What Did I Read Last Year? Really?

Talk about a kick in the pants. Yeah, you're gonna hear what I read last year. Bet ya can't wait;)

 It's just what I needed to get going on my blog again.

My critique group, called Writer's Ramble, is focusing on what we all read last year. I'm not sure I'm ready to give out this information. It feels like I'm opening up about something that's a bit too personal. As if anyone bats an eye about that anymore. I guess it's public enough. I do have a Goodreads account, after all:)

Here's what I know for a fact about my reading habits. Since, I'm writing a book about a princess, much of my reading has been devoted to that, researching what I can about when they lived, their lives and the problems that they encounter and must solve.

Another aspect of my reading is has to do with my husband. We like to talk about books, so there are murder mysteries, detective novels and courtroom dramas.

And last, but not least, I enjoy reading books that my friends have written and people in my writing community. This is the area I am weakest in, mostly due to the small amount of time I have to read. I guess I'm a little embarrassed to say that there are many great writers out there, not Big Five authors, and I haven't taken advantage of reading their work. That, my friends, is the biggest resolution I have for 2015, to find wonderful authors who aren't necessarily on the New York Times Bestseller List and read new stuff like crazy.

Jennifer Roberson was by far the best new author I read this year. I LOVE HER WRITING!!! So rich and detailed, I often felt like I was right inside the story with the characters. Great storytelling, too.


This was quite a disappointment. While I enjoyed certain aspects of the book (a lot at stake, how a princess becomes a queen, and the necklaces were cool), her story was much too derivative of Sleepy Beauty, Hunger Games and Robin Hood. It was also quite vulgar in spots and I found the protagonist whiney.
Not disappointing at all. I've never read Sanderson before and really enjoyed his story, even the magic, which I normally can't relate to. His twist at the end was phenomenal.
I've read the whole series by Phillippa Gregory, starting with the White Queen (which is by far the best) and found them not only accurate, but very interesting. She somehow breathes new life into historical fiction.
This is just all kinds of fun. I was delighted to see how closely the film follows the book.
While Game of Thrones is not necessarily a book about one princess, I love Martin's world-building and how he makes the Seven Kingdoms and the stories behind them feel so real. One of his great talents as a writer is to make the backstory/history feel like it's part of the present and how the characters still suffer the consequences of what has happened in the past.


Gabaldon is one of my favorite romance writers of all time. She's a terrific writer with great storytelling abilities and has created one of the most mesmerizing couples in history.



I really enjoy reading Connelly. Although, I have to say, I think his earlier stuff is better in general, especially the Bosch stories. Two my favorite recent novels are The Burning Room and Nine Dragons. Very intense stuff.


I'm not sure that Grisham is the best writer in the world (his shifting perspective still catches me off guard), but he is the king of great courtroom dramas. This is his first book and it is a humdinger. It's reminiscent of To Kill A Mocking Bird, which is one of my favorite books in the world.

The sequel to A Time to Kill is another story based on racial prejudice in the South.



Right off the bat, you need to know that Juli is my sister, so I am in no way biased when I say this;) No, really! This book is one of the very best romance stories I have ever read--period. It has everything from a depressed, judgmental protagonist to crazy side characters to impressive growth and understanding. And, love. Great writing, storytelling and fabulous snark.

One of the best YA writers out there right now, you'll find Wendy's stuff very appealing, even for adults. She is a wonderful writer, but I think her biggest strength is storytelling. She always surprises me with her twists and turns and great unforeseen endings.

 This is only a sample, of course, but it gives you a good idea of what I like to read. Again, I'm ready to take on new stuff. If you're a writer and you'd like to introduce me to your stories, leave a link in comments. I'm ready to dive in. I'd love to hear what you read last year. Leave me your comments!!!


Comments

  1. You really do read a little bit of every fiction genre. I can see how the story your writing reflects the types of books you like to read. Also, I LOVE Jennifer Roberson and would very much recommend her Tiger and Del series. Although I found world building isn't her strength, she does male-female dynamics and relationships brilliantly! I'm very curious to see how your reading changes over the next year with the goals you mentioned at our last meeting. :-)

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