5.03.2011

An Investment

I went to Barnes and Noble over the weekend with my cousins and one of their neighbors, a girl I went to school with. We started the night off at Olive Garden (my usual is always the Tour of Italy. CANNOT get enough of that - just can. not.). After Olive Garden, we were going to go see a movie, but the movie didn't start until an hour and a half later. Em knows my first choice of activities to pass the time in town is to hang around Barnes and Noble and spend more money than I know I should, but do anyway. While we were there, I bought three books and spent about $50. Yes, I cringed a little at the checkout counter, but I reassured myself by saying, "Wait, Lauren, these books can be seen as an investment." And really they can. I mean, it's not like I bought a bunch of fiction. I bought books that would help cultivate my writing. :-)

Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction
Dinty W. Moore

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This book is actually a Writer's Digest book. My Creative Writing professor from Fall '10 semester would freaking love this. This was her forte, and it was her class that got me interested in doing more creative nonfiction. I'd never really wanted to go down that path before as a writer, but after taking her class, I was more taken with the idea. Essayists get published in magazines. I mean, look at Carrie Bradshaw, right? Okay, so she's not a real person, BUT...it could happen. I'm a little self-absorbed in that I like to talk and write about myself, so this is probably a really good avenue for me.


The Everything Guide to Writing Your First Novel
Hallie Ephron

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I bought this book because, come on, I have a novel idea (haha, pun totally intended) that I've been trying to write unsuccessfully for the past three years. Now that summer is here and I have a long, looming break hovering over me, I want to put the time to good use and get to work on the basis of the story. This may be reaching for too much in too short of a time, but I'd like to get a first draft written before school starts back. That would be my dream since the many times I've attempted this book, I have never been able to produce a full-length, completed first draft.


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Anne Lamott

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A lot of published authors I've read have raved about this book. I like the idea of the "bird by bird" concept. It takes away from the "little by little" cliche phrase. However, when I hear the title I can't help but think of "two birds with one stone," and that this title is in reference to taking out one bird at a time, which I'm sure PETA would not be too thrilled about. I don't know if that's what it's supposed to represent. It doesn't bother me really. Although, I would NEVER kill a bird. Well, actually, I did once when I was little, but I didn't mean to. I was holding my cousin's bird, and I held it a little too tightly and it died. I KNOW! Es horible! I feel so bad! Get off it, PETA! I repent, I repent! Anyways...I just thought this would something worth looking into.

Book I Still Want:

Creative Journal Writing
Stephanie Dowrick

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This was one of the books I saw in Barnes and Noble before we went to see the movie. I wanted to get it because it talked about journaling, but I've been journaling for a while now, and I think this might be a guide for getting started. However, I'm not opposed to getting down to the basics of journaling, so I'm still interested in giving this book a try.


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I have two copies of this book. One, a fiftieth anniversary paperback edition I bought at Barnes and Noble in a buy-2-get-1-free deal. The other, an older hardback edition with traces of gold seashells embossed on the cover I bought at an estate sale a few weeks ago. Considering the hardcover edition along with a 1970s copy of The Old Man and the Sea cost me — well, my father — just under five dollars together, didn’t make me feel weird about now owning two copies of the same book. If you could see the gold traces of seashells embossed on the front cover, you’d be just as taken with it as I was upon first glance. (Or, you should be, anyway.)

Before this book really began, I was already highlighting words in the introduction and in the author’s note to the reader. I knew that if that was happening this book would mean something special to me, and while Anne’s words don’t touch me the same as those of my dear friend Madeleine, she still etched a new way of thinking, and by extension, a gift, a sort of freedom into my mind. As her daughter Reeve Lindbergh wrote in the opening pages, “Above all, I think, Gift from the Sea offers its readers an unusual kind of freedom… I am talking about the freedom that comes from choosing to remain open, as my mother did, to life itself, whatever it may bring: joys, sorrows, triumphs, failures, suffering, comfort, and certainly, always, change.”
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