Friday, July 11, 2014

To My Everlasting Shame...

I doubt many people feel as guilty about NOT reading as writers. Personally, I feel like I am always behind in what I should’ve read by now. I feel like the lack in my writing skills is directly proportionate to my lack in reading. When I read a writer’s work and think of how clever they are, marveling at word choice, image, or turn of phrase, my first thought is always “Man, what are they reading? It must be brilliant!”

So here I am openly admitting the books that I am most ashamed that I have not read. I’m doing so for two reasons—to stimulate a conversation about these books and 2) to publicly declare that I intend to rectify this lack as soon as humanly possible.  So here are the 10 I think I need to read most immediately!

Foundation by Isaac Asimov
…because how can I call myself a scifi writer if I don’t!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I hear it is fantastic, but it is always hit or miss with Gaiman’s work for me.

The Stand by Stephen King
Many King fans swear this is his best work. And as an avid King fan myself, I’m pretty ashamed that I’ve yet to take on the 1000+ page epic, viewing it kind of like War and Peace—a lofty goal that will be completed “sometime” before I die.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick is a legend this own right and I haven’t read any of his work. I thought this would be a good place to start, though I’m interested in The Man in the High Castle, and several others as well.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness
I am fascinated by the gender themes alone. I have a copy of this but I’ve been hoarding it forever, unopened.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
I also have a copy of this but I have yet to get through it. But it’s premise reminds me of the magician movie with Huge Jackman—and who doesn’t like a good Victorian setting ;)

Peridido Street Station China Mieville
The world-building alone is supposed to be worth it. I guess I’ll find out!

Agatha Christie
This is sort of a “return to our roots” kind of goal. Christie is one of the original mystery writers responsible for giving us a lot of what we use today, but I wouldn’t know exactly what that is since I haven’t read a single one of her books. I’ll start with The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd, before moving on to Murder on the Orient Express & And Then There Were None.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I’m also interested in Sharp Objects and Dark Places, of course, but I’ve seen these books everywhere for a while. And though it isn’t considered traditional canon (yet?) I have to admit I feel like I’m behind the curve on this one.

Ok, so that is about 15 books, but what did you expect? What kind of writer can stick to those rigid guidelines?!?

Anyway, wish me luck! :D And feel free to share below books you wish you’ve read already and/or how reading helps you write!

Kory

6 comments:

  1. I haven't read any of them either. Although, I DO own a copy of American Gods and a few of Ms. Christie's works. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. DITTO. :) I have quite a few of Christie's works on my Kindle but I've yet to read a single one. There's also a copy of American Gods lying around here somewhere...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not that I am really a writer, but I thought I would add my two cents on your goal here.
    Foundation by Isaac Asimov
    I have read some Asimov before and I go back and forth about whether or not I enjoy him. So this one has not hit my radar yet. Even though I love scifi.
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    I personally plan to read everything Neil Gaiman has ever touched. Mostly because I loved Stardust so much and there is something just magical about that man.
    The Stand by Stephen King
    I have read a lot of King and I do have to say that this is my favorite. I don't commonly read such long novels but this one was an exception and I have never regretted the time I spent on it. One of my favorites.
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
    On my list for sure but not high up there.
    Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness
    I had to read this as part of my scifi lit class and I had mixed feelings. I have heard people either love it or hate it, but I was…unsure.
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
    Also on my list.
    Peridido Street Station China Mieville
    Never heard of this.
    Agatha Christie
    For some reason I have never been remotely drawn to Agatha Christie. I know her name, I know she is a big deal, but I have always scanned past her when I am looking for new books. I don't have a reason for this.
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    A little higher on my list than the others.
    Some books that I feel bad I haven't read yet are the following
    House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
    I started this years ago because of my girlfriend at the time. We split up and I had to return the book and never got around to picking it back up. But I definitely want to finish it. I have been told by so many people that it is extremely difficult to read just because it is so strange. And I am not going to lie, part of me wants to read it just to see how difficult it truly is.
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
    The only reason I feel really bad about this is because I actually thought for about 3 years that I had already read it. I also really enjoyed Jude the Obscure and I want to see if I would be equally as impressed with this one.
    I don't write much...but what I do write has been influenced by the ridiculous amount of material I read. I think because I have read a big variety I have been able to really hear in my mind how I want something I am writing to sound. I doubt I would have that if I hadn’t read so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't have to be a writer to have reading goals, Carrie! :) And i tried to read House of Leaves long ago and though I did find parts of it interesting, I couldn't finish it. It is so disjointed/fragmented that I couldn't piece it together. But maybe it will rock your world ;)

      Delete
  4. I know how you feel. My to-read list over at Goodreads keeps growing . . . and growing . . . and growing. I just added about twenty more books to it. I'm ashamed. I tell myself it's hard with children to find time to read, but I'm not sure who I'm trying to convince =). I've only read three from your list. I read more Clarke than Asimov. I will say American Gods is worth every minute devoted to it, as is The Stand. Both are amazing books and I flew through the pages. China Mieville is a different story. I put down Perdido Street Station. It's one of only two books I have closed and never finished. I might pick up The Scar (also Mieville) one day, but there are so many other books on my list.

    Good luck with your list! Will you post a 'review' post at the end of the year with your progress?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! I feel like my TBR list will never end! I probably do not have enough years in my life to read everything I want to and that is just tragic! What other Clarke works have you read? Is Jonathan Strange... her best? And yes, I"m really struggling with Perdido Street station. I should have started with American Gods! And yes I should definitely do an update post on this later in the year ;) Good idea!

      Delete