#ProTip: Read Good Writers

Posted By Mandi Lindner on Jan 29, 2013 | 3 comments


The other night I was sitting in bed reading. Not such an unusual moment for me.

What was unusual, however, is that I finally took my nose out of my book, looked around, and came to the realization that the other half of my bed was covered in reading material.

Mostly non-fiction if that detail is of any interest.

Ever since I can remember I’ve read 3-4 books at a time. Maybe I get bored easily. Maybe it’s simply a product of reading multiple books for school. Maybe I just don’t want to commit.

Call it what you will, but my best tip for anyone wishing to be a better writer is to read good writers.

Combine it with reading writers in your niche and you’ve got yourself some competitive intelligence happening. That will come in handy when you need to write your next book proposal.

My sweet spot, so to speak, is to read at least 2-3 genres at a time. I usually throw in a magazine or periodical that has great investigative work just for good measure. My go to is Outside Magazine, which I just drool over. Seriously, how do I get a job writing for them?

If that sounds like too much, then experiment and find the load that’s right for you. And don’t forget your local library – there are SO many great books waiting for you for free!

To help inspire your inner bookworm, here is a list of What I’m Reading Now:

Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah GboweeMighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War

I saw Leymah Gbowee promote her book on The Daily Show and bought a copy that same night. It took me a few months to crack the cover, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. Written in an easy autobiographical/confessional format, this book also includes historical information on Liberia, the Liberian civil war, and how feminism is taking root.

 

 

The House of MondaviThe House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty

I originally bought this book when I was training for my first half marathon. It was the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon and I wanted something about the region that wasn’t just a travel book. This one was on sale at Barnes & Noble for $5. Easy purchase. Then it sat on the shelf for a couple of years. Now I started reading it a couple of days ago and can’t put it down! I knew of Mondavi wines before, but now can’t wait until I get to the end and see how the family feuding turned out.

More Than Ordinary by Doug ShermanMore Than Ordinary: Enjoying Life with God

One of my goals in the past couple of months was to work on my daily faith, and, moving forward, experience a revitalization in my relationship with Jesus. I miss having God in my every day life and I’m too good at trying to rely on my own deeds while not investing enough faith and trust in Him. Or heck, even thinking God wants to be a part of my boring, every day life. So I picked up this book one day through my Amazon recommendations and have been biting off chunks to chew. It’s earnest, enthusiastic, and genuine. So far a good profile of the God I need and want in my life.

The Death and Life of American JournalismThe Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again

I met Mr. McChesney and Mr. Nichols at Marquette University when I was in graduate school. They spoke on the current state of journalism in the U.S., and, after their lecture, held a small book signing reception. I’ve been reading this book for nearly 14 months now. At first it was so infuriating to read about how far ethical journalism has fallen, but I am now into the part where they map out the history of the capitalistic model (that has failed so spectacularly). I look forward to when they start discussing solutions. Because America needs a solution if the 4th estate is going to survive in a way that will inform the citizenry and support democracy.

 

I just joined Goodreads, so if you want more recommendations or if you know of a few books you think I should read, hit up my Goodreads profile.

3 Comments

  1. I want to borrow the Mondavi book when you finish it!

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    • I just finished it last week. I’ll send it or we should make a plan for me to come visit!

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  2. I read multiple books at the same time. Mainly I keep them in different genres, so I switch from fiction to nonfiction, etc.

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