I finished the rough draft of The Fire Reborn on Nov. 11.
And then I started reading again.
I read before. A book here or there, articles, kept up with my Bible reading. But I was so immersed into The Fire Reborn that and busy with other things that I couldn’t find that time to really read. And I love to read.
If you’re going to be a writer, you must read. Any writer worth anything loves to read. But as I’ve said before, if I want to improve as a writer, I can’t read for pleasure alone. To grow as a writer, I have to expose myself to different authors and genres, quality material to use as a standard and guide.
So I began to read. I did, however, begin with a couple books by favorite authors in fantasy/scifi, but I asked writer friends for suggestions and researched some lists of top books from 2015 or 2016, all so much easier now with the internet than it was twenty years ago. And then I went online to the library and requested some books. Some quick reviews.
Links are for Amazon, but all found at local library, as well.
Calamity by Brian Sanderson
The third book in the Reckoners series that began with Steelheart by one of my favorite authors, if not my favorite. They are YA novels and have some great pace. The basic setup is that this weird star appears in the sky and some people begin to get superpowers but they use them for evil. Superheroes are the bad guys. Overall imaginative, as Sanderson usually is, although the ending was a tad disappointing. Recommended for those that like scifi and YA.
Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf by RA Salvatore
I really like the Drizzt character from RA Salvatore. Got into Salvatore through some episodic Star Wars novels, and I enjoyed them. After checking out a book that looked cool from him fifteen years ago, I got into the whole Drizzt story and his friends and have read most of those books. The newer books aren’t as well put together as the older ones, in my opinion, but I enjoyed them. For those new to Salvatore and Drizzt, I’d go back and start from the beginning.
Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham
I read the first five Grisham novels, my favorite still being A Time to Kill, his first written book. Rogue Lawyer is about a lawyer (shocking, I know) that takes on cases no one wants to take, defending in a semi-noble way the accused who might not get a fair trial otherwise. He is a shady character with his own issues but an idealist who fights for justice as much as possible, even if it puts him in danger from the police and others who want speedy justice for those they assume are guilty. It was an interesting book and read quick. There was some of the “police are mostly corrupt” agenda that was somewhat necessary to the story and his character but got a little preachy at times. A good book, though. Recommended.
Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb
Another from a list online. Sounded interesting. Told from the point of view of an autistic man who has lived in this special needs community for a few decades. The overall story was good, but the way Gottlieb told events from the autistic perspective was really well done. Recommended.
Delicious Foods by James Hannaham
Another one with a unique point of view in the story, Delicious Foods is about a young man and his mother. She is a widower who has become addicted to crack cocaine. Part of the story is told from the point of view of the drug, crack cocaine, and it is well done. The story gets sad and disturbing, which isn’t surprising, and the conclusion is odd, but a well done book overall. Recommended if you can deal with some disturbing parts.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This one was recommended by a friend and another one from the viewpoint of an autistic character, but this is a teenager. The point of view was also well done and the story was better. The boy finds a dog killed across the street, and since he loves mysteries like Sherlock Holmes, he decides to try and solve the mystery. In the process, he uncovers secrets and lies. The arguments for atheism are immature at best, and unfortunately show the author’s bent more than exploring the thoughts of the main character, but that’s a minor thing. And there’s a play? I’d love to see the play. Highly recommended, for sure.
I am now three fourths of the way through A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George, and I have a stack of YA novels from the library to tackle next. Fun Christmas break!