I absolutely love books, and believe that writing is closely tied up with reading. It’s hard to be a good writer if you never take the time to read a book. Reading opens up new worlds and the more you read, the more you learn about how to structure a story, make characters believable and create authentic dialogue.
At home, my bookshelves are overflowing. I’m lucky enough to be on the Amazon Vine programme, so every month I get advance copies of new novels to review.
However, the down side of this is that it’s easy to build up a backlog of novels, and I often overlook anything that falls outside the scope of the programme because I don’t have as much time as I would like to read.
I’ve bought some (hopefully) fantastic books that are still waiting to be read, and these are just a few of them:
Beijing Coma, by Ma Jian
This book has been on my shelf for a couple of years now. I’ve always had an interest in China, its history and culture, and even studied Mandarin at university for a while. Ma Jian is known as a significant writer, and Beijing Coma is a reflection on China’s recent history and its journey into the modern world.
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
By now most people probably know the story of The Hunger Games, and are familiar with either the book or the film. I love the Twilight novels, and have been looking for another series to get caught up in for a while. There’s nothing better than being so absorbed by a book that you spend all day reading, and novels with a supernatural or fantasy element often create a particularly striking world that it is easy to become caught up in. And, of course, I’ve got to read the book before I think about watching the film!
The Still Point, by Amy Sackville
Another novel that’s unfortunately been on my shelf for a while now. This tells the story of a doomed arctic exploration from the turn on the twentieth century, and the parallel tale of a young woman and her faltering marriage. I’ve always found something beautiful in the imagery that is used to evoke an isolated and bleak landscape, and was inspired to buy this after reading an interview with the author in The Guardian. As an aspiring writer myself, I find the creative journeys of others especially compelling, and am keen to explore the work of new writers heralded as something special.
The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey
My most recent book purchase, this caught my eye on the shelves in Tesco. By chance, a couple of days later, a girl at work recommended it to me and I decided to buy it. Another story set in the wilderness, this time in Alaska; this follows a childless couple who are enchanted when a mysterious child appears on their land.
Rites, by Sophie Coulombeau
For me, this is the novel I’m most interested to read at the moment. As I’ve mentioned a few times in other posts, last year I was shortlisted in a writing competition with Route Publishing. Well, Rites was the eventual winner of the competition, and has received a lot of good press in national publications, so I’ve been dying to read it.
Hopefully, once I’ve read a few of these novels, I’ll come back and post in more detail what I thought of them.