One of the biggest things I’ve heard over and over is if you want to be an author, you gotta read.
Read everything. Read the good, the bad and the ugly. Read stuff within the genre you want to write and outside of it as well. Read your favorites and the stuff you’d never think you’d enjoy.
Because honestly, how can you learn your craft if you don’t study how it’s been done? It’s like deciding to start a band, but without ever taking guitar lessons. It can be done…. but extremely hard.
Anyway, so here’s some good books I enjoyed reading and highly recommend to others.
“My Sister’s keeper” By Jodi Picoult. First I’m going to say I adore ALL of Mrs. Picoult’s books. I’d recommend all if I could, but do need to talk about others. So first is her most famous book, which some people know by the movie based off it which came out in 2008. Very simply, a family has a daughter, Kate, who has an aggressive and rare form of leukemia. They have another daughter, Anna., who donates cord blood to her. But year after year, Kate goes out of remission again and again. When Anna is 13, she decides she doesn’t want to do it anymore, but knows if she stops, this could kill her sister. Very interesting topic, very moving and well written with great characters.
“Gone Girl.” By Gillian Flynn. There’s been a lot said about this book. It’s dark, it’s crazy, it’s intense. A man named Nick wakes up on his 5th anniversary, see’s his wife Amy briefly, leaves, comes back and finds the house trashed and her gone. While it gets very dark and gritty in spots, the writing is spot on and the twists are great. If I had to teach a course on writing the unreliable narrator, it would feature this book.
“If I stay” By Gayle Forman. Getting into some YA (I love YA). A story about a girl lingering between life and death, and the choice of if she’s going to stay here or leave. While the plot is not fantastic, it is good. The characters are good and the writing is simple and emotional. I watched the movie on a plane and it was really hard not to break down crying when I was watching.
“Looking for Alaska” By John Green. Everyone talks about his later novels, but I really enjoyed his first one. A boy named Miles is sent off to a boarding school where he meets the beautiful but complex Alaska. This book is criticized for it’s underage drinking and smoking, but I felt like it got teenagers right. It was a tad boring in the beginning, but I was hooked. A great emotional ride.
“Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children” By Random Riggs. This one is about to be a movie. A boy named Jacob grows up listening to his grandfather tales and seeing strange old photos. But then he gets the chance to travel to an island off the coast of Ireland and learn these might not of been just stories. I loved the characters and location, along with the sci-fi and time travel elements.
“Made you up.” By by Francesca Zappia. I have a soft spot for books with main characters who have a mental illness. A book about a girl named Alex who’s just trying to survive her senior year of high school even though she has schizophrenia. A great book because she is a wonderful unreliable narrator, unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion.
“Go Set a Watchmen.” By Harper Lee. After fifty years, we finally get more of Scout’s story! Bit of a secret, this one was written before “To Kill a mockingbird.” But I was more then excited to dive back into her writing.
“The Storyteller” By Jodi Picoult. This is a pretty unique book of hers. The story is about a 25 year old woman named Sage who makes an unlikely friend with a dark secret. He’s a 95 year old man who used to be a Nazi and wants her to help him die. But if she does it, is it Mercy, compassion, or revenge? A powerful story with an amazing twist.
Anyway, that’s about it for me. Anything you guys wanna recommend?