February’s Reads

Writers are readers first.

Writers are readers first.

Writers are readers first.

Here’s what I read this past month.

Beth Revis’s, Rebel Rising

The movie Rogue One answered many questions concerning events surrounding the theft of the Death Star plans. The film did a good job exploring the character Jan Erso, so I picked this book up with some skepticism. How much more could we learn, I wondered. Revis didn’t disappoint, offering a touching story of the internal struggle Jyn Erso endures trying to understand her father’s actions while finding solid ground to plant her feet. 

Neil Gaiman’s, The Neil Gaiman Reader

What a joy to read! This book is chock full of pieces of Gaiman’s fiction documenting his evolution as an author from his beginnings to the immense commercial success Gaiman enjoys today. Gaiman’s unique blend of horror, myth, fantasy, and folklore shines through in each story.

William Struck Jr. and E. B. White’s, The Elements of Style

I suspect almost anyone interested in creative writing has heard of this book. One could argue things like Grammarly make this book obsolete, but I couldn’t disagree more. A short read, but it explores so much more than grammar. I certainly intend to reference it again and again.

William Maxwell’s, So Long, See You Tomorrow

A small town in Illinois confronts the ugly reality of murder in the 1920s. Part mystery as a young boy tries to make sense of what the adults around him do and say, but equally part memoir as the narrator, now an older adult, reexamining a way of life gone forever.

What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments.

January’s Books

Writers are readers first.


Hmm, I’ve posted those words before.

So why did I read so few books this past year?

Vowing 2023 will be different; I’ve faithfully set aside time to enjoy a good book daily. 

Here’s what I read this past month.

Brandon Sanderson’s second book from The Starlight Archive, Words of Radiance

(Yes, I know the picture above has the first book instead of the second. There’s a good reason! I have hooked my mother on this series, and she’s busily working through book two as I write this.)

Sanderson served up a refreshingly unique fantasy world. The magic is delightfully complex yet reader-friendly. He deftly juggles the large cast of characters. I loved the first book in this series, and this one is even better. I found all the reveals at the end of the book immensely satisfying. As an aspiring epic fantasy author, I learned so much about writing just by reading Sanderson’s work!

Jim Shepard’s, The Book of Aron

I devoured this book quickly! Not an easy subject to explore, the story revolves around events in Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Shepard excels at convincing us that even in the most horrific circumstances, it is possible to find integrity, dignity, and a love for humanity. 

A. M. Leibowitz’s, Lower Education.

I know this author personally!!!! She came to my wedding! The story is essentially a mystery enveloped in a gay romance. I applaud her ability to fill her novel with delicious intrigue and rich characters in the mundane world of failing school districts, state education standards, and improvement plans. Leibowitz excels at crafting believable characters struggling to navigate love with all its complexities. 

Stephen King’s, On Writing

What a delightfully entertaining, candid description of life for many professional writers! King eases the reader into a potentially dry topic with a CV pulled directly from the life experiences he feels are responsible for making him the author he is today. Chock-full of helpful advice for any new writer, King’s book offers a glimpse under the hood at an engine responsible for over 65 novels. 

What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments.