My goal for 2015 of reading more and reading greater variety has lead to a stack of book that I would like to tell you about:
Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon. A quickie. I leave it on my desk at work and read it when I am on hold. It is a fun book, inspirational for any artist, musician, or writer. I don’t need inspiration to write, I need inspiration to “Show my work” and Kleon provides plenty of ideas. He has a few books out and also writes an awesome blog.
Manage Your Day-to-Day, edited by Jocelyn K. Glei. The long subtitle is “Build your routine, find your focus, and sharpen your creative mind.” There is a long list of contributors and this is another book meant to inspire that can be read in little bits. This one has a lot of good information about chasing your dream and not wasting your time.
Damn Good Advice (for people with talent) by George Lois. I almost couldn’t bring myself to buy this book because I like to pretend to be humble, but I am so glad I did. Yet another book intended to boost creativity, except this one is more like a kick in the pants rather than a pat on the back.
Looking for Alaska, by John Green. YA – as in “Ya for me, I am reading some ‘Young Adult’ fiction, which is not my usual genre. I enjoyed the first half of this book, the second half – not so much. At least I didn’t cry a bucket an ruin a perfectly good pair of contacts, like I did with “The Fault in our Stars.” Partly because I have been wearing glasses, partly because this one only provide one punch in the gut and TFIOS was a perpetual beating.
The Martian, by Andy Weir. I do not read Science Fiction. Or at last I didn’t. The other day I wanted a new book and because I am trying to broaden my horizons I said, “I will just go to the NY Times list of bestsellers and buy either # 3 or 4. This is #4. The lead is fantastic, but I am barely into it.
The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Sismsion. A cute little romantic comedy that left me wanting. Is that a good thing? I’m not sure. Having a narrator with Asperger’s syndrome is a clever idea, but I’ve read it before. (The Curios Incident of the Dog in the Night). This book was not a waste of time.
Mindfulness for Beginners, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I keep plugging away at this topic, keep trying. This book is excellent and comes with a CD of guided meditation.
Mad Ball: The Bartman Play, by Hoffman and Yurkanin. I bought this as research for my second book “Flower Girl”, but I kind of wish I hadn’t. I needed to know about the Bartman play and this book gave me way more information than I needed. Way more. You’d have to be more into baseball than I am to enjoy this, but there are plenty of people who fit that description.
Guess what else I read this week! Poetry! If I keep becoming so well-rounded I might lose my edge. Here was the best poem I read, although it reads more like a joke:
“10 reasons why your relationship isn’t working”
(turn the page)
“She likes to be fingered and you have no hands.”
I.E. Wong gets the credit for that one. He also writes a very clever blog and has a short book of poems called “Tin Lion.“