Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Love

Sometimes my reading list feels like a hungry creature rattling the cage of my nightstand. I try to feed it, really I do because reading constantly and voraciously seems like the truest path to making me a better writer.

Typically I read a book a week. Which is a lot, I know.

I can already hear slower, more methodical readers shaking their heads at my book wanton ways. And they're right. Even though I read and read and read, I'm quite certain the details of each book I read aren't as crystal clear in three months time as they are to say, someone like my daughter, who takes her time and savors every teensy word.

Be that as it may, I believe the cumulative effect of my reading habit helps to shape my prose. Style, sentence structure and pacing seep in through those hours of reading and become something like correct grammar for small children. It's innate. They know it when they hear it, even if they can't quite explain the rules. At least that's the hoped for effect of my reading obsession.

Even if my obsession never makes perfect prose my native language, I can take comfort in the knowledge it buoys my favorite market. As long as writers keep writing, I'll keep reading, one book and one week at at time.

Here's what's waiting on my nightstand for March.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mosin Hamid

The Earl's Engagement by Anne Gallagher

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Have you read any of them? Are you an insatiable reader? What are your favorite genres?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wish I had more time to read.

Unknown said...

I'm currently reading The Casual Vacancy. So far I'm enjoying it! Admittedly, there was a bit of a bittersweet twang in my heart as I began the book and thought, "Well this isn't Harry Potter at all." I quickly got over it, though. I'm with Alex, I wish I had more time to read. I know I need to make that time, but I'm not sure where it's going to come from yet.

ilima said...

I'd read all day every day if I could get away with it. Unfortunately, I don't have much spare time, so my reading usually comes in spurts over the weekend. I do like to devour them in one sitting when I can, though, instead of spread over days and days.

Carol Kilgore said...

I read about a book a month, on average. And I never have long periods to read. Usually I read for 5-20 minutes at a time, a few times a day. My favorite genres are the ones I write - mystery, suspense, romance.

Happy Weekend!

Connie J Jasperson said...

I've read Casual Vacancy and loved it. I haven't read any of the others, though the titles sound intriguing. Normally i read a book a week, sometimes two, but also I find myself putting some down after three chapters and moving on to the next, because I have a blog that is supposed to come out on fridays and the books I read are what I blog on--if I LOVED them. This week, the blog is still waiting. I read a great book, but haven't had time to write the review :(

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've a really fast reader and when I'm in the mode, I can burn through a book in less than a week.

Barbara Watson said...

As you know, I mainly read middle grade books. :-) I do love reading but mainly fit it in late, late at night...sometimes staying up way too late.

Diana Wilder said...

that's quite a nice, varied list! I tend to read what interests me - so I have cooking essays, travelogues, old National Geographic magazines, children's books. I do need to prune that pile on my nightstand. Or else get to bed earlier...

Johanna Garth said...

Alex, I do too.

Caitlin, sigh, I know.

Ilima, me too so I have to relegate it to the evening hours.

Carol, I just finished an amazing suspense novel. Cover of Snow. So good!!

Connie, can't wait to see what's up next.

Diane, a fellow speed demon :)

Barbara, me too!

Diana, thanks. I'm all over the map with my genres and preferences.

Mark Koopmans said...


I *always* have three books on the go at the one time... they're placed in strategic points around the house, so I always have one near me :)

I'm like you.. I kinda speed read a little and can't remember much later... but as long as I enjoy the moment... that's the main thing :)

The Bookworm said...

I wish I could read faster myself, a book per week would be great. It all depends on my mood though, sometimes I will ge through a book in two days, sometimes it takes me over one week.
Where'd You Go Bernadette and The Casual Vacancy are both on my wishlists. Happy reading Johanna!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I know what you mean about devouring a book -- being absolutely unable to put it down -- and then months later you're a little hazy on what it was all about.

But then, I also come across books that I devour, and every detail of them is going to be seared into my brain forever.

Code Name Verity is one of those.

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks for the shout-out Johanna. I appreciate it.

I used to read a book a day, (I'm a speed reader), but don't have much time these days.

I don't really have a TBR pile either. Just grab what's handy. I can't wait to get my Kindle for my birthday this year (finally). I'm sure I'll be reading a LOT more.