"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What I'm Reading... and You Should Too!

There are few things that I find more relaxing than a good book and a bubble bath. Besides allowing a certain "escape," I am a firm believer that it's impossible to be a good writer without being an avid reader. True?

My love of the written word started early. Growing up, my mom made it mandatory for us to read. Of course, that was B.C., (BEFORE CABLE). And as they say, "Old habits die hard."

Since you all are my "peeps", today I'd like to share a few gems that will enrich your literary world regardless as to your genre of preference.

Here they are, in no particular order:

A Step in the Write Direction (Student Edition) by Donna Clark Goodrich
Readers will "move to the head of the class" upon studying the chapters provided in this hugely helpful "how-to". Not just instructional in nature, it's spiritual and practical as well. This must have reference guide is filled with valuable lessons from how to get started to how to get unstuck! More than a "step in the write direction"; it's the entire road map!

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
Let's face it. In today's tough economic times, becoming more financially literate can be the ticket to survival. This book goes beyond the basics like "saving for a rainy day" and "pay yourself first". It helps women to recognize how their values, perceptions, and habits influence their wealth, and what can be done to make the most of what they make.

Cinematherapy (The Girl's Guide to Movies for Every Mood) by Nancy Peske and Beverly West
What a clever and creative read! I scored this book at a thrift store, and let me tell you, it was worth 10x more than what I got it for. Grab a cup of your favorite brew and discover must-see movies for every mood. Got mayhem with men? Dealing with the blues from a bad hair day? Need to believe in the magic of love again? Well these female versions of Siskel and Ebert will pick the perfect flick for whatever ails you. Slightly over 200 pages, you can read it a little at a time, or as the mood hits you. Popcorn optional. :-)

Cupid's Playbook by Jeannine and Keith Kaiser
As someone who has served as a relationship columnist, (in the many hats I've worn as a writer), I rather dig reading informed perspectives in the field, if you will. Authored by a husband and wife team, this page-turner provides sage advice on how to be more strategic and savvy in matters of the heart. And who better to advise the romantically challenged than this couple who has been married for many years, and parented three children? Chapters include: great dating ideas, dating I.Q., falling in love with you, and personal exercises to help readers to navigate the right moves. It's a true winner!

Now that I've shared what's on my bookshelf, it's your turn. What have you been reading lately? What's hot, or not?


  1. I have six brand-spanking new books sitting on my bookshelf. I have yet to start reading any of them! And now, it seems I'm going to add a few more!!! Ugh! I need more hours in the day!!! :)

  2. Sounds like a great list! I am going to have to check some of these out.

    I am currently reading Jody Hedlund's newest, The Doctor's Lady, for a review for her upcoming book tour (She'll be visiting my blog in October). Also have started James Scott Bell's Art of War for Writers and The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction by James A. Thom.

  3. Jennifer:
    I am doing research for my blog and possibly my column. I am reading R. A. Torrey's "The Presence and Work of the Holy Spirit." Also I am re-reading Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life"

  4. Yvonne,

    Ain't it the truth? lol
    Keep us posted with the good stuff. Thanks for starting us off.

  5. Karen,

    Hmm...sounds like some interesting reading there! Thanks for sharing.

  6. quietspirit,

    Ooh, I absolutely love Rick Warren's book! I've read it several times. I highly recommend it to anyone. I appreciate your time and feedback.

  7. Thank you! I love good recommendations. Now which to pick up first...?

  8. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Hey there, Rebecca!

    You're welcome. Happy reading!

  9. I totally love your blog's name... pen and prosper... wonderful.

    Right now I'm reading one of Clive Cussler - I love his boat stuff, In The Buddha's Words... no TV in my house so lots of time for reading.

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Hi Anne,

    Welcome! Good to see you here from About Freelance Writing. Thanks for the compliment and the comment. Don't be a stranger, hear? :-)

  11. Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for the recommendations. I will try to get my hands on those books soon. Right now, I am reading Nine Hills to Nambonkaha, by Sarah Erdman. It is about the two years she spent as a Peace Core volunteer in the Ivory Coast. Her writing is so fresh and natural that I hope I will be able to write like that if I ever take on the challenge of a novel.

  12. Hi Yasmin,

    Where you been, girl? :-) I've never heard of that author, but the novel sounds interesting. I appreciate the feedback!

  13. I have so many books that are on my "need to read" shelf. Hmmm, maybe now I have to add a couple more. :)

  14. Sounds like a plan! Let us know of any gems! Thanks, Wendy!

  15. I going to get Smart Women Finish Rich after I finish reading Goals: How to Get Everything You Want - Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy. I have also been feeding my mental with inspirational quotes. It's time to get to the next level!

  16. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 6, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    Thanks for sharing, Marcie!