For July 25th I asked the attending members the following question:


Can you come up with 3 books that have resonated with you and the reasons why they did?


This could be a book that:

· you find yourself rereading

· gave you something concrete to implement in your author career and the ensuing results

· surprised you/made you reset your mindset

· you still have questions about

· had a tip/lesson you still use today

The responses were surprising. Some members came with a list of over 10 books, others hadn’t given it much thought. Everyone is welcome at the TL;DR sessions. If you don’t have time to read the assigned book for that week then just join us and learn.

A very active discussion was had around the various responses.

I think we all learned a little more about each other based on the responses. We all enjoyed it enough to say that we wanted to have this discussion once a quarter.

Here are the members that were present and their picks. I’ve included some of their comments about the books they selected.

Chelle Honiker

· Anne Lamott – Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

· Honorée Corder – You Must Write a Book

· Honorée Corder & Brian D. Meeks – The Nifty 15 Write Your Book in Just 15 Minutes a Day!

· Tim Ferris – The 4-Hour Workweek

· David Allen – Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

On The Nifty 15 – “I like her attitude…get out of your head…”

On The 4-Hour Workweek – “…most impactful book…changed trajectory of my life…” It makes you relate to the story as opposed to prescriptive advice.

On Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – “Tim Ferris was the dream, David Allen was like this is how you get it done, dummy. It was the catalyst for getting things done.”

Robyn Sarty

· John Grisham – The Guardians

· Kevin McLaughlin – You Must Write: Success Through Heinlein’s Rules

· Chris Baty – No Plot? No Problem! Revised and Expanded Edition: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

On The Guardians – “This is a legal thriller and I was crying at the end. The way he writes makes you question things while pulling you into the story. I aspire to write like him.”

On No Plot? No Problem! – “It has hilarious methods on how to hit your goals!”

Patricia Carr

· Lisa Cron – Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

· Lisa Cron – Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 372 Pages That Go Nowhere)

· Robert J. Ray – The Weekend Novelist: Learn to Write a Novel in 52 Weeks

· Pilar Alessandro – Coffee Break Screenwriter

· Syd Field – Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting

· Jessica Brody – Save the Cat Writes a Novel by

· Natalie Goldberg – Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life

· Natalie Goldberg – Writing Down the Bones

· Ralph Keyes – The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear

· Dorothea Brande – Becoming a Writer

· Carolyn G. Heilbrun – Writing a Woman’s Life

· Linda Seger – Making a Good Script Great by Linda Segar

· Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way

Natalie Goldberg – Writing Down the Bones “Writing is the act of burning through the fog in your mind.” – Natalie Goldberg

Lisa Cron – Wired for Story Using the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience, Wired for Story provides a revolutionary view of story as the human brain experiences it.

Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way Embrace your inner artist with the exercises in this 12-week course to help eradicate artistic blocks and build confidence.

Kasia Lasinska

· Orson Scott Card – How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy

· Libbie Hawker – Take Off Your Pants

· Adam Croft – Indie Author Mindset· Seth Godin – The Dip

On How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy – “It’s chockfull of amazing tips and real examples from science fiction and fantasy novels, covering everything from worldbuilding to exposition to POV.”

On Take Off Your Pants – “I’ve read this book before, but when a friend applied the book’s methods to my draft, it suddenly clicked and everything made sense. This is one book I’ll definitely be rereading when it’s time to plot my next novel!”

Susan Odev

Nancy J. Cohen – Writing the Cozy Mystery

On Writing the Cozy Mystery – It’s 35 pages long, tiny. It just tells me what I need to do. It “made me think I can do this”. It’s also blue and matches my décor as does a second book that helped me start plotting my first cozy – Sara Rosett’s “How to outline a cozy mystery”. Both books are very simple to read and get to the bare bones of the genre.

Alice Briggs

Gay Hendricks – The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level

The Big Leap – Hendricks addresses what he calls upper limit problems. These are triggered when you hit your max capacity for success, happiness, or whatever and kick off any number of ways to self sabotage so that you stay where you are comfortable. Once you recognize these things, you can, instead, increase your capacity and succeed beyond what you thought was possible. So often, books address what keeps us from getting going – this comes at success from the opposite position of what keeps us from fully succeeding.

The other book I mentioned was Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. It’s more business related, but it’s a fascinating read as to why some companies succeed and why others fail. It’s very relatable to more individual choices as well – WHY do we write? Paint? Create? If we’re clear on our “Why” then we are better able to choose between the good and the great ideas – or understand why strategies may work for some that don’t work for others.


How about you? Can you share the books that left an impact on you? I’m looking forward to hearing your replies in the comments.

P.S. This upcoming TL;DR Book Club session is Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book. I hope to see you there.

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