Four facts influence my reading habit: (1) I’m in a book club; I have to read. (2) I’m an author: the more one reads, the better one writes. (3) I simply love to read, always have, always will. (4) I want to keep my brain cells active and healthy. In no particular order, here are my 2013 favorites.
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I was mesmerized by her magical, fantastical descriptions. The plot involving the young, dueling conjurers was fresh and captivating. The characters were, well, real characters. The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan was an eye-opener. Who knew that these thousands of young women from across the US were recruited in the early ’40s to help make parts for “The Thing.” Fascinating bit of history, and some of the ladies still survive. I must say I enjoyed all nine of Louise Penny’s books featuring super sleuth Inspector Gamache in the little town of Three Pines outside of Montreal. The books include one or two each type-cast supporting characters: dueling husband-wife artists; old poet; creative, foul-mouth drunk; gay couple; super-sensitive black woman; a low self-esteem 2nd in command, and an assortment of other crazy and evil folks who wander through the various books. How the Light Gets In did a amazing wrap-up of issues, inquiries, continuing story threads, and character interactions! I’m wondering if this is the last in that series?
Last year, out of curiosity and friendship, I read books in the Romance genre for the first time. Umm . . . different, interesting, wow-ing! I tackled the boxed set of nine entitled Dangerous Attraction. I liked Fallen Seal Legacy by my writer friend Sharon Hamilton. Reading the books was educational, among other things. There’s always a dramatic love story that has a happy ending, and the heat level of the books are rated: Scorcher, Sensuous, Sweet. The boxed set had ALL of them! A book I consider important, Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky, certainly broadened my understanding of the epidemic that swept across the US in the early 50s–and across the world. In this one, we have dueling doctors, Sabine and Salk, each wanting to be the first, the best, the most successful in discovering the cause of polio and eradicating it. Very enlightening.
My favorite how-to and helpful books include Social Media Just For Writers by Frances Caballo, Platform by Michael Hyatt (see earlier post), and The Art of Character by David Corbett. The first two provide solid information on social media and branding for good marketing practices, and Corbett’s is an excellent guide for the craft of character development. In looking back at this post, I see I have many duels: conjurers, artists, physicians! Funny how that happens. These books are all very good reads, and I heartily recommend each one for different reasons. Enjoy!