Here at PubCrawl, we’ve occasionally done posts about “What we’re reading now.” Recently, I found myself feeling the need to do one again, prompted by this story I saw in Publisher’s Lunch, the daily newsletter of Publisher’s Marketplace:
Booker Prize winner for The Luminaries Eleanor Catton said in accepting a recent prize from the New Zealand Post that she intends to establish a grant that will award writers $3,000 to provide “time to read.” Catton told the Guardian: “My idea is that if a writer is awarded a grant, they will be given the money with no strings attached except that after three months they will be expected to write a short piece of non-fiction about their reading (what was interesting to them, what they learned) that will be posted online so that others can benefit from their reading too.
This story started me thinking about the importance of reading for writers, and the value of sharing our thoughts on books with each other. So, with all this in mind, here are the books some of us are reading now.
I just finished Jodi Lynn Anderson’s The Vanishing Season. I picked it up on a whim because I absolutely adored her previous novel, Tiger Lily. She’s now 2/2 in making me cry. The books are very different but both touch on first loves, and have lyrical prose, vivid locations, and heart-wrenching endings. Tragic but beautiful tales. Highly recommend!
I just started Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn, which recently won the William C. Morris award for best young adult debut novel. The jacket copy was pretty vague, but it’s definitely done the book a great service because I’m insanely compelled by it and have zero clue what’s about to go down. If the book slays me the way I think it might, not reading summaries beforehand may be the new way I approach reading.
Right now I’m in the middle of David Baldacci’s new Dystopian Fantasy The Finisher which is great for that 11-14 age range. I’ve just finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Fabulous, quick fantasy that will appeal to teens and adults alike.
I’m right in the middle of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (Feb 2015) and it’s really interesting to see how her film background influenced her novel writing. Plus I’m enjoying the story a lot.
S. Jae-Jones (JJ)
I am currently reading what I call 12-year-old JJ Crack, or books set in England…with magic (you know, in the vein of Harry Potter). It’s partially for research, and partially because it’s 12-year-old JJ crack. So right now I am currently (re)reading: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, the Chrestomanci books by Diana Wynne Jones (YES, ALL OF THEM), The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal. (I have read several of these before, which is why I am reading so many books at the same time.)
I’m reading The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. I’m enjoying it, but I find it interesting because so far it feels incredibly YA (in a good, fun way!) though the book is marketed as adult fantasy. It leaves me wondering why—from a publishing/bookseller standpoint—a book gets placed on the YA or adult shelves.
E. C. Myers
I just finished The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman, the wonderful conclusion to his Magicians trilogy, which now stands as one of my favorite book series. I’ve just started something completely different: Great by Sara Benincasa, which is described as a contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I recently watched the film, so the source material is fresh in my mind, but I keep forgetting about that because Great is so funny and interesting and pretty much works on its own.
I’m about 80% through Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron, which is easily one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read, but the setting and characters are so well rendered, I can’t break away from this vivid portrait of a dysfunctional family. I’m also reading Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, which I’m just getting into and loving.
What are YOU reading now? Do you have any books you can recommend to us? Please share your thoughts in the comments