Hey all, Dani here.
I realize that today’s topic is a bit of a mixed bag, but I don’t really read enough of each of these to warrant individual posts for each. Actually, I believe that most of what I am talking about in here is technically memoir, but still. They are all worthwhile reads (Or at least I think they are).
Let’s just get started.
So, actually any of the books featured above would work for this post, but I am specifically talking about Hamilton: The Revolution here. It is the libretto, or the complete lyrics for the musical, but it also includes behind the scenes sections that document the writing and rehearsing process, and I think it is a wonderful read. I would totally recommend Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow as well…but I’m not finished reading it yet. I’m taking my time. I read ten or so pages and then set it aside for a bit. There is a lot of information in the massive tome and I don’t want to risk my eyes just glossing over things because I’m trying to read too much of it at once.
If you thought I could get away with having this post and not mentioning one of my favorite geeky ladies, then you must not have been around this blog for very long. I absolutely love Felicia Day as a person, and reading her memoir was such a geeky inspirational read. Then add to it the fact that I got to meet her during her paperback tour and this book is definitely on the top of my general recommendations list. It just gives me the idea for a future I could have where I get paid to talk about and do the geeky hobbies and activities I love.
This collection of essays by Lauren Graham was such a fun read. And if you prefer audiobooks, Lauren herself reads it. Honestly it might even be more fun that way. While reading it I felt like I was just sitting down and enjoying a meal with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. The whole thing just felt very laid back and conversational. And since Lauren does actually just talk fast, I’ve heard that the audiobook is only a few hours long.
Speaking of fun conversational reads, I also feel like I have to recommend Anna Kendrick’s memoir. Yes, she does a lot of Hollywood name dropping, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like she is bragging about it. Honestly it felt like a friend excitedly recounting some fun story from an adventure she had. Plus, Anna is a pretty funny lady. Oh, and this is another shorter read, so it’s great if you just need something amusing and light.
This book made me laugh so much, mostly because of the artwork depicting the stories. And yet, behind the humor is a serious look at how so many people likely think about themselves and their self-identity. There is also a large section dedicated to depression and coping with it. The blend of reality (with just a touch of hyperbole) and humor is perfect, and I can’t recommend this enough.
Finally, I feel like I can’t complete this list without mentioning some of the books that have helped me with writing.
First, of course, is On Writing by Stephen King. This is part memoir detailing King’s history with writing, editing, rejection, and publication. And honestly, so many people include this in their must read books for authors for a reason. It is absolutely worth a read.
Next I have to include this book put together by Deborah Chester. Her advice on story ideas and writing and editing and the whole publishing process are very straightforward and helpful. Plus, the introduction of this book was written by Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files series. If you write or want to write fantasy books, I’d suggest reading this one.
Finally, a book that is helpful for fantasy and science fiction writers, as well as people running RPGs, I absolutely have to recommend The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding on this list. Yes, this book is a series of essays technically aimed at people designing worlds for games, but as someone who writes fantasy novels, I have to say that the advice contained within this small book is fantastic. It really helped me put together everything I needed for a fantasy world that legitimately felt as if it was real. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to share the world with you all, but for now, I’ll just say that I love how handy this book has been.
Whew…another recommendation post down. I am so glad that you guys are enjoying these posts. If you can think of any other theme or genre ideas for my recommendation posts, let me know. Also, if you have any non-fiction, memoir, or biography recommendations, let me know those in the comments as well.