A Reading Dare and a Book Recommendation

Reading is a must for serious writers.  The entertainment factor is great, but I think it’s important to be familiar with new titles on the bestseller lists, emerging authors, and to have some knowledge of the classics. 

I’m shocked every time I hear someone say they only read one specific genre. Don’t those people have any idea what they’re missing?  I mean, everyone has their favorites, sure, but I’d go crazy if I read ONLY romance, or ONLY horror.   To me, that would be like eating my favorite dish every meal for the rest of my life, with no variety or tasty new side dishes.

Personally, the only genre that doesn’t usually thrill me to death is what I call ‘Space Suit Sci-Fi’, the futuristic kind with high-tech scientific weapons and slang, that takes place in some god-forsaken sector of outer space.  Just isn’t my thing.  (Okay, I like ET and Star Trek, but not Star Wars.)   But do I occasionally pick up a Sci-Fi title?  Yes, I do.  That’s how I discovered the amazing world of Terry Pratchett.

So, to encourage people to step outside of their self-imposed book boundaries, I dare everyone who reads this to pick up a novel in a genre they don’t normally read.  Maybe something off the bestseller list, or a classic by an author you’ve never read before, but something with merit.  Come on, give it a try, live a little.  🙂  Let me know if you find a new fav, or even if you’re horribly unimpressed with your selection.

I updated my ‘What I’m Reading’  page with a review on The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern.  It’s an amazing new novel I  highly recommend.

18 comments on “A Reading Dare and a Book Recommendation

  1. You’re right about reading being so important. Writers can learn so much from other writers.

    I’m a fellow crusader stopping by to say hello and follow. So…Hello!

  2. Joy says:

    I’ll definitely try that. I haven’t tried anything paranormal yet, though it’s all the rage. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. Tara says:

    I agree. Paranormal is one of the only genres I don’t read (along with the Brave New World sci-fi type stuff). Oddly enough, one of my crit partners emailed last night to say she was sending me a few of her old paperbacks so I had no excuse not to try out some of that paranormal romance.

  4. Hello, fellow Crusader!

    Glad you discovered Terry Pratchett. Love the Discworld books.

    I almost bought a political thriller the other day, a genre that doesn’t usually interest me, but I liked the back-cover hook. Maybe I’ll go back and get it.


    • Hi Dan,

      Yep, I’m a fan of Pratchett’s Discworld. And his genre doesn’t usually appeal that much to me, but his stories just draw me in. 🙂 I can’t put his novels down when I start one.

      Definitely give that political thriller a try. Sounds like you’re just itching to crack that baby open. 🙂

  5. Susan Fields says:

    Hi fellow crusader!

    I didn’t used to read much at all, until I met a group of writing friends who helped me understand it’s a MUST for writers. I do tend to stick to my favorite fantasy/sci fi/paranormal books, but I’ve branched out a little. I’m taking the BooKrushed 11 in 2011 challenge and had to pick 11 2011 releases I’ll read this year. I’ve got a chick lit (I don’t think I’ve ever tried chick lit before) and a MG adventure about dogsled racing – both written by fellow bloggers. I’m excited to expand my horizons!

  6. Hi Susan,
    I’m glad you’re branching out, testing the waters to see what other genres you enjoy. 🙂

  7. Hi crusader, nice to meet you. Now following.


  8. L'Aussie says:

    Stephen King has a great quote along these lines:
    Iif you haven’t got time to read you haven’t got time to write. So right! I agree absolutely with your post. I constantly push myself. As a teacher I have to read books/plays I usually wouldn’t bother with, but by reading I come to love/appreciate most genres. I’m with you on the sci-fi you’re talking about. I’m currently teaching sci-fi creative writing. What fun, ahem! But once again, I’ve come to appreciate the formulas and world building.

    So fellow group member/crusader, welcome to this lovely world.


  9. tanya reimer says:

    welcome to the crusade. I added you to my feed.

  10. Raising Marshmallows, L’Aussie, and Tanya,
    thanks for stopping by!

    I LOVE all things Stephen King and would probably paint my nose purple if he said to. 🙂 His ‘On Writing’ book is my favorite book on the subject.

  11. Hi Tina, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked writers what they are reading and been informed that they really don’t like to read. What? And they what to be a writer? Sigh. Anyway, I’ve been on the best reading jag lately. Every thing I’ve picked up has been fantastic: The entire Hunger Games trilogy, The Help, Half-Broke Horses, Freedom, The Winter Garden, and more I can’t remember at the time. Currently reading Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez. Can’t put it down!

  12. Tracy says:

    Amen to that! I can never understand when people say something like. “Oh, I only read romance” or “If it’s not Westerns, I’m not interested”. I have my favorites for sure (I’m a sucker for Urban Fantasy), but I would have been doing myself a major disservice if I hadn’t allowed myself to read Meg Cabot’s Queen of Babble series.

    Think about it, all the wonderful cross genres we know today wouldn’t exist if authors before us hadn’t read widely.

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