Okay, so this question requires a bit of explanation of my reading habits. There are four types of books that I read: Dime Store Novels, of Literary Merit, Smart Books, and Reference Books.
Dime store novels: Books that are written to tell a story and just to tell a story. They’re not out to challenge the genre or blow our minds with inventive structure. Currently on my nightstand:
Patricia Briggs (Alpha and Omega series): Actually anything by Patricia Briggs. I love her. Everything she’s written is the sort of strong, female characters that I craved growing up.
Tamora Pierce (ALL): Same as above, she’s got wonderfully strong female characters and I love her.
Victoria Laurie (Ghost Hunter series): Simple, straight-forward series with exciting characters and premise! I read her books super fast, I’d say it takes me about two, three hours to read one of hers.
Mira Grant (Parasitology): She’s always so wonderful about building worlds through character/character relationships. Fun read, edge of the seat in a lot of ways, can’t wait to get to book two! Probably takes me 4-8 hours to read one book.
Of Literary Merit: Books that do defy genre, blow our minds, are probably going to win a handful of awards. Currently on my nightstand:
George Saunders (10th of December): One of my FAVE short story collections, it won something like…three? awards including like best short story collection of the year.
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You): I actually don’t know if this has won an award but it was AMAZING NO SPOILERS GO READ IT
Flannery O’Connor (Wise Blood): I’m actually just starting this! I’ll keep you posted~
Jennifer Egan (A visit from the goon squad): One of my all time FAVES, got me into intertwining narrative, I love it.
Smart Books: Books that make me look very intelligent (or pretentious) when I go home for the holidays. They tend to be fairly controversial in subject matter and/or wildly misunderstood to be smart in the first place. Most of them I even like which is a bonus! My go to books:
Candide by Voltaire: Great book, hilarious and people think it’s not filled with A plus satire because Voltaire sounds very fancy.
The Dubliners by James Joyce: Short story collection of classic narrative, big themes of imminent death, man vs. nature, etc.
The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo: About the Stanford Prison experiment. It’s okay, I don’t necessarily agree with the stance Dr. Zimbardo takes on his experiment/actions, but he doesn’t expect you too, I don’t think.
Reference Books: Books that I read over and over again because I WANT TO WRITE LIKE THAT:
American Gods by Neil Gaiman: What the fuck. What the fuck. The detail?????? The characters???? Shadow???? What the fuck.
Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by Dorothy Allison - I cry every time I read this book. It’s so raw and honest, it takes my breath away. Every time.
The Earth and Everything Underneath by K.M Ferebee: So gorgous, the imagery is incredible and it’s about witches. It’s actually a short story that you can read here (X) and I really recommend you check out Shimmer in general because it’s a great magazine.
As always, there’s a ton more that I enjoy, but these are in my rotation right now! Ask me again in a month and they’ll be all different.
Yo you know that 'black girl stereotypes' post? I'm happy to say I know of a story that does all of those things. Her name is Winter and she's from Lunar Chronicles and she's considered the most gorgeous being in the universe and she's super gentle and loving and everyone loves and adores her because she's just a good person and she has super long and thick hair and I'm sorry I'm rambling but I lOVE WINTER (have a good day !)
!!! TO THE NIGHTSTAND (I just ordered the series, she sounds amazing!)
I have been reading your stories for hours, and I live all of them! You truly are an inspiration! 😆 (by the way, do you have any fantasy books to recommend? I'm dying for some good books to read during weekends!)
Oh gosh! There are so many great fantasy books this year and I haven’t read most of them! So here’s a short list of my go-to favorites!
The Mercedes Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
Tamora Pierce (everything she’s ever done! Young adult, fantasy)
The Accidental Sorcerer by K.E. Mills (classic film noir, detective, urban fantasy)
The Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep
…and more! I’ll take a look at my bookshelf when I get home. Some I just remember from their plots so I’ll have to check out the titles!
(1 of 2)When I was little I used to hate reading and then in 4th grade my teacher started reading Harry Potter to us after we finished class if there was time and boy did I get invested in that book and he read. So. Slow. I was afraid we'd never get to the end before school was out so I asked my parents to get it for me. From then on I swallowed books like they were air. The next year I was reading at an eighth grade level and by the following I was at a college level. By eight grade I
(2 of 2) stopped advancing in reading level &had read through everything in the school &public libraries that were interesting. I got discouraged by my lack of advancement &also by the serious lack of female driven stories. I actually quit reading for years. I wrote some, but it was hard, I couldn’t create the level I was used to reading. In the last few years I’ve found amazing poetry &fiction on Tumblr and also fanfiction on ao3 that has spurred me back into reading &writing. You’re 1 of them
So it went into longer than two asks but the point of all that mess was really thank you for sharing your writing here because it helps remind me what I love about reading and writing. It keeps me inspired, thinking, and creating.
Ah that’s so sweet! I know what you mean by getting discouraged by the lack of strong, female characters! That’s actually how I wrote my first fanfiction– I got so frustrated because a character in the book I was reading just crumpled at the climax, letting the guy be the hero. So I rewrote it (poorly!) and then never stopped :)
(I’m so honored! I feel like I’m really reaching people when I hear things like this. I want people to read and write and enjoy it!)
Slow reading speeds are my enemy in audiobooks. When they came out with the feature that lets you speed it up to 1.5X I was over the moon!