Read More. Pretty Please.

I hope you read more in 2014. I read a statistic somewhere that said that Americans are reading less and less, and we are also buying fewer and fewer books.

Boooooooooo!

book, eyes, funny, photograph

Image via www.webneel.com

I don’t like these statistic for a few reasons:

1.) I just wrote a book and I want people to buy books.
2.) You can learn a lot from reading.
3.) Without books, life would be boring.
4.) Reading a book is a great way to decompress after a long, busy day.
5.) Bookstores need readers.
6.) Having a bookstore in your neighborhood is good for the community.
7.) You will learn more from reading a book, than you will from watching those crappy reality television shows (I had to put this one it in there!)

Think back to the last book that you read. How did it make you feel? Did you learn something new? Did you get inspired?
I hope you consider buying another book soon. Maybe it’s a paperback, maybe it’s an eBook, or maybe it’s even my book, and then I’d be excited and honored.

Whatever book you choose, enjoy it thoroughly.

The Bookmobile, not the Batmobile

Batman was ‘the caped crusader’ and he drove the Batmobile.  What would you call someone who drove the Bookmobile.  Yes, there was such a thing and such a person as seen here in this photograph circa 1913.  bookmobile, batmobile, books, library

An International Auto Wagon with a rear compartment containing shelves of books is parked outside a library. A man in a bowler hat is selecting a book from what appears to be a “bookmobile.”

Image appeared in the May 1913 issue of Harvester World magazine on page 4. According to the accompanying article, the “book wagon” traveled through Washington County, Maryland under the supervision of Hagerstown Librarian Miss Mary L. Titcomb.

(Image and text courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society)

Adding a few books to my shelf

So yes, we are now aware that GoodReads has been acquired by Amazon.  There seems to be mixed emotions about this throughout the social media circles that I’m in, and that’s normal when any change happens.  It’s a great website, and if you’re into books, then check it out.  In fact, check out my GoodReads page (see link at the bottom of this post).

I’ve been on a memoir quest this year, both writing one and reading many.  Actually, I have another memoir idea that I’m trying to formulate now concerning my paternal grandfather.  Born a twin on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, as a young boy he was shipped off to the United States to live with his aunt and uncle.  The specifics of why this happened are vague.  I plan to go to Nova Scotia this summer to research my heritage and hopefully learn a little more about my family and myself.

elsewhere, richard russo, the shipping news, annie proulx, books, book suggestions, reading, amreading, Pulitzer Prize

Anyhow, I’ve been getting some nice support from friends and fellow artists about my writing process and suggestions on books to read.  These are the two newest additions to my list.  I will be reading Elsewhere by Richard Russo first, then will tackle The Shipping News by Annie Proulx next––two Pulitzer Prize winners that I probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own.

If anyone is curious what books I’ve been reading or what books are on my shelf, visit my GoodReads page (here).

World Book Day: Read Some Memoirs!

jenny lawson, let's pretend this never happened, author, book, world book day, memoir, taxidermyToday is World Book Day.  Mostly geared toward children and young adults, I don’t see why it can’t be geared toward everyone.  Everyone should know how to read, right?  I used to hate reading.  I always had a list of better things to do with my time.  Later in life I learned that relaxing with a good book is a good way to spend my time.

Since I’m writing a memoir, I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs.  I’d like to share with you a few books that I thought were particularly interesting.  My selections are all over the map: business, cooking, comedy, music, movies––because when you are trying to write a memoir, you need to get various points of view.  By reading, you learn new ways to say what you want to say.  I’m not looking for big words…I’m looking for the right words.  The right words take time and come when you least expect them––when you’re out walking, running, grocery shopping or even on the toilet.

My wife isn’t going to let me go back to college to earn any more degrees, so my MFA in Creative Writing is going to come from the books that I buy on a weekly basis from all of my favorite bookstore haunts, and a few workshops through Grub Street.

Here is a list of my:
Top 8 Memoirs to Read if you’re Trying to Write a Memoir.

1.)  Patti Smith, Just Kids
2.)  Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential  — Twitter @bourdain
3.)  Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. — Twitter @TheBloggess
4.)  Tina Fey, Bossypants
5.)  Kevin Smith, Tough Shit — Twitter @ThatKevinSmith
6.)  Nikki Sixx, This Is Gonna Hurt — Twitter @NikkiSixx
7.)  David Sedaris, Me talk Pretty Someday
8.)  Mitch Albom, Tuesday’s with Morrie — Twitter @MitchAlbom

Oh yeah.  You can follow me on Twitter too if you feel so inclined. Twitter @Lanrod

 

One very important Tip to being a good Writer is…Be a good Reader.

One very important Tip to being a good Writer is…You must also be a good reader!

be a reader, read, books, writer, bee

I used to hate reading.  I know, hate is a strong word, and a powerful word, but I despised it – almost as much as I despise running.  I received this patch from a fellow artist while I was on a retreat at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine a few years back.  She gave it to me after noticing that I had brought a stack of books to read during the retreat.  She also gave me another patch that said Early Bird, because I’d be up at the crack of dawn photographing the fog as it rolled in off the Atlantic Ocean when most people were still sound asleep in their cabins.  I think she had a cache of old Girl Scout’s patches that she was trying to pawn off amongst the visiting artists.  The silence was so loud on this quiet little island – if that makes any sense to you.

The more that I read, the better I understand the craft of writing.  I’m not a fast reader, nor do I think I’m the greatest writer.  It all takes practice.  I’m glad to finally embrace it.