I’ll be honest, I don’t read many novels these days. I will be the first to agree that in order to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. But I’ve got a lot of other stuff to do. What bits of reading I do accomplish are usually short and flash stories, which are mostly what I have been writing these days.
I get most of my novels done in audiobook form, and it hasn’t helped that many of the ones I recently listened to were disappointing. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere was bland with an equally bland and unsympathetic protagonist. Right now I am listening to Blood of Elves, Andrzej Sapkowski’s first Witcher book. The story and plot is so slow and filled with unnecessary and boring filler. The fact that I am still drudging through it is a testament to the powerful world-building the author accomplished. I am also reading Dune, which is another work with amazing world-building, though many times the actual writing comes off as amateurish. The perspective jumps between characters chaotically, at times with only paragraphs between the shifts, and largely unnecessarily. Some of the prose is also simply bad, with some really meaningless metaphors. That the book is called one of the best science fiction works ever is a testament to the genre’s focus on plot and world over skilled writing. I would also argue it’s more a work of epic fantasy in space, than actual science fiction.
Maybe I have been spoiled by the Discworld series. If I like a book, I get through it fast, but that hasn’t been the case recently. Some of the books on this list have piqued my interest, though, so maybe I can get my groove back. I am particularly intrigued by Robyn Bennis’s The Guns Above.
If you are having the same trouble as me finding something to read, take a look at this list of new releases and see if something catches your eye.
It’s May. The temperatures have risen nicely here, which means that I get to take my stack of books outdoors and enjoy the sunshine while I’m teari…