1/01/2020

RECOMMENDED READING 2019

"Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process — John McPhee is a living legend in the creative nonfiction genre; this is his handbook on writing. He is the author of 33 books. McPhee won the Pulitzer Prize after four nominations, has written for The New Yorker for 53 years, and is in his 45th year teaching creative writing at Princeton University. In a series of short essays, he shares advice, techniques, and weaves in tales from a life spent capturing real stories on paper. The storytelling is equally as powerful as his technical advice on writing. In a masterful chapter on structure, he walks readers through various stories by visually drawing their unique structures. In a chapter on interview techniques, McPhee describes why Jackie Gleason was one of his most difficult subjects. In the final chapter on the power of omission, he recounts an entertaining conversation with President Dwight D. Eisenhower about why he left certain objects out of his paintings. The stories and lessons are fascinating even if becoming a better writer is not your goal. If you liked Stephen King’s On Writing, you’ll enjoy this as well."