I have been for the better part of 40 years, a voracious reader. Didn't matter what the material was, newspaper, book, magazine, periodical, I read it. And for the most part, enjoyed it. Lately though, it seems that my interest in reading has waned quite a bit, and sadly, a lot of it has to do more with what I choose to read than anything else.
For better or worse (mostly worse it seems) my selections from the library has left an extremely sour taste in my mouth. It seems like for the past several books that I'd checked out of the library I have found to be wanting.
For example, out of the last four non-fiction books that I've checked out, I've only read one to completion. To whit:
John Lydon's latest memoir is just a rehash of his previous memoir, except a few extra years have been added on.
Ringo Starr's bio. This one, I got to the very end of a six page intro to find out that it was more of an unauthorized bio than anything else. Nothing worse that reading a bio about someone only to find out at the very end that it was written w/o the cooperation of the subject matter (Robert DeNiro's bio is also written sans Robert DeNiro's input).
John Prine's bio. Ditto.
Charles Dodson's (aka Lewis Carroll) bio. This one simply didn't grab me. Read through about one dozen pages of a prologue that concentrated on Alice Liddell before I cried Uncle Albert.
I've also encountered this problem with my choice of fiction as well. To whit, the last two books I've read by W. Bruce Cameron (he of 8 Simple Rules) were just phenomenal pieces of fiction (A Dog's Journey and A Dog's Purpose) that stayed with me long after I had returned them. But one that I checked out a week or so ago called The Midnight Plan Of The Repo Man, simply doesn't do it for me. I got as far as the beginning of chapter 2 before I gave up the ghost.
So from this brief sample, you can probably deduce that I've hit a serious dry spell. And for those of you who don't know my reading habits very well and think I'm being a little whiny, all of these books met my minimum criteria for selection: good title, good jacket blurb and a good random page read.
So now this leaves me in a bind for reading material. As of late, I don't bring books into work to read. Too many issues have arisen from me sitting at my desk with my nose buried in a book, so I do crossword puzzles at work. Thus, the books I pick up from the library are for when I need a temporary break from reality.
Since pickings have been categorically bad from the library, I'm now left with an option that I really didn't want to pursue: read books from fellow writers in genres that I normally don't read. Now, please don't misinterpret this, but while I'm all for supporting my writer friends when I can, I sometime draw the line at reading them, simply because they're in genres that I simply don't read. I know I sound like a snob, but before you criticize, how many books do you have in your physical/digital TBR pile that have not been touched yet? Well, I'm pretty much the same way.
But as the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures, and the following books I have in TBR pile are from fellow writers who I'm either friends with on FB or follow their pages on FB. All are very talented and all write in genres that I have to touch but will soon.
The Book of Frank by Debbie Marsh. Elementary teacher extraordinaire, this remains the only MG book besides Ms. Madison's that I will admit to reading and enjoying. It's a novella and it kicks ass.
Give Me Wings & Wings and Beyond by Joy Redmond. I'd first met Joy while were (briefly) stablemates with Solstice Publishing. She has roughly a half dozen high quality and well written books out, and I highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a new voice.
Nowhere To Hide by Tracy Lynn Tobin. A Canadian writer, this is her first novel. I first met her on Facebook maybe about a year or so ago and I find her to be quite entertaining. So when she was offering copies of her novel for sale, I said, "I'll buy one." Little did I know it would be in a genre that I haven't read much in.
So this is what I have for reading material in the on-deck circle. It's not much, but sometimes, when you really feel the need to feed the urge to get lost in someone else's writing instead of your own, you feed it anyway you can. And these books by these writers will feed that need. And, if they feed it well, I'll return the favor and feed Amazon.
(c) 2015 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.