I love to read. My best friend says that if there were an Olympic sport in reading, I’d be a medalist. I don’t think this is unusual for writers—I mean, if we didn’t like reading, why would we be writing stuff for other people to read?
I like a wide variety of books, both fiction and nonfiction. Since I read so much, I thought it might be fun to share with you some of the things I’ve been reading. So this is my inaugural “this month’s book binge” post.
The Raven Cycle
This was my first time reading anything by Maggie Stiefvater. I plowed through the first 3 books in the series in about a week, so you know I enjoyed them. I would’ve plowed through all 4, but I didn’t realize until I finished book 3 that there were 4 books in the trilogy. *head desk*
This was a fun, easy read. Even though I wish someone had warned me there’s a tinge of a horror element to the stories, the darker bits didn’t deter me, so much as take me a minute to adjust to (I like a lot of Neil Gaiman’s stuff, and he’s often much darker than this). I love me a fetch quest so I enjoyed the plot, I liked the characters enough to be invested in their journeys, and I particularly enjoyed one of the relationship twists. I definitely recommend the series. Bonus: your local library should have it since the books have been out for awhile.
The Anatomy of Curiosity
While I was picking up book 4 in The Raven Cycle, I noticed this book of short stories, so I snagged it as well. It turns out it’s much more than a group of short stories, though. There’s a nonfiction component where the writers talk about the craft of writing.
The three authors are actually writing buddies. They’ve been critiquing each other’s work for years. Each is a successful author, and they decided to get together to share some of their writing experience.
This is one cool book, y’all. While a lot of books on craft get really dry, the writers here took a different approach that I found really interesting. Each of them wrote her short story, then diagrammed it with notes about what they changed and why.
In addition, before and after each story, each of the writers gives a blurb of advice on a particular writing-related topic, such as doubt, world-building, and characters.
Whether you’re a writer looking for info or just curious about how the sausage gets made, the book is really interesting read. And p.s. the short stories are quite good.
I can’t remember where I saw this book recommended (for some reason, I think it might have been either Neil Gaiman or Kevin Hearne, but I could be wrong), but apparently everyone else saw the same recommendation. It took me for-freaking-ever to get this thing out of the library—I think I was something like 75 on the hold list.
This was my first introduction to Robert Jackson Bennett, and I’m really glad I patiently waited for the hold list to works its way around to me. I had no problem getting through this in my 7-days-or-less library deadline—it was a really interesting world to visit. The characters are strong, the plot is interesting, and there’s enough here to have me wanting to read the next one when it comes out.
To me, this read a little bit more like science fiction than fantasy, even though it really is a fantasy novel. It had a little bit of the emotional distance I associate with science fiction. That in no way detracted from the novel, it was just a bit of a shift from reading Stiefvater, who has a lot of emotion. But see, this is why I like reading different writers. I like the differing styles and voices. In both Stiefvater and Bennett’s cases, I plan on reading other series they wrote.
One warning: if you’re someone who likes a series to be complete before you start it, you might want to wait to dive in and read one of Bennett’s other series first. There are at least 2 more books coming in this series, and the next isn’t due until later this year.
Read anything juicy lately? If so, please share.