Friday, January 9, 2009

Required Reading

I read a lot of books in 2008. But it’s required right? Writers must read to keep our fingers on the pulse of the current market. A few years ago, I started keeping a log of books read for the year, so I could go back and check a forgotten title of a book I wanted to recommend to a friend or see how long ago I first read a favorite book (Outlander in 2006). Reading through the lists of titles today felt like looking at photos of past holidays, a few bad ones, but most of them are good memories.

I now keep the list in an excel spreadsheet and it grows from year to year. My number one reading category this year was historical romance with middle grade novels coming in second. I love reading historical romance, but do not ever expect to write in this sub-genre. I think that is one of the main reasons I like it so much. It is just a pleasure to read. And I love middle grade novels because they’re wonderful! Hopefully mine will be on your reading lists one day.

Just a few of my favorite books read in 2008 were:

*The Teacher’s Funeral by Richard Peck (middle grade historical)
*The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (middle grade mystery) [This novel deserves its very own blog post. Stay tuned.]
*Graffiti Girl by Kelly Parra (young adult)
*Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs (women’s fiction)

Books I look forward to reading in 2009:
The Associate by John Grisham
What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

What were your favorite reads of 2008? Are there any books you look forward to reading this year?


Shauna Roberts said...

My favorites were:

Brandon Sanderson, Mistborn (fantasy)—so good I immediate bought the rest of the series as well as his first novel

Julia Quinn, The Lost Duke of Wyndham (historical romance)

M.J. Trow, El Cid: The Making of a Legend (history)

Amy MacKinnon, Tethered (heck if I know what genre it was)

Rae Ann Parker said...

SHAUNA, it is always fun to read a book and love it so much you want to read more by the author and find out there's a backlist. I also enjoy Julia Quinn's books very much and have The Lost Duke of Wyndham coming up soon in my to be read pile.

Shauna Roberts said...

This is a little off topic, but I came across a list of recommended black authors of children's and YA books at . Thought you might find some exciting reads there you didn't know about before.

Rae Ann Parker said...

Thank you for posting the link, SHAUNA. This is a great resource! Some fantastic authors and fabulous books.