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What are you reading? January Books

Reading was my first love. Growing up, I spent hours holed up in my bedroom. I squeezed my tush into an old wooden rocking chair, planted my feet on the radiator and lost myself in books. On family vacations, the hours spent in the car passed quickly because I always had a book in hand.

When I’ve been writing non-stop (like November and December) I feel depleted. My brain gets tired and I feel like I can’t put together a coherent thought. When it’s all over, I just want to lose myself in mindless television… for a week or so. And then I start to get antsy. I want to be inspired. I want the words of other people to make me laugh and to make me think. I turn to books to fill me up – a grab-you-by-the-throat story that sucks me in or a brilliant turn of phrase that has me audibly saying “Huh!” is exactly what I need to fill up the well of writing inspiration.

January was a joyful reading month. I wrote just enough to squeak by on my writing commitments and I spent the remainder of my free time (usually an hour or two after my kids go to bed) reading. Here are the books I finished in January:

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Night Swim by Jessica Keener

The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson (Don’t let the cover art fool you. This book is a tender and mature look at mental illness told from the point of view of a 10-year-old girl.)

Cracked by K.M. Walton

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (It’s was a John Green month for me!)

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore

I’ve gotten some great suggestions from all of you in the comments for books to add to my February list. I’ve added The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson thanks to Lorna’s suggestion. Check her out at Gin and Lemonade. I’m also adding The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco thanks to LoveofWords52.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. January was my book reading kick off month as well. I have only completed 3 so far, but surprising even myself, I have stuck with it Of course as time permits in between work and family obligations. But what usually makes me buy a book is word of mouth while at other times I have found nice little reading treasures all on my on at the library or on other online sites like Amazon that highlight best seller lists. Currently I am reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

    February 7, 2012
  2. ooh, these all look good. 🙂 Especially Cracked.. I’m not sure why, but it just does. Actually, I do know why… but I’ m not telling!

    Great post, Sara.
    I just bought Skinny White Woman by Stasia Minkowsky… I hope to have it by the end of the week!

    February 7, 2012
    • I loved Cracked. Not only was it a great story told for the point of view of two bullied teenagers, but the acknowledgements were some of the best I’ve read in a long time. K.M. Walton was so sincere and gracious in her acknowledgements. I was actually crying while I was reading those pages. I’ve been wanting to read Skinny White Woman. Let me know how you like it, Darlene.

      February 7, 2012
    • Okay – I just looked and Skinny White Woman wasn’t the book that I thought it was, Darlene. Thanks for introducing me to something new. This is why I love the blogosphere. I would never have know about this book if it weren’t for you, and it looks like such an interesting read! Thanks again.

      February 7, 2012
  3. I’m a creative writing major at SFSU and on the first day of one of my classes this semester my professor brought up the fact that if you want to write, you also have to read. I knew that already, and I’m sure that the other students did too, but I have friends who are also creative writing majors who I never see reading anything. I read all the time, always have, and always will. The professor also talked about how to be able to call yourself a “writer” you actually have to write, and the same thing goes for reading. Sometimes I wonder if I really can call myself a “writer” but I know I can always call myself a “reader.”

    February 8, 2012
    • It sounds like you’re taking all the right steps that will enable you to feel like you can all yourself a writer, axlaru. I hoe the creative writing program gives you new insights about yourself and the craft of writing. And I agree, writers need to read as much as they can. Someone once said that we were all readers before we were writers.

      February 12, 2012
  4. Thank you for reading my novel. Warm wishes, Jessica

    February 20, 2012

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