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Read Like You Care

Posted by Priscilla on April 11, 2013

I love to read. I will read anything: novels, cereal boxes, abstracts. I will read any genre: literary, mystery, thriller/steampunk/historical/romance. Reading teaches me. It encourages me. Reading allows me to escape and touch the deep things of life all at the same time.

I’ve discovered that others don’t always like the books that I love. Oh, well. I’ve been known to hate the books they like. But here is today’s list of authors and books I recommend and my reasons for appreciating them

This list is constantly changing, and that’s the great thing about words and books:  there are always more of them.

Literary:     Elizabeth Diamond (An Accidental Light) for her luminous writing

                  Lief Enger (Peace Like a River, So Brave, Young and Handsome) for his language

Thriller:     Lee Child (many books) for making me care

                    Steven James (The Pawn) for his seamless story engineering

Mystery/Det: Dick Francis (many books) for his mastery of tension

                              Anne Perry (many books) for her characterization

Historical:    Christine Lindsay (Shadowed in Silk) for her description and setting

YA:       Edward Bloor (Tangerine) for everything that makes a book memorable

MG:      Irene Hunt (Up a Road Slowly) for her emotional depth

Biography:   Henry Mayer (All on Fire) for giving such life to his subject that I can’t wait to meet William Lloyd Garrison.


Now what about the writers among us? Does it matter what we read? I’d say it does for several reasons.

1)      You’ll (probably) only write what you read. You may think you want to write for children, but if you only read Romance or Thrillers, you may not be able to pull it off.

2)      You’ll (definitely) only write as good as you read.  Up your level, in other words. Read the best in every genre, not just your writing buddies’ novels. Read the books that win the Pulitzer, the Booker Prize, the Newbery Award.

3)      The common adage is “If you want to write, read, read, read.” My suggestion? Read like a writer. Enjoy the story, sure, but deconstruct the craft as you go. Why is the book so good? How does the author move from scene to scene?

What do you think?


Posted by Marianne on
Great advice, thanks
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