Read a Good Book Lately? : February/March Books by Mary Helen Norris

Mary Helen Norris

February/March Books

I love the idea of this lounge! As an avid reader, I love finding new books, both fiction and nonfiction. One of my New Year's resolutions was to read more and so far I think I've done that. So here's some books I've either started. Some I've finished, I'll put a * by them.

1. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins * - as last month's Barnes and Noble Book Club pick, I read it so that I could help facilitate it at the store I work at. I also wanted to see what the fuss was about. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying it. The story wasn't as politically charged as I expected and instead was more character focused.

2. Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano * - a book about a plane crash that isn't about a plane crash. This book both makes you cry and lifts your spirit. It's a beautiful story about a tragedy and a community that comes together to support one of their own.

3. Relic by Preston and Child - haven't finished this yet but I think it is a masterfully done mystery. Set in the Museum of Natural History in New York City, I'm curious to see what twists and turns await me in its final pages.

4. Conceal Don't Feel - A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita - Yes, a vastly different genre than the others but I have a soft spot for Disney and what little I've read so far holds my attention. I'm excited to see what's ahead.

So, what have you read?

Daisy White

Loved American Dirt! Also been reading and enjoying Her Last Lie (Amanda Brittany), (this one has just been optioned for film), The Bloodline Will (AB Morgan), The Brighton Guest House Girls (Lesley Eames), Silent Cry (Jenny O'Brien) and Clover Cottage (Christie Barlow).

I've also been rearranging my book shelves by spine colour - advanced procrastination as I have a deadline to meet lol.

Stuart Wright

The War Of Art by Steve Pressfield is the one self-help book that truly got my head around how I approach my fiction & keep writing when the imposter syndrome looms large. It demystifies the creative process. When you’ve only ever done learning by rote from the way you’ve been educated, creating stuff is a whole other process. Getting it written first and worrying about getting it right later are tough nuts to crack. Plus, there’s the compulsion. This was an alien concept to me. I knew I had to produce stuff to get better and/or get noticed. But I never understood why I wrote stuff. This book helped me see my own motivation and contextualise my challenges ahead around just me, and not whatever the hell anybody else is doing. A simple self-help trick that I got from this book is to ignore your heroes. Or at least stop measuring your own lowly position to their oscar winning, BAFTA nominee adventures. Instead, you should measure your success in terms of how far you’ve come, how far your writing has improved. This was such a revelation when you’re alone, for the large part, tapping away on a keyboard. Reading is good for the soul. Stuart Wright

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