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The Anatomy of Curiosity

(The Curiosities #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  831 ratings  ·  188 reviews
The follow-up to the acclaimed title The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff.

In an unassuming corner of Brooklyn, a young woman learns to be ladylike, to love context, and to speak her mind from a very curious sort of tutor.

In a faraway land convulsed by war, a young soldier hears the desert’s curious hum as he dis
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Carolrhoda Lab
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Megan Conway Not a sequel. Curiosities is an anthology of short stories with little comments from the authors in the margins. Anatomy is much of the same with thre…moreNot a sequel. Curiosities is an anthology of short stories with little comments from the authors in the margins. Anatomy is much of the same with three short stories with more in depth writing analyses from each author. They are not connected plot-wise in any way to the Curiosities stories. Read them in whichever order you'd like.(less)

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Maggie Stiefvater
Apr 12, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: young-adult
Brenna, Tessa, and I wanted to do another collection of fiction that was more hands-on useful for aspiring writers. Here it is.
C.G. Drews
I've never read a book like this before; where we get a short story from the author and they walk us through their creation process. It was really a bit like getting a masterclass or a writing seminar. I appreciated a lot of that! And their thoughts on how to write, to create stories, and critique and edit, where all exceptionally interesting.

It didn't make reading it "as a story" very enjoyable, but I was totally aware (when I picked it up) that it was supposed to be more of a craft book.

Katie  Hanna
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is part short story collection, part writing manual. Three YA authors with three different creative processes "show their work," basically: annotating their own writing to show you the path it took from idea to finished product. Very, very, very illuminating & cool. Highly recommend for aspiring writers (although the third story does deal with suicide so ... you know. Triggers. Be aware.)

The stories themselves:

- "Ladylike" by Maggie Stiefvater. Wonderfully rich atmosphere (I expected no l
Cori Reed
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Four stars: A must read for anyone who aspires to be a writer.

What happens when three brilliant and creative authors decided to come together and write three short stories that chronicle their writing process? Brilliance! This book is three unique stories, by a trio of talented and masterful writers: Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff, but it is so much more than three stories. This book chronicles each writer's unique style and process of writing. In each story, there are aut
”Although this is a book on methods of writing fiction, it is not a book on the method of writing fiction. We – Tessa, Brenna, Maggie – are each professional novelists, but we approach writing in different ways. This book is meant to illuminate just three of the infinite ways to get to The End.”

Oh my! What a wonderful book. I had such a good time reading these stories and the author’s comments that the rest of the world just stopped. Brenna, Maggie and Tessa are great storytellers. Even better,
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I've read and enjoyed some Maggie Stiefvater books, I own but haven't yet read some Brenna Yovanoff novels, and while I'm not interested in any of Tessa Gratton's works she seems like an awesome person on social media. The Anatomy of Curiosity is a great opportunity to get into the authors' heads a bit to see how stories develop out of vague ideas.

Three different authors; three different approaches. Maggie starts with characters, Tessa begins with a world, and Brenna has a topic. They ask themse
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: aspiring writers
This is the first book I read that is both nonfiction and fantasy. I highly recommend it for those who like to watch the behind-the-scenes of your favorite movies. As stated in the book, there are two ways to read this book.

“There are two ways to read this book. You can read it merely as three pieces of fiction from three different authors, or you can read it as a book about three different approaches to writing fiction.”

Excerpt From: “The Anatomy of Curiosity.”

My rating for the actual storie
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
The racism in the first two stories and the transmisogyny in the second one shown alongside the authors talking about how great their writing was fuels my spite like nothing else. The third part is salvageable.
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, read-in-2015
If you're interested in the how to's of writing, than this book gives very good, insightful and hands on advice. If you live these three authors, but aren't that interested in learning how they write a story, than here are 3 great stories that you can enjoy on a purely reader level.

Maggie's story was my favorite, hands down. The description was amazing and I loved how much the main character really came into her own.

Tessa's story involved war and magic and deserts. For some inexplicable reason,
Katherine Locke
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an ARC at Book Expo America 2015. This is a gorgeous book which neatly balances on the line of being interesting only to writers, and interesting just to readers. (Okay, all writers are readers, or should be, but you know what I mean. It's about a book about writing that manages to be interesting both to those who write, and those who only like to read and aren't writers themselves). The three short stories were really great (Tessa Gratton's in particular, Desert Canticle ...more
I was honored by the lovely Tessa Gratton with the opportunity to read this prior to its release and I'm still not over it. This was a very lush and detailed exploration of craft and story. I think it did an awesome job of juxtaposing what might appeal to a reader's curiosity and what a writer would want to know - and the areas where they overlap.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So good. Reading this was like taking a really excellent writing class.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. It was so darned close to five that I rounded up.
Julia O'Connell
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My final book of 2019, and it was a good one!

Apart from being full of excellent writing advice, the stories within this collection were individually compelling.

Maggie’s story “Ladylike” was delightfully Gothic, and I couldn’t help falling a bit in love with the elegant old creature known as Geraldine along with Petra.

