On Martha’s Bookshelf: Bird by Bird & On Writing: Memoir of the Craft

signatureLately I’ve been writing a lot, and to keep me going I like to toggle between two instructional writing guides that are not only cogent advisors, but damned fine reading: Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Stephen King’s On Writing: Memoir of the Craft.

These people make me want to read, which is easy,
but they also make me want to write, which is virtually impossible. If you ever write anything, from
an email to an encyclopedia, or if you just love books, these two are delightful, inspiring companions.

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On Martha’s Bookshelf: The Good Lord Bird


The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride
I just finished The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride. Then I licked the inside of the cover and looked hopefully for extra pages that may have fallen out onto the floor. That’s how good it is. McBride tells the story of the quixotic abolitionist John Brown, whose activism played a major part in beginning the Civil War, seen through the eyes of a young escaped slave who happens to be a virtuoso storyteller. His brilliant word use manages to make slavery, murder, and war entertaining and often hilarious. I had to stop at least once per paragraph to admire McBride’s sheer jaw-dropping talent. Enjoy!


On Martha’s Bookshelf: The End of Your World

The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenmentby Adyashanti Right now I’m addictively obsessed with a book about giving up addictive obsessions—yes, again with the irony! The book is calledThe End Of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature Of Enlightenment. The author, a Buddhist teacher named Adyashanti, has read more…

On Martha’s Bookshelf: Hyperbole and a Half

Hyberbole and a Halfby Allie Brosh My favorite Christmas book, a gift from my awesome son-in-law, is Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh. I’m a long-time fan of her blog,and the book is even funnier. Anyone who can make me laugh out loud about her depression is a friend of mine, even if we never meet.And what I love most about the written read more…

Ready to Heal:Breaking Free of Addictive RelationshipsBy Kelly McDaniels It’s hard to find a self-help book that doesn’t feel like the same old same old, but this simple, clear book turned on lots of light bulbs in my head.  Even if you don’t have addictive relationships, this will help you understand friends and family members read more…


On Martha’s Bookshelf: Mindsight

At the top of my nightstand is “Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation” by Daniel Siegel. You coaches will not be surprised by anything in this book. The basic premise of Dr. Siegel’s work is precisely what we’ve been using all along. However, this brilliant neuro-scientist will give you very concrete explanations for how read more…

On Martha’s Bookshelf: The End of Big

“The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath” by Nicco Mele Nicco Mele, like every competent social scientist these days, describes the radical changes created by new technologies. For Mele, this is an area of least satisfaction. Instead of celebrating the joys of “radical connectivity,” the author paints a picture of read more…