Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March and the Nonfiction that Ruled It

With a few exceptions, March was nonfiction/research month for me and with my internet hiatus, I wasn't able to contribute to last week's Road Trip Wednesday and share them with you. Good thing April is only three days old.

First up, DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MYTHOLOGY by Kenneth C Davis.

What I Liked About It: This book gives you a broad overview on world myth starting with Ancient Egypt and working around the globe until we learn a teensy bit about the Pacific Rim. If your knowledge of mythology ends with Classical Mythology, Davis' book is a nice introduction to other cultures and stories.

What You Should Know: It reads like a college text where the author periodically intrudes to give a pop culture reference with a smarmy attitude. If this wasn't a free ebook offer from Barnes and Noble, I wouldn't have bothered purchasing it.

One nonfiction book should be enough, right? No. While I was reading the Davis book, I was reading another nonfiction title: HOWDUNIT POLICE PROCEDURE & INVESTIGATION: A GUIDE FOR WRITERS by Lee Lofland.

What I Liked About It: I now know way too much about the police and legal system in this country. For real. Also, Lofland includes tales from when he was a police officer, but gives each tale a writerly flare. This is a fantastic reference if you're going to have any kind of cop type element in your novel.

What You Should Know: Some things you can never unlearn*.

The best reference of the month though goes to WRITING THE PARANORMAL NOVEL by Steven Harper.

What I Liked About It: There were so many things to like about this reference: Harper's easy to follow language, the clear cut examples used throughout, the few exercises that I'm totally going to use... I can go on. More than once while I breezed through this book I went, "Duh, of course" because sometimes the reminder is necessary.

Harper also includes a fantastic chapter on research, explaining your options and which are the best.

What You Should Know: Even though this book is branded for paranormal, writers of contemporary and other genres can take his lessons and apply to their books as well.

I'm always on the lookout for an awesome nonfiction title to throw on my TBR list. If you have one, share below!








* ::cough:: autopsy how to ::cough::

5 comments:

  1. I've read my share of writing books but not enough of the genre specific ones. These do look interesting!

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  2. Definitely reading: Writing the Paranormal Novel
    Definitely not reading: the autopsy one. *shudders*

    Thanks for the recs!

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  3. Read anything by Malcolm Gladwell: The Tipping Point, Outliers, or Blink. They are pure non-narrative non-fiction, but are so fascinating and addictive.

    Also - I tagged you on my blog. Ch-ch-check it out!

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  4. I need to read more nonfiction. I was interested in the mythology one until you said the author added in smarmy comments--that's annoying. I think the police one sounds pretty cool. I might have to check that off b/c I'm always killing my characters.

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  5. Great resources. Thanks for talking about these. The cover of the paranormal one reminds me of the cover of Life as We Knew It.

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