I feel the need for a disclaimer: the list of book suggestions you’ll find in this post is very, very eclectic. But that’s the way MultiTalented Writers work: we like to dabble in various niches, so we read about various subjects, too.
I’m including a generic list of the types of books to include in your library, and I’m sharing some of the books I’ve enjoyed as well. The links below are NOT affiliate links.
Creating a Library that Honours Your MultiTalented Nature
If you ask me what I’m reading right now, the answer won’t be short. That’s because I tend to read several books at once. I have a feeling many MultiTalented Writers might read in a similar way.
Whether you read one book at a time or three, there are some books you should definitely consider adding to your “to read” list.
Whether you keep physical copies or read mostly on an eReader, you should read about whatever interests you. And if you wish to write in several genres and niches, reading widely will help you become a better writer as well.
You should include anything you enjoy in your library, but here are some types of books all MultiTalented Writers should read:
- Books about MultiTalented people
- How-to books for MultiTalented people
- Books about writing
- Books about business
- Fiction books if you wish to write fiction
- Memoirs and autobiographies f you wish to write a memoir or autobiography
- Poetry books if you wish to write poetry
- You get the picture. Read everything and anything that will help you become a better multi-niche writer.
Here are some books I’ve enjoyed that you may want to consider adding to your library. Some are specifically about multi-talented people and/or writing, and others are simply books I enjoy and recommend for other reasons.
BOOKS ABOUT (AND FOR) MULTITALENTED PEOPLE
If you’re a scanner and haven’t fully embraced your multitalented personality, books can hep you do so. Books can also show you how to use your multiple interests to your best advantage, to create the life you want, with no remorse. Here are some suggestions.
1. Refuse to Choose! by Barbara Sher
This is the book that took me off the path of self-loathing. It helped me realize that having a “jumpy brain” (my words, not Sher’s) and myriad interests is actually a good thing, and not something to be fixed.
Barbara coined the term “scanner” in a previous book, (I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What it Was).
Scanners, according to Sher, are people with several interests who cannot simply choose one path in life. In other words, people who are multitalented. Or multipotentialites. Or renaissance souls. How appropriate that we can’t all agree on one term to describe ourselves (and why do we need to describe ourselves in the first place? More on this on a later post).
After getting a lot of response about the one chapter that mentioned scanners in that book, Sher created a whole new book dedicated to this topic: Refuse to Choose!. This book is full of awesome exercises to help multitalented people understand themselves better and create a life and even a career around their many interests.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Sher also has some groups on Facebook where she offers advice for the scanners among us and where scanners help and encourage one another in their various pursuits.
2. How to be Everything by Emilie Wapnick
Admittedly, I haven’t read this book (yet). But Emilie is a multipotentialite (another word for scanner) who believes that people should be free to pursue as many different interests, careers, and hobbies as they’d like. Her blog is great, so I think the book would be great as well. I’ll be adding it to my library at some point in the near future (maybe a Christmas gift? Hint hint, nudge nudge).
3. The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine
OK, I’ll have to admit that I haven’t read this one either, but it’s on my list, because by the description, it seems very similar to Refuse to Choose—it has exercises to help people like us finish tasks and pursue all of our many interests, guilt-free.
BOOKS ABOUT WRITING
If you’re a MultiTalented Writer, you must, of course, include books about writing in your library. But for those of us who write in multiple niches, a few extra books may be required.
1. Style Guides
One disadvantage (or maybe it’s an advantage?) of being a MultiTalented Writer and writing in multiple niches is that we have to be familiar with (and often pay for) several different style guides.
Style guides are the saving grace of MultiTalented Writers. Master style guides, and writing in different voices will be a much easier process. We discussed style guides in a previous post; check them out and purchase the ones that are applicable to the niches you write in.
Some style guides are updated yearly, and thus writers prefer to pay for online access, rather than getting a physical copy. I personally prefer paper copies, as I’m a note-taker/highlighter/cover my books in post-it notes kind of person.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It has absolutely everything you need to know about pitching, how much to charge, and an exhaustive list of magazines, trade journals, and publishers, as well as a listing of literary agents (for those of you who happen to be in the book writing business).
A new copy comes out each year. If you prefer online access only, it’s also available.
Every writer must also be an entrepreneur. This is true whether you write books and publish traditionally or if you are a blogger or freelance writer. At the end of the day, you’ll need to market your writing—or at least hire someone to do it for you, which still involves business skills. Here are some books to help you along the way.
