Sunday, May 21, 2017

Celebrating a Good Book on Writing


But first: Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop co-hosted by Lexa Cain at: Lexa Cain,  L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge , and Tonja Drecker @ Tidbits Blog(You can go to any of these sites to add your name to the links, if you want to participate. )

So: the good book I'm celebrating is one that Fred and Joan, our neighbors across the street in Sacramento, gave us before we left on our trip. I've been dipping into it from time to time, as we've been very busy since arrival — first with our water problem I mention in the last post, and then socializing with friends and neighbors we hadn't seen for a while.  Sometimes when we're driving to town I read from it, and sometimes in the evenings I take a shot at it, although I fall asleep far too easily after all the galavanting. Luckily, it's the kind of a book you can read pleasurably in bits and pieces:

How To Write Like Tolstoy, A Journey into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers


Cohen is an author, but also an agent and editor who has handled works by several pulitzer prize winners and authors who have been on the NY Times best sellers lists. His approach to the art of novel writing (the main focus in this book) is fascinating. Each chapter heading deals with an aspect of novel writing, and in sequence, so that the first chapter is about first chapters and book beginnings; then settings and characters, etc. In each chapter, he shares what great writers of classics as well as modern day successful writers have said about each chapter theme and how they approach the problem. This book is a keeper, and meant to be re-read many times. Such a wonderful gift. (Thank you, Fred & Joan!)

Cohen's website is HERE, if you want to know more about him or his books. Also purchase sites for this one, including, but not limited to Amazon HERE.

How about you? Have you discovered any good books on writing? If so, please share titles. 

24 comments:

  1. It sounds like a terrific gift for you, and it's always good to know about another good writing book, although I need to get through the ones I already own! Thanks for the post.

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    1. I know what you mean, Rosi. I have other writing books I need to get through when I get back. I did pack a second one that I'll mention later on, but I go sidetracked by this one when we arrived and unpacked. I haven't done any writing, though, although I'm planning to on this trip.

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  2. That's a book I am definitely interested in checking out. I might even add it to the IWSG Book Club's bookshelf. :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi, Chrys, he uses a rather scholarly approach, but I'm really enjoying it. I'm enjoying other famous authors' insights on their processes, and he does a good job of dissecting point of view issues, among other things.

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  3. I have't heard of Cohen's book. I'll have to take a look. Thanks.

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    1. I hadn't heard of it either, Lee. We had our neighbors (two sets, a father/son and both their wives) to a long lunch before we left for our trip and the son talked about this book. Then, to my great surprise, his mother left it on my doorstep as a "happy travels" present. It certainly is an interesting and helpful read. And, as importantly, it's revived my energy about writing again.

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  4. It's always good to know there are great writing books out there.

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    1. I agree, Kate. Every now and then a good writing book energizes my writing again. This one is written in such an intriguing way.

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  5. Thanks for the heads up on this Elizabeth. I'm always on the lookout for good books on writing.

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  6. Hi, Sandra. Yes, I find them in some ways as helpful as writing conferences. Every so often I need something to jar my writing ideas anew and rev up my writing energy.

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  7. So interesting - I bet this is an enlightening and inspiring read. Thanks for letting us know about it. I need some neighbors like yours!

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    1. It is inspiring, Lexa. Among other things, you get a glimpse of the struggles they went through. Writing wasn't all that easy for them, either!

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  8. I don't often read how-to books, but a few I have on writing that I cherish most are worn from being revisited. Thank you for sharing these.

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    1. I have a few books on writing like that, Mirka—ones I return to again and again. I wonder if the writers who wrote them realize what a boon they are.

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  9. What a lovely gift! I'll have to put this one on my reading list.

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  10. Hi, Ellen (& Scott); yes, it turned out to be a wonderful gift. I'm really enjoying it. Hopefully it will get the wheels turning for my next book.

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  11. The book sounds really great and I love the font on the cover! Thank you.

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  12. Hi, Erika, thanks for stopping by. I hope you check it out. It's really thought provoking and motivating.

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  13. What a nice treat! Books that can be grabbed up for short spurts are perfect for more busy time. Enjoy!

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  14. I agree, T. It's hard these days for me to find time to just sit and read at long stretches, so I'm enjoying doing this one in bits and pieces. And learning a lot!

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  15. Thanks for the book recommendation.

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    1. You're very welcome, Julia. Have a great day.

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  16. I have never heard of this book but it does sound good. You read like I do, short snippets at a time and bedtime. Finding time to read large chunks is hard.

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  17. Hi, Sharon, Some books I actually read straight through, but those are mostly fiction. Nonfiction always takes me longer, partly because each section gives so much food for thought. How To Write Like Tolstoy is especially "pithy". It's not a quick read, but it's an interesting read. And I agree, finding time to read large chunks is hard. My life seems to be busier than ever. Have a good day.

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