I am currently reading Richard Peck's Invitations to the World. I'm kinda-sorta enjoying it. Some chapters are about teaching in a world where kids grow up in families without dads or in families with both parents working, so no adults are ever home. He talks about teaching in a world where the present becomes the past in a nanosecond.
Then, some other chapters are about when he was a kid and the vast difference between then and now; How when he was young, you lived in a community and fathers were home for supper at 5:00 and you learned to negotiate life by living it, not by playing virtual versions of it.
Then other chapters are where he quotes himself from his plethora of novels to show this point or that point about character and voice.
So far, it is not moving and shaking my world. As a speaker, Richard Peck is my hero. He made me laugh. He made me cry. He recieved a standing ovation at this year's NJ SCBWI June Conference. But I am finding it hard to remember what I've read in this book. FOr me, the format does not lend itself well for sticktoitiveness. I like the chapters best where he talks about his past. And I even like parts of the chapters where he talks about today's youth. But I find the chapters where he quotes himself indulgent, if I can be so honest.
So, how about it... What are your absolute most favorite, must reads for writers today? If the world were ending and you were allowed to bring one How to be a Better Writer book with you to our new planet, what one would you bring and what did it teach you?