The Book List – Update

Previously, I compiled a list of books I wanted to get through this year. I’ve made some amendments (already) and I’ll be going back to this list and highlighting them as I go through them and tack on new additions. So far, so good…

The List 

1. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
2. The Almost Moon – Alice Seabold
3. A Certain Slant of Light – Laura Whitcomb
4. The Road to Avalon – Joan Wolf
5. The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
6. The Land Girls – Angela Huth
7. The Light of Asia – Sir Edwin Arnold
8. Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
9. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
10. Acacia – David Anthony Durham
11. Making Money – Terry Pratchet
12. Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
13. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
14. Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
15. The Wings of the Dove – Henry James
16. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
17. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hoggs
18. The Trial – Franz Kafka
19. White Teeth – Zadie Smith
20. Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman
21. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
22. Natural Selection – Bill Dare
23. Fury – Salem Rushdie
24. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
25. The Photograph – Penelope Lively
26. Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
27. The Scandal of the Season – Sophie Gee
28. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
29. The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
30. The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
31. The History of England
32. Beloved – Toni Morrison
33. Q – Luther Blissett
34. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom – T. E. Lawrence
35. The Queen of Subtleties – Suzannah Dunn
36. Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
37. In the Company of the Courtesan – Sarah Dunant
38. Rope Burns – F.X. Toole
39. Smashed – Koren Zailckas
40. New Moon – Stephanie Meyer
41. Lucky – Alice Seabold
42. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
43. Intruder in the Dust – William Faulkner
44. Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe
45. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
46. Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
47. Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
48. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
49. Middlemarch – George Eliot
50. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
51. Human Croquet – Kate Atkinson
52. Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder


1. We Need to Talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver

2. The Samurai’s Garden – Gail Tsukiyama

3. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms – Gail Tsukiyama

4. The Dressmaker – Elizabeth Birkelund Overbeck

5. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

6. Rape – A Love Story – Joyce Carol Oates

7. How to Survive a Horror Movie – Seth Grahame-Smith

8. The Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman

9. Battle Royale – Koushun Takami

10. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

Writing Prompt: He Said, She Said

One of the most difficult things to do in writing is putting together meaningful dialogue. It is a vehicle for driving the story, fleshing out characters and engaging the reader. Although description and setting are important in illustrating the world in which your character live, what they say and how they interact can give them more depth and readers greater insight into who they are.

As observers in a story, we are curious about what people say and what sort of reaction it will generate. Dialogue has the power to create, enhance and destroy relationships so it must be used wisely.

For instance, in Hemingway’s short story, “Hills Like White Elephants”, the main characters are discussing a situation that will permanently alter their relationship. The story uses very little description in terms of scenery or character description, yet we’re gripped by the obvious tension between the two main characters.

The same goes for screenwriting. The bulk of the work is in writing the dialogue the actors will use to create memorable characters.

Try this, write a scene using nothing but dialogue. Set it in a cafe, between two people whispering in a darkened cinema or maybe a couple in bed talking with the lights out. Above all, create conflict, discourse and resolution without describing the outside world or our heroes. Try it in 500 words, and see what they say.

Writing Prompt: He Said, She Said

Quote for the Day

The key question isn’t “What fosters creativity?” But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.

-Abraham Maslow

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