2018 Reading List (So far!)

Hello ladies and gents- how’s 2018 treating you?

Me? I am alive, and have an itchy writing finger. It’s like a trigger finger, you kno–

Okay, yep, it sounded weird. Anyway.

I’m compiling my TBR list for the year, and I wanted to share what I’ve got so far, and see what YOU have!

I’ve already read a few books in this year: Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie Ann DiRisio, Basic Witches by Jess Zimmerman and Jaya Saxena, and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, all of which were pretty damn enjoyable! Okay, John Green made me cry again (and also triggered my OCD and anxiety a lot), but SO GOOD.

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

When I heard Practical Magic was getting a prequel, I knew I *had* to get my hands on it. The Aunts are some of my absolute favorite fictional characters, so I’m really excited to finish this one up!

Damn Fine Story: Mastering the Tools of a Powerful Narrative by Chuck Wendig

What do Luke Skywalker, John McClane, an da lonely dog on Ho’okipa Beach have in common?

Simply put, we care about them.

Great storytelling is making readers care about your characters, the choices they make, and what happens to them. It’s making your audience feel the tension and emotion of a situation right alongside your protagonist. And to tell a damn fine story, you need to understand why and how that caring happens.

Using a mix of personal stories, pop fiction examples, and traditional storytelling terms, New York Times best-selling author Chuck Wendig will help you internalize the feel of powerful storytelling. In Damn Fine Story, you’ll explore: Fretytag’s Pyramid for visualizing story structure–and when to break away from traditional storytelling forms; Character relationships and interactions as the basis of every strong plot–no matter the form or genre; Rising and falling tension that pulls the audience through to the climax and conclusion of the story; Developing themes as a way to craft characters with depth.

Whether you’re writing a novel, screenplay, video game, comic, or even if you just like to tell stories to your friends and family over dinner, this funny and informative guide is chock-full of examples about the art and craft of storytelling–and how to write a damn fine story of your own.

Everyone around here knows I dig Chuck Wendig, so when I saw a new release a-comin’, it went straight to the top of my want list. (I also got it for my birthday, so uh I AM LATE READING IT SORRY.)

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Loyal readers of the monthly “Universe” essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson’s talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson’s favorite essays, Death by Black Hole explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry’s feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America’s best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.

I adore Neil deGrasse Tyson (so much that I’m considering skipping my kid’s birthday to go see him live. I AM KIDDING MAYBE OR AM I?), but honestly, this is the first book of his I’ve owned. I don’t delve into Nonfiction as much as I should. Considering my vast love of the cosmos (and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos tbh), this ought to be a great read.

Write A Novel in 10 Minutes A Day by Katharine Grubb

‘The Ten-Minute Novel’ will help you sculpt a full-length piece of creative writing in just ten minutes a day. Starting with a daily practical exercise, it will help you manage your writing schedule within this time frame and help you bring your novel to life. You will be able to clarify your vision and review your time commitments, as well as understand your own abilities. Learning to observe the world around you, write quickly and tap into your unique voice will help you to create all the elements of your story and, by the time you’ve finished all the exercises, you’ll have created something beautiful.

I’ve found some fantastic advice and some great comrades in the 10 Minute Novelists arena, so I’m interested in learning what I can about breaking my writing down into more manageable bits.

A few others that I’ve got on the list are Russell Brand’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and the Overwatch Anthology that Le Hubs got for me. The list will definitely grow, but hey, we’re only five seven (SEVEN?!) days into the year. Let’s make it a good one!

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