I am jumping on Elizabeth’s reading bandwagon, but looking at it from several angles. I understand that writers need to read, but I often see my reading time as procrastination of my writing time. I’ve also found some new authors I’d like to read, some have been on my list for a while because I found them charming at a writers’ conference, and some because they were repeatedly recommended. Re-reading Jennifer Crusie (several of her stories) and Loretta Chase have joined the list because aspects of their writing came up that I want to go back and review (reading like a writer). I’ve also added some nonfiction to my list.
Several authors that I haven’t read come up repeatedly in searches, what-you’d-like-based-on-recent, and recommendations – Farrah Rochon, Joanna Bourne, and Darynda Jones, among others. Many of these were mentioned for their unique voices. There are several authors I can think of with unique voices – you could pick up a couple of plain typed pages from one of their stories and know that you’re reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Julia Quinn, or Jayne Anne Krentz. I’m re-reading one right now by Krentz and one aspect of her voice is the dry humor and short declarative sentences used by her characters in their speech patterns. I wonder why the pages haven’t turned to dust. I recently read one by Julie Ann Long and one aspect of her voice is vocal emphasis in dialogue. There are a lot of words in dialogue that are italicized for emphasis. As I read, I tried to decide if there are too many of them. I suppose the fact that I noticed suggests there are too many, but I wasn’t tempted to throw the book at the wall, either
There is some old nonfiction that I want to finally read or re-read. My favorite Romance Sociology ladies, Jennifer Lois and Joanna Gregson, had an article in Gender & Society – “Sneers and Leers: Romance Writers and Gendered Sexual Stigma.” Sarah Frantz and Eric Sellinger edited “New Approaches to Popular Romance Fiction; Critical Essays” (McFarland, 2012). Catherine Roach had “Happily Ever After: The Romance Story in Popular Culture” published in late 2015 (Indiana University Press).
Have we added sufficiently to your procrastination To Be Read pile? Anything more to add?
I’ve been so time-crunched for the past few years that I barely read at all; I just feel guilty about it and not doing anything. There’s quite a few books on my TBR pile, but some of them are monsters — I want to read the biography of Hamilton that inspired Lin-Manuel’s musical of the same name, but I don’t feel like committing the several hours to it.
Oh well, we’ll see.
Michaeline, I started reading the bio and stopped, mostly because I was falling asleep. It certainly wasn’t boring, but I tend to do my reading at night, and non-fiction and a sleepy Justine definitely don’t mix.
I’m listening to audio books. It’s a surefire way for me to multi-task. Want to exfoliate my feet? Listen to a book. Folding laundry? Listen to a book. And there are such good character actors out there now that all the voices are different, it’s very easy to tell the characters apart by their voices alone, and sometimes there’s even music (I think the latest Bridgerton book had that at the beginning).
The other reason I’m listening is I want to publish my stories that way, so I’m listening critically for what works and what doesn’t from a voice perspective. Frex, I know I’ll need a male narrator, because my stories are ultimately about the men. British accent? Definitely. Range of characters? Of course. It’s very unlikely I’ll be able to afford the top-notch professional narrators that the big publishing houses use, but I can at least know what to look for and hopfully find someone trying to build their repertoire who will take a royalty split.
The only other stuff I’m reading is non-fiction. I have a book about how the news from Waterloo made it to England. Another one about newsletter marketing. And one about high society in the Regency. Fun stuff!
LOL, that is a good way to do things. I find it hard to listen and do stuff; it seems like everything I do is LOUD (even folding sheets — how can that be??).
Audio books are such an important market, and a good narrator really is worth his/her weight in rubies.
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