What’s the latest non-fiction book you read and why?

Fiction writers need to read. It’s how we absorb stories best. Drinking coffee fuels the actual writing but things from the “real” world actually fuel the imagination. This week we’re asking each other what we’ve read that comes under the category of non-fiction. Whether it’s a biography or a science book, something about history or journalism, it’s going to be about something real and that’s what will inspire us to write something fantastic.

Have you tried the dark roast we have? It’s excellent, but then so is the organic coffee. And did you know that we only buy free trade?


R.L. Naquin:

Most of the non-fiction books I read have to do with the craft of writing. With book three in my series looming, my main characters are going to have to sleep with each other soon. I can’t get around it anymore. So, I’m currently reading Be a Sex-Writing Strumpet by Stacia Kane. That’s right. There’s a how-to book out there for everything.


Jason Arnett:

The last non-fiction book I got was about writing (and that may be a theme here today) but the last one I read was a biography of a writer. Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century was fascinating and manages to collect the bits and pieces of a biography of the Grand Master from other biographies of authors into one place. I’m also spending some time with Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality, though it’s not at the top of my reading list every day as the science there is mind-bending though the writing is sharp and crisp.


Christie Holland

The last non-fiction book I read was How Good People Make Touch Choices by Rushworth M. Kidder.  Oh, you probably meant something that I didn’t read for a class.  That would be The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.  It was much more interesting and will be much more helpful when the zombie apocalypse happens.


Paul Swearingen

The Long Walk – Slavomir Rawicz

This astounding book reads like a novel – a Polish teenager gets caught up in Russian deportations to Siberia in the early days of World War II, is taken to a prison camp, befriends the wife of the camp director, steals supplies, breaks out with a small group, heads south, adds a 16-year-old girl who is escaping from another camp to their group, walks across Siberia and Mongolia before losing two members in the Gobi desert, heads on through Tibet, loses another group member, see yeti, and end up in India, where he loses his mind for a month but finally recovers.

I am personally fascinated by tales of survival and the triumph of the individual; this one was a one-sitting read.


Nancy Cayton Myers

Story by Robert McKee.  Seminal screenwriting text, that I’m never not reading.  This book, more than any, has helped me with story structure, character, plot, image, and how to make decisions at all phases of the writing process.   It’s a great how-to on the work and art of storytelling


Sara Lundberg

I’m right in the middle of reading The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Complete Back-To-Basics Guide by John Seymour. I have this fanciful dream of someday acquiring a couple acres of land and try to live as simply and self-sufficiently as possible, but I have no idea where to even start. I figure it’ll be handy to have my own self-sufficient community for when the zombie apocalypse occurs.


Jack Campbell, Jr.

I have been reading The Ultimate Screenwriter’s Workbook by Ron Peterson. Ron’s bootcamp was the first writing workshop I had ever attended. Coming up on April’s Script Frenzy, it seemed fitting to re-read his book. I’m not sure if you can actually buy the book, I have never been able to find it anywhere other than at his class, but it is the basis of my screenwriting process. Ron will always sit right next to Robert McKee, Syd Field, and Aristotle on my desk.

Cafe Management is run by the administration of The Confabulator Cafe. We keep things running smoothly, post stories by guest authors, and manage other boring back-end tasks.

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