vb – (often foll by: on) to chatter or babble pointlessly or at unnecessary length
n – pointless chat; chatter
COLLINS ENGLISH DICTIONARY – COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED, 12TH EDITION 2014 © HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
“All books are divisible into two classes,
the books of the hour, and the books of all time.”
– John Ruskin
Last night, I put my hobgoblin (code for toddler) to sleep, made a cup of hot tea, turned on the classical radio and settled in with Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. I promptly laughed out loud (yes, really) at myself. I have met a handful of friends who would consider this a well-spent evening. In truth, it’s been a while since I’ve indulged myself like that, or seemed to. All I could think of was how big of an “intellectual snob” I can be at times. (cue Breakfast at Tiffany’s reference 😉
For the record, I hate Mansfield Park. The novel, while rife with the usual Austen wit, is bogged down with a constant question over morality. She still manages to poke fun of nobility while posing provoking questions. But there’s just no one I feel I can relate to.
“When a man says he sees nothing in a book, he very often means that he does not see himself in it.”
– A.W. Hare and J.C. Hare, Guesses at Truth
Not every book needs a hero for us to step into their boots, but it does make for extra fun reading. And after going from Pride & Prejudice to this it just feels blah… Still, I soldier on. Sometimes that’s what classical literature is. It’s not a quick read, it makes you think and ponder. It’s a lot easier to breeze through a lightweight commercial fic.
So what’s this all about, you may be asking?
Simply this: what are you reading? What books have you read this year that stood out to you? Have you read only contemporary romance or thriller novels, or do you branch into different genres?
This year I decided to try for 100 books, for my Goodreads challenge. Each year I attempt some heavier lit, like tackling all the Austen novels (last year was all my Tolkien). But I didn’t want to limit myself to just one genre. While I tend to favor fantasy for obvious reasons, I love historical fiction and contemporary and everything in between. Except for John Grisham novels, those are tough reads for me, too much legalese. I dove back into book blogging this year so I could pick up new authors I hadn’t heard of, and help my fellow Indie’s spread the word with reviews. I’ve also made a point to read more diverse books this year, as well as literary magazines, anything that would help broaden my perspective a bit. At this point, I’m at 66 out of 100 and mainly attempting to stay afloat.
So… again, what’s the point of all this?
My point is, what are you reading? Most authors choose to write because of books. Because a story touched you as a child or young adult and planted the seed. It whispered to you as you grew older, made you want to tell the kind of stories you loved reading. But the more you write, the more it becomes part of your everyday work, your routine, the easier it is to forget your first love. By first love, I mean books, of course. While we aren’t all obligated to read 100 books per year, or even twenty, it is so important that we read.
“Read few books well.”
– John Horne Tooke, Recollections of S. Rogers
Read books in genres you don’t write, and read biographies and other non-fiction. Read what you wish you had written, and books that will challenge you.
One of the easiest and soundest cures for writer’s block (besides writing) is reading. Remember what made you fall in love with stories in the first place. If you’ve no writerly aspirations, let me encourage you to branch out a bit today. Read something that isn’t in your comfort zone, alongside your latest HEA. Be enlightened and challenge your mind. I promise you’ll be richer for it, even if it makes you as much of an “intellectual snob” as I. 😉
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
– Sir Richard Steele, Tatler
Goals for this week
Reach 30K in Bound Beauty!
Read 5 books (and finish Mansfield Park)
Work on developing a better daily schedule again.
“Triangulate Dialogue” – by Storm Writing School
“Ebook Friendly”– the “ebook geek heaven”
“Editing Fiction Like a Pro” – via Writer’s Digest
Hallo, Ms Silverwood!
I’ve been on a #Feminist #HistFic kick lately – from Escapement, Lilli de Jong, The Fourteenth of September to continuing my readings of The Lost Queen whilst I am nearly ready to finish (ie. need to requeue as I lost pace with where I had been) Aphrodite’s Tears and The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds. After I finish the latter novel, I have a lovely ARC spiral bound of the sequel The Future Came Too Soon – I am dearly attracted to stories spun out of the historic past, where you feel you can breathe in the History through the souls of the characters,.. as this surely was the case with the last three I’ve recently read! The one set during the Vietnam War was especially jarring as it re-opened a door in History I only had a partial understanding of previously,… I have oft felt Historical Fiction allows us to learn History from a diverse perspective only granted to time travellers,..
