All writers must read. Author Brenda Ueland recommends four hours per day. Author Francine Prose recommends a specific list of more than one hundred authors.
I read what I want to read, If I start something and it doesn’t grab me, I stop. That’s because I’m older now and time is shorter. When I was young I read everything that got in my way, and if I started something I had to finish it. My dad must have known he was going to die young because he always read the ending first. If he liked that, he’d read the book.
As an author of mysteries, I read a lot of books in my genre. I also read literature, and books required by my book club. (I don’t always finish those, to be honest.) I read not only to be entertained, but to learn more about my craft. What keeps those pages turning? What makes me want more? And because I also edit, I am always, always stopped by errors, in spite of the fact I know how easily those mistakes sneak in.
Sisters in Crime is a group of mostly women crime writers. The group is currently running a blog hop where we write about something they suggest, then link our blog to another person’s blog post we think you might be interested in. The question I chose to answer in this post is “What books are on your nightstand right now?” On my nightstand are one of the stand alone novels by Ian Rankin, and “Maggie’s Mechanics” by Sheila Connolly. How egalitarian of me, but those are the two awaiting me at the moment. I just finished Chelsea Cain’s latest book, the first in a new series “One Kick.” Next up on my ebook is Val McDermid’s first book from years ago. I love Val’s writing. I wish Barbara Neely would write more books, but I’m guessing she won’t, it’s been so long since the last one. I’m a big fan of Walter Moseley too. Out of my genre, I love Zadie White, Kate Kasten, Amy Tan, Lalita Tademy. I don’t read romance … I want some dead bodies in there. Or I want to learn about a place I’ve never been, a culture I didn’t grow up in, or a time period I’d like to go back to (mostly for the shopping, ha).
Here is an African-American woman author, artist, speaker I follow. I also own some of her art, and I’m proud of that because it is thought provoking and fun to look at. Her name is damali ayo (lower case on purpose).
And here is one of my Sisters in Crime, Sheila Lowe.