2012 Reading List

According to GoodReads, I’m four books off the pace for the year already. I imagine that little app is going to vex me, especially since the goal I set for myself this year—75 books read—is highly ambitious for someone who wants to finish writing a book and start drafting another one in the same paltry 365 (366!) days. I’ll also be spending a lot of time in the next few months getting ready for my class at StoryStudio.

The reading list might just have to take a back seat this year.

7. A Test of Wills- Charles Todd
Charles Todd is actually a guy and his mom, who write these together. One half of Charles Todd held the door for me at Bouchercon. (That’s the best line I have from Bouchercon.) I might embarrass myself if I were ever to meet one-half of Charles Todd again, now that I’ve sunk deep into this series. I. Love. Them. They aren’t perfect, but the protagonist is good and has a bit of a one-half/two-half thing going on for himself. If you like English mysteries, World War I stories, etc., check them out.

8. Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America- Barbara Ehrenreich
If you have ANY interest in social class issues in America, in Occupy Wall Street, in how our country is divided between haves and the rest of us, I can’t believe you haven’t read this already. This is my second reading. The book has stood the test of time. In fact, the biggest problem with this book that it was written long enough ago, that you can’t help but think how many more people are living under the poverty line than when Ehrenreich researched it.

9. Treasure Island!!!- Sara Levine
I wanted to like this book—I like Treasure Island, for one thing—but I pretty much hated the protagonist all the way through. Some friends of mine liked this book a lot, though, so don’t let me deter you. In fact, I’ll give my copy to the first person who pipes up for it.

10. Wings of Fire- Charles Todd
See? This is the kind of book I like. World War I shellshocked detective solves family murders. Take all my “reviews” with this grain of salt. I like what I like. You like what you like.

11. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency- Alexander McCall Smith
A re-read. Not sure I’ll read the entire series again, but I might. I like them that much. They are so charming and enjoyable. You know what? I might read them all again. He’s got so many series to keep up in the air, it might be a while before another Mma. Ramotswe book comes along.

12. Writing the Breakout Novel- Donald Maass
While I was at AWP, I heard two writing teachers agreeing that this writing book was a good resource for the revision stage of noveling. Hey, I thought, I own that book. But I hadn’t read it. Now I have. This is the writing book for when you already have a draft and want to make it better. Some of the advice about the publishing industry and promotions is out of date—published in 2001 (and, one assumes, pre-September), the book refers to terrorists as an unlikely topic of interest for American thriller readers—but the bulk of the book is about taking your writing to a more professional level. I got some great ideas for my book by reading it.

By Published On: March 10, 2012Categories: Reading