Writing Ecosystem

Nurture the writing world.

Writing is great — but have you heard of the writing ecosystem? The writers, reading, and the places and resources that connect the writing world?

Excited about supporting all parts of the writing ecosystem but could use a guest to speak on either (a) achieving holistic approaches; or (b) what great reads are matches for your organization, class, or book club? Contact Me.

Below, you can review my suggestions for what to read — but first, know you can champion literature now and in the future:

  1. Support writers: Share the work of great writers like Nicole Shawan Junior
  2. Do more reading: Shop online for books at Bookshop
  3. Do even more reading: Subscribe to download audiobooks from Libro.FM
  4. Patronize local places: Order your personal and work books from an Independent Bookstore
  5. Access resources: Go to your local library

The use of some of the above links may result in a small monetary benefit to the referrer.

Recommended Books from 2021 Reading:
Parable of the Sower — Octavia E. Butler
The Darkness Outside Us — Eliot Schrefer
Harbinger — David Mack
Stowaway — John David Anderson
Flamer — Mike Curato
The Counterclockwise Heart — Brian Farrey
The Sum of Us — Heather McGhee
At the Edge of the Universe — Shaun David Hutchinson
Yesterday Is History — Kosoko Jackson
Duma Key — Stephen King
Nate the Great — Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
My Cat Yugoslavia — Pajtim Statovci
Punch Me up to the Gods — Brian Broome
The Tales of the City complete series — Armistead Maupin
The Spectacular Suit — Kat Patrick
A Separate Peace — John Knowles
Let’s Get Back to the Party — Zak Salih
The Grace of Kings — Ken Liu
Starfish — Lisa Fipps
A Very Punchable Face — Colin Jost
I Am Not a Penguin: A Pangolin’s Lament — Liz Wong
Surrender Your Sons — Adam Sass
Mirrorland — Carole Johnstone
Dolores Claiborne — Stephen King
One Last Shot — John David Anderson
In the Dream House — Carmen Maria Machado
Last Night at the Telegraph Club — Malinda Lo
Pulp Fiction (screenplay) — Quentin Tarantino
Eyes Wide Shut (screenplay) — Stanley Kubrick
The Scapegracers — Hannah Abigial Clarke
The Da Vinci Code (screenplay) — Akiva Goldsman
Piranesi — Susanna Clarke

Recommended Books from 2020 Reading:
Being Jazz — Jazz Jennings
The Black Flamingo — Dean Atta
Shots Fired — C.J. Box
We Die Alone — David Howarth
Resistance — Tori Amos
Camp — L.C. Rosen
The Assignment — Liza M. Wiemer
Nowhere to Run — C.J. Box
Rivers of Power — Laurence C. Smith
The Wanting Life — Mark Rader
Below Zero — C.J. Box
Blood Trail — C.J. Box
Free Fire — C.J. Box
In Plain Sight — C.J. Box
Conventionally Yours — Annabeth Albert
Out of Range — C.J. Box
Trophy Hunt — C.J. Box
How to Light Your Dragon — Didier Lévy, et. al.
The Dutch House — Ann Patchett
The Sociology Book — Sean Atkinson, et. al.
Shy Ones — Simona Ciraolo
Darius the Great Is Not OK — Adib Khorram
No Pants! — Jacob Grant
The Wild One — Nick Petrie
This Town Sleeps — Dennis E. Staples
Murder at the Mena House — Erica Ruth Neubauer
New Kid — Jerry Craft
Butts Are Everywhere — Jonathan Stutzman
Finding Orion — John David Anderson
The Last Best Hope — Una McCormack
The Great Pumpkin Contest — Angela Rozelaar
Museum Trip — Barbara Lehman
The Magic Grinder — Walt Disney
Bugs Bunny’s Carrot Machine — Clark Carlisle, et. al.
Long Way Down — Jason Reynolds

