FMWriters is traveling the web via the Merry Go Round Blog Tour. Site members have grouped together to write monthly on themed topics and turn the blog tour concept on its head: we’re not the ones touring: you are, as you read one writer’s perspective after another. This is my contribution to the Merry Go Round Tour. Enjoy your ride. ~ Dawn
Reading is almost more important than writing. Think about it. Writers likely wouldn’t have the desire to write without ever having read something that sang to them. Readers, who spend a good chunk of their time poring over (and sometimes screaming at) what writers dream up and write down, are the targets of our writing. Without them and their love for the written word, writers would be worthless.
My reading is critical to me, first as a means to understand what’s been written before and understand what the current market is like, and second as my form of enjoyment. Therefore, my reading comes in two forms: books I read to learn from, and books I read to for the sheer enjoyment.
At the moment, I’m listening to “So Long and Thanks For All The Fish” because I’d read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (audiobook) recently and was delighted to see another book in the series sitting on the shelf in my library. I checked it out and am enjoying it immensely despite missing at least one more book in the series between the two. It’s having the side of effect of anything humorous I read having an English accent in my head.
I’m reading Elizabeth Bear’s All The Windwracked Stars, which is heavy reading. It’s slow going because I’m trying to absorb so much of her massive world which is a place I can’t imagine having come up with on my own. And she always does this with her worlds, at least so far as I’ve read.
I’m also in the midst of reading several speculative fiction anthologies: Way of the Wizard and Lightspeed (year 1) by John Joseph Adams, Triangulation: Last Contact, and several Writers of the Future anthologies. I also have issues of Analog and Bards & Sages stashed in various activity bags and in the car. I do enjoy reading one story at a time, and leave the book in particular places in the house. When I’m there, I read a story from that book. It’s odd, but very often I cannot leave my son alone while I take two minutes, run up the stairs and grab a book. Disaster can and has happened during that very short time. He’s getting better at being left alone as he’s getting older, so I imagine this is going to streamline my reading a bit later on.
Over the next six months, my reading will be work from the following authors:
- George Martin (how can I watch the series without having read the books?!)
- Sherwood Smith (I picked up her books because she’s an instructor at a workshop I’m attending in the fall and now I’m hooked).
- Mike Resnick (because he’s been offering such helpful advice that’s made an impact directly on my writing practice)
- John Scalzi (anxious to read Redshirts, then ship it off to my dad when I’m done)
- Steven Brust (another workshop instructor whose fantasy novels sound fascinating)
What I’m really looking for, is more science fiction along the lines of S.L. Viehl’s Stardoc series, and Tanya Huff’s Valor series, and something with unicorns, and animal bonding… oh you get the idea. My reading list is one thing that will never, ever be done. Joy!
What are you reading these days? Anything you’d recommend?
Today’s post was inspired by Forward Motion’s Merry-Go-Round topic “ What’s On My To-Read list?”. If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and read about their ideas, then check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Bonnie is up next at Cowgirl in New England.
I would give my left arm to find another series like Stardoc!
I also got sucked into George RR Martin, despite the fact that I attempted to start first book in the series no less than four times. I find that I have less patience for slow starting epic fantasy books. But I’m glad I stuck with the series.
Same here. I like quick starts, running into action or an issue… and with my constant level of exhaustion, having something that moves fast without heavy reading is best. I’ll get back to Martin – when my kids are older.
As far as the next Stardoc goes, I’ll ping you if I find it!
Loved “All the Windwracked Stars” and the other two books in that series. Heavy reading yes, but so worth it. “Way of the Wizard” is excellent, though I’ve only read half of the stories…
Brust, Martin, Scalzi…. quite an evocative to-read list you have. 🙂
Same thing with me, D. I’m savoring one tale at a time. 🙂
Oh, and I’m listening to Fuzzy Nation (Scalzi) on my work commutes. Highly recommend!