Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth – Alan Weisman You recognize this name from his previous book The World Without Us, which was, at its heart, an optimistic book. Countdown is not exactly a happy, feel-good book, but it is fascinating and compelling. And the thing I think I admire most is this writer’s ability to convey difficult messages with writing so fluid, I got sucked right in. It never once crossed my mind to give up on this book. That’s worth studying.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol Dweck – This is the book that details research into the psychology of Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset. I grew up in Fixed Mindset. I hate being wrong. Hates it with a white hot passion – even when I know, intellectually, that making mistakes is the only way to learn something. Someone with Growth mindset believes he or she can get smarter and smarter – that the brain is a muscle that with exercise only gets stronger and better. I’d read this because it promised to teach me how to change my mindset from Fixed to Growth. Still working on that. What? I like reading psychology. I get that it makes me a complete weirdo.
Rogue’s Paradise – Actually, I’m lucky enough to have read everything Jeffe published this year and it’s always a treat. Her characters and her stories always draw me right in. Studying her techniques, too, believe you me. But this trilogy, in particular, makes me happy. And I have secret hope that it won't remain a trilogy for long.
First Grave on the Right – Darynda Jones – yeah, I know I’m slow on the uptake. It’s just where this book happened to be in my TBR pile. In fact, this is my current holiday guilty pleasure read. No strings. No study. I just get to read for enjoyment. Except, while I am enjoying the book a lot – I think her take on someone seeing dead people and how and why that happens feels fresh – I’m also taking mental notes about how the author is constructing scenes and showing conflict and emotion. So, Ms. Jones? Sorry. I can’t seem to kick this morbid habit of peeling back the skin of a story like I’m some kind of deranged serial killer. Yes. This is me. Rubbing my hands in glee.
Unnamed novel by an unnamed author – I’m not naming the book or the author because this book would have been thrown across the room had it not been on my Kindle. Did not finish this book. I gave it ten chapters to throw me a bone, but it ended up being toss worthy itself. The heroine was just a great big ,closed off bundle of NOPE. She had not a single nice bone in her body as far as I could tell and the moment she stomped on the hero’s dreams, coldly rejecting them out of hand, I was done. Would have been had the reverse been true – had the hero crushed her dreams under heel, I’d have wanted to use the book as kindling, too. So why am I putting this book here? Knowing what annoys the crap out of me is hugely useful as a teaching tool. I’m taking notes and filing this book under HOW MAKE MARCELLA DETEST A CHARACTER. Also – in my opinion, the most interesting part of this story happened before this book starts. The scene choices made are also telling – in that I’m taking more notes about which scenes I would have chosen to write and none of them are the scenes this author actually wrote. A book that doesn’t work for me has a whole bunch to teach me. That’s why I included it. Will I finish the book? Oh hell no. Life is too short and there are way too many great books out there.