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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Books, books, and more books. Also, books.

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!


  1. Thanks for the great recommendations.

    I just finished Treachery in Death, which is the latest in the In Death series by JD Robb.

    A great YA paranormal book I recently read is Beautiful Darkness - very Southern and magical and fun.

  2. Ohh, the YA sounds like it is right up my alley. I'll have to look for it.

  3. I don't know if you have had a chance to read it yet, but _A Discovery of Witches_ was delightful - both intelligent and academic, and campy and escapist. :o)

  4. Sort of on a related note, yesterday I thought of you as I was looking through my pile of books on magic and divination of all sorts looking for information for Distillation. What books do you recommend to someone who is writing about modern day witchcraft? What are your favorites that you find most informational?

  5. That's an interesting question. I certainly have a number of favorites that I often recommend. I can see a blog post in my future...

  6. Melissa--no I haven't read A Discovery of Witches. Who is the author, and what type of book is it? (paranormal romance, fantasy?)

  7. Deborah - it's by a History professor named Elizabeth Harkness, and it's a sort of paranormal time-traveling romance. The basic plot is, Yale Professor of History specializing in esoterica/alchemy comes across ancient manuscript in the Bodleian that turns out to be a magical palimpsest that only she can access...and that every witch and demon and vampire in the world has been looking for ever since the text was last accessed for reasons I won't divulge as not to ruin the read. Trouble is, a) she has sworn off witchcraft and b) she might as well have because she can't access her powers (for other reasons I won't divulge for fear of ruining the read) AND, now everybody knows who and where she is. Add an illicit relationship with a vampire that she initially didn't want, now can't resist, and doesn't know is illicit, and - good times!

  8. Thanks Melissa! I put it next up on my BOMC2 wish list :-)