finished a while back: Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
He titled the book tongue-in-cheekily, you know. Which in itself says a lot about Ray Bradbury. I learned so much about him by reading this book: about his writing style, his process, his inspirations, his outlook on life. He's good. A true genius, so recently departed from among us.
I was one of those people who had read Fahrenheit 451 and nothing else by him, before I read this book. I am also one of those people (admittedly, there are fewer in this category) who have a Science Fiction Wall (i.e., I tend to avoid it. And call it "sigh-fi.") Mr. Bradbury specifically addresses this second type (me) in one of his pieces in here, lambasting the parents/teachers/critics/literati who mock children's interest in sci-fi. He kind of goes all Margaret Atwood on it, making it seem like real literature again. (Ray and Margaret: were they friends? Talk to me, book nerds. I want to know.)
Let's just say I am definitely inspired to pick up more of his writings, including The Martian Chronicles. But even better, this book did its job by reinvigorating me about my own writing. I am keeping it nearby to reread. Each little vignette offered me insight and I recognized dashes of myself in the need to create, to get those words on the page, to tell all the stories, the need that he so wonderfully evokes.
I can see myself recommending this to several of the smart, thoughtful, creative, interesting, and ever-so-slightly wacky people that I know. You know, the awesome people.