Monday, November 27, 2006

Reading for Pleasure

I get asked all the time whether or not I read for pleasure and the answer is of course I do . . . and I don’t. I do read for pleasure all the time and people are amazed that I would want to read after spending a day working with books. But why would I be in this business if books weren’t my greatest pleasure? Of course, I don’t really read strictly for pleasure since every time I pick up a book it’s also work. It’s research to see what the competition is doing, to remind myself of what makes a good submission and therefore a good book, and to keep up on trends.

So what have I been reading lately (outside of the work my clients are writing) and how did I come to those books? Here’s a list of roughly the last five books I’ve read for pleasure:

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris—An editor I had just sold a new mystery series to gave me this book during a recent lunch.

The Southern Devil by Diane Whiteside—I picked this up in the airport for my flight home from California. Kate Douglas has always spoken highly of Diane’s work, and since I’d never read her I thought I’d give it a look.

I’ll Be Watching You by Andrea Kane—A book I received at the NJ RWA conference luncheon.

A Fountain Filled with Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming—I’ve received a number of submissions referencing her work and have heard a great deal about her books so I thought I’d better check them out and see what it was all about.

The Fyre Mirror (Elizabeth I Mysteries) by Karen Harper—I’d never read Karen’s work before but was intrigued by the setting of this series.



Anonymous said...

Does reading for work spoil your reading for pleasure? In other words, are you pickier about the books you read than you were before your publishing career?

Anonymous said...

I like Karen Harper...she's written quite a few set in Amish areas too. Overall, I love mysteries, especially romantic types ;)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like me - People recommend books to me all the time to read for pleasure, but as of the last year or so, I've had very little time to actually read for "pleasure". I read books and do book reviews for a couple of websites. One site gives us a list of books and asks us to choose one or several, depending on the length of the list and all. The other site just sends out the books - not that I mind but when you receive books unsure of what you getting, it tends to take away the time to read for pleasure. The last couple of months, I had a stack of 12 books to read and review. I'm down to 4 or 5 now. The one site sent me 8 books at one time and the other I had asked for a couple of books at various times. I am not one of these readers who can start several stories at a time and read like that. I like to concentrate on one book at a time. I also have taken on reading a variety of different genres as research - for my own YA/youth/middle grade stuff. So I can empathsize about not having time to read for pleasure, but then again, every bit of reading is pleasurable to me in that I enjoy books. I owe this love of books to both my grandmother (God rest her soul) and my godmother (God rest her soul as well). They both started giving me books before I was able to actually read the words but I could spin a story based on the pictures to my brothers.

Anyway - I've heard that readers make the best writers - so read on - writers need the readers too - E :)

Anonymous said...

If you want a good mystery/suspense thriller from an unlikely source,try G. Gordon Liddy's The Monkey Handlers. He won me over with his autobiography Will, but blew me away with this fiction novel. The man can write!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I noticed that all of the books you are reading are by women. As an aspiring novelist, and a man (insert hushed tones here) I am left wondering if you only read works geared towards women.

I for one spend about 2 hours a day in my car and am a huge fan of books on CD... or more precisely, on my IPod. I go for Koontz, Demille, and a little Cromwell.

I'd love some recommendations though and will check out the books you listed. Thanks!

BookEnds, A Literary Agency said...


Before the end of the year you're going to see a list of some of my favorite authors. And yes some are men. Truthfully though I do gravitate toward books primarily about women or with female protagonists. That doesn't mean though that I won't look at books with a male protagonist.