Book & Movie Reviews

Inspired Memoirs With Depth & Insight

Book Review on Memoir
The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Each of these memoirs dip into the rich loam of storied family—in particular, the deeply flawed, hell-bent-on-chaos family. The word calamitous comes to mind and Mary Karr’s adult telling of her wayward family story serves up fires, floods, and hurricanes against an apocalyptic, industrial, Texas swampland backdrop.
Jeanette Walls’ memoir is less steeped in place. She lights only briefly in the various settings upon which her mobile family touched down. Their extended stay in the impoverished coal-mining town of Welch, West Virginia is an exception. […]

Book Review: Write Your Life Story

Book Review: Write Your Life Story, The Complete Guide to Creating a Personal Memoir
Are you getting set to write a family history or memoir? If you want a catch all guide to writing in this genre Karen Ulrich’s book, written for Reader’s Digest, is a great choice.

Write Your Life Story covers every aspect of the subject, from generating ideas and organizing information to writing craft tips, beating writer’s block, and publication options. Ulrich presents each topic in short form, honing her thoughts to the crucial elements. And for those who want more, Ulrich cites and sometimes quotes rich sources “from […]

Book Reviews for Creative Nonfiction

Books about Writing Creative Nonfiction
You’re keen to capture wide readership for your nonfiction writing and you’re intrigued by the buzz around “creative nonfiction”—but you’re not clear about what it is. Some believe it relates to writing that’s ‘largely’ nonfiction, jazzed up with some imagined scenes and dialogue, but that’s not the case. Proponents of creative nonfiction challenge us to plumb the depths of our creativity AND stick to the facts.

Your work begins in the research phase, where you collect material that allows you to inject colour, sensation and emotion into your narrative. Collect, analyze and interpret the facts—that’s a […]

Is Your Life Writing Creative Nonfiction?

Is Your Life Writing Creative Nonfiction or is it Fiction?
There was a day when history writers didn’t care one bit whether or not you enjoyed reading their tomes. It was serious stuff intended for scholars—and deadly dull to the general reader. Fortunately that’s changing, thanks in part to  creative nonfiction. In this new form writers inject life-giving sensory details (ala fiction), while holding true to the facts. The end result is a burgeoning nonfiction readership, and the envy of fiction writers who have developed a style they call “true life novels.” In the clamor to write true life stories […]

A book to guide writers of historical nonfiction

Voice and Vision, A Guide to Writing History and Other Serious Nonfiction, by Stephen J. Pyne
Writers of historical nonfiction who want to pull free from the tarnish and weight of boring pomposity the form sometimes has will welcome Stephen J. Pyne’s book Voice and Vision, A Guide to Writing History and Other Serious Nonfiction. While he doesn’t give wholesale endorsation to “creative nonfiction,” Pyne offers many ways to inject sparkle, drama and reader engagement into your writing. We’re told to hold to our pact to present the facts and retain the narration and exposition needed to give a detailed […]