Recommended Books from 2019 Reading:
The Dead Zone — Stephen King
Pine & Boof: Blast Off! — Ross Burach
Where Is My Balloon? — Ariel Bernstein
The Stand — Stephen King
Their Eyes Were Watching God — Zora Neale Hurston
GodPretty in the Tobacco Field — Kim Michele Richardson
HoodWitch — Faylita Hicks
The Second Home — Christina Clancy
A House of Ghosts — W.C. Ryan
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek — Kim Michele Richardson
The Gravity of Us — Phil Stamper
A High Five for Glenn Burke — Phil Bildner
The Caregiver — Samuel Park
Old Rock — Deb Pilutti
Nanopedia — Charles Jensen
Into That Good Night — Levis Keltner
Julian is a Mermaid — Jessica Love
How Not to Ask a Boy to Prom — SJ Goslee
Tear It Down — Nick Petrie
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life — Benjamin Alire Sáenz
With the Fire on High — Elizabeth Acevedo
The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon — Dean Robbins, Sean Rubin
Chomp — Carl Hiaasen
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter — Erika Sánchez
Soon the Light Will Be Perfect — Dave Patterson
Monster — Walter Dean Myers
Brute-Cake — Troy Cummings
I Wish You All the Best — Mason Deaver
The Parker Inheritance — Varian Johnson
The Blackhouse — Peter May
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali — Sabina Khan
The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane — Julia Nobel
Hello, Universe — Erin Entrada Kelly
The Crossword Century — Alan Connor
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle — Leslie Connor
Lemons — Melissa Savage
Beyond the Bright Sea — Lauren Wolk
When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities — Chen Chen
The Return — Natalia Chernysheva
Owen at the Park — Scot Ritchie
Home in the Woods — Eliza Wheeler
Once Upon a River — Diane Setterfield
One Fox — Kate Read
Kevin the Unicorn — Jessika Von Innerebner
The Space Walk — Brian Biggs
The Lamp from the Warlock’s Tomb — John Bellairs
The Curse of the Blue Figurine — John Bellairs
It Wasn’t Me — Dana Alison Levy
The Eyes of the Killer Robot — John Bellairs
Hurricane Child — Kheryn Callender
The Music of What Happens — Bill Konigsberg
The Perks of Being a Wallflower — Stephen Chbosky
All Systems Red — Martha Wells
Artificial Condition — Martha Wells
Rogue Protocol — Martha Wells
Exit Strategy — Martha Wells
The Doom of the Haunted Opera — John Bellairs, et. al.
Horse Meets Dog — Elliott Kalan

Recommended Books from 2018 Reading:
How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings — Sarah Cooper
The Ghost in the Mirror — John Bellairs / Brad Strickland
Pulp — Robin Talley
The Stars Beneath Our Feet — David Barclay Moore
Felix Yz — Lisa Bunker
The Dangerous Art of Blending In — Angelo Surmelis
My Year of Rest and Relaxation — Ottessa Moshfegh
The Sheriff of Yrnameer — Michael Rubens
The Ghost Notebooks — Ben Dolnick
There There — Tommy Orange
Bury It — Sam Sax
Indecency — Justin Phillip Reed
The Long-Lost Home — Maryrose Wood
The Wright Brothers — David McCullough
Articles of the Federation — Keith R. A. DeCandido
When My Brother Was an Aztec — Natalie Diaz
Don’t Call Us Dead — Danez Smith
The Adventures of Don Quixote — Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Writing Radar — Jack Gantos
Children of Time — Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Backstagers Vol 1 and 2 — James Tynion IV
Mark of the Plague — Kevin Sands
Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall — James Magruder
The Names of the Stars — Pete Fromm
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie — Anthony Del Col
Leaving Orbit — Margaret Lazarus Dean
Boy Erased — Garrard Conley
If I Was Your Girl — Meredith Russo
Bud, Not Buddy — Christopher Paul Curtis
Saga Vol. 1 — Brian K. Vaughan

