I give this advice with trepidation. I don’t want you to abandon your writing to read. That is certainly not my intention with this piece of advice.
I know I have mentioned it in passing before the importance of reading when you are learning to write. However, if you are among the members who are struggling to write at this point, or are not sure how to handle something in your story, then reading can be a great alternative or solution to your problem.
I don’t mean to send you off reading just anything. Read the kind of book you want to write. Read other family history works and learn from those authors.
However, now when you read, look at a story from not only its entertainment value but also for its mechanics. How does the author handle similar situations that you may be facing in your own writing?
Read now from the perspective of a writer, because you are one.
Since there are several genres and not everyone is writing in the same genre, here is a list of a few family history books that I can recommend to you. If you know of others, please drop me a line in the forum or send me an email, I will be happy to share them with the group.
Although I have read the majority of these books, I have not read them all so I cannot vouch for their quality on a whole but as representation of examples you can turn to in your own writing.
Edited Diaries, Letters etc.
World War II – London Blitz Diary (A Woman’s Revelations Enduring War and Marriage) 1939-1940 by Ruby Side Thompson, Victoria Aldridge-Washuk and Adele Thompson-Aldridge
World War II- London Blitz Diary Volume 2, 1941 by Ruby Side Thompson, Victoria Aldridge-Washuk and Adele Thompson-Aldridge
Family History Narrative
Oh, Beautiful by John Paul Godges
The Journey Takers by Leslie Albrecht Huber
My Wild Irish Rose by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Family History Memoir
Annie’s Ghost: A Journey into a Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg
Shaking the Family Tree by Buzzy Jackson
Missing Lucille: Memories of the Grandmother I Never Knew by Suzanne Berne
One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life – A Story of Race and Family Secrets by Bliss Broyard
Fiction based on a Family History
Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano
Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
Olga – A Daughter’s Tale by Marie Campbell
You can find all of these books through The Armchair Genealogist Amazon Store