I read three books at a time …
My books are almost in every room. All genres and categories, all shapes and sizes, new and old, popular and obscure, loved, liked and even loathed. I will refer to them, quote them, yet perhaps not always re-read them. I prefer the next book, the next Great Read, something new to me but not necessarily a blockbusting bestseller.
As mentioned, I read about three books at a time, not to show off, but to suit my mood throughout the day. The books can be in any format, paper, ebook, large print, audio as long as it holds my attention, sparks my imagination, gets me interested or teaches me something new. I’ve been through my non-fiction period, my classics epoch, my intellectual stage, my steampunk phase, my romance jaunt and different levels of humour, while dabbling in between with things like sci-fi fantasy and horror, but I keep coming back to perennial crime fiction.
For me, the ‘must have’ is a good strong lead character, someone I want to know about, someone I want to tag along with throughout the day, or night. On the weekend I read in the garden under the palms with a cool drink but mainly I read at night. A good crime novel can be detrimental to my sleep! Apart from a nicely twisted plot, the characters are who I care about the most. Currently my favourite murder mysteries are written by Australian and British authors.
While I enjoy writing reviews, my ego is under no illusions that anyone would find my reviews earth-shattering or even interesting. It’s a hobby for me and my suggestion to you, dear reader, is that you should make up your own mind on any book. Blurb can be misleading! It would be nice to see more conflicting, controversial reviews and posts by readers who are not looking over their shoulders at freebies/writers/publishers/fans or the next thumbs up.
I recommend books I’ve liked and occasionally pan those I’ve disliked. My thoughts may differ from yours so if you have never written a review, why not give it a go? Write a couple of paragraphs and see if it deepens your appreciation of the book. My thoughts lead me to writing down the key words and hey-presto. Get along to book launches and author signings for insider information. And grab a copy of “Francis Plug: How to Be a Public Author” by Paul Ewen. Hilarious and factual, it delves into the fan/author relationship with real consequences.
NOTE: Reading three books simultaneously for maximum brain gymnastics means, for example, one on public transport, another in a lunch break, and a third at bedtime. Happy reading!
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward