Monday, February 20, 2012

Books I Read in January

"When a novelist whose previous work merely has been admired suddenly has books vault onto the bestseller lists or even achieve a large jump in sales, publishing people say they have 'broken out.' The book in question is a 'breakout novel.'"

Donald Mass's knowledge of writing and publishing is god-like. He's so helpful that I plan on reading all his books. In fact, this book is part of what convinced me to rewrite my book; after learning what makes a novel breakout, I realized Sacred Fire didn't qualify. I'm glad this book came into my life at the time it did.

After a deformed creature brutally murders Jacob's grandfather, he seeks out to solve the mysteries of his death and finds himself at an abandoned school for children with odd powers... and finds the school isn't abandoned after all.

This book caught my eye because it's full of trippy pictures. Riggs collected old photographs doctored to look supernatural and integrated them into the plot of the novel. It makes the book seem creepy, but the story isn't just mysterious; it's also a lot of fun.

Scroll down to see the best book trailer I've ever seen.

Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

After the Hunger Games are over, Katniss unwillingly becomes the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol.

This book was even better than the first, if you can believe that! It was full of more unexpected plot twists than any book I've ever read. Definitely a page turner.

They're making a movie out of the Hunger Games. I am stoked! Scroll down to see the trailer. I don't think I can wait until March to see it.


  1. Oh, man, the HUNGER GAMES trailer looks good, like it will do the book justice.

    I, too, loved the second one, and I was so glad I had #3 right on my nightstand because I needed to read it right away, whereas the wait between 1 & 2 was manageable.

    I've heard about BREAKOUT NOVEL before but haven't taken a look at it. Nice to know there's useful stuff in it.

  2. Great reads! I've read all three of those books!

  3. Miss. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children looks awesome! I think I'm going to pick it up soon.

  4. I've pitched my novels to Mr. Maass several times at writing conferences and he's asked for more of my work more than once but to no avail. Still, he is very knowledgeable and has a fine reputation.

  5. Donald Maass is so knowledgable that it's no surprise is craft book is amazing too. I have a feeling I should get this one as soon as possible.

    And I am so excited for the Hunger Games movie :-)

  6. Just stumbled across what looks like the 1965 version of the Maass book, called "Techniques of the Selling Writer" by Dwight Swain. Check it out on Amazon. I'm ordering it today. I've read most of Maass's book and he's got a lot of good stuff in it. (After looking at the opening pages on Amazon, I'm already quoting Swain: "The skill of a skilled writer tricks you into thinking that there's no skill.")

    I'm looking forward to the Hunger Games movie too. Trailers make it look good. I bought all 3 books at the same time 'cause I knew I'd like 'em. Interesting thing for you, I think, is that she based a lot of the story on the Roman Empire and did a lot of research about Rome for the books. You'll like #3 too!


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