Fall 2019 To Be Read List

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Well there goes the summer. A a fan of the hot weather it’s very disappointing for me. I don’t mind the fall, or Autumn if your fancy, but the temperature drops way too quickly for my taste; one day it’s 60 the next it’s 30. I do try to look on the bright side and there are some great things to look forward to, garlic festivals, Halloween, and new books. Okay so new books come out all the time, but for some reason this fall seems to have so many great books, a few I’ve been waiting months for.

My Fall 2019 TBR List

Institute by Stephen King

I decided to include this even though it came out in August, technically still summer.  It was only last week, close enough, and it’ll be September when I read it. From the description think it might be a Dark Tower related book. The story takes place at The Institute, where children with psychic abilities are imprisoned and their gifts extracted. I can only guess at who’s running this place and their intentions, but I think I have a good idea. I’ll just have to wait and see.

September

Grim, Grit and Gasoline: Dieselpunk and Decopunk Fairy Tales

Another collection for the list. I’ve kind of been really into fairy tales lately. It might have something to do with binging fairy tale based TV shows; Grimm, Once Upon a Time, etc. I’m also kind of intrigued by the dieselpunk and decopunk aspect; described as alternate histories of the WWI and WWII eras, 1920’s-50’s. I’m not exactly sure what to expect, maybe a flapper fairy godmother or Pinocchio as a Nazi double agent. I don’t know, I have to find out.

Quichotte by Salmon Rushdie

Rushdie is one of my other top favorite writers who never disappoints me. I love the magical surrealism of his stories and the beauty of his writing style. I know he’s not for everybody, but I hope you’ll give him a shot. Quichotte has been described as a modern day Don Quixote, or at least an homage to it. Set up as a story within a story, Quichotte, who is actually the creation of writer Sam DuChamp, takes a cross country trip with his imaginary son to win the love of a famous actress. As always with Rushdie I’m excited to see what ridiculous trials his characters go through and how he intertwines their stories.

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction- 9/17

When I saw this title, I absolutely knew I had to read it. Described as “part biography, part readers guide,” it includes over a hundred women authors. I am always looking for new horror and sci-fi writers and bonus for only focusing solely on women writers. I’m almost certain it’ll have to be a new addition to my library.

October

Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery- 10/1

Here we have a short story collection. The theme of the collection is witchcraft and witches, with all the stories being written by women. The book is described as classic tropes infused with “fresh, feminist perspective and present-day concerns.” Although I have to wonder, with the emphasis on feminism why it has a male editor. Not that I care, just seems a bit odd. Anyway I’m just here for the stories of witchery, but bonus for female perspectives and featuring Kelly Armstrong.

Toil and Trouble by Augustin Burroughs –10/1

It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for this book to come out, an excerpt was release early summer, and I still have another month to go. But I’m pretty sure it’s worth the wait. His books include some dark topics, his wit and humor keeps it from becoming bleak and depressing. In this upcoming memoir he shares his lifelong secret of being a witch.

If Rushdie Can Do It So Can I

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I was first introduced to Salmon Rushdie’s writing in a college course where I read Midnight’s Children. I was immediately a fan. Since then I’ve read several more of his books and attended readings and speaking engagements. I’ve always believed the old adage of learning how to write by reading. But it always felt like a very general concept until I started reading Rushdie. I feel like I’ve learned more casually reading his work than I ever did studying other writers in depth in school. I will likely go on to write more about the things I’ve learned from him and his writing. For now I want to discuss one of the simplest things that has impacted my writing.

One of the things I’ve noticed about Rushdie’s writing is how much he includes from his own life in his fiction. Some of these things are very clear, like basing a major character in Fury on his then wife Padma Lakshimi. But other’s I only realized after reading his memoir, Joseph Anton. Reading it I found several instances of people, events and even dialogue that was very similar, if not exactly the same, to what I had read in his fiction. For example when he relates telling his father he is going to be a writer. Clearly disappointed his father says, “What am I going to tell my friends?” A line that appears in The Satanic Verses. 

There are many more examples, he specifically points out experiences and the stories inspired by them, and characters based on those close to him.  He seems to have no problem using his life and those around him as source material for his writing. This is something I have always struggled with. I never felt right including people or events from my life in my writing and avoided it at all costs. Part of it was insecurity, I don’t even like writing about myself in nonfiction. But really it was self doubt about my ability as a writer. It seems too easy to fictionalize elements of my life and take myself seriously as a writer. I also worried about what other people would think. Like I wouldn’t or couldn’t be considered a good writer if I couldn’t come up with everything in a story from imagination.

It seems like a silly thing to think now. Who exactly would even know how much of what I wrote was real or made up. Well I guess my family and friends, but how many of them are even reading my writing anyway. Inspired by Rushdie I’ve learned to let go of these irrational fears. There is no reason I can’t include elements from my life in my writing. It’s more than likely to improve my writing if I draw from real world experiences and people. And I have had some experiences that would make some pretty interesting stories.