Recommended Books from 2017 Reading:
Autoboyography — Christina Lauren
The Notebooks of Doom Series — Troy Cummings
Highly Illogical Behavior — John Corey Whaley
Read the Book, Lemmings! — Ame Dyckman
When I Was the Greatest — Jason Reynolds
The Bitter Side of Sweet — Tara Sullivan
Pretty — Justin Sayre
Made for Love — Alissa Nutting
Seedfolks — Paul Fleischman
Killers of the Flower Moon — David Grann
The Immortalists — Chloe Benjamin
Creativity, Inc. — Ed Catmull
Rules — Cynthia Lord
The Blinds — Adam Sternbergh
The Wonder — Emma Donoghue
Creepy Pair of Underwear! — Aaron Reynolds
Black Boy — Richard Wright
Sparks — Ian Boothby
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag — Rob Sanders
Girl Mans Up — M-E Girard
On Directing Film — David Mamet
Hey Black Child — Useni Eugene Perkins
When Pigs Fly — James Burks
Recombinant — Ching-In Chen
How to Survive as a Firefly — Kristen Foote
Alan Cole Is Not a Coward — Eric Bell
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running — Haruki Murakami
The Store — James Patterson
Echo Burning — Lee Child
A Most Magical Girl — Karen Foxlee
Meddling Kids — Edgar Cantero
Mort(e) — Robert Repino
The Hate U Give — Angie Thomas
Sparkle Boy — Lesléa Newman
This Would Make a Good Story Someday — Dana Alison Levy
The Teacher’s Pet — Anica Mrose Rissi
Flowers for Sarajevo — John McCutcheon
Suite Française — Irène Némirovsky
Posted — John David Anderson
Rulers of the Playground — Joseph Kuefler
Tidy — Emily Gravett
Zebra on the Go — Jill Nogales
Toot — Leslie Patricelli
The Hall of Heroes (Prey #3) — John Jackson Miller
Shark Lady — Jess Keating
The Nightingale — Kristin Hannah
Angelo Badalamenti’s Soundtrak from Twin Peaks — Clare Nina Norelli
The Secret History of Twin Peaks — Mark Frost
The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer — Jennifer Lynch
The Redemption of Galen Pike — Carys Davies
The Painter — Peter Heller
Hatchet — Gary Paulsen

Recommended Books from 2016 Reading:
The Last Spell (Thickety #4) — J.A. White
The Secret of Black Rock — Joe Todd-Stanton
I’m Awake! — Maxwell Eaton III
Project Alpha (Voyagers #1) — D.J. McHale
Heart 2 Heart — Lois Ehlert
Shotgun Lovesongs — Nickolas Butler
Margaret and the Moon — Dean Robbins
The Map to Everywhere (#1) — Carrie Ryan
Trash — Andy Mulligan
The Room — Jonas Karlsson
The Jackal’s Trick (Prey #2) — John Jackson Miller
Hell’s Heart (Prey #1) — John Jackson Miller
The Shadow of the Wind — Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The Fishermen — Chigozie Obioma
Daring Greatly — Brené Brown
Rising Strong — Brené Brown
The Other Boy — M.G. Hennessey
Burning Bright (Peter Ash #2) — Nick Petrie
My Life on the Road — Gloria Steinem
Hollow Earth — Carole E. Barrowman
Pirate Hunters — Robert Kurson
The Gunslinger — Jeff Pearlman
The Blackthorn Key — Kevin Sands
Revival — Stephen King
Between the World and Me — Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Watermelon Seed — Greg Pizzoli
The Wild Robot — Peter Brown
Wonder — R.J. Palacio
Bring Me a Rock! — Daniel Miyares
Holes — Louis Sachar
When You Reach Me — Rebecca Stead
Wildwood (#1) — Colin Meloy
Magic Marks the Spot (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1) — Caroline Carlson
Midnight Sun — Jo Nesbø
Nightbird — Alica Hoffman
Bridge to Terabithia — Katherine Paterson
Slade House — David Mitchell
Ferals #1 — Jacob Grey
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour — Joshua Ferris
Iron Hearted Violet — Kelly Barnhill
The Drifter (Peter Ash #1) — Nicholas Petrie
Tom Sullivan — I Used to Be a Fish
Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth — Jarvis
The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza — Jack Gantos
George — Alex Gino
Home at Last — Vera B. Williams
The Knife — Ross Ritchell
Insert Coin to Continue — John David Anderson
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day — John David Anderson
Shady Hollow — Juneau Black
Sea Change — Frank Viva
Gabriel Finney and the Raven’s Riddle — George Hagen
The Loney — Andrew Michael Hurley
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy — Karen Foxlee
Boy and Bot — Ame Dyckman
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille — Jen Bryant
Waiting for the Biblioburro/Esperando el Biblioburro — Monica Brown
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend — Katarina Bivald
A Man Called Ove — Fredrik Backman
Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat — Katie Harnett
Book of the Dead (Tombquest #1) — Michael Northrop
Justin / Blacktop #1 — LJ Alonge
Blood on Show — Jo Nesbø
Half Magic (Tales of Magic #1) — Edward Eager
Masterminds #1 — Gordon Korman
Nightmares! — Jason Segel
Doctor Who: Borrowed Time — Naomi Alderman
Ogres Awake! — James Sturm
The Laughing Monsters — Denis Johnson
Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties — Tom Watson
Galactic Hot Dogs 2: The Wiener Strikes Back — Max Brallier
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk — Ben Fountain
The Princess and the Pony — Kate Beaton
The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island — Dana Alison Levy

