"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Monday, July 6, 2015

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

Books are to writers what tools are to an architect.
They allow us to be effective in our "trade," construct a broader knowledge base, and when properly used, can design a bigger bottom line for our creative careers.

There is definitely a nexus between good writers and a love of reading.
Because good writers recognize that reading is crucial to understanding the needs of an audience, firing the imagination, and enhancing communication skills.

It also helps to identify the best language, tone, approach and techniques for various genres.

Which is why I am geeked to share with you a few engaging titles you'll want to add to your "summer reading list." These selections collectively address the psychological, emotional, professional and strategic aspects of being a writer today.

Feel free to add your recommendations as well, in the comments section.
I'd love to know what's on your night table.
Here's what's on mine, in no particular order:

Based upon the popular weekly show (that finances and fosters the dreams of entrepreneurs from different industries), this "jump start" is a great read, with solid take-away value to help you go the distance. It almost feels as if the reader is receiving personal coaching on business practices and principles that are applicable to any field--whether it's starting a brick and mortar store, or succeeding as a writer. Authored by Michael Parrish DuDell, it is full of expert advice from the show's rich investors, along with life stories, checklists and valuable resources.

2. PUBLISHING BASICS--By Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr.
Whether your goal is to produce a poetry book this year, or self-publish that novel you started during NANOWRIMO, (National novel writing month), you'll find needed answers here. This guide for small press and independent writers tackles topics such as: design, industry standards, copyrights, e-publishing, editing and more.

I'm proud to say that I scored this "gem" at a local used bookstore for less than a buck. Of all the different avenues for earning a living as a writer, corporate communications is one of the most profitable. It is what helped to make the hugely popular author, Peter Bowerman, a "well-fed" writer. And this book explains why, and more importantly, how you too can get in on the action. Chapters include: the art of working at home, the question of fees, and the necessity of networking.

4. DUMP DINNERS--By Cathy Mitchell
Hey, a writer has gotta' eat too, right?! Not to mention, as many of you may know from previous blog posts, I'm sweet on cooking. Anyhow.. the concept is clever. The idea here is to simplify the hassles often associated with cooking and clean-up, by using her "quick and easy" method of combining multiple ingredients in one pan or pot. It contains an array of recipes--from appetizers, to soups, to baked goods. The verdict is still out on this one, as I just got it a few weeks ago for my birthday, and am working through it. Still, it's worth a book look.

5. THE LITTLE BOOK OF INNER SPACE--By Stafford Whiteaker
A pocket book that gives new meaning to "Good things come in small packages."
This spiritual guide contains over 150 pages of motivational quotes, anecdotes, and reflections geared towards finding personal peace in a chaotic world. It's an insightful, inspiring read that is easy to "digest" with morning tea, a bubble bath, a commute to work, or something to unwind to just before retiring for bed.
Well worth the price.

Your turn.
What's on your bookshelf? Anything that's a real "page-turner?"
What's your favorite place to read?
Do tell.


  1. If a little self-promotion is permitted -- Los Angeles Magazine wrote a piece recommending my new book as a great summer read. If you like history, and especially if you also like food, you might consider Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland (U of IL Press). What other topic will you read this year that links together vampires, Henry Ford, time zones, cornflakes, and the Chicago Bears?

    1. Congrats, Cynthia! Sounds interesting. Thanks so much for sharing here.

  2. You have some good books listed, Jennifer. Going to check those out. I'm currently between three books.

    1) How Successful People Think - John C. Maxwell
    2) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
    3) Angel's Laws of Blogging - Angel Laws

    And I just finished reading Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class by Larry Tye. Excellent read.

    On my list of books to read is The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. I can't wait!

    Thanks for allowing me to share my list. This made my day!

    1. Glad to hear, Marcie. The next on my list is Steve Harvey's "Act like a success, think like a success." Have you read it?
      Thanks for your thoughts and recommendation.

  3. I agree, as writers, we must read as well. I just finished a review copy of Ann Gabhart's The Innocent for an upcoming interview. It was a page turner and had unexpected elements, which was fun. Next on the list is a friend's novel; I get the honor of being her first reader and playing editor as well. The Complete Writer is sitting on my desk as we speak, and I have an assortment of books waiting patiently on my Kindle too, including several on freelancing, and still others by Derek Prince. That said, I think I need to take a "reading only" vacation!

    1. "Novel idea," Karen! Thanks so much for adding to the mix.