Catching Up On Books

Sometimes you don’t buy a book for a few months and then a dozen turn up at once.

It has been a busy couple of weeks of book acquisition here at the Identity Function World Headquarters, what with Wordstock and a sudden realisation that I was years behind on British authors I collect, amongst other things.

Craft

craft books from Wordstock

craft books from Wordstock

I picked up a couple of craft books at Wordstock.

As I mentioned in my Wordstock roundup, I went to Sage Cohen’s workshop last year on *mumblemumble* and should have picked up her book The Productive Writer then, but I finally picked it up this year and have been reading for the last week or so. It’s quite an energising read, and I’ve had a number of epiphanies and striking points even with only being about half way through it. I will be rereading it for sure, if only to go over some of the exercises.

Christi Krug’s book was slightly more impulsive a buy, but I reasoned that anyone Laura Stanfill was friends with couldn’t be all bad, and it is a book about unleashing your creativity which is of interest.

craft-catchup-1

catching up on craft books while buying something achingly new

A couple of weeks ago I saw a tweet from Chuck Wendig about Wonderbook.

O. M. G.

I was drooling.

I preordered it almost immediately (after wiping drool off my keyboard) along with a couple of other craft books that I had been meaning to get – the first Writer’s Notebook from Tin House, and Reading Like A Writer which I had bought as a gift for someone else a while ago. More on all of these once I’ve read them.

Fiction

the Renata stories

the Renata stories

I only bought one fiction book at Wordstock this year, Stevan Allred’s linked short story collection from Forest Avenue Press, A Simplified Map of the World.

It’s a beautiful book, filled with enticing language and intriguing design. I am looking forward to digging into the stories properly.

Culture shock

Culture shock

Later, I was buying a birthday gift for my father from the British branch of Amazon. I recalled that I was behind on my Pratchett and Banks books, and had to catch up on those too.

catchup Pratchett

catchup Pratchett

And what a cornucopia of UK paperback editions this was – a new Discworld book and a new non-Discworld YA book to add to the Pratchett shelves, two new Culture novels and a salty tale of homecoming to add to the Banks collection. There are also new Pratchett and Banks novels in hardback, but I want my collected books to match* so I’ll wait for the paperbacks.

It is very sad to think that the one Banks out in hardback is the last Banks book.

Gaming

scary

scary

The book rounding out the dozen is not a recent acquisition, but I haven’t mentioned it before: tremulus is “a storytelling game of Lovecraftian horror”, funded by a Kickstarter that I backed. It’s a lovely book, with a simple system that accentuates a lot of the same storytelling cues that Stealing Cthulhu encourages.

roll playing

roll playing

And I got special dice.

I have come to realise that I am far more interested in storytelling games than crunchy stat games – this wasn’t the thing that put me off D&D (or AD&D as it was when I first played it) but the crunchiness was certainly what put me off D20 Modern. The freeform nature of this and, of course, Fiasco is very attractive to me.

[*] not that the editions I have do actually match, but they are all the first run paperback covers which is all I really want. Both Pratchett’s and Banks’ covers have changed over the years. I particularly miss the original form of the Banks covers.

2 Replies to “Catching Up On Books”

  1. Ian Rose says:

    Wonderbook is next up on my reading list. I’m hoping to head to Powell’s at some point this weekend and pick up a copy, as that’s one I definitely don’t want to be an e-book.

  2. Laura says:

    What a post! I love Christi and Sage, and am reading Sage’s book intermittently now and really enjoying it; I wish I had more time to devote to my own craft. And it’s so exciting to hear Stevan’s book was the only fiction title to come home from Wordstock. Thank you for your support, and I hope you enjoy it!

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