Welcome back to my Nonfiction Book Party!
So you want to be a writer? Well, its National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so its the best time to get started! Each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel. They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists. Find out more here!
Today’s four featured books are for the writers out there.
Title: You/Poet: Learn the Art. Speak Your Truth. Share Your Voice.
Author: Rayna Hutchison and Samuel Blake
Synopsis: Offering a variety of advice for tapping into your creative voice, sharing your work online, and honing your writing skills, You/Poet shows you how to express yourself creatively through the art of poetry.
You may think that writing poetry requires a specific set of skills. You may have read books on writing poetry that was stuffy and full of strict rules and regulations. But You/Poet proves that all you need to be a poet is the desire to share your inner thoughts and emotions with the world.
Writing poetry is an act of bravery. It’s just you, your thoughts and feelings, and the words you choose to express them. You/Poet can help you do just that. With encouragement and advice on poetry writing basics, how to identify your unique creative voice, and prompts and exercises to help you channel your thoughts and emotions through writing, this all-in-one guide will help you share your talent with the world.
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- Rayna Hutchison is the founder and creator of Her Heart Poetry, an online poetry community, digital zine, and now poetry press. The digital community @HerHeartPoetry is one of Instagram’s fastest growing online poetry accounts.
Title: The Writers Library
Author: Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager
Themes: Books & Reading, Essays, Comparative Literature
Synopsis: Before Jennifer Egan, Louise Erdrich, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Jonathan Lethem became revered authors, they were readers. In this ebullient book, America’s favorite librarian Nancy Pearl and noted-playwright Jeff Schwager interview a diverse range of America’s most notable and influential writers about the books that shaped them and inspired them to leave their own literary mark.
Illustrated with beautiful line drawings, The Writer’s Library is a revelatory exploration of the studies, libraries, and bookstores of today’s favorite authors–the creative artists whose imagination and sublime talent make America’s literary scene the wonderful, dynamic world it is. A love letter to books and a celebration of wordsmiths, The Writer’s Library is a treasure for anyone who has been moved by the written word.
The authors in The Writer’s Library are:
Russell Banks, TC Boyle, Michael Chabon, Susan Choi, Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Louise Erdrich, Richard Ford, Laurie Frankel, Andrew Sean Greer, Jane Hirshfield, Siri Hustvedt, Charles Johnson, Laila Lalami, Jonathan Lethem, Donna Tartt, Madeline Miller, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Luis Alberto Urrea, Vendela Vida, Ayelet Waldman, Maaza Mengiste, Amor Towles
Title: Murder Your Darlings: And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser
Author: Roy Peter Clark
Themes: Style Manuals, Writing – Fiction Writing, Grammar & Punctuation
Synopsis: From one of America’s most influential teachers, a collection of the best writing advice distilled from fifty language books — from Aristotle to Strunk and White.
With so many excellent writing guides lining bookstore shelves, it can be hard to know where to look for the best advice. Should you go with Natalie Goldberg or Anne Lamott? Maybe William Zinsser or Stephen King would be more appropriate. Then again, what about the classics — Strunk and White, or even Aristotle himself?
Thankfully, your search is over. In Murder Your Darlings, Roy Peter Clark, who has been a beloved and revered writing teacher to children and Pulitzer Prize winners alike for more than thirty years, has compiled a remarkable collection of more than 100 of the best writing tips from fifty of the best writing books of all time.
With a chapter devoted to each key strategy, Clark expands and contextualizes the original author’s suggestions and offers anecdotes about how each one helped him or other writers sharpen their skills. An invaluable resource for writers of all kinds, Murder Your Darlings is an inspiring and edifying ode to the craft of writing.
Title: Chance Particulars: A Writer’s Field Notebook for Travelers, Bloggers, Essayists, Memoirists, Novelists, Journalists, Adventurers, Naturalists, Sketchers, and Other Note-Takers and Recorders of Life
Author: Sara Mansfield Taber
Synopsis: The goal of the writer is to live with the keenness of the foreigner. To experience, wide-eyed, the sensations aroused and the events offered up by peculiar surrounds and then to evoke them so brightly on the page that the reader, too, experiences the foreigner’s frisson. A time-honored way this is accomplished is through the keeping of a field notebook–through the faithful recording of the this-and-that of life; the atmospheres and incidents; the bells, the beer, the bread.
Based on what accomplished nonfiction writer Sara Mansfield Taber learned in her many years of field notebook keeping, Chance Particulars is a unique and handy primer for writers who want to use their experiences to tell a lively, satisfying story. Often, writers try to turn their notes into a memoir, essay, travel piece, or story, only to find that they haven’t recorded enough of the concrete, sensory details necessary to create evocative descriptions. To help writers overcome this problem, Taber has composed a true “field notebook for field notebook keepers.” Enhanced by beautiful illustrations, this charming and comprehensive guide is a practical manual for anyone who wishes to learn or hone the crafts of writing, ethnography, or journalism.
Writers of all levels, genres, and ages, as well as teachers of writing, will appreciate this useful tool for learning how to record the details that build vibrant prose. With this book in hand, you will be able to recreate times and places, conjure up intricate character portraits, and paint pictures of particular landscapes, cultures, and locales.
What is the Nonfiction Book Party? All month long I’ll be sharing newly released nonfiction titles and some of my 5-star favorites too! Join me on Instagram for an epic book party with an amazing prize pack. Tag all your posts #NonfictionBookParty
Bloggers: Make sure to blog along with DoingDeweyDecimal, JulzReads, What’s NonFiction, and Shelf Aware and follow #NonFicNov. Over on BookTube, get the details on #NonfictionNovember20 and join the Goodreads Group here.
Want to see which books I’ve posted about in previous years? (And which books are STILL on my list?!)
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