Recommended Books from 2014 / 2015 Reading:
Gregor the Overlander — Suzanne Collins
Gregor & the Prophecy of Bane — Suzanne Collins
Gregor & the Curse of the Warmbloods — Suzanne Collins
In Another Country — David Constantine
Enormous Smallness — Matthew Burgess, Kris Di Giacomo
The Mysterious Howling — Maryrose Wood
The Hidden Gallery — Maryrose Wood
The Unseen Guest — Maryrose Wood
The Interrupted Tale — Maryrose Wood
The Unmapped Sea — Maryrose Wood
The Thickety — JA White
The Mysterious Benedict Society — Trenton Lee Stewart
The Riverman — Aaron Starmer
Heap House — Edward Carey
Observatory Mansions — Edward Carey
The Book of  Three — Lloyd Alexander
The Black Cauldron — Lloyd Alexander
The City of Ember — Jeanne DuPrau
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher — Dana Alison Levy
Did You Ever Have a Family — Bill Clegg
Tuck Everlasting — Natalie Babbitt
Medicine Walk — Richard Wagamese
The Fifth Gospel — Ian Caldwell
Hold Me Closer — David Levithan
The Last Wild — Piers Torday
Wonderstruck — Brian Selznick
The Invention of Hugo Cabret — Brian Selznick
A Cure for Suicide — Jesse Ball
Of Things Gone Astray — Janina Matthewson
Minion — John David Anderson
All the Old Knives — Olen Steinhauer
Up in Here — Mark Dostert
Between You & Me — Mary Norris
The Iron Trial — Cassandra Clare, Holly Black
She Weeps Each Time You’re Born — Quan Barry
Sweetland — Michael Crummey
Marianne Malone — The Sixty-Eight Rooms
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda — Becky Albertalli
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole — Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen
Hug Me — Simona Ciraolo
All the Light We Cannot See — Anthony Doerr
The Dream of My Return — Horacio Castellanos Moya
Tarantula — Bob Dylan
Train Dreams — Denis Johnson
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe — Benjamin Alier Sáenz
Fan Art — Sarah Tregay
Does Not Love — James Tadd Adcox
Man V. Nature — Diane Cook
Monastery — Eduardo Halfon
Alphabet — Kathy Page
Paradise & Elsewhere — Kathy Page
Epilogue — Will Boast
My Brother’s Shadow — Tom Avery
The Turtle of Oman — Naomi Shihab Ne
Evel Knievel Days — Pauls Toutonghi
Will Grayson, Will Grayson — John Green, David Levithan
One Man Guy — Michael Barakiva
The Scatter Here Is Too Great — Bilal Tanweer
Woke Up Lonely — Fiona Maazel
The Phone Book — Ammon Shea
Of Mice and Men — John Steinbeck
A Game of Thrones — George R. R. Martin
Nimona — Noelle Stevenson
A Study in Charlotte — Brittany Cavallaro

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