An Uncapped Pen

2009 Books and Opinions

As I find the time, I’ll be adding the opinions.

Breathing Water: A Bangkok Thriller by Timothy Hallinan, 2009 – William Morrow.  FANTASTIC.  Read my review here.

Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words, compiled by Anthony F. Chiffolo, 1998 – Liguori

Handbook for Today’s Catholic, 2004, Liguori

Prayers and Devotions: 365 Daily Meditations by Pope John Paul II, 1984 – Penguin Books

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick,  2005 – Mariner Books.  Fick takes you through training to deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Gritty, thoughtful, tragic and, at times,  funny.   A rare glimpse into the daily life of today’s marine. 

Plot Outlines of 100 Famous Novels by Roland A. Goodman, 1960 – Barnes and Noble.  Good reference book for distilling famous novels (English, French and American) into the basic elements.  I struggle with plotting in my own writing and this book helps tremendously.  Originally published in 1942, the novels referenced are not current.  Very useful.

Master Class in Fiction Writing: Techniques from Austen, Hemingway, and Other Greats by Adam Sexton, 2006 – McGraw-Hill.  Great general writing reference.  Sexton teaches how to use master works of fiction as a guide for improving characterization, style and voice, dialogue, plotting and structure.

Writing Fiction: The Practial Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School edited by Alexander Steele, 2003 – Bloomsbury.  A solid reference for the basics of writing.

Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld, 2000 – Writer’s Digest Books.

Break Into Fiction:  11 Steps to Building a Story That Sells by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love, 2009 – Adams Media, Inc.

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner, 2000 – Riverhead Books.    Writing advice and info on publishing industry for writers.

Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction by Patricia Highsmith, 1972, The Writer Inc.  Just started this reference book.

A Gathering of Grandmothers: Words of Wisdom from Women of Spirit and Power, edited by Lynne Namka, 2002 – Writers Club Press.  Highly spirited women, aged 50 – 101, share their insight on aging with enthusaism, creativity, loving life, wisdom, laughter and dreams.

Secrets of the Sacred White Buffalo: Native American Healing Remedies, Rites & Rituals by Gary Null, PhD, 1998 – Prentill Hall.

Phantom in the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon with Dianna Love, 2008 – Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster.  I received this book at the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference last year, a gift from author Dianna Love.  Strong male character, strong female character, action…on paper, it sounds like it’s got everything to be successful.  I gave up reading after about 100 pages.  Stiff, artificial and stereotypical.

The Cloud of Unknowing edited by Bernard Bangley, 2006 – Paraclete Press

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Constance Garnett – International Collectors Library.  It’s about time I read this classic.  I’m a few hundred pages in (10/20/09).  I’ll write more as I read.

The Knitter’s Book of Year: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn by Clara Parks, 2007 – Potter Craft.  A gift from Susan.  Describes in painstaking detail the differences in natural and manufactured fibers, color, ply, texture, techniques and care of yarn.  A solid reference.

Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter by Alison Hansel, 2007 – Wiley Publishing.  Weasley’s sweaters, House scarves, Dobby’s Socks, Hermione’s cables.  This book has got it all.

101 Designer one-skein WONDERS edited by Judith Durant, 2007 – Storey Publishing.  Everything you always wondered to do with the lonely skeins in your stash.

Knitting Tips & Trad Secrets: Clever Solutions for Better Hand Knitting, Machine Knitting and Crocheting edited by Mary Galpin Barnes, 1996 – The Tauton Press.  A treasure of knitting techniques and emergency fixes for almost any project.  Just in case you don’t have your Grandma readily available for consultation.

The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions by Mike Aquilina and Regis J. Flaherty, 2000 – Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.  A valuable reference for students in RCIA or anyone curious about what Catholics do in church and why.

Joanna Brady Series by J.A. Jance, Avon Books.  Since my own novel is set in Cochise County, I wanted to check out Jance’s books.  I give the series a B minus.  I love the character of Joanna Brady.  The descriptions of the setting are spot on.  The stories are okay.  Her writing breaks down on occasion.  I’ve found POV slips and needless, awkward repetition.  She uses a few unusual words over and over again (stolid, clambered, proffered,  and a few others I’ll add as I remember them).

Desert Heat by J.A. Jance, 1993, Avon Books.  The first in the Joanna Brady series.  Candidate for Cochise County Sherrif, Deputy Andrew Brady is murdered and his widow decides to run in his place.

Tombstone Courage by J.A. Jance, 1994, Avon Books

Shoot/Don’t Shoot by J.A. Jance, 1995, Avon Books

Dead to Rights by J.A. Jance, 1996, Avon Books

Skeleton Canyon by J.A. Jance, 1997, Avon Books

Outlaw Mountain by J.A. Jance, 1999, Avon Books

Damage Control by J.A. Jance, 2009, Harper

A is For Alibi by Sue Grafton, 1987, Bantam Books

B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton, 1986, Bantam Books

C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton, 1987, Bantam Books

D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton, 1988, Bantam Books

E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton, 1989, Bantam Books

G is for Gumshoe by Sue Grafton, 1990, Ballantine Publishing

H is for Homocide by Sue Grafton, 1991, Ballantine Publishing

I is for Innocent by Sue Grafton, 1992, Ballantine Publishing

J is for Judgement by Sue Grafton, 1993, Ballantine Publishing

K is for Killer by Sue Grafton, 1994 Ballantine Publishing

Angels Flight by Michael Connelly, 2001 – Warner Books

Lost Light by Michael Connelly, 2003 – Warner Books

Echo Park by Michael Connelly, 2006 – Warner Books

Chasing The Dime by Michael Connelly, 2002 – Warner Books


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