I absolutely can't read how-to books about writing.
It's like asking a caterpillar how she manages to control all those legs. Do that and, if she stops to think about it, she may never move again. Ever.
So reading books about writing does not help me with writing, unless help is defined by overwhelming ennui and a need to binge Great British Bake-Off.
Instead I read a lot of books about the things I write about.
When I was writing Sherlock Holmes stories for breakfast, lunch, and after-dinner dessert, I adored books about science, such as:
* The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases by E.J. Wagner,
* Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, and
* The Rainbow Colors of Pee by Ashley Titan, because I—
You're wondering about that last book you say? Well I did too, so when I had the opportunity to review it, you double-damn well believe review it I did. And review it I will here in future, complete with images of blue pee! So exciting.
Now I'm working on a book with Lee Harper over at History Bones and I'm reading books about Bass Reeves, the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River; Frances Glessner Lee, the 'mother of modern forensics' and creator of the Nutshell Studies; Joseph Merrick, who was also known as the Elephant Man (and from whom I take the name Merrick); Queen Nzinga, 17th-century ruler of what is now known as Angola; and lots more.
I want to know:
What are your writerly reads right now? What's fueling your writing or your brain, what's delighting you, what would you recommend?
Have a look at the comments for some great writerly recommendations; and please share yours. If you'd like to share a 200-300 word review as a guest blogger, do that too!
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