Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Feeling bookish

Image: Mysticartdesign
Do you alter your personal reading based on what you are currently working on?

by Dietrich

Mostly, I read for entertainment and I read for inspiration. A book can be any genre, fiction or non-fiction as long as it lights me up. If it doesn’t do that, what would be the point of reading it? It’s about story, and it’s about rhythm and style. And if it’s good, then I want to read it, and if it’s great, I’ll likely feel inspired by that author’s voice and words.

"You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” — Stephen King

It doesn’t matter what I’m working on, I often read crime fiction novels while I’m working. Another author’s cadence doesn’t interfere with my writing. And in all fairness, I write mostly in the mornings, going until about noon, aside from whatever reading I do based on what I’m curre
ntly working on, the fact-finding and research.

For personal reading, there are so many great books to discover, many more than there is time to read them, proving that life’s too short. So, I’m picky about what I read, and anytime I pick wrong, I don’t keep reading. I put down the book and pick another one.

Right now, I’m working on a fictionalized account of true events, a crime story set in the 30s. I’m about halfway through the second draft, and in that time, I’ve read quite a few books on the subject, but I’ve also read quite a few for entertainment. Here are some favorites among them: 

Hollywood Moon and Hollywood Hills by Joseph Wambaugh were perfect books for when I needed to laugh, and Wambaugh does a great job with this series, a humorous, sometimes tense look at the LAPD. 

Another dark and funny book that had me laughing was Florida Roadkill, the first in the Serge Storms series by Tim Dorsey. I’m looking forward to more of these.

Black Cherry Blues and A Morning for Flamingos by James Lee Burke, the third and fourth in the Dave Robicheaux series — somehow I previously missed these — were both pure inspiration. 

A Man in Full and Back to Blood, written by a true master, Tom Wolfe, were a joy to read, as well as a master course on how it’s done.

And for some great genre twisting — part coming of age, part horror, part mystery and thriller — there was Stephen King’s Later. Another great one from an author who seems to get better every time out.

Go to My Grave is a standalone psychological thriller written by our own Catriona. I loved this one, a great story by an author with a great voice and style.

Lastly, there were a couple of well-written autobiographies that had me riveted: Miles, the Autobiography by Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe. And Anger is an Energy by John Lydon.

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