Read good book? Want to share it with others? Or are you simply looking for recommendations of a good read? This is the place to be. Read this page and feel free to contribute. Use the contact page if you want to make a submission.
Useful Books As you know, for the last eighteen months or so I have been working towards an MA in Creative Writing. During the course, there are frequent references to books one might read to improve technique or grasp of particular ways of looking at the creation of written word. There is a small handful of those that I go to time after time for guidance and encouragement. You might find they strike a chord with you too. The Art of Voice by Tony Hoagland. W W Norton and co. Inc, New York. 2019 Just helpful – and blessedly short . together with exercises that relate to each chapter – He introduces his book he talks about ‘binding the reader and the speaker into a conversation compelling enough to be called a ‘relationship’ His simple encouragement and clarity of expression is so important on a day when the words do not come. How to be a poet, by Jo Bell and Jane Commane Nine Arches Press 2017 She – together with others – explores what it is to write poetry and how to do it well, without fear. She never patronises and exposes her own difficulties time and again. For example, she explores the many drafts she went through to get her poem Mallaig page 64 in a form that she wanted. Also see A year of poetry writing prompts. Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep Going. Nine Arches Press 2015 Every prompt comes with a really good poem and loads of ideas for handling yourself – and a basic reluctance to get stuck into writing. You Can’t Make this stuff up. The Complete Guide to writing creative nonfiction from Memoir to literary journalism and everything in between by Lee Gutkind. Da Capo Press Books, 2012 Writing a memoir of some kind? Well, I find this very helpful in guiding the difference between various types of writing. Lee is recognised as a champion of non-fiction and good writing in this context. Still with me? If you want to read a novel that made me weep with its brilliance. Try Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Virago, 2004 Viv
The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes
This book is based on the true life story of the Pack-Horse Library in rural America. There are strong women who drive this story along and we learn of their lives, loves and the adversity that each of them faces. The bond between Alice and Margery grows throughout the story which is set in 1930's Kentucky. Baileyville provides the backdrop and we experience tragedy, humour, love, friendship, racism, family feuds and, most of all, strength and fortitude in the face of many obstacles.
As with all of Jo Jo Moyes books, the research is thorough and is woven into a compelling read. I would recommend this book and if you haven't read any of her books before and like this, there are many more in her back catalogue. Lesley
Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf
Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf
Addie Moore has a simple plan to offset the loneliness of widowhood. Together, she and Louis Waters can achieve some companionship and happiness as they progress through their late-seventies. However, the plan will not be achieved without difficulties as they will be faced with small-town and small-mind attitudes. Family members too, will voice their opposition. Addie and Louis plot their course with grace and dignity in this beautifully written book full of profound wisdom. It is an inspirational book and I have no hesitation in giving it the highest recommendation.