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3 Bookish Resolutions for 2019

by  | December 30

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to start crafting those vows to ourselves that we always seem to break. You know what I’m talking about. Those dreaded New Year’s resolutions. Did you know that almost 80% of resolutions are broken by February?? And you know why? They are always about eating better, and working out, and saving money. BORING. You already know you aren’t going to do any of that. So why even bother with the same old, same old. This year, let’s make some resolutions we’ll stick with because they are focused on our favorite things—BOOKS.

I’ll start!

1. Try to focus on one book at a time.

Did you notice the first word in this resolution is try? See, I am already winning and it’s not even 2019 yet! I don’t know about you, but I am always reading multiple books at the same time. I start one, get a few chapters in, and then I hear about something else, or I get a book drop at work, and then I start reading some chapters of the new book. Then it’s late at night and of course I need to read in bed, so I start reading another book, this time on my phone, so I don’t wake my husband up. And then you know what happens, I don’t end up finishing some really great books! Out of sight, out of mind! This year, I am going to try to stop my ADD book reading ways and focus on one book at a time; OK two max.

2. Read more nonfiction.

I love thrillers. And that’s around 80% of what I read. I haven’t met a missing girl, an unreliable narrator, or a sociopath that I didn’t like (in a book that is!).  I need to up my nonfiction game. I do like a good memoir—The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls being my all-time favorite—and I just finished Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders by Christopher Goffard, which I loved! I was intrigued by the Dirty John story, which is about a grifter who pretended to be a doctor and preyed on unsuspecting women online (see, I can’t get away from sociopaths).  It’s so good, it inspired the launch of a podcast and the Bravo TV show. Dirty John has some other amazing stories, too, like one about a fledgling public defense attorney and a Syrian refugee living in Sweden. My resolution is to try to get to reading 40% nonfiction in the new year.

3. Write the next Great American Novel.

OK, that’s one of those resolutions that will get you in trouble because it’s so ambitious. But, I already have written 100 pages of a novel, so I will say that my resolution for 2019 is to write more of it! I don’t have a page count goal yet, but I’m thinking at least a page a day for six months, and then maybe I’ll have finished my story. I am going to be digging into these books to help me—Steven King’s On Writing and Charles Johnson’s The Way of the Writer.

Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders

Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders

by Christopher Goffard

A collection of newspaper stories by award-winning Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard—including “Dirty John,” the basis for the hit podcast and the upcoming Bravo scripted series starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana. Goffard shared in the Los Angeles Times’ Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2011 and has twice been a Pulitzer finalist for feature writing. This collection—a must-read for fans of both true-crime and first-rate narrative nonfiction—underscores his reputation as one of today’s most original journalistic voices.

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The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

by Jeannette Walls

Now a major motion picture from Lionsgate starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts. The perennially bestselling, extraordinary, one-of-a-kind, “nothing short of spectacular” (Entertainment Weekly) memoir from one of the world’s most gifted storytellers. The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. The Glass Castle is truly astonishing—a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.

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On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition

by Stephen King

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, Stephen King’s critically lauded, classic bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

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The Way of the Writer

The Way of the Writer

by Charles Johnson

From Charles Johnson—a National Book Award winner, Professor Emeritus at University of Washington, and one of America’s preeminent scholars on literature and race—comes an instructive, inspiring guide to the craft and art of writing. Luminous, inspiring, and imminently accessible, The Way of the Writer is a revelatory glimpse into the mind of the writer and an essential guide for anyone with a story to tell. Organized into six accessible, easy-to-navigate sections, The Way of the Writer is both a literary reflection on the creative impulse and a utilitarian guide to the writing process.

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