I have met/spoken to many people that only ever read the same kind of book; hoarders of horror or collectors of crime fiction. I don’t think there is anything wrong with knowing what you like and sticking to it, but for me indulging in new types of book, new authors or even new music is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The experience of finding a new mind that creates something you connect with is an amazing thing.
I have read and enjoyed Young Adult Fiction (as a fully fledged grown up – I’m a parent and everything), nail biting thrillers and crime novels through to modern and historical classics.
Like everyone, I lean in a certain direction but it is these wide ranging tastes that have shaped my writing, my ability to develop (hopefully) believable characters for my (future) readers to connect with and care about. Each book I read is a lesson, sometimes in how to be a better author, some point out styles that I choose to distance myself from. It is reading that has given me my own voice.
The books below are some of the ones I love, they are all very different but all worth a read. Some for escapism, some for emotion and others just damn good story-telling.
– The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Sallinger
– The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
– One Day – David Nicholls
– I heart New York – Lindsey Kelk
– The Twilight Saga – Stephenie Meyer (don’t even dare judge I love those books)
– My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
– The Scold’s Bridle – Minette Walters
– Anything by Shakespeare
I suppose the point of this is to say you don’t need to adopt a genre and stick to it. Trying something out of your comfort zone can lead to amazing discoveries.
Get reading. Something you wouldn’t normally pick….