Six Reference Books You Didn't Know You Needed

On Thursday, you may have seen my post about writing spaces and the tour of my desk (if not, you can check that out here.)
As I mentioned in that post, my favorite section of my desk is my mini library:
So today, I wanted to take a peek further into my library and show you guys my absolute favorite reference books and where to find them!

What is a reference book? A reference book, according to Google, is "a book intended to be consulted for information on specific matters rather than read from beginning to end."
In other words, they are wonderful books full of all kinds of interesting facts and tidbits of information that we writers love to learn about. Reference books are insanely great for inspiration, which is why I keep a whole bunch of them on my desk. Such as . . .

1. Rocks, Minerals, & Gems by Sean Collery and Miranda Smith (she has a great first name, don't you think?)

Why do I have it on my desk? This book is gorgeous. It's filled with beautiful images and facts about 1000s of rocks and crystals--even ones I've never heard about. I like to look through it when I need inspiration for origins of magic, city names, or even character names (I also just really love rocks.)

Where did I get it? I got this book as a Christmas present, but you can find it on Amazon here.

2. Conspiracy Theories by Will Bryan

Why do I have it on my desk? This book is an awesome way to get ideas flowing. It covers famous assassinations, ghost stories, aliens, and tons more. I love to flip through this when I'm stuck and need something to get my brain going. It's also full of some good ideas to base a story on.

Where did I get it? I got this book from Five Below and to my surprise, they have it on their website! You can get it here.

3. The Vampire Book by Sally Regan

Why do I have it on my desk? I don't write vampires. In fact, I have 0 characters who are vampires. And yet, when I saw this book I had to have it. It's awesome! It covers the origins of vampires, vampire creation and powers, myths and legends, and more. It's really cool to flip through, and I definitely recommend it if you love/write vampires or any similar kinds of creatures.

Where did I get it? I got this book at a store called Ollie's Bargain Outlet. I searched on Amazon but only found the Spanish version. However, I did find an English version on Thriftbooks!

4. The Handy Anatomy Answer book by James Bobick and Naomi Balaban

Why do I have it on my desk? I personally think every writer could use this book. It contains tons of medical information and can be super useful for diagnosing and injuring characters. I personally love to explore the section on the brain, sleep, and memory. It's fascinating!

Where did I get it? This is another Five Below find (Five Below is actually one of my favorite places to get reference books because their selection is random and changes often) While I couldn't find it on Five Below's website, I did find a version of it on Amazon, just with a different cover. You can find that here!

5. How to be a Ghost Hunter by Richard Southhall

Why do I have it on my desk? That's a good question considering I don't write paranormal at all. However, in one of my novel ideas I have a character who is a ghost, so when I saw this book I thought it would be an interesting thing to use as a reference book. It's a pretty cool book overall as the author describes a lot of his own investigations and ghost hunts. I have to be honest though--this book gives me the creeps! I am definitely skittish when it comes to ghosts and hauntings and things (I covered my eyes a lot while watching the new version of Ghostbusters. Yes, I'm a wimp) but overall the information is interesting and would be great for a paranormal writer to have on hand!

Where did I get it? I got this one on campus randomly. On my way to class, I noticed there were a bunch of tables with boxes of books set up on them outside. Turns out they were a bunch of donated free books, so of course I hurried over to check them out as soon as my class let out. Most of them weren't great, but I found this tucked in the bottom of one box and thought it would be a cool reference book. Plus, it was free! But if you want one for yourself, you can get it on Amazon here.

6. The Worse-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

Why do I have it on my desk? This book is my all-time favorite reference book EVER. It's amazing. It's a gift to writers everywhere. This book will teach you how to escape dangerous situations like sinking cars, animal attacks, and even sword fights! It's a great thing to peek at when your character needs to get out of a life-threatening situation.

Where did I get it? I got this on Amazon after my cousin showed her copy to me and I instantly knew I needed one. You can get your own here.

So there you have it! My favorite reference books, why I have them, and where to get them.
What about you? Do you have any reference books you love? Let me know in the comments so I can add them to my collection!