National Novel Writing Month

Please visit the Illinois State Library's Talking Book and Braille Service website at:

http://www.ilbph.org

November is National Novel Writing Month! Check out our booklist (compiled by Reader Advisor Kathryn Patrick) for aspiring writers, featuring language and writing guides and bestselling fiction whose authors participated in the program! Learn more about the program at www.nanowrimo.org.

 

Non Fiction


Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; with Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory

Roy Blount

DB069152

Language expert's personal glossographia, in which he delves into word origins and considers the connection between the sound and the meaning of words. Arranged in an A-to-Z dictionary format, entries range from "ain't"  and "google" to "kvetch" and "wrought." 2008.

Language


A Little Book of Language

David Crystal

DB073613

British linguist explores the mysteries and vagaries of language--from ancient etymologies to text-messaging--in forty brief chapters. Begins with baby talk and moves on to geographical and personal names, sign language, word play, dictionaries, and more. 2010.

Language


Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Mignon Fogarty

DB067697

Fogarty presents language usage tips similar to those from her popular podcast Grammar Girl. Explains guidelines for choosing between terms she calls "dirty words" such as "affect" versus "effect" or "i.e." versus "e.g." Provides information on applying basic grammar rules, starting sentences properly, and using punctuation and capitalization correctly. 2008.

Language


How to Read Literature like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading between the Lines

Thomas C. Foster

DB071478

English professor uses an informal approach to help readers spot multiple layers of meaning in literary works. Discusses themes, motifs, literary models, and narrative devices and illustrates all with examples from many genres. 2003.

Bestseller, Language


The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the Twenty-first Century

Steven Pinker

DB080076

Author of The Better Angels of Our Nature (DB 78041) and Words and Rules (DB 51199) discusses the state of writing in the early twenty-first century. Discusses how the brain processes language, why prescriptive guides are no longer enough, and communicating via social media. 2014.

Unrated Commercial Audiobook, Language, Writing


How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One

Stanley Eugene Fish          

DB076905

Professor and New York Times columnist Stanley Fish explains the art of crafting a sentence. Discusses form, content, and style using examples from various writers. 2011.

Writing


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Stephen King

DB050873

Prolific, bestselling horror novelist describes his writing technique and gives tips for aspiring authors. King also discusses pertinent events from his childhood and tells of the near-fatal accident in 1999, when he was hit by a truck while taking his daily walk. 2000.

Bestseller, Memoir, Writing, Download Only


Why We Write: Twenty Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do

Meredith Maran

DB076358

Twenty essays by popular authors on the reasons behind their pursuit of writing. Sue Grafton, author of A is for Alibi (DB 35069), ruminates on the source of "writer's block" and David Baldacci discusses his compulsion for writing. Also includes Isabel Allende, Jodi Picoult, and others. 2013.

Writing


Frank and Fiona Build a Fictional Story: Writing Builders

Rachel Lynette

DB079840

Writing guide introduces Frank and Fiona as they learn how to write a fictional story to enter in a school writing contest. Concepts include story maps, transitions, and dialogue. Activities at the end help readers create their own stories. 2014.

Juvenile, Grades 3-6, Writing


Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook

Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter

DB071666

Two authors playfully mix practical advice and personal anecdotes to demystify the craft of writing a story or novel. Topics covered include finding inspiration, naming characters, developing a narrative voice, crafting dialogue, dealing with writer's block, and establishing good work habits. 2010.

Juvenile, Grades 5-8, Writing


Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write

Victoria Hanley

DB071098

Presents creative-writing tips and exercises, from freewriting to understanding the elements of fiction. Provides examples for character development, motivation, and perspective. Assesses difficult aspects of writing fiction, such as creating the setting and mood, and infusing your style and voice into the story. 2008.

Young Adult, Writing


Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know about Writing

Patricia O’Conner  

DB070601

A user's manual for writing well. Emphasizes that good prose is more craft than art. Provides tips and techniques to improve writing skills and avoid pitfalls, whether for term papers, reports, newsletters, or a novel. 1999.

Young Adult, Writing


Fiction


Water for Elephants

Sara Gruen

DB062718

1931. Veterinary student Jacob Jankowski's world comes crashing down when his parents die in a car accident. Broke, Jacob joins the circus, falls for Marlena, a married circus star, and cares for animals like Rosie the elephant. 2006

Bestseller, Historical Fiction, Animals, Romance


The Darwin Elevator

Jason Hough

DB077294

Australia, 2283. Earth has fallen to a plague. The only human city left is Darwin, where an alien space elevator protects against the disease. Skyler Luiken--one of the rare "immunes"--leads a scavenging crew to help Darwin survive. Then the elevator begins to malfunction. 2013.

Science Fiction


The Wool Omnibus

Hugh Howey

DB075396

In the future, Earth has become toxic and survivors live in underground silos. To go outside is a death sentence--but then one person walks away. Originally published as five short e-books. 2012.

Science Fiction


Shades of Milk and Honey

Mary Robinette Kowal

DB074358

With a nod to Jane Austen, this fantasy tale features the beautiful young Melody Ellsworth and her older sister Jane, a master of the womanly art of glamour. When Melody pursues a disastrous romance, Jane must use all of her magical skills to save the family's honor. 2010.

Romance, Fantasy


The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern

DB073783

At the Circus of Dreams magicians Celia and Marco are pitted against each other in an epic magical battle. Their mentors plan for it to have only one survivor, not foreseeing that Celia and Marco will fall in love. 2011.

Bestseller, Romance, Fantasy


Fangirl

Rainbow Rowell

DB077545

Eighteen-year-old Cath's adoration of fantasy character Simon Snow leads to her penning a fanfiction story that is popular online. Offline, shy Cath is out of her comfort zone at her new college--until romance finds her. 2013.

Young Adult, Family Story, Romance


The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Carrie Ryan

DB069192

Mary seeks knowledge of the world beyond the village's protective fences and the surrounding forest containing the "Unconsecrated"--an aggressive, formerly dead, flesh-eating people. When outsider Gabrielle enters the village, Mary wonders about the Sisterhood's secrets and plans for escape. 2009.

Bestseller, Young Adult, Horror, Science Fiction