Books about writing? You can spend your time reading them and never, you know, actually write. So I'm on as strict diet for these things. Story Genius' exercises actually got me writing. There's some theory and structure behind it, but it's not one of those "formula" books.
Cron says cognitive science shows our brains are "wired" to a reward signal from stories. This has some survival benefit. Cron wrote another book, Wired for Story, which looks at how story devices fire the wiring.
Story Genius has the same cognitive science angle but focused on building a story. From theme, to character, to acts and finally into a plot and scenes. Exercises show you how to build up a story this way. It's a nice complement to Robert McKee's Story which has what but not how.
Software engineer. This blog does not represent my employer.