Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Summer Reading List

I have a confession to make…I haven’t been able to enjoy any good books lately.  Other than the writing books I read to learn more about the craft, it’s been very difficult to stay focused on any one book.  I thought it was because I was too busy writing…leaving very little time to read other authors.  But then I finally figured out what the problem was…
I wasn’t enjoying the books I’d been reading. 

How did I finally come to this realization?  When I finally began a book I wasn’t able to put down or that I continued to think about even when I didn’t have my nose stuck in the book.
That’s what makes a good book.

And it’s why I was having such a difficult time getting through the past few books I had chosen to read.  They weren’t holding my attention and I almost dreaded having to get back to them.  I tried a romantic mystery by a well-known author but it was more romance and less mystery except for the question as to why I was even sticking with the story at all.  I tried a police thriller by another known author who I’ve read before and actually enjoyed but I soon discovered this story was just like the others, only with different characters.  Not much fun when I feel like I’ve already read the story and know the general plot.  I also read a thriller by an author I really like but for some reason this story just didn’t draw me in like the others had.
I was beginning to think there was something wrong with my ability to stick with a book.  Was it me and not the books?

Turns out it was the books.  Even though these authors have years of experience on me and their writing is as polished as all get out, sometimes a story just falls a little flat.  Even the best authors have bad days.
I have to admit how relieved I was to figure this out.  As much as someone might critique the way I may write, I’m still learning the craft and will get better as I continue to write.  What I hope, more than anything, is that it is my story and the plots involved with the characters that keep readers coming back to my book in order to finish it and later wait impatiently for more as the series continues.

And who can I give credit to for this relieving insight?  I happened to pick up a book on sale at Barnes & Noble recently by an author I had not yet heard of:  So Cold the River by Michael Koryta.  I decided to give it a shot because the back cover promised that the novel was being compared to the writings of Stephen King and Peter Straub.  Well, I’m always on the lookout for a new author who can provide me with creepy stories so I was immediately interested.  I’m happy to say the review posted on the back cover was not giving me a load of bull.  It is an interesting story about sinister happenings in an odd little town and I’m completely sucked in.
I’m also happy with the fact that I’ve found a new author I can enjoy reading.  Rather than dread my reading time with a book that’s not holding my interest, I look forward to finishing the story so that I can read what else the author has written.

Again, that’s what makes a good book.
I’m almost done with the first book on my summer reading list.  From there I’ll move on to the rest of the books in my summer pile, a mix of mystery, thriller, fantasy, historical fiction, inspirational and…yup, even a romance.  I figured I needed to add a beach read for those days when I need a light read. 

What’s on your reading list?  What types of books keep you entertained during the warm summer evenings? 



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