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Jay Anson's "The Amityville Horror."

…which, in case you haven’t been able to tell, sucked.

As a kid, I loved the movie that this book was based on. Sadly, the movie no longer holds up, but I was hoping the source material would at least be somewhat scary. It isn’t. The main reason? Because, for whatever reason, author Jay Anson loved! Writing! In! All! Exclamation! Points!

I felt like a teenager was screaming the book at me the entire time I read it. Here is an exact transcription of an excerpt from the book:

“She felt the radiator. It was hot!”

Really, dude? It was that hot?

So, yeah. Huge disappointment.

I decided to drop this literary number-two back into the same little free library in our neighborhood that I picked it out of a few weeks ago. But before I did, I updated the cover with a more accurate representation of what was inside.

Jay! Anson's! "The!" "Amityville!" "Horror!"

I’ve! Read! Less! Emphatic! High! School! Love! Letters!,

-Shady!

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"Writing Movies for Fun and Profit" by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant.

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant.

My good friend Ryan gave me this book years ago, long before the Black List Live! read of Saving Charlie Chaplin that Lennon was a part of, but at that point I was desperately trying to take a break from reading “how to” books about screenwriting, and instead concentrate on figuring out my own method and style.

By then, I had had my fill of Robert McKee and saving the cat, and so I decided it was time to stop reading about how to do something, and just do it already.

I made a horrible mistake. I should’ve read this book sooner.

I’m only about 100 pages in, but it’s both a hilarious and (sometimes depressingly) accurate look at this insane industry, as told from the perspective of two guys who actually live it each and every day. If you’re an aspiring screenwriter—or even an established one—be sure to check it out.

Ryan was right,

-Shady

D.J. Kirkbride's "The Amelia Cole Omnibus" is out now!

…released The Amelia Cole Omnibus last month through IDW Publishing.

It’s huge! Literally! It’s, like, 500 pages! Bigger than a bible! And in full color!

Get! Your! Copy! Now!

Here!

Also, my other good friend Frank Cvetkovic did lettering, so that’s awesome, too.

Get on it,

-Shady

…who proved to be a contradictory, self-righteous, and self-loathing curmudgeon.

Went right in the Little Free Library at the end of our block.

Now, I’ve moved on to this:

"The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America"

George Packer’s The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.

Haven’t figured out what’s next,

-Shady

"Beyond Good & Trump"

A book about New Orleans is next,

-Shady

Let's close out this shit-fuck year with the memory of a brilliant man.

Nietzsche’s next,

-Shady

Couldn't be a more appropriate time to read this.

A Jim Henson biography is next,

-Shady

John Steinbeck's "The Pearl."

Orwell is next,

-Shady

…mostly to distract myself from the shit-fuckfest of November 8th.

I’ve decided to name the books here, partly to keep track of what I’ve read, but also to share books with people that may be interested in checking them out.

I recently finished two books (both on loan from my friend Sarah): Lenore Skenazy’s Free-Range Kids, and Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird.

Lenore Skenazy's "Free-Range Kids" and Anne Lamott's "Bird By Bird."

The former is a parenting book about letting your kids be free to, you know, be kids. I had never read a parenting book before and, honestly, I only read this one because I knew it lined up with what I was already doing.

The book outlines a lot of common sense stuff—allow your kids to play by themselves; don’t hover over them all the time; encourage them to problem solve on their own, etc.—but it was still good to read a fellow parent validating what we’re doing.

The latter is a book about writing. Like Free-Range Kids, Bird By Bird is filled with a lot of common sense tips—write every day; write about what you know; create a schedule and stick to it, etc.—but again, sometimes it’s good to read things you already know and have your creative way of working validated.

I don’t know how helpful the book will be—it won’t help me with writer’s block, for example, as I’m fortunate enough not to suffer from it—but it’s a good solid read if anyone out there is looking to learn more about the creative writing process.

I’m currently reading the autobiography(ish) Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and Ben Greenman (as on loan from the Library of Milan).

"Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove" by Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson and Ben Greenman.

I just started it yesterday, but I’m devouring it quickly. If you have any interest in ?uestlove, music, or growing up as a creative weirdo, check it out.

So, uh, yeah. Those are the books I’m reading. That is all.

Steinbeck’s The Pearl is next,

-Shady

…for these sweet new baby threads…

Clothes from the Averhoffs!

…some baby reading material…

That's one big red barn!

…and some daddy reading material…

Be prepared. Be very prepared.

…which is awesome because it has stuff like this in it…

AWWW!

…and this.

AHHH!!!

That illustration is spot-on,

-Shady