3.5 Books + 2 Bonus Books for Writers That Have Influenced Me Recently

Steve B Howard

It feels a little strange to write about three books I read at least three years ago. But I’ve re-read all of them at least three times, so maybe that is why they are still fresh in my mind. I’m also writing about one book, at least the first 60 pages or so of it, that I am currently reading. The two bonus books are specifically for writers.

  1. Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari: I actually wrote a book review for this one not long after I finished reading it for the second time in 2018. I think I have read it three more times since then and I’m currently reading it again. It is a book that my thoughts come back to again and again.

2. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari: Yes, I’m a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Yuval Noah Harari. I actually read this one after I read Homo Deus. If Homo Deus is good speculation on where we are headed in the future then Sapiens is a great companion to explain how we got here in the first place. Assuming you agree with the scientific evidence. I’ve only read this one once though. Not because I don’t feel like it is a book I need to read several times if not more, but mainly because I have the ebook version on my tablet and I do most of my reading at night before I go to sleep. I try and put all the electronics away at least an hour before I sleep and read paperbacks instead, so I haven’t gone back to Sapiens yet. I might start bringing my tablet with me on the train though so I can dive back into this one.

3.The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson: This is a great quasi-self help/guidebook for optimistic nihilist atheists like myself, I think. It opens with a story about Charles Bukowski, one of my heroes, so it is hard for me not to like this book. As negative and pessimistic as the title sounds this book is really about finding ways to give a fuck about the few things in life that are really important to you and not let the rest of the shitfest drag you down and distract you from your goals. Great advice.

I snickered a bit though when I read the parts where he talks about his marriage. He wrote a blog about relationships, so maybe he knows something, but he is younger than me and I don’t think he has been married as long as I have. My first thought was, “This guy is just a pup.” Maybe he has learned a lot since he wrote the book, but at the time when I read it, his views on marriage seemed a bit naive.

.5 The Romance of Reality by Bobby Azarian: I’ve already written about this book twice. It has some great stuff in it, but also a lot of crap that I feel can be completely ignored. Other than read the good parts and ignore the crappy parts, I don’t know what else to say about it. It is really interesting for about the first 70 pages or so and then goes so woo woo that it was hard for me to finish it.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield: This is a great one not only for writers but for all creative types. It is a great book to help you better understand yourself and what gets in the chair writing and what prevents you from doing so. I also really liked hearing about Steven Pressfield’s own journey as a writer as well. During his career, he has experienced lows that I think few people ever face in their lives and he has seen his hard work pay off at the highest levels. This book is both inspirational, but also brutally honest about the challenges writers face.

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield: Similar to The War of Art this goes into more depth about how the professional writing world really is and what you can do to improve your odds of success. It has the same in your face brutally honest style of The War of Art.If you need another good kick in the pants to get you writing after finishing The War of Art this is a great book to do the job.

Those are the 3.5 books plus the 2 bonus books that have kept my heading spinning for the last ten years or so. I think they are all worth the read.


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I mainly write about fly fishing in Washington State, Classic Muscle Cars, and Stand Up Comedy.

Seattle, WA
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