This week I have been reading a lot. My writing has slowed a little as I have been quite busy but I always find time to read, whether it’s a chapter on the bus or ten minutes before bed. Good writing is always a big inspiration for me. So, I thought this week I would share some of the books I have read recently that I have really enjoyed.
A heads up from the start that they are a really varied mixture and you might wonder how I chose these books. Most of the time I’m quite random with my book choices, I just go into Waterstone’s and select a load of different books. I also take pictures of book reviews on my phone when I read them in magazines and order those. I also recently bought the whole set from the Zoella book club which is mainly YA fiction. Not very literary, I know, but I just liked the idea of someone else choosing the books and not looking at the blurbs, but just reading.
The list below includes six books that I have recently read and really enjoyed. I’m not going to review them exactly, but just say why they have inspired me to keep writing.
So, here goes:
All the Bright Places, Jennifer Naven
This was the first book in the Zoella book club and I was really pleasantly surprised at how well written it was. Other than for uni it’s been a long while since I have read any YA books, so it was a really nice change. I loved the voices of the two main characters in this and I also loved the authors bravery when it came to plotting.
Brooklyn, Colm Toibin
I mainly read this because I wanted to see the film but missed it at the cinema. I love the description in this book and the scene setting. It takes you back to the period in which its set which I think is a difficult task.
Writers & Artists Guide to How to Write: The Essential Guide For Authors
I recently bought almost the whole series of the Writers & Artists Guides. I would highly recommend them all, they cover historical fiction, childrens lit and much, much more. This one was one of my favourites because of the amount of information in there. I have read quite a few books used as examples inside, which leads me on to my next book…
Homer and Langley, E.L. Doctorow
See! I told you it was an eclectic mixture.
The opening alone is enough to inspire any author: ‘I’m Homer, the blind brother. I didn’t lose my sight all at once, it was like the movies, a slow fade-out.’ This novel is full of beautiful lines and for that alone, it’s inspiring. Never mind the fantastic character development and unexpected plot.
The Reader on the 6.27, Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
I think this book has had a fair bit of attention. I really enjoyed reading it. It’s nice because the chapters are short, it’s structure is unusual. To be honest, everything about the book is unusual, from the setting to the plot to the characters. For some inspiration on how to be quirky without putting readers off, this is your book!
Early One Morning, Virginia Bailey
This has been my stand out read so far this summer. I literally picked it because it is set in Rome and the cover is pretty, not much is given away in the blurb and that always attracts me to a book. The only thing is that the ending is a little rushed, but the rest of the book is a lesson in how to write historical fiction. It’s setting is rich and described beautifully and it has a mixture of characters. It’s pace is fantastic until the last fifty pages. It really left me thinking. It was one of those books that made me stop when I finished reading it and just think about what I had just read. I think that’s what most of us writers are aiming for, to make the reader pause before they move on to their next book…
So that’s it!
Reading always inspires me and I do think that going out of your comfort zone is always a good idea. Have you read any of the book above? Did you enjoy them? What has been inspiring you this week? Let me in the comments…