Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Top 7 Book Picks & Lessons Learned

By Deidre Havrelock 

I began reading not long after I decided to become a writer. I wasn’t a big reader while growing up. I was more interested in becoming an actress and for a short stint, a lawyer. Later, I lost complete focus and wanted to be nothing (due to being possessed and all). When I did start reading, I read all kinds of books. I often bought books at Zellers, from the $1.00 bin, carrying five or six home whenever I could. 

I still have my favorite one, right here next to my desk, Story of My Life—a hard cover for only a buck! As I continued reading, I noticed a few things. I noticed some writers were exceptionally good at metaphor, some were good at creating pace and others were good at characterization and symbol, some were just darned good at reading the human psyche. I began reading books with a renewed vigor. I began asking, “How did the writer do this?

So with that being said, these are the books I learned stuff from.  

1.      Memoir: The Glass Castle  - humor. If the story is sad, how come I laughed?

“Dad had kept this job for nearly six months—longer than any other. I figured we were through with Battle Mountain and that within a few days, we’d be on the move again. “I wonder where we’ll live next,” I said. Lori shook her head. “We’re staying here,” she said. Dad insisted he hadn’t exactly lost his job. He had arranged to have himself fired because he wanted to spend more time looking for gold.—Author Jeannette Walls

(He got fired so he could look for gold?! This family is beyond eccentric and that’s funny! The book makes you appreciate your own screwed-up family.)

2.      Fiction: The Stone Diaries  - metaphor. Count the metaphors in this hard-as-stone story.

“Only bread seems to ease her malaise, buttered bread, enormous slabs of it, what she’s heard people in this village refer to as doorsteps.”—Author Carol Shields

(Did she just make a piece of bread sound like a rock-solid slab of concrete? The book is full of these metaphors.)

3.      Fiction: Story of My Life - pace. This book moves along fast!

“Skip Pendelton’s this jerk I was in lust with once for about three minutes. He hasn’t called me in like three weeks which is fine, okay, I can deal with that, but suddenly I’m like a baseball card he trades with his friends? Give me a break.”–Author Jay McInerney

(So like when long, almost totally run-on sentences get paired with short snappy sentences sorta like Michael Jordan meets Snookie. Bam! This like makes you move really, really fast. Get it?)

4.      Memoir: Angela’s Ashes  - emotion. I must have cried twenty times while reading this book.

“Oh, she says, we’ll have a lovely tea when your Pop brings home the wages tonight.”—Author Frank McCourt.

(Ack! We get set up with happy thoughts that don’t ever pan out (Pop never brings home the wages! Yet, I’m always hoping he will!) and so Bam! I’m crying just knowing it’s not going to happen.)

5.      Fiction: The Handmaid’s Tale  - human psyche. What does this story say about the human race?

“I wish this story were different. I wish it were more civilized. I wish it showed me in a better light, if not happier, then at least more active, less hesitant, less distracted by trivia.”—Author Margaret Atwood

(Has she just put her finger on the apathetic pulse of society?)

6.      Fiction: Dark Placesmood. This book has a distinctly dark mood… how did the writer achieve it?

“But the shoe boxes of donations were gone, and I was left with a mere three letters and the rest of the night to kill. I headed back home, several cars blinking their headlights at me until I realized I was driving dark.”—Author Gillian Flynn

(It’s dark outside, she has a night to kill, and she’s driving dark! That’s a lot of darkness packed into two sentences.)

7.      Non-Fiction: The Anatomy of Story symbol. This book (one of my very favorites) contains a great chapter on what symbol is and why writers use it.

“A symbol creates a resonance, like ripples in a pond, every time it appears.”—Author John Truby

(I honestly did not understand symbolism until I read this book.)

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Paranormal, Non-Fiction
Rating - PG13
More details about the book

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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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