1. Project Management for You by Cesar Abeid
OK, I’m biased; the author is my brother. But we share a love for mind maps and there’s a whole section devoted to mind maps in this book; so how could I not love it? It also helps people of all stripes to get organized and get things done.
This book bridges the concepts of project management to everyday life, helping everyone to “turn ideas into reality, deliver on [their] promises, and get things done.”
2. Viralnomics by Jon Goodman
This dude knows what he’s talking about when it comes to getting noticed online. He should know—he has over 14,000 followers on Twitter (between personal and professional pages combined), over 15,000 followers on Instagram, and his page on Facebook has over 200,000 likes. But these aren’t just vanity metrics.
Goodman’s audience is well engaged, leaving several comments on most of his posts, retweeting and sharing what he creates all over social media.
Goodman has written several books and countless posts, and makes a living doing what he loves, which is helping others to achieve their goals.
I learned about Goodman in a previous life as a personal trainer, via his Personal Trainer Development Center website. He’s gone on to write about social media and getting noticed online, which is where Viralnomics comes in… perhaps Goodman’s a scanner, too? One day I’ll ask him.
Viralnomics is easy to read and gives lots of great tips about becoming known and promoting your work on social media. It’s definitely worth an addition to your library, and is available both in print as well as in eBook format.
RANDOM BOOKS I’ve enjoyed and wanted to recommend in this post
Like the rest of my life, my taste in books is eclectic, although I tend to read mostly nonfiction (business, self-help, and memoirs). Here are some books I’ve read that I recommend. This is a small list, and I’ll share pictures of my bookshelves in a later post.
Is it just me, or do multitalented people have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, including about other people’s interesting lives?
I enjoy reading memoirs of people who have a good story to tell. Most people have interesting lives; they just don’t know it yet. But some people have extraordinary lives.
Here are some memoirs from such people that I’ve read and enjoyed (the list is much longer, but here’s what I remember off the top of my head:
1. Gimp, by Mark Zupan
I first learned of Zupan when I watched the movie Murderball, which follows Paralympic athletes in the game of wheelchair rugby. I watched this movie in a disabilities class in university (I graduated from Physical and Health Education), and then became somewhat obsessed with the sport for a time.
I also thought the people in the documentary were absolutely fascinating, especially Zupan. I thus read his autobiography, which was equally as fascinating as the documentary.
In this book, Zupan discusses his life before his injury, the injury itself and the consequences of it in his life, and how he became a Paralympic athlete. It’s a very interesting and well-written book, and I’ll probably read it again.
2. Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop, by Frankie Manning and Cynthia Millman
One of my many interests is swing dancing. I’ve been swing dancing since 1999, and it’s how I’ve made many friendships and how I met my husband.
Swing dancing, for those not familiar with it, is an umbrella term for many dances that were developed around the 1920-30s in the United States, specifically in the Harlem neighbourhood in New York.
Lindy hop is the original swing dance (although some will argue Charleston came first).
Frankie Manning was a wonderful man who lead a fascinating life. He was there in the beginning of Lindy Hop in the 1920s, and there again for the revival in the 1980s. He taught workshops until he was well into his 90s.
This book tells the story of his life, but what you won’t see in the book is the amazing memorial that took place after Frankie’s passing. I was fortunate enough to meet Frankie in person once and to be present for his memorial in New York City. Dancing in a church aisle in the middle of a funeral service is something I’ll never forget.
If you’re a dancer or have any interest in swing dancing, I highly recommend this book.
3. The Promise, by Rachelle Friedman
Rachelle was at the prime of her life when a playful push into a swimming pool rendered her a paraplegic. This book tells the story of the promise she made to never reveal the name of the friend who pushed her into the pool.
Rachelle turned down an appearance on Oprah and a whole lot of money because the producers insisted that she reveal the name of her friend. This is a great story about doing the right thing.
4. Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me, by Howie Mandel
I’m currently reading this book, and it’s as inspiring as it is funny. Howie Mandel is a well-known Canadian comedian, actor, talk show host, game show host, and judge on the X Factor. I think he’s a scanner, too.
Howie has accomplished incredible things in his life, not in inspite of his ADHD and OCD, but possibly because of them.
This book addresses the serious issues surrounding mental health, and manages to be funny and lighthearted at the same time. I’m quite enjoying it.
5. Escape by Carolyn Jessop
Carolyn Jessop grew up in he FLDS church, a controversial cult that became national news after the zion ranch raid in 2008.
After suffering endless abuses, Jessop managed to escape with her 8 children, one of whom has serious health problems. Her story is one of courage, hope, and the fighting spirit that allows people who have been severely abused to rise above their painful pasts.
