Friday, September 20, 2013
Essay: On Reading for Pleasure and Getting More Than You Bargained For
Every once-in-a-while I break down and review a novel myself. Not often. I had to stop accepting reviews because I needed to time to write but now and then I see how the reading of a novel by a writer who’s known for his or her expertise will help my own writing; that time usually comes when I’m working on a final draft of a novel myself.
That time is here. I’m on deadline to submit a novel (and, surprisingly, a proposal) to my sweetie agent, Terrie Wolf. So even though I didn’t have time I said yes to Wally Lamb’s new novel (to be released this fall) called We Are Water. I want to tell you, I’ve never read a novel that I marked up so much. I’ve got notes for technique, notes for backstory (Lamb uses tons of backstory!), notes on structure, folded pages, pages with turned-down corners. It’s a fat book, and I’m exhausted.
Still, I’m glad I read it—even when I didn’t have time. And it occurs to me that we may benefit the most from picking up a great book when we are busy. Yes, my own book will be late. But Terrie understands. Deadlines are meant to help us finish our work and do our best work. If we’re delayed because something comes up that helps us do better work...well, isn’t that what we’re after? More experiences. Better writing.
Joy, Happy Reading, Writing, Editing, and Promoting in the New Year!
Your New Book Review Blogger,
-----The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.