Tessa Gratton’s war-torn romance “Desert Canticle” might be my favorite of the three. The vivid cultures, histories, and interpersonal tensions that Rafel, a soldier full of contr
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I only ended up really reading the story by maggie stiefvater and the sections on writing, but it was really enjoyable all the same
Nicole - Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die-
In an unassuming corner of Brooklyn, a young woman learns to be ladylike, to love context, and to speak her mind from a very curious sort of tutor.

In a faraway land convulsed by war, a young soldier hears the desert’s curious hum as he disarms bombs with the person he doesn’t know how to love.

In a place so shriveled by drought that any drowning is a curiosity, a young writer tries again and again to tread water beneath the surface of a vast and unusual sea.

Three new stories—complete with c
Cheyenne Blue
Three short stories by the same three writers (friends) who brought us The Curiosities. The three stories are as much about their writing process as they are about the stories. Each of the three focuses on one aspect of story-telling, their own main driving force when it comes to their writing. For Maggie Stiefvater, it's character; for Tessa Gratton it's world-building, for Brenna Yovanoff it's the idea. Each of the stories comes with the author's wry, often funny, often insightful notes, and i ...more
Kylara Jensen
I read The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories last year and it was really neat. I enjoyed the different stories and commentary. I kind of expected something similar out of this book.

BUT THIS BOOK! It's awesome. It focuses more on the writing process. Maggie, Tessa and Brenna talk real talk about the process of creating, writing and revising a story. They each write a novella, but they break down the writing process of how they get there and since they each have different writing styles, it's s
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Thanks to Luan who gave me this book that she picked up at a Carolrhoda Books promotional materials give away. She knew that Maggie Stiefvater was one of my favorite authors, and she did not disappoint. Her short story was my favorite of the three. I don't tend to like short stories but these were all just long enough to satisfy and intrigue me. In addition to the stories, the three authors share insights and tips into the writing craft, work methods, and the creative process in the introduction ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Most books about writing are Writing 101. This is Writing 106, along with a spoonful of sugar in the form of luminous stories. They serve both to illustrate the points and to make learning more fun.

These three ladies know immense amounts about writing, and I love that they start you at the upper levels, at the holy-wow-you-put-some-thought-into-this level of composing fiction. I found myself highlighting until I crashed my Kindle with it.

And the stories. Oh the stories. "Ladylike" is terrible
Erin Mendoza
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was not the target audience for this book, and I knew that going in. This is a book for aspiring writers. Or for people who have questions about the writing process. I read this book because I adore the authors who contributed to it.
The short stories included are good and worth reading.
The advice and processes given by the authors are interesting and can give non-writer readers, such as myself, insight to what these authors are thinking...which is just cool.
However, I found the notes to distr
Do not read this on ereader. Get a print copy. Omg.

I really enjoyed this but the actual stories with the commentary were basically unreadable in my Overdrive app. I read through all the self contained reflections and a little bit of each story but it was so visually chaotic in this format that the stories were so hard to read. It must be better in the print version. It has to be. I refuse to believe it is this bad when they have a full page to work with. This is just a bad port to the small sc
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories and The Anatomy of Curiosities are a couple of great anthologies. Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff all have very odd and eccentric authorial voices. The anthologies introduce them individually and as a team (Merry Sisters of Fate) in an engaging way. I've become intrigued with them from reading their peculiar stories.

Give 'em a try, if you're curious.
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Jennie
Cover Story: Portrait Of The Writer’s Brain In Action
The Best For Characterization: “Ladylike” by Maggie Stiefvater
The Worst Best For World-Building: “Desert Canticle” by Tessa Gratton
The Weird Best For Illustrating How A Story Evolves: “Drowning Variations” by Brenna Yovanoff
Bonus Factors: LGBTQ, Pep Talk
Break Glass In Case Of: Writing Rut

Read the full book report here.
Lauren Levite
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was just a book of short stories. I was wrong. Together, Stiefvater, Gratton, and Yovanoff share their writing advice and experiences, winding together three completely different tales into a single lesson on things such as ideas, plotting, word choice, and the intrepid "write what you know" phrase.

I highly recommend for people who like to write, or for people who enjoy good story telling.
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full review at

I definitely recommend this be added to school and public library collections. If you are a writer and know others who write and would like to improve their skills by learning from others, then this a stellar anthology. If you are just a fan of Stiefvater, Gratton, and or Yovanoff, then you will enjoy it as well!
Audrey Bauman
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me itchy fingers. As in, now I want to write. As in, I can give a book no higher praise. As in, thank you Maggie and Tessa and Brenna very much for sharing your methods.

If you like doing that writing thing, I highly recommend this.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
Lis  Carcamo (The Reader L)
These 3 stories are for writers and readers alike. Every one of them is beautiful and so well done, and the best part is that YOU, the reader, are able to see how the story was shaped.
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New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater's life decisions have been formed by a desire to leave a mark, resulting in spray-painted cars, sharpie-covered computer printers, ink-splattered walls, and stories told in books, in magazines, and on stages. Maggie Stiefvater l

Other books in the series

The Curiosities (2 books)
  • The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories (The Curiosities, #1)

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