I just finished reading author Chuck Wendig’s blog post “25 Reasons Why I Stopped Reading Your Book” (there’s also a lot about cake in there) and it’s as delightfully profane as usual. If you haven’t read it, treat yourself to some divine madness.
What he said that really resonated with me (besides creating an urge to eat cake) was that he doesn’t read many novels anymore. Neither do I, and it’s the source of great guilt and gnashing of authorial teeth. “Read in your genre,” my agent says. “Read outside your genre,” fellow authors say. They all seem to keep reading books.
But Wendig’s reasons are much the same as my own: time. I write. I do blogs, which might or might not be considered writing. I try to have a life, although that’s a general Epic Fail these days. I have a 50-plus-hour-a-week day job filled with much angst and more drama than you can find on a soap opera. I read a LOT of nonfiction for research.
And, as Wendig points out, “I know how the sausage is made.” It’s hard to get lost in a book these days. I’m analyzing the opening chapters. I’m archetyping the characters. I’m figuring out why the last chapter bored me to tears, or analyzing what made me laugh. I’m copyediting with an imaginary red pencil, often frustrated over society’s blatant disregard for punctuation.
And that sucks, because I was a reader looooooong before I was a writer.
So I want you to give me a reading list. I will go through the list, one at a time, and I will attempt to read each one. I’ll report back on how I did.
I should note that my reports will NOT be book reviews, although if a book can hold my attention past thirty or forty pages, I consider it a stellar read. So I guess in a way they will be book reviews, only from the viewpoint of an author. Any book. Any genre.
Now, I’ll turn it over to you, dear readers. Tell me what to read. I’ll read the books in the order the comment is left. I will re-read books I’ve read prior to my authorial pursuits, so don’t worry about finding things I might not have read. If you are mean to me and put “Moby Dick” in there, by God, I’ll read it just to spite you. LOL.
And I’ll give away a $5 Amazon GC (or Book Depository equivalent) to a commenter just for playing along.