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Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Books I Read In May

Nightingale_hc_lgI can't figure out what's going on.  I know I read a ton last month, but I can't seem to bring any of the titles into my mind.  (As soon as I press publish on this post they will flood into my brain.)  So here's a quick list of the books I remember:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  This is on the best-seller lists and is getting a lot of buzz, and deservedly so.  It's quite good.  I learned history from it, too, such as the fact that gazillions of people evacuated Paris when the Nazis first occupied it.  And I was reminded of the hardships that Europeans faced during World War II.

That's the only novel I can think of that I read recently, and I usually inhale novels like crazy.  But, I have been dipping in and out of a lot of writing books.  I don't so much read them cover to cover, because they have inspiration and exercises in them that lead me to the page.

Wild Women, Wild Voices by Judy Reeves.  I wrote a whole review of this book here.  I'm still working with it for journaling ideas and I like it a lot.  Its not so much a book that's going to help you with plotting or characterization, but more the basic writing stuff, like expressing yourself on the page.

The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson.  This is a book that will help you with your plotting (and there's some info on characterization as well).  I bought it on a trip to Seattle and wrote more about it here.

Naming the World, edited by Bret Anthony Johnston.  This is most definitely not a book you sit down and read cover to cover, because it is a book of writing exercises.  (Although each exercise is preceded by an essay from the author who submitted it.)  Good stuff in here.

Into the Woods by John Yorke.  This is a book on structure and I am loving it.  I ordered it from a bookseller in England (through Amazon) and it took forever to get here and then my husband set the envelope aside under a pile of mail so it took even longer for me to actually find it, but it was worth the wait.  An amazing, excellent book on structure, and its readable, too.  I embedded a video below of him relating "how all storytelling has worked since the beginning of time" at Google UK.

All this reading on story structure has led me to another activity: going to movies.  More on that in my next post.  In the meantime, what have you been reading?

Previous months posts are (which I offer in case you need recommendations):

Books I Read in April (and Part of May)

Books I've Been Reading

Books I Read in January

0 thoughts on “Books I Read In May

  1. J.D.

    Wow, the video is great! He sold me the book with his presentation. I highly recommend watching the whole thing. And I love your list, but I have to nix one of your activities: going to the movie house. A sunburn can be attributed to a lack of judgement; a hangover–well, we know. But turning your ankle in the rain or being stung by a bee is no fault of your own. Television or online video can be forgiven because it is so insidious. Television attacks our homes. Nail your windows and doors shut and TV will still find a way into your bedroom. So an occasional TV drama is forgivable. It is a horrible creative death, but years in the making and you can hardly be blamed. But a movie . . . at the theater! That is a willful act. And the result? Like some flesh-eating, liquifying bacteria WATCHING eats away at your literary brain. A trap you gleefully enter. The bright lights will seize your mind and quickly drive a stake through the heart of your novel. You might as well throw in the bouquet.
    What was that graph John Yorke showed? Facade vs. Flaw.
    Great post, Charlotte.

  2. Charlotte Dixon

    Ha! Just wait until you read my next post, J.D.!  Nothing I love better than seeing a movie at the theater!  And yeah, John Yorke is fantastic.  I absolutely love the book.  I read a few pages then stare off into space and think how it applies to my WIP.  Good stuff!

  3. J.D.

    That’s good to know. It’s over $15–not much for a writing career. lol

  4. Charlotte Dixon

    Takes awhile to get to you, though, because it comes from England!

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