READER TO WRITER
Jim Black lives in Wichita Falls, Texas.
With no formal training--except for a flunked creative writing course in college--I learned to write by reading. I learned well enough so that my first novel, River Season, was published in 2003/2004 by Viking/Penguin. I owe a great debt to many wonderful books and their authors--especially to these ten.
THE KILLER ANGELS
By Michael Shaara
* PULITZER PRIZE
Many historical novels are painstakingly researched and many are beautifully written. But it is rare to find one that is both. When you have finished Shaara's novel (based on the Battle of Gettysburg), pick up Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure, by Shaara's son, Jeff. Is it possible that good writing is hereditary? Evidently.
By William Peter Blatty
Trust me: this sequel to Blatty's horrific blockbuster, The Exorcist, is even scarier and more thought-provoking than the earlier novel. Not just for horror buffs, Legion, which is about demonic possession and the nature of evil, appeals and satisfies on many levels. It is surely one of the best-kept secrets and most overlooked literary gems of all time.
THE STARSHIP AND THE CANOE
By Kenneth Brower
Freeman Dyson is a world-famous astrophysicist who designs spaceships. His son, George, lives in a giant Douglas fir in British Columbia and builds kayaks. Brower's book is fascinating--and it's all true.
By W. P. Kinsella
This book, which inspired the movie Field of Dreams, covers all the bases and touches on every emotion. The novel--not its movie version--treats us to the kidnapping of J. D. Salinger!
By Robert R. McCammon
Tinged with magic, McCammon's watershed novel explores the wonders of growing up as told by 11-year-old Cory Mackenson of Zephyr, Alabama, in 1964. Adventurous, humorous, and tragic, Boy's Life is storytelling of the highest order.
HORSEMAN, PASS BY
By Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry has blazed a stunning trail of literary works and screenplays in his lifetime, acquiring a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award along the way. But this brief and unabashedly sentimental first novel, and the basis for the movie Hud, is still my favorite McMurtry book.
POINT OF IMPACT
By Stephen Hunter
Do you like thrillers? Hurry out and purchase a copy of this guaranteed can't-put-down tale--and...