All tagged Elmore Leonard

Gift Guide: Books + Things for Creative Folks

I teach at an art college and am around creative folks all the time—and I tell you, not only do they drive me kind of crazy, they are some of the hardest people to shop for. Here are some ideas for those particular peeps on your list. 

Like our previous list with gift ideas for sports fans, these are all items we own or have gifted, so they’re quality picks. 


Steal Like an Artist

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

I mentioned this in my first-half favorites posts, but I’ve recommended Austin Kleon’s inventive and accessible book to many of my students and clients who are creative folks. I think a lot of people (including myself) see creativity as a magical thing requiring a decoder ring found only in a secret box of cereal only special people are allowed to buy—Kleon debunks that perception and presents the keys to being more creative in a way that will resonate with most everyone. 

Amazon / Goodreads

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing

Elmore Leonard’s short book about writing is one of my favorites—it’s very… succinct. Even though I don’t do creative writing (most of my professional writing has been articles/features/profiles/columns), many of his reminders have served me well (my favorite being to avoid the word “suddenly,” which used to be a big problem for me). Like I said, this is short, but the illustrations really make the book and it’s one many people will appreciate.

Amazon / Goodreads

List-O-Rama: Eight Quickies

Let’s celebrate National Short Story Week with a few quick reads, shall we?

Admittedly, some of these are novellas, but since I’m pretty sure there’s not a National Novella Week (oh, hell, there probably is—there’s a week or day for everything), I’m defining “short story” liberally. There’s something very satisfying about a shorter read—I know I pick them up a lot in the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, because it’s a nice way to get some reading in in shorter hits. 

Shannon Stacey's Slow Summer Kisses - List-O-Rama: Quickies on Clear Eyes, Full Shelvs

Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey

This is one of my favorite of Shannon Stacey’s works (her other novellas, Mistletoe and Margaritas and Holiday Sparks are also super-fun), because while it’s short, it reads like a complete novel. It’s light, funny and very current in its themes—plus, it’s only a buck and a half right now. Check out my review here


Lynburn Legacy Short Stories - List-O-Rama: Quickies on Clear Eyes, Full Shelvs

Lynburn Legacy Short Stories by Sarah Rees Brennan

If you’re like me and freaking out over having to wait for Untold after reading Unspoken this year, these two short stories (free!) will help get you through these difficult times waiting for Untold’s release. I particularly liked The Spring Before I Met you, since it gives you a bit of insight into where Jared’s been. 

Download The Spring Before I Met You / The Summer Before I Met You / Goodreads

Elmore Leonard & Timothy Olyphant aka Raylan GivensIt seems that with the (very deserved) popularity of the FX television show Justified, there’s a resurgence in the popularity of Elmore Leonard’s work. The thing is, the dude’s written a lot—and I mean—a lot of novels. And, I’ve read most all of them that aren’t westerns. So, if Justified has your interest piqued in Leonard’s work, here are my suggestions for good books of his to start with. 


Elmore Leonard & Timothy OlyphantTouch, 1987, Arbor House

This is probably my absolute favorite Leonard Novel. It’s about an astigmatic former monk and faith healer who finds himself admist an odd assortment of characters (including a baton twirler) in Michigan. It’s the Leonard book I recommend to people who have a soft spot for romance and are nervous about crime fiction, because this one is far sweeter and none of the characters are actual criminals per se. But, it’s just as suspenseful and twisty as all of his novels, and is written with the chracteristic Leonard wit.