Ben Crowder / Blog

Booknotes 3.1


  • Writing into the Dark, by Dean Wesley Smith (2015). A reread (though apparently I never added it to my reading log). Some useful techniques. While I want to be an outliner, lately I only seem to be able to finish stories when I write them into the dark this way (cycling, etc.).
  • Reflections on the Psalms, by C. S. Lewis (1958). One of the few by CSL that I’d never read before. Short and fairly interesting. There’s a bit near the end about wanting a more clearly defined, systematic, nigh mathematical theology, but that maybe that’s not what’s best for us, and that what we really need is a Personality instead (Christ). Also liked this: “For we are so little reconciled to time that we are even astonished at it. ‘How he’s grown!’ we exclaim, ‘How time flies!’ as though the universal form of our experience were again and again a novelty. It is as strange as if a fish were repeatedly surprised at the wetness of water. And that would be strange indeed; unless of course the fish were destined to become, one day, a land animal.”
  • Biomimicry, by Janine Benyus (1997). A fascinating book, lots of interesting ideas, similar in some respects to Ways of Being. Quite liked it. Found myself wondering how many of these innovations have gone mainstream since 1997 and I’ve just not been aware of them. Also, I had no idea 3D printing started so early.


  • Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire (2018, fantasy). Novella, Wayward Children book 3. Some earthy bits, but outside of that there’s great worldbuilding and great writing. The dark fairy tale vibe is right up my alley, too.
  • Chosen, by Benedict Jacka (2013, fantasy). Alex Verus book 4. I’m enjoying the series more and more as I get further into it. At this point it feels kind of like Dresden but without the awkward parts.