Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year! What's on your Kindle?

There is something very appealing about cozying up with a book on a cold winter’s day. Through the course of the year, I don’t always have a surfeit of free time, so reading is usually one of the things that goes to the back burner. I manage to pick up a book here and there, but in the winter . . .

Winter is my time to splurge on books, to curl into a corner and spend all day reading when I have the time to spend. One of the things I can count on since I was gifted with a Kindle a few years ago is a gift certificate(s) to fill that Kindle each Christmas. And I do. So far, I’ve downloaded five books by authors I’ve not read before and I have more gift dollars to spend. I am a happy camper! I’ve also read some of the classics that I am familiar with, some of which I have never read. This year, I read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for the first time.

After all the hullabaloo leading up to the holidays, it’s nice to fill the down time. As an author, reading enriches me. Authors have an overly critical eye when it comes to reading other authors, and that can be both good and bad. For me, it helps to see what another author has done poorly so that I can avoid a similar pratfall. It also shows me what another author has done well that I can strive to incorporate into my own writing.

During this winter glut of books, so far I’ve read a story by an author who I believe should have researched her subject matter a little more. Even with limited knowledge, I could see failure to address important details. Another author that I’d had on my TBR (to be read) list, Terry Reid, impressed me a great deal. In her Mary O’Reilly series, I believed she was an ex-police office writing from experience. It helps that I am familiar with the setting for her books, so I could visualize the area. I also picked up a fantasy book (and I’m not a huge fan of fantasy) by an author I was curious to read. While the first two chapters centered around world-building and gave me a struggle, the rest of the book was filled with brilliant descriptions, reminding me how important it is to “show” the reader what they need to see (rather than telling them).  I loved it!

Lessons? For the good books, reminders of what makes a book good. Brilliant descriptions that don’t detract from the story, woven in seamlessly. From the “less good” books, reminders of what takes a reader out of the story, things that are missing or poorly incorporated.

I have two more books that I’m anxious to get to, stopping, of course, to do some writing of my own and punch up the weak spots in Epitaph. Any books you want to recommend? I’m almost through my first flurry of downloads.

What books did you get for the holidays?


  1. I don't have a Kindle, but I do have a Nook. Like you, I never seem to have enough time to read and currently have about 5 books waiting in the TBR section. I read myself to sleep every night, so I prefer reading something that doesn't require too much thought. I prefer mysteries and CIA types of books, but do enjoy others like family sagas, a good romance novel/love story. The past few months I've been reading a lot of cat/dog books because my cat is on Twitter as himself and talks to lots of other animal friends. I always enjoy your books and am looking forward to getting the next one.

    1. I'll have to look Mario up on twitter! Mist on the Meadow is on the editor's schedule for mid January. I'll keep you updated!