The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum - If you know me at all, you would have been shocked to not see this on my list. Do me a favor and forget there was ever a movie and go read this book as if you had never heard of Oz before. I know how sacrilegious that sounds. I love Judy, too! But think about this. Baum wrote the first book two decades before women could even vote and chose to put a little girl with courage and passion right in the thick of the unknown. As an eleven-year-old girl making my way through all thirteen Oz books, it left quite the impression. Even more than the books, the made-for-TV movie about L. Frank Baum starring John Ritter (“Dreamer of Oz”) pulled back the veil of how an author could create these worlds and tales with such wonder, inspired by the daily moments and characters around them.

The Killing Joke by Alan Moore/Brian Bolland - Why am I grateful for the graphic novel that sent my comic hero into one of the most challenging moments of her life? Because of who she chose to become, despite her tragedy. (After this book, Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, became a wheelchair bound superhero known as Oracle.) It’s especially poignant when we see how the Joker chose his path after the tragedies of his past.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert - One tends to become a creator because they fall in love with either the creative process, the finished product, or the recognition. Lifetime creators rarely see enough of the latter. When a perspective comes along that can make you recognize the power in the creating and teach you the magic it takes to breathe life into a piece of art, be it music or stories, that is something you do not forget, and you best share it with other creators you love. Read this as an instruction manual, but let it inspire you like a heartfelt folktale.

In closing

I love anything that blends my passions. What are my passions? So many. If you have a book that marries myth, folklore, history, philosophy, and adventure, there’s a good chance I’ll jump right into the thick of it with you. Therefore, authors who did not make this list but hang out in my dream garden together are as follows: Neil Gaimen, Dan Brown, C.S. Lewis, Edith Nesbit, and J.K. Rowling to name a few.

I am ashamed to admit that I have not read many authors that I feel deserve my time. I also feel like I do not even know many of the hidden masters that do not get enough recognition. Therefore, I implore you, introduce me to the authors that you feel should get an invitation to my little mind-garden party.

Annette Williams McCann

Writer |Musician | Holistic Wellness Specialist

When she isn't writing traditional stories, Annette is spinning tales in song. Her other passions include a wide variety of self-improvement topic which she explores on Harmony of a Creative Life.

Visit for the latest in all her creative endeavors.

When I wrote A Christmas Rideshare, I wanted it to do a couple of things: I wanted to write a sweet, candy bar book that someone could quickly read and enjoy, and I wanted to write a book about a couple falling in love - that couple just happens to be two women.

I don't know how everyone else feels about the matter, but I am tired of reading books that feature lesbian and gay couples wherein the thing driving the book forward is coming-out, homophobia, drugs, alcohol, or abuse.

There are some excellent books that do this, but I did not want to nor did I feel the need to contribute to that subject matter.

I didn't set out to make a documentary, write a drama, shine a light on injustice, or anything like that. Not with this book.

A Christmas Rideshare is not violent, angsty, or pornographic. In fact, there is no sex in this book. Any sexual content is implied by a fade-to-black kind of moment.

So, if that sounds like something you may be interested in reading, please check out A Christmas Rideshare.

This sale ends soon, so clicky, clicky!

B.A. Burgess

Writer | Writing Facilitator| Founder of Pilgrim Fowl Press

You can find books, courses, and random blog posts by B.A. Burgess at

Check out A Christmas Rideshare by Lily Dae to get in the holiday spirit!

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

There are a lot of books I am forever grateful to have in my life. Here’s just three that I wouldn’t be the same without.

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

I had a sixth grade English teacher who read some of this out loud to my class, and it sucked me in faster than anything I’d ever experienced.

It's fully realized characters had thoughts and emotions that I immediately recognized. I checked a copy out of my library that weekend, and I’ve probably read it once a year every year since then.

It makes me think about the stories that everyone has and how absolutely fascinating we all are.

2. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Normally, this book is only to be read during the summer, but 2020 is the exception to all things.

A loosely connected set of stories set in a fictional town in Illinois that describes a world as fantastic as the farthest reaches of time and space. Stories about the magic of youth and the beauty of the unseen.

It’s about taking deep breaths. Breathing is important right now.

3. Hawkeye, Vol 1-4 by Matt Fraction and David Aja and others

It’s about the things that superheroes do on a Thursday when they don’t have to save the world from aliens or something. A comic about human connections with others and with yourself.

These comics were coming out just as my wife and I had our first child, and it was so good for me to read about someone who also makes mistakes, has anxiety and depression, self sabotages, and just can’t seem to get things right sometimes.

Matt Fraction and his outstanding collaborators took a b-level character, a dude with bow and arrow, and created maybe the most interesting comic book series of the last twenty-five years.

Bonus for storytelling and writing nerds: the tricks that this book pulls off will have you stealing from them for the rest of your life.

Tony Gruenwald

Writer | Co-host of Unlocking Matlock | Stay-at-Home Dad

You can read Tony's personal blog at

Stay-at-home dad life is nothing like you think it is. Join Tony and his kids for just a regular day at the playground. Nothing weird happens at all! FullTimeTony and the World Song is available for preorder on Kindle and Kindle app.