Category Archives: Books on Writing Worth Reading

New Books on Creative Writing at Central Library

I have a conflicted relationship with writing books. Books on writing can seem like books on sex: embarrassing, beside the point, and possibly harmful. You like to think that you have the moves down, that you won’t get lost in … Continue reading

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Movies About Flowers, Books About Nothing

The other night I had the chance to revisit Adaptation, Charlie Kaufman’s 2002 film (I know Spike Jonze directed it, but this is Kaufman’s movie all the way). It takes us into the mind of a neurotic screenwriter named Charlie … Continue reading

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Literary Sins: Elizabeth Taylor’s Angel

Elizabeth Taylor (the midcentury British writer) has had the misfortune of sharing a name with one of the twentieth century’s biggest celebrities. A clear-eyed, morally incisive novelist overshadowed by her cinematic namesake: Taylor would probably be the first to chuckle … Continue reading

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The Ideal and the Infernal City

Princeton University Press has published a beautiful edition of Italo Calvino’s letters, and our copy has arrived at Central Library. Calvino was a cosmopolitan figure: in addition to his work as a writer, he was an editor at the publishing … Continue reading

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The Arduous Journey

Interesting post from Lisa Cron over at the Writers Unboxed site: “Why the Hero’s Journey is a Tourist Trap.” Cron describes attending a lecture given by a professor of the Lucas/Moyers/Campbell storytelling school: you know, the Heroic Journey, in which … Continue reading

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Ursula Le Guin and the ‘Involved Author’

Among the perks of working in the Entertainment/Literature/Biography room (a.k.a. the “Elbow Room”) at Central Library is the access I have to a great collection of books on writing. One well-regarded book in the genre, which I just discovered recently, … Continue reading

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Books on Writing Worth Reading: Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer

The aptly-named Francine Prose reminds us that any good creative writing is grounded in close and appreciative reading. Her choice selections from writers such as Flannery O’Connor, Heinrich von Kleist, Leo Tolstoy, Katherine Mansfield, and ZZ Packer show us how … Continue reading

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