I’m not just counting on doing a lot of writing this year. Reading fiction was what got me in to this mess to begin with, but ever since I started writing myself, and especially during the last year or so, I’ve spend less and less time reading as I focused more on writing.
This year will be different. This year I’ll be both reading and writing more than I used too, because both things are needed to become a better writer. So far I’m off to a good start, having read five books this year as of today, February eleventh.
Deadpool – The Complete Collection by Daniel Way:
I actually liked the humor of the Deadpool movie and a friend off mine convinced me to try the comics too. I have to be honest though, the compilation I bought at least wasn’t really all that funny. The stories were fine, standard action hero stuff, but the humor was what I counted on to make this thing work. It didn’t.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett:
Here, on the other hand, the humor exploded of the page. I’d wanted to read Good Omens for a while, Pratchett and Gaiman being two of my favorite authors, and it didn’t disappoint. There was Pratchett’s humor, Gaimain’s eloquent writing, brilliant characters, and solid story telling. I very much recommend.
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson:
I listened to this one while driving to and from work, and it was perfect just for that. The pacing was high, the conflict gripping, and the setting was original and well thought off. Add to that a clear writing style and you end up with a story that could entertain, but didn’t demand so much of your attention that it made impossible to drive simultaneously. The characters felt a bit superhuman at times, and the sentence level writing exactly brilliant. Still, with a debut like that, it’s no wonder Sanderson’s career sky-rocketed.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf:
I picked this out because I want something else than speculative fiction once in a while, and I’d heard Woolf’s writing style was a joy in itself. I’ve been let down by so-called classics before, and I have to say this was one of the worse letdowns. I can enjoy subtle tension just as much as all out action, but nothing really happened in this story at all, and the writing style, well… the combination of stream of consciousness and head-hopping was annoying at best, but mostly it just came across as pretentious since it didn’t really seem to have any purpose.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury:
Having been let down by one of the general classics, I turned to one of the modern classics of speculative fiction. And this one was an instantaneous success. I would’ve enjoyed it just for the sentence level writing. Bradbury’s style is clear yet distinct and concise, and it paints images like few others can. But the story is so much more than this. It’s a well developed futuristic setting that seems all to close to the world we’re living in today, and with it, it carries a theme that should give every book lover, every intelligent being pause for thought. The only negative thing I have to say about the book is the relatively forgettable characters. Still, this has become one of my all time favorite books.
If you have any recommendations for must read books, I would love to hear them in the comments below.