Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What I'm Reading (and What I've Read): March 2011

Although work and grad school have put a serious dent in my non-school (and non-work) related reading, I've still managed to do some recreational reading this year. Right now, I'm in the middle of:

Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood - I received this from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. I have a complex (to say the least) view of Gone With the Wind, but I am enjoying it so far. Besides being engaging, the book seems to be incredibly well researched, given the number of references to Mitchell's personal correspondence and the amount of detail included. I'm only a third of the way through, but I hope to finish this book within the next week or two. Look for the review by the end of the month (fingers crossed).

Spunk and Bite: A Writer's Guide to Punchier, More Engaging Language and Style - I started this book last year, but it got shelved due to other commitments. However, I've returned to it, and I am enjoying it much more than I thought I would. In addition to the practical advice, such as what the rules are and when you can break them, the book also contains helpful illustrative examples. I've been reading a lot about writing, so I hope to do a post on my favorite books on writing.

I'm enjoying these two books, but I am looking forward to adding them to my "read in 2011" pile in LibraryThing. This list already includes:

  • Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris - Given how much I enjoyed I Like You, I wish I liked this book more than I did. Unfortunately, this book wasn't nearly as informative or as amusing as its predecessor. Even though it had the same wacky humor and irreverence, it is missing the juxtaposition of zaniness with solid information that made I Like You so enjoyable (and useful).
  • Little Women and Werewolves by Louisa May Alcott and Porter Grand - If you are thinking about reading this book (and you love the original story), my only advice to you is "A world of No."
  • Singing a New Tune: The Rebirth of the Modern Film Musical from Evita to De-Lovely and Beyond by John Kenneth Muir
  • Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark - This is an excellent book on writing (even if the fact that the author has three first names is a little distracting at first :)
  • Take the Cannoli and Radio On: A Listener's Diary by Sarah Vowell - Late last year, I started reading Sarah Vowell and was instantly taken with her mix of wry humor, insightful, and intelligent insights. Take the Cannoli and Radio On are her two earliest books. While I loved Take the Cannoli, I had to force myself to finish Radio On. The nicest thing I can say about Radio On is that it really shows how far Vowell has come in terms of her writing.
Have you read anything good this year? Please feel free to leave suggestions, comments, or ideas below!