What are you reading? Should be a simple question, right?
You know that moment when you realize that you’ve bitten off way more than you can chew? I think I’m having whatever the reading equivalent of that is right now.
I started reading six books at the start of the year. Not all at the same time. It just sort of happened over the course of about a week. I think I was up to about four in progress before I managed to finish one of them (the only novel). But then I immediately started another one (also a novel) and then a couple more.
So at the moment, I’m reading six books.
What are they?
- The Fantasy Fiction Formula — Okay, this writing craft book is kind of a cheat because I actually started reading it in 2022, but I put it down during the last couple months of the year with only a few chapters left to read. I picked it up again in January, determined to finish it. But, I read non-fiction slowly, and I read craft books especially slowly, because I either get annoyed by them and set them aside, or all my highlighting and note taking slows me down. This one started with the latter problem. It gave me a ton to chew on, which is why I set it aside. But the final third is more of a review, so it’s taking a little longer to get through.
- The Anatomy of Genres — As long as we’re on the topic of craft books, I purchased this beast in December, really excited to read it, but put off starting it until the New Year. I dove in on day one, and it is definitely blowing my mind, but I think it’s possibly going to take all of 2023 for me to get through it because it is DENSE. There’s a lot to think about here, and I’m taking a lot of notes.
- Italian Folk Magic — I picked this up because I write fantasy, and I was curious about what sort of magical traditions might come from my own ancestors. I think a lot of this tradition in my family got lost a couple of generations back when everyone was trying to assimilate to acceptable white middle class culture in the US. My grandparents all died when I was really young (one long before I was even born), and I grew up far from our extended family, so I feel really disconnected from this sort of thing. I think I may need to buy a copy for my mom so we can discuss.
- The Spare Man — This is the novel I started after finishing the only book I’ve finished reading so far this month. I bumped it to the top of my TBR because Writing Excuses (podcast) is going to do a deep dive case study on this novel with the author in February, and I wanted to be able to follow along.
- Finding Me — Memoir is one of those genres that I always forget that I enjoy. When I was going over my stats, I remembered to go check what’s new in memoir (since it doesn’t usually organically pop up in places where I look for books to read). I started with the Goodreads Choice nominees and saw that a friend of mine HIGHLY recommended this memoir, so I picked it up. The audiobook is fantastic.
- Spare — Of course this came up in my search for what’s new in memoir. At least half of my author friend group is reading it right now (we are all team Harry and Meghan). So, I decided to request it from my library on audiobook. I was shocked that I got it almost immediately after release. Now I’m alternating between this and Finding Me while doing stuff around the house.
Those of you who are paying close attention might realize that none of these are Fairy Loot special edition hardcovers. I thought I was going to read Babel this month. I read the first 10ish pages at the very start of the month, and I was excited about continuing. Then I lost track of it and didn’t pick it up again. Now I don’t think there’s any way I’ll finish it before the end of the month. So… I think I may pick up one that I suspect (based on others’ reviews) will be a fast read. Then I can get a quick win. Let’s hope by this time next week, I’ve finished some of these and at least started a Fairy Loot book.
I’ll check back in at the end of the weekend and let you know how it’s going. In the meantime, I’m curious, how many books are you currently reading?