The creative gal’s (very) late-start holiday gift guide, part 2

December 20th, 2007

Herewith, my list of newish books that you may want to give the creative types in your life. (Hey, there’s still time for new year’s gifts, right?)

Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus by Susan Shapiro. Serious kick-in-the-pants inspiration from a book- and article-publishing dynamo. (And I’m not talking about e-books or blog posts; I’m talking about hardcovers and New York Times clips.) Expect to grab your notebook or race to your computer several times before you’ve even hit the third chapter.

How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights by Ariel Gore. I’ve mentioned this goldmine of ideas and inspiration before. If you’ve recently found yourself whining about how Oprah hasn’t called yet, you need this book. Ariel Gore is here to tell you that a writer or artist makes her own luck, and she’s got just the luck-making recipes little ‘ole undiscovered you needs.

Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call. If you want to learn from the masters (and again, I don’t mean your favorite blogger), look no further. Susan Orlean, Nora Ephron, Phillip Lopate, and a pile of other literary gods and goddesses weigh in on the fine art of creative nonfiction. Storytelling, interviewing, editing, ethics, discipline — I’m telling you, this book is 300 pages of the best J school lectures you never had.

Hands-Off Cooking: Low-Supervision, High-Flavor Meals for Busy People by Ann Martin Rolke. A godsend for self-employed, artsy types who have a hard time extracting themselves from their creative cocoon and loathe elaborate meal preparation. (It’s not just me, is it?)

On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar. Because making art is no excuse to not make rent. (Watch for my interview with Manisha and Sharon on this here blog in January!)

Entry Filed under: Gift guide

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anne O'Neill  |  December 21st, 2007 at 1:20 pm


    I was greatly impressed by meeting former Missouri 2-time senator and Lt. Governor, Harriet Woods, at the Women and Journalism Symposium held in Montana in September 2002. I was even more impressed by her semi-autobiographical account of women in public office entitled _Stepping up to Power: The Political Journey of American Women, 8 Steps to Gain Political Power_ (c. 2001: Westview Press), where she chronicles detailed insider political struggles within powerful political circles in D.C., along with history and commentary about political challenges within women’s organizing nationwide. Required reading for women from any walk of life who want to escape a life-sentence of the 9-5 life while working towards achieving a better life for all. Harriet passed away this year of leukemia, after a life as a wife and mother of three who became a pivotal figure in the progress of American women in public life.

  • 2. Nicole Lisa  |  December 29th, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Manisha and Sharon’s book is excellent, really lays out the basics and is very accessible.

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Who I am

Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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