On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
By: Stephen King
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999–and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it–fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
I haven’t read much of Stephen King’s works although his stories are well known and I’m aware of many that he’s written. I’ve often seen On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft in many lists about the craft of writing so it’s long been on my list of books to check out. I suppose after experiencing a bit of a frustrating drought on writing recently I decided to pick this book up to spur my creativity onward.
What can I say about this book? He does a wonderful job of weaving lessons on writing with his own experiences and journeys as a writer, providing examples, and giving sage advice that he had learned over the years. I didn’t know much about Stephen King’s life and how long he had been writing, so I learned quite a bit there as well. For fans and readers of his book, this book is quite the treat in that he gives a behind-the-scenes insight to his novels, where he got some inspiration from for some of his novels, and so forth (I’m always a bit fan of reading the behind-the-scenes stuff). From a writer’s perspective though this book is quite comforting: he’s straight-up about his advice, but at the same time he reminds the writer that you’re writing to write, you’re writing for yourself, that you make the rules because it’s you putting down those words.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading On Writing. Part memoir, part writing advice, an excellent read all around.
Visit the author’s official website || Order this book from the Book Depository
The Unwomanly Face of War
By: Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
The unforgettable oral history of Soviet women’s experiences in the Second World War from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, The Unwomanly Face of War is Svetlana Alexievich’s collection of stories from Soviet women who lived through the Second World War: on the front lines, on the home front, and in occupied territories. As Alexievich gives voice to women who are absent from official narratives – captains, sergeants, nurses, snipers, pilots – she shows us a new version of the war we’re so familiar with, creating an extraordinary
alternative history from their private stories.
Published in 1985 in Russia, The Unwomanly Face of War was Alexievich’s first book and a huge bestseller in the Soviet Union, establishing her as a brilliantly revolutionary writer.
Svetlana Alexievich has been on my wish-to-read list ever since I heard she had won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her specialisation is oral history in major Soviet events, and I was quite intrigued when I heard that this particular book was published in English a few years ago.
By: Sarah Andersen
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Adjusting to life as a world-famous cartoonist isn’t easy. Terrifying deadlines, piles of junk-food wrappers under a glowing computer screen, and an ever-growing horde of pets….umm, never mind–it’s pretty much the same.
With characteristic wit and charm, Sarah Andersen’s third collection of comics and illustrated personal essays offers a survival guide for frantic modern life: from the importance of avoiding morning people, to Internet troll defense 101, to the not-so-life-changing futility of tidying up. But when all else fails and the world around you is collapsing, make a hot chocolate, count the days until Halloween, and snuggle up next to your furry beacon of hope.
This comic came up as a surprise in that I didn’t know she was releasing a third collection until it was already available! So I snatched it up as soon as I could…Her comics continue to crack me up but at the same time are very relevant in today’s climate with everything that’s happening in the news and how the internet has become something quite harsh (I could totally relate with the comic about how back then the internet was this happy place to escape to, to talk about fandoms and whatnot, and now it’s just this wasteland of trolls and hateful commentary and bad news all around. It’s no wonder I’m not on it very often these days). I also enjoy how this is the second volume now where she’s included a personal essay, this time about creating art in this day and age, especially with the advent and continuing turnover of the internet and social media and how we use it to promote our work. It’s a fascinating piece that left me with much to think about with my own work.
Anyway, some favourites:
Overall, another enjoyable volume!
Visit the author’s official website || Purchase a copy from the Book Depository
By: Amy Stuart
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of Touchstone Books
How do you find the truth in a town full of secrets?
Sally Proulx and her young boy have mysteriously disappeared in the stormy town of High River. Clare O’Dey is hired to track them down, hoping against all odds to find them alive. But High River isn’t your typical town.
In a town where secrets are crucial to survival, everyone is hiding something. And the police clearly have an ulterior motive beyond solving the case. Malcolm Boon, who hired Clare, knows more about her than he reveals. Their benefactor, Helen Haines, is concealing a tragic family history of her own. As the truth surges through High River, Clare must face the very thing she has so desperately been running from, even if it comes at a devastating cost. Compulsively gripping and twisty, Still Water is a deep dive of a thriller that will leave you breathless.
I really enjoyed Amy Stuart’s first novel, Still Mine, but did not get around to reading Still Water right away. Many thanks to Touchstone Books for reaching out and offering a galley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons #6)
By: Julia Quinn
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one’s life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London’s most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.
After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer—the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.
But that was then… Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love… until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets…
All right, on to the next Bridgertons book! 🙂 After long hearing about Francesca in previous books and how she is a widow (it’s not a spoiler at this point, I think, that I can mention it freely before the cut), it’s nice to finally turn to her and her story 🙂