Similar to you, I love dancing through genres – #MansfieldPark has been on my TBR since last year, when I originally attempted to read more Austen during #AustenINAugust. Sadly, my August this year was fully distracted by *health!* woes of my father, so ironically, despite the hopes of re-attaching myself into Austen, I fell dearly short! Therefore, I can’t offer any further insight or angst, as I haven’t yet picked up the pages,…
I recently revealled on Twitter, despite my affirmative love and passion for #HistRom, I am dearly excited about devouring more #HistoricalMysteries of late than Roms! lol Who knew I’d reveal that!? I’m also struggling of connecting into Contemporary Roms – there are a few stand-out authors, like the INSPY Contemporary novelists: Kellie Coates Gilbert (reading through her Texas Gold series this year) & Becky Wade (loved her Bradford Sisters Romance series this year) whom I’ve read recently even if Laura Scott & Lenora Worth gave me wicked brill Rom Suspense in the vein of INSPY! Earlier the year began with Lucinda Riley who write dual narratives anchoured between the Contemporary present and the Historical past in a dearly brilliant composition!
I’ve had a lot of interesting revelations this year, some stories I wasn’t sure were going to be #belovedreads really were and others, might have fell a bit short. I currently have a lot of lovelies I’m looking forward to digging inside – both Fiction & Non-Fiction, as I’ve become more enthused about NF since I’ve started blogging,… but you asked about the STORIES specifically.
The greatest discovery would have to be reading my *8th!* Dystopian novel and finding it not only had traction of presence but it held my eye and heart – a feat I never thought I’d discover in that genre!! (laughs) I credit this to how Stephen Zimmer wrote Dream of the Navigator and how he wrote it for someone who wants YA Dystopian but wants it in a way he’s chosen to write it! (smiles)
I do approach reading the way you’ve spoken about it – from finding stories which challenge me to the stories that make me laugh. I love heart-warming Sweet Romances but I also love dramatic crime stories like #TeamKayHunter or any of the historical mysteries I regularly blog the heart out of like Marjorie Trumaine, Anna Blanc, Hiro Hattori or Samuel Craddock; though Bess Crawford & Mary Russell alongside Lady Emily need to join their ranks – as I lost traction with those series unfortunately! I love the dimensions you can experience in both Science Fiction & Fantasy, whilst Biographical Historical Fiction sometimes pushes me over the cliff of what I can emotionally handle. I’ll still seek it out – reading the stories which crush your soul have their place too on your shelf and in your heart.
An insight into Jorie’s #bookshelf (for the next week or so):
* Book Five of the Return of the Blackwell Brothers (Cowboy Fiction) by Karen Rock
* The Renaissance Club by Rachel Dacus
* The Robot in the Next Cubicle by Larry Boyer
* A Reckoning in the Backcountry (newest Samuel Craddock) by Terry Shames
* Saving Shadow by Laura Beers
* Indecision by Brittany Fuller
* See Also Proof (newest Marjorie Trumaine) by Larry D. Sweazy
* The Butterfly Conspiracy by Vivian Conroy
* Trans-Con: Girl in the Gears by E. Chris Garrison (re-listen to review, audio)
+ 5x audios I’m dearly looking forward to digging back inside!!
As you can see, I’m jumping around — lol I’m also staring at other books which might sneak their way into my hands whilst I’m truly focusing on this list of stories!! Currently though – I’m reading “Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor” by Sarah L. McConkie which is a Sweet Rom / Regency Rom under the Pure Romance imprint at Cedar Fort. I have loved this imprint of releases since circa 2014 or 2015? Their as lovely to disappear inside as an INSPY novel. Sometimes I am in the mood for lighter reads,..
I have a surprise coming for the writers I’ve read over the past five years – I’m releasing my End of the Year Survey’s this #blogtober, so I’ll know my stats for ‘how many books did I read?’ per each year, as I only (thus far) released the one for . I do wonder if one year I broached *200!* stories,… I’m too addicted to reading again to stop. I went through a bad spell – ten full years of not connecting to stories or to writing… I refuse to stop reading now that I’ve reclaimed my reading life. The stories keep calling to me,.. I want to dissolve inside them and see what I can find and experience,… as reading is a collection of adventures, experiences, nuance, timescape and the artful travelling of a curious mind!
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