’s 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists is a compilation of advice from different published authors on all the areas of writing that are 101HabitsNovelist_250important.  Ranging from your writing routine all the way to your editing process, this book is clear and informative.  I have earmarked multiple pages in this book and found valuable advice on the technicalities of creating publishable writing.

This title focuses on the behaviors necessary to succeed in the dog-eat-dog world of fiction writing by asking successful authors how they practice their craft. Readers will learn how to adopt those habits on their quest to become novelists. The book will inspire, nourish, and provide the needed kick in the pants to turn the wannabes into doers! “The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists” is full of “aha” experiences as the reader uncovers the collected wisdom from the cream of today s fiction writers.” (GoodReads)

Stephen King’s On Writing is a treasure.  All my questions that were left unanswered by previous books were addressed by this book.  This book gave me so much more than answers though.  King doesn’t repeat what other writing books have already said about routine and the technicalities of writing, instead he shows you what the rules are, which of them can be broken and how, and how to make your writing a truer reflection of yourself, your intention, and your story.   This book is a must read and it is incredibly enjoyable because you get to enjoy King’s distinctive style while getting advice from the master.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told. (GoodReads)

Happy Writing!