Welcome to week 1 of Nonfiction November!
This week’s host is Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness, and our topic of discussion is Your Year in Nonfiction.
Taking a look back at my year of nonfiction, I decided to go through the books I read and rated on Goodreads to get an overview of what I’ve been up to. Here’s what I read so far in 2015:
My favorites this year were definitely Austin Kleon’s two books. If you can read them together, they’ll give you plenty of practical advice on how to share your art with the world, without behaving like a sleazy marketer. Plus they’ll help you build that all-important platform everybody’s always talking about! These should definitely be recommended reading for all artists from all disciplines. Heck, I liked them so much I even bought his Steal Like an Artist Journal and have been using the 30-day challenge page to keep track of my NaNoWriMo progress this year. Highly recommended!
The book I’ve probably recommended the most is, oddly enough, one I still haven’t managed to sit down and write a review for! My pal Ben Sobieck wrote The Writer’s Guide to Weapons, after lots of his friends (myself included) kept asking him about picking the right weapons for our fictional characters. He decided to put pen to paper for Writer’s Digest Books, and the result is this weaponry bible. It also includes his salty sleuth, Maynard Soloman, illustrating both good and bad ways to use guns and knives in your fiction, so it’s definitely not your average writer’s guide. Oh, and did I mention it has an introduction by the guy who created Rambo? Major street cred, right there.
The type of nonfiction I still haven’t read enough of yet will probably always be writing and publishing guidebooks. I can’t get enough of them! Particularly if they’re available in Kindle format, for instant gratification, I usually pick up one or two new ones per week. I don’t always review them, since they’re usually more practical how-to types of books, and my reviews would be mostly the same (depending on how helpful they actually are), so they don’t often make it onto my Goodreads shelves, but I’ve got several that I’m planning to feature this month (on Wednesdays, as part of my #HumpDayReviews) because they’ve been really helpful to me in getting back into a daily writing habit, tracking my words, and even giving dictation software a try.
That being said, what I’m most hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November is a chance to share some of the writing books that I’ve found useful, as well as diving a little deeper into the memoir/autobiography side of my reading. I’ve been working my way through Anjelica Huston’s second memoir, Watch Me, in the past few weeks, and I really enjoy it. I’m sure it was ghostwritten, as most celebrity memoirs are, but I just like learning more about where she came from and the kinds of struggles she faced as a young actress. It’s got enough gossip to keep things interesting, without simply being a kiss-and-tell-all, and I really like the fact that she says that even though her father was a famous director and she dated Jack Nicholson for the longest time, she was determined to achieve success as an actress through her own efforts.
I’m looking forward to reading more nonfiction books in general for the rest of this year, especially since I am the Nonfiction Authors Association’s San Diego Chapter Leader! I’m always on the lookout for local authors who have written nonfiction books on most any subject, so if you’ve got any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them.
What’s YOUR year in nonfiction been like?