Sooo funny story. I stepped outside on our back porch to take this quickie photo of my October book stack — the result bears evidence of dark storms clouds a-brewin’ and a photobomb from our lovely septic system. (Plus, my weirdly-shaped hand). Country livin’, y’all. Betcha wish I’d gotten a selfie with the scorpion that was IN OUR HOUSE last week. Yeah.
But I digress. I got a few great reads in this month, and naptime reading sessions were accompanied by embarrassing amounts of Halloween candy and lots of cozy weather (okay, this is Texas. By “cozy” I mean I wasn’t sweating. AC was still blasting, let’s be real). ‘Tis the season!
Here’s what I read this month:
On Writing by Sol Stein: Uhm, okay, so I am a writer. Why haven’t I read this before?? This book really changed my understanding of writing in so many ways, offering a wealth of knowledge of how I can improve both my nonfiction and fiction craft. Stein really knew his stuff, and I’m sure grateful this book exists. It’s become sort of a reference bible to me, and I know that I will be returning to it often for guidance, instruction, and inspiration. It’s now sufficiently dog-eared, annotated, and highlighted. One of my goals this season was to really work on learning more about my craft and putting myself in an equipped position (if you ever truly can be) to really write my book. Selecting this book from my stack of To-Be-Reads was timely and extremely beneficial. I feel so much better prepared to approach my novel from a smarter and more well-informed place, and with a greater desire to implement the best of my craft. I learned so many important elements about each part of a written work – the hook, the characters, the crucible, dialogue — Stein really nailed it all. A killer book I’d recommend to all wannabe-authors and writers alike. 10/10
Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland: Another A+ read on my writing education journey. Weiland really offers insight into structure that I’d never even considered as I embarked on a novel-writing journey, but truly her instruction and methods helped me understand the mechanics of a well-written and publishable story. I feel like this book let me in a huge secret as a wannabe author — there is a smart and effective way to build your story for a greater chance at success. You don’t have to just start writing aimlessly, hoping one day you’ll finish your book and score a publishing deal. Her detailed lessons on the must-have elements and organization of a successful story. Like with Stein’s book, I feel Structuring Your Novel has made more more well-equipped to begin a fruitful and fulfilling writing journey. 10/10
Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite: With a lot of skill-focused text, I needed a light, fun read, so I pulled out this novel from my (ever-growing) list of TBRs. Wilhite taught an intensive that I took at the 2018 Storymakers Conference about beginning your writing journey, and her class really taught me so much about where to find inspiration, how to develop routines, and how to jump into this crazy world of writing with purpose. Meeting her was a delight, just as her book turned out to be. Focused on a character who works at a library, Check Me Out is a charming romance that I devoured in a matter of hours. For me, the characters lacked a little (I need to like, LOVE them) and at points, I wasn’t engaged in the romance aspects of it like I wanted to be. But overall, the story is really clever, fun, and well-written. Wilhite’s voice is like listening to a (funny) friend talk and I couldn’t get enough. An enjoyable read for a lazy afternoon, a long waiting-room visit, or empty TBR list. 7/10
As a special bonus, here are adorable photos of my twins getting their reading time in. All the heart eyes.
What did you all read this month? What’s on your TBR list for next month? Share with me in the comments.