Sunday, July 20, 2008

Book Lists (or What I Do With All That Free Time of Mine)

Every writer should be a reader. And we are all nosy about what each other is reading. Let's face it, when you visit someone's house, isn't the bookshelf one of the first things you look at to get a feel for who they are? Admittedly shallow, but true nonetheless.

So, for you friends long distance, and blog buddies who never get a chance to see my shelves, in a moment of pure transparency, here is the list of books I've read in the last six months.

(This is most probably not entirely complete. I was relying on the, and for a month or so I couldn't remember my password. I think I caught all the books I own, but ones I borrowed from the library might have slipped through.)

Something Borrowed (Emily Giffin)
Something Blue (Emily Giffin)
Baby Proof (Emily Giffin)
Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate (Angus Constam)
Blow Fly (Patricia Cornwell)
Dear John (Nicholas Sparks)
Dear Stranger, Dearest Friend (Laney K. Becker)
The First Five Pages (Noah Lukeman)
The Plot Thickens (Noah Lukeman)
Innocent Man (John Grisham)
King of Torts (John Grisham)
Lottery (Patricia Wood)
On Writing (Stephen King)
Pieces of My Sister's Life (Elizabeth Joy Arnold)
Strange but True (John Searles)
Vanishing Acts (Jodi Picoult)
Wedding in December (Anita Shreve)
Writing Dialogue (Tom Chiarella)
The Year of Fog (Michelle Richmond)

Books read in six months: 19
Writing process books: 4
Books read because they're repped by agents I want: 3
Books I thought were horribly written: 3 (but don't ask which ones!)
Books that left me in such a funk I wish I hasn't read them: 2

The thing about books this year is that, as I've gotten so much more serious about writing, I read them with an eye to writing instead of just enjoying them. What works. What doesn't. Which ones are debut novels and which are by authors who are veterans who may be a little tired or lazy. Which deal well with tricky aspects of writing, like back story and dialect.

It would be hard to pick one favorite. Each book is a little different. I loved Emily Giffin's so much I bought all three for a friend's birthday. Reading King of Torts reminded me of great summers long ago sitting on the beach reading The Firm, The Client, the early works that made John Grisham the powerhouse he is: pure enjoyment. Lottery is a class in itself; a remarkable work that will make you believe good people really exist. The Year of Fog is plain beautiful, but sad and melancholy, and all the same, one I'd recommend to anyone.

So what's your favorites the last six months?

(Oh, I did some writing too!)

Weekend Word Count for Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 3,782
Total word-a-thon words: 15,635

Percentage done of Word-A-Thon words: 31%

Word count for entire book: 39,004

Percentage of book done based on 90,000 words: 43.3%


  1. WOW-ZA!

    (Looks amazed at the sheer amount of words sitting in your post)

    Very, very cool! Are you keeping your head above water??

  2. Thanks for mentioning LOTTERY!
    Much aloha from Patricia Wood

  3. Patricia - Lottery is probably the one book I've read I talk about the most, think about the most when I'm writing. You are a fantastic writer, and I'd give it away to anyone as a present!

    Thanks for stopping by!