Category Archives: Books

Center for Fiction Essential Books for Writers

Center for Fiction Essential BooksThe Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library, is the only organization in the United States devoted solely to the vital art of fiction. Their mission is to encourage people to read and value fiction and to support and celebrate its creation and enjoyment. Their resources include an exceptional book collection, a beautiful reading room, an expanding website, and a growing array of creative programs that serve both  readers and writers . They offer the following list of  “Essential Books for Writers” with the caveat that what works for one writer may not work for the next. Check back as they continue to add books to the list and explore additional tools for writers on their website.

On Writing by Stephen King

Stephen King Essential BooksLeave it to the literary rock star to compose a craft book that’s as entertaining as a good novel. “This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit,” Stephen King writes. What follows is a witty, practical, and sometimes poignant guide that is refreshingly devoid of the aforementioned BS. King relates his personal story of becoming a writer, then offers a “toolkit” of clear advice about everything from dialogue and descriptive passages to revisions and the head game. And there’s more: tips for beginning writers on submitting work for publication, a mark-up of one of King’s own manuscripts, and a reading list. You might not be awake at 3 a.m. turning these pages, but we promise On Writing will open your eyes to essential tricks of the trade. Continue reading Center for Fiction Essential Books for Writers

Powell’s Picks of the Month June 2017

Writer’s Bone June 2017 Book Recommendations

Writers Bone Matthew Desmond 20 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: June 2017

Every month, the Writer’s Bone crew reviews or previews books they’ve read or want to read. “This series may or may not also serve as a confessional for guilty pleasures and hipster novels only the brave would attempt.” Feel free to share your own suggestions in the Writer’s Bone comments section or tweet them @WritersBone. Auspiciously, two of of the following Writer’s Bone picks overlap with the Kenyon Review’s summer reading suggestions: Evicted by Matthew Desmond and The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli.  Julie Buntin, author of Marlena, also comes recommended by KR.

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Matthew Desmond

Daniel Ford: I’ve had a little time to sit with Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Evicted, and I’m still speechless and awed by both his research and prose. Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep what so many of us take for granted on a daily basis: a home. Desmond puts you inside eviction hearings, grimy, roach-infested apartments, deteriorating trailer parks, homeless shelters, and, at times, the bitter cold of Milwaukee’s streets. From emotionally and physically damaged mothers choosing between food and rent to those in the conflicted and ambitious landlord class, Evicted shines a light on people often forgotten or overlooked in urban areas.

The epilogue is a rousing and convincing call to arms, and Desmond’s breakdown of how he managed this project will leave you just as slack-jawed as all the award-winning prose that came before it. As Desmond points out, this issue isn’t about resources; it’s about political will and rejection of the status quo. I encourage you not only to read the book, but also get involved in the author’s Just Shelter initiative. The program seeks to raise “awareness of the human cost of the lack of affordable housing” and “to amplify the work of community organizations working to preserve affordable housing, prevent eviction, and reduce family homelessness.”

Go to the Writer’s Bone for their remaining June picks:

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun

The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Exit Strategy by Steve Hamilton

She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

IQ by Joe Ide

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger

White Fur by Jardine Libaire

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli

Girl at War by Sara Nović

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker

American Bang By Doug Richardson

The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

Trajectory by Richard Russo

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

The Force by Don Winslow

Kenyon Review’s Summer Reading List

What books are on your summer reading list? Each year, the Kenyon Review asks their staff, editors, and advisory board to share books they recommend or are looking forward to reading themselves. Here are some suggestions for your summer list from the Kenyon Review June 2017 Newsletter.

David Lynn, Editor

Moonglow summer readingTo my mind, Michael Chabon has for years purveyed tales full of wit and astonishment. Yet they have ultimately seemed gossamer, lacking a satisfying or illuminating substance. His latest, however, Moonglow, is a magnificent blend of memoir and fiction about his grandfather. I came away feeling nourished as well as deeply moved.

Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift. Swift made his international reputation early on with Waterland and followed that dazzling performance with other notable fictions, including Last Orders. And yet it seems he’s rarely mentioned in the same breath as other contemporary British or Irish writers of the first rank such as Ian McEwan or Zadie Smith or Colm Tóibín. That should change with Mothering Sunday, a brief, crystalline, potent tour de force. Here is a master of the form playing a contemporary riff on Mrs. Dalloway. I loved it.

KR Reviews!

If these book recommendations aren’t enough for you, be sure to check out the new KR Reviews page on the KR website. New book reviews are posted every Friday.

Continue reading Kenyon Review’s Summer Reading List