I'm a conflicted reader. I don't think I'd want to be a writer if I didn't love reading too, but the truth of it is that it's not always easy to find the time to read. And when I've been writing like crazy, sometimes I get just a little bit sick of the written word. And then, when I make the time to read, I've got a whole host of genres pulling me in different directions.
Here are some of the ways I've been spending my reading time this year.
Middle Grade Books
You've got to read it to write it. That's the common consensus. Weirdly enough, I love writing MG, but I don't always love reading it. But I can't be That Sort of Person, so I make some time. I probably read some other MG books in the last year, but the ones I remember reading were:
Photo by Schu
- Doll Bones by Holly Black
- The Field Guide (the Spiderwick Chronicles) by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
- Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (I linked to my Goodreads review here)
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
- Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (again with my GR review)
- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (It was about time I finally read this. I've no idea how I missed it as a kid.)
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I especially loved Flora and Ulysses (this year's Newberry Award winner - it's not one of those depressing ones). Actually, from this list, the only one I struggled through was The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Until I made this list, I didn't actually realize I'd managed to read so many MG books this year. Yeah for me!
Patti Smith by August Brill
Just Kids kicked me off on non-fiction with Patti Smith's autobiography of the NYC music scene in the 70s. I've never been a big fan of non-fiction before, but it was a very interesting and beautifully written book. Not for kids, though. Not by a long shot.
- Just Kids by Patti Smith
- Paris in Love by Eloisa James (link to my GR review) - a romance author moved her family to Paris for a year, and this is what that year was like. Fun read.
- Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan
Photo by Moyan Brenn
I learned some interesting things about the way others live from these books. I ought to read more of them, but . . . as you can see, the theme of this post is that I don't have enough time to read everything!
This category is easier for me because I naturally gravitate towards it, and I also enjoy writing it (so, I'm supposed to read it). I love a good, light-hearted YA. I'll cover a few of the highlights below.
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This year I finally sank my teeth into John Green (the phenomenon who authored The Fault in Our Stars, amongst other much-loved YA books). My personal fav of his (co-authored by David Levithan) was Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
Photo by Kaitlin Kühn
And I finally, finally, finally read City of Bones (of the Mortal Instruments series) by Cassandra Clare. I had tried to read it before, but got irritated by the love triangle, and abandoned it. This time around I finally gave it a real go, and I will say it was an action-packed read. I enjoyed it, but I still gave it a bit of a mixed review on Goodreads.
Oh, and I finally read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I think that was this year. It might've been a little more, though.
To be perfectly honest, I think the title was holding me back from diving in, but once I did, I had the pleasure of reading some good, light-hearted fun. I'm always a sucker for romance, and I enjoyed it's sequel (of sorts), Lola and the Boy Next Door even more. Although I might like to have a good chat with the people who title these books. I would be way less embarrassed to be seen with a book that had a slightly more, uh, grown-up title. Of course, these books are meant for YA, which by definition is not for adults, so I guess that's more on me than the Titler.
There are a few things that fit into this category. First is the:
This is Nigel & I in Venice.
We are an adorable couple, of course.
A guilty pleasure typically means adult romance for me. If I'm really sick of everything else (TV, reading, writing, chores) I can breeze through a romance in a day. I've found myself less and less likely to do that this past year, partly because I've devoted so much time to writing, and partly because I'm just a bit less interested in romances this year than in other years.
However, Nalini Singh is always a great go-to for me. She writes the Guild Hunter series. It has fantastic world building and a kick-ass heroine. It's perhaps more of an urban fantasy than a romance, but she's got a few steamy scenes, so be warned.
Actually, Until Tuesday was a coworker's recommendation, but it's already been categorized. So what I really mean here is: Books My Husband Thinks I Should Read.
Photo from Stéfan
Nigel found out I'd never read a Jules Verne (I got half way through Around the World in Eighty Days and got side-tracked) and he threatened not to give me my Christmas present until I read one.
We are compromising in that I will eventually finish Verne (but not before Christmas), and I will finish The Name of the Wind by Dec. 25. Or my present will be held hostage. The Name of the Wind is a somewhat recent adult fantasy that happens to be one of my hubby's favorite books ever. I'm enjoying it, but not as swept away as he was.
I'm sure there's more that fits into this category, but I think this post is long enough as it is, don't you?