When I was younger, I’d impose a reading embargo every now and then. Usually when I was in the midst of writing stuff. My reasoning was that if I read less, I’d be less likely to find ideas that looked like ideas I was already working on. I’d be less likely to get swayed by something and stray off my project’s course.
(I recently learned a famous science fiction writer does this too. Maybe Orson Scott Card, but I don’t remember. And he probably wasn’t so extreme about it.)
I don’t know if an embargo is helpful or harmful. Considering I stopped writing for over a decade, I’m going to side with the latter, though maybe still makes a bit of sense for an impressionable, insecure (possibly aspergy) person to work in isolation sometimes until they get the story straight on what they’re representing.
Anyway, I read more these days. I read while writing. I binge-watch telly while writing. My brain works more broadly these days and I don’t absorb ideas as directly and literally as I used to. What I consume sparks a chain reaction in my head that then leads to ideas that are at the very least same-same-but-different.
Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:
GOOD FRIEND VOL. 5 “Hypnotized” by Jillian Hoff
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The use of irony has convinced me this author is some sort of literary genius. I’ve liked everything of hers that I’ve read so far, though I’m one book short of having completed the series. But somehow I don’t expect to hate that one.
The S’expert by Evie Bliss
When I added this to my TBR, I didn’t expect to get to it for a long time. But then I stumbled upon a copy and read it through in one sitting. Well, two because I started late at night and resumed upon waking the next day. But I count that as just one because I was so reluctant to put it down. This book blew me away. It’s a tale of perhaps the most intellectually stimulating one night stand you could imagine.
Brazen Love by Josie King
I didn’t enjoy this book. I thought the premise had potential and found the steamy scenes very steamy, but I couldn’t plug into the story that linked these parts together. Nor could I relate to the spitfire characters despite their outpouring of emotional expression. I flag this as a “shut up and enjoy the ride” book, perfect for the extrinsically motivated, don’t-make-me-think reader at the end of a long and gruelling day. But not for me. I do, however, respect this book for helping me discover and understand this about my own needs.
Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair
I scored a free copy of this on Smashwords and am about halfway through. I don’t love the premise and plot so far, but I’m enjoying the protagonist’s emotional journey and the development of her relationship with the love interest. This is also the first Rubenesque/BBW story I’ve ever read (I think), and despite not being a BBW myself, I can relate to the little insecurities and paranoias.
Love Through a Lens by Lucy Felthouse
OK, this should actually be on my “up next” list cos I’ve been meaning to start it for the past three days. I’m fairly certain all the erotic romance and erotica I’ve read so far has been by American writers, so I’m pretty keen to experience a British author’s work. Hurry up, life, and be less busy!
Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald
This guy is my favourite author right now. I feel he takes all the rules of good writing, breaks them, then puts them back together better. If I could just write half as good as he does, I would be over the moon. Or on the moon. Or riding a transport shuttle back and forth between Earth and the moon while listening to history’s entire back catalogue of jazz.
#BiWeek – My Thoughts on Being Bisexual by Floss
A surprise gem in the midst of my morning reads. When I opened it, my immediate thought was, “Oh great, another one of those passively activist LGBTQI personal essays with an agenda.” Which is a hell of a thing to think, as I also identify as bisexual (or pan, depending on who I’m talking to) — but that’s a story for another day. When I got to the end of Floss’s post, I was like… well, shit. I know those feelings. It was nice to read another person’s experience without feeling like I was being pressured to change my mind about something, vote for someone, or buy something I didn’t want. If you’re living in Australia right now, you’ll know what I mean (regardless of whether you’re on the YES or NO side). In that way, I found this article quite cathartic to read.
Me n’ My Elliptical by Pia Manning
If you don’t concentrate while reading this, you might miss that it’s a perfectly mundane account of the author on her weekly fitness routine. It’s the way she tells the story so intriguingly that does it, and how she draws you into how necessary this dreaded bit of exercise is to her life and sanity.
Is All Fair in Love and Marketing? by Porter Anderson
This one made me angry. Not the article itself, but the circumstances. I don’t agree with fake ratings or reviews. I mean, yeah, good ratings and reviews can help me earn a living off my work, but what kind of life is it if I’m duping people out of their money? So, yeah, no. Writers and readers need to do better by each other.
Now, how about you?
What have you been reading?
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