March 12th, 2011

Books and Reading


I have always been a big reader. Make that huge. I love the way a good book can take you to an entirely different reality (and away from your own). I'm guessing that this love for books had something to do with my becoming an author...

The thing about being a writer is--you HAVE to read. It is now part of your job. Bummer. (Hehehehehe.) This is not to say that all writers read. I've actually known a few who said, once they became published, that they were too busy writing to read. I couldn't disagree more.

There are a lot of reasons why a writer should continue reading. For one thing, I learn a lot by reading books by good writers. I study what they do right and try to figure out ways to integrate what I've learned into my own writing. I am inspired by good writing, too. And as an author, I need to know what is being written in the genres I plan to write in--both so I know what is already out there (and don't spend months writing a book only to find out that someone had that bright idea already), and what isn't.

Besides, I love to read.

On top of all these reasons, I buy books because I believe in supporting the publishing industry (which is struggling mightily these days) and the authors I like. Here are a few of the books I bought LAST WEEK.

Susan Wiggs -- Marrying Daisy Bellamy
You could call this Women's Fiction, or maybe romance. This is the latest in a series set in the mythical New York State setting of Willow Lake. I have read and loved every single book in this series, all of which can be read independently of each other.

Carol Berg -- The Soul Mirror
This is traditional fantasy at its best, with in-depth and detailed world-building and complicated tortured characters. This book is the second in this particular series. The first one, The Spirit Lens, so captivated my imagination, it has been torture waiting for the second one to come out!

Tamora Pierce -- Tortall and Other Lands
This is a book of short stories set in Pierce's YA fantasy world of Tortall, plus a couple of tales from other places. Pierce is one of my favorite YA fantasy authors; she writes the best strong female teen characters I have ever seen, and her world-building is second to none. And you don't have to be a teen (or a girl) to love her books, I promise.

Kim Harrison -- Pale Demon
This is the 9th in Harrison's best selling Rachel Morgan urban fantasy series. Witches, vampires, fae...and not one cliche in the bunch. These books are among the best urban fantasies out there today. She was one of my inspirations for my own urban fantasy series.

I am also rereading ALL the "Vorkosigan" series by Lois McMaster Bujold, since she just came out with a new one-- Cyroburn. These are traditional science fiction, with amazing characters and a wonderful mixture of thoughtfulness and humor.

As you can see, I have very eclectic tastes; everything from romance to fantasy to science fiction to YA and beyond. It is probably no accident that I write in all those genres as well.

I hope that you will be inspired by this blog to go out and pick up a book by one of these authors. And I'd like to know what you're reading, too. Maybe I can find another favorite to inspire me!