Monday, February 17, 2014

Books for Different Reasons

I thought everyone read different books for different reasons.

Apparently not.


I’ve heard some people read Only one genre, Only one author, Only… well, I’ll just put …etc…

I was recently asked questions that I didn’t have answers to.  Or good answers.  

I don’t have a Favorite author.   I know a lot of great writers so I have lots of favorites.  *Grin*

I pick up a book for many different reasons.
Sometimes I want to be entertained, so I want something fun and ‘ligtht.’
Sometimes it’s I want to see an author’s writing, or their take on their subject, or how well they do with it.  
There’s research reasons to pick up a book, all kinds, from wanting to know about something for curiosity reasons, to research for writing projects, or interviews, or…. Well, like I said, Lot of different reasons to read, a Lot of different books.

Come on, at some point doesn’t the pressure of the buzz of the new ‘it’ book ‘everyone’ is talking about make you curious about it?

I’m an eclectic reader. 

There are some books I really like.  For different reasons, of course.   Some I’m not sure exactly why.  I haven’t bothered to sit and even articulate it to myself.
I will at some point need to reread them to see if they are still going to be a fave.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts here - 
Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reason Why is a book I think Everyone should read.       If you read it come talk to me.   It’s …well, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.  So just read it.  And we’ll talk.

I like Steve Berry’s novels for his what if takes on history.   And his research and taking us ‘traveling with him.’
As a writer, if you get a chance to take his workshop he gives, especially if his wife is giving her session too - DO IT!

I like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden novels for his … well, there are several reasons to like his books.  One of the things I admire, is you can pick them up anywhere in the series and you aren’t lost, you can enjoy reading the book even if you weren’t a part of it from the beginning.
You might not enjoy as much, maybe.  If so, I recommend starting with #12 Changes
Very action packed.   And makes you want to know more about these characters.
So I went back to the beginning, after reading the later most recent books, and got a whole different appreciation for the characters and his development of them and all their relationships with each other than I would have otherwise.
As a writer, I can admire all the clues and setups he did back in the previous books.   
Plus I hear he, and his wife, are really nice people.

I am still working my way through Patricia McKillip books for her wonderful descriptive writing.
I have bought all I have been able to get my hands on, and can stuff on my book shelves.
From what I’ve read, I will always make room for them somewhere.

I’m not sure all the reasons I exactly liked The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, Alison Anderson but I did.
So if you know why, let me know.

As mentioned in previous post, a recent favorite book is Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

It’s also has become a favorite of my husband, and he hasn’t even finished reading it. 
We checked it out from library - Thank You Public Libraries!   
He even thinks we should buy it.  For those of you who know him, you Know what a Big recommendation that is!
So we will be buying it.   For many reasons.   It’s a compelling story.  Even though it’s in some ways a quiet type story.  It keeps you turning pages wanting to find out what happens.
But also, from a writer’s perspective, this book has Wonderful descriptions but she makes them do several different things, so the writing is not overtaken and bogged down by all the descriptions.   Multi-layered nuances.
As my husband put it, this book is a great example of How to Show instead of just telling.   The bane of writers everywhere.

So that’s my suggestion if you want to read a good book, and as a writer get some ideas of nuanced descriptive writing.

So, what are the books you like to read / are reading?    And why?

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