Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them - Francine Prose

"Reading Like a Writer" is an excellent overview of what is sometimes called "deep reading": examining word choices, sentence structure, paragraphs, character development, gesture, etc., at the minute level.

Author Francine Prose includes numerous examples to demonstrate her positions (more of them from Russian novels, which are not to my taste, than I might have chosen ... but to each his own). She explains why understanding the matters listed above is crucial to an author making his or her own decisions about what a character says or does, or how the scene is set.

From my perspective as an author, some of this was old news and some of it was new. As with any such book, I take what I learn and move forward.