Monday, January 18, 2016
The Year in Reading
Another reason I feel like a loser in my writing life is that I'm just not reading anything good. Either I'm bad at picking books or my reading eye is past its prime. It's not that I'm jealous of the people who write crappy books and get published. It's that nothing is giving me that spark to create, that joy that reminds me of what a wonderful thing books are, and how I want to be a part of that community. Last year I only had two five-star books. One was a comic series (Y: The Last Man, for those who care).
This year I definitely had more five star books. But there were more disappointments. Like The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was supposed to be a Best of 2014 book and it was horrible/offensive to my senses. The Maze Runner was all shock value and no substance.
Books I was looking forward to disappointed. Like Armada, the follow-up to Ready Player One. It was less than a sophomore effort. I called it "dull and disappointing" with implausible characters and no tension. My first non-Tiffany Aching Terry Pratchett novel, "Guards! Guards!" I had to force myself to read. It was so long and meandering and too opaque when it came to what was going on. Others were rereads from my youth that weren't as fantastic as I remembered. I had to lower the ratings of "The Phantom Tollbooth" and "Matilda" because I couldn't honestly stand by my judgement.
But I did have some surprises. We Were Liars, what I thought was going to be a Gossip Girl kind of novel was my biggest page turner. I finally figured out the big deal behind Holes, and Felicia Day knocked my world around.
I read more non-fiction. Eleven this year compared to eight in 2014. Fewer classics too -- just "The Great Gatsby". I wonder if this is an indicator of my overall reading feelings this year. Maybe I have a better chance of getting that "feeling" if I read more fiction.
Anyway, next post, you'll get my best and worst of the year.