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:~: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 :~:

Recent reads

As E mentioned in an earlier post, I too read quite a bit between projects. Although, I "read" with audio tapes because I'm usually making beads if I'm not writing. I always get the unabridged version of a novel if it's available. That way I can tune into sentence structure and detail knowing it's original from the author, not some slimmed-down version.

I've rented lots of tapes/CDs this month. I've even read some novels in print. And I have to say, overall I've been disappointed--by big names and newbies alike. You can see what I'm reading in any given month and my own personal review of the books on my website under My Month linked off the homepage.

Like Paty and unlike E, I stop reading when the book doesn't hold me. I'll give it a certain amount of time before I give up. How much time varies from book to book, author to author. Authors who have paid off for me in the past get more time. New authors (as in new to me, not necessarily new to the industry) have to grab me right away...and even more importantly, they've got to hold on. The first time their character does something stupid, the first time they delve into more than a paragraph of backstory or a paragraph of description, I'm gone.

Fickle? I don't know. I have noticed that I'm so much harder to please since I've started writing. Now I can see all the flaws, the unsympathetic characters, the plot holes, the info dump. It grates on me. And it bums me out because I miss the way I used to be able to lose myself in a book.

Here are a few I've read lately that really kept my attention:
  • Kill the Messenger by Tami Hoag -- OMG, a must read for pacing, action, and UBER characterization. (I'm listening to Dark Horse now and I'm nowhere near invested. I'm doubting I'll make it to chapter six, but because I loved Kill so much, I'll give her more time before I return it to the library.)

  • Dangerous Curves by Roxanne St. Claire -- I read this as a judge for the Daphne published contest and loved it. Read the book within 24 hrs of picking it up. No doubt it had some flaws, which I discussed with E because she had read it as well, but flaws or no, it kept me turning the pages.

Uh...that's about it. And considering I listen to or read an average of 4 or so books a month, that's really, really sad.

Do you find your joy of reading has diminished since you started writing? What exactly keeps you turning the pages of a novel? And what books have held your interest to the very end lately? Allowed you to get lost in them?


Blogger Paty Jager said...

Yes! It is much harder to enjoy a book now that I know all about GMC, plotting and pacing. I know how much time and agony goes into writing a book and want to like everyone, but at the same time, I have a hard time reading something that seems half there.

And I haven't read a good book lately. I'm reading an old historical of Susan Wiggs right now. I like the characterization, but there is too much description and internal thoughts. For my taste, but I'll keep reading it because of the chracters.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Amie Stuart said...

I gave up on Tami Hoag after the one about the ostrich ranch--I never finished it but I did like some of her other old stuff. I keep hearing her new stuff is great and it's tempting! I love good suspense!

The key for me with any writer is if they can get me to stop looking at the words/writing. If I say "ah to heck with it" and just read because I want to know waht happens. It doesn't even have to be the greatest book ever written, good books can hold my interest too.

But I'm like you, I stop reading if it doesn't hold me. I know some writers say you should finish a book that you don't care for (notice I didn't say bad), but I can't be bothered to waste my time.

9:54 AM  
Blogger orangehands said...

Tami Hoag- You should try her Sins (Night Sin, Guilty as Sin), A Thin Dark Line, or her Kovack and Liska books (Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Prior Bad Acts) before giving up on her. Those are her good ones. (Loved Kill the Messenger, couldn't even finish Alibi Man).

But yes, over the years I have gotten less and less patient with books. Used to be I'd have to read the whole book; now, hook me or lose me. And some books I used to like I no longer do. Different strokes for different folks, is all

5:31 PM  

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