A memoir, a how-to book, and a classic novel. Three books I read last month, and I recommend them all. (Although, I suppose recommending a classic novel is sort of like recommending trees or silverware. Not that helpful, but a good reminder they exist.)
Save the Cat
This is a book about screenwriting for screenwriters. Do I want to become a screenwriter? No. I just want to know more about story and process and how movie scripts are made. Like songwriting, it’s such a mix of craft and mystery. Mechanics and catching lighting in a bottle.
These Precious Days
I had never read Ann Patchett. My wife Heidi was reading this book and kept talking about it. Anne is a Nashvillian. She owns a bookstore. She likes John Updike (me, too!). She writes amazing essays that make you ponder the world and your role in it.
Like Ann Patchett, George Orwell has escaped me my entire life. Not the cultural references, but just the actual reading of his work. “Wait, you’ve never read 1984.” No, I haven’t. Geez. Mr. Wenzel had us read Silas Marner in 7th grade, ok? If you had told me Animal Farm was a book about talking pigs and horses, I probably wouldn’t have read it. But, my goodness! It’s like Mr. Orwell wrote it last year about current events.