Jessop has also written a follow-up book that is on my to read list: Triumph: Life after the cult – a survivor’s lessons.
1. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Despite some recent controversy, I believe this is an excellently written book, and it’s one of the few novels I really wasn’t able to put down.
The book tells a story about a writer who takes a serious risk when she writes about the lives of black domestic workers in the Southern US in the 1960s, when doing so could have cost her dearly.
It’s a story about racism, friendship, and courage. A movie based on the novel was released in 2011.
2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I’ve read this on my own and now I’m re-reading it to my 7-year-old. I love reading stories to my kids and putting on different voices for different characters.
I love this series and think it’s great fun to read, for adults and children alike. I particularly like that I get to practice my London accent when I read it (acting is another of my many interests—and a future career dream).
My favourite book in this collection is The Magician’s Nephew, and I really do hope they make a movie out of it one day. The scene where the kids are jumping from rafter to rafter in the row houses would make an awesome opening scene for a movie.
PARENTING AND PREGNANCY BOOKS
As most people who follow me online know, I’m a homeschooling mother of 3 children 7 and under, and I have done my fair share of reading on pregnancy and parenting. There are so many of these books on the market now that most parents just get confused, and it can be overwhelming.
The key to avoiding this confusion is to have some idea in mind of what kind of pregnancy you want to have and what kind of parent you want to be ahead of time. And the key to knowing these hings lies in observing others who’ve done it before.
Before I got pregnant with my first, I’d already talked to many friends who already had kids, and there were things I liked and things I disliked, so I chose the books I wanted to read based on this.
Having said all that, if you’re not a parent yet, know this: whatever plans you make for when you become a parent, life will give you a very big slap in the face to show you that parenting is harder than it looks. And there are things you thought you’d do that you end up not doing, and vice-versa.
Before I had kids, I was going to be a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, devoted to my kids 24/7 and doing nothing else. If you follow me online, you probably already know that’s not exactly the way it went. And I’m still figuring this whole thing out when it comes to parenting, entrepreneurship, and balancing the two.
Along this journey, there are some books that have definitely helped me. Here are some of them.
1. The Pregnancy Bible by Keith Eddleman, MD
When I was pregnant with my first, the general feeling amongst my friends was that the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is outdated and not really friendly towards the crunchier types. I never read it, so I can neither confirm nor deny these claims.
I did, however, read the Pregnancy Bible, and I loved that it had beautiful photos and explanations of the changes your body would be going through in each stage of pregnancy. It also answered questions that most pregnant women are to embarrassed to ask, such as how to navigate intimacy when you’re heavily pregnant.
I read the first edition 8 years ago, but there has been a second edition published, as well as what looks like a third edition, called The New Pregnancy Bible.
2. The Attachment Parenting Book by William Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN
I read this book on the recommendation of friends who have similar outlooks on parenting as me. It’s a great book for those who prefer a more natural, gentle way of raising babies.
Nothing that’s described in this book is earth shattering; it’s how parents took care of their babies for thousands of years before the dawn of “parenting coaching” that taught us to ignore our kids.
How to parent is a deeply personal choice, but if you want to have a close relationship with your children, I believe this book helps to get off to a good start.
It’s definitely not for everyone, but it helped me to understand and communicate with each of my children when they were infants. And the principles of attachment parenting have stayed with me as my kids have grown older as well. I’m far from a perfect parent, but I try to improve each day.
3. Kids Are Worth It! by Barbara Coloroso
This is the book that I relate to the most as a parent; it teaches gentle discipline and how to understand your kids’ motivations and find the teachable moments.
There’s so much more I could say about this book, but there’s no substitute for reading it. I highly recommend it to any parent. I also highly recommend the following book by the same author:
3. The Bully, The Bullied, and The Bystander by Barbara Coloroso
Long before “bullying” was on the media’s radar, Coloroso was already talking about it. I believe every parent and educator should read this book.
Coloroso addresses every step of bullying, from motivation for the bully to the consequences for the bullied, and how to deal with it as a bystander or educator/parent. It provides practical solutions to this pervasive problem, and is as relevant today as when it was written in 2003.
These are some of the books I’ve enjoyed and recommend, and it’s the most random list of books ever, but it’s a reflection of who we are as multitalented people: we crave variety.
To create a library that nourishes your mult-talented personality, make sure to read a variety of books and to hold on to the ones that speak to you, no matter how eclectic that library may become. Those are the best libraries, anyway.
I hope you find some good books on this post to add to your reading list for 2018.
What books do you recommend? Let us know in the comments!
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