Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Few Good Books on My Nook: Read to Write Well

I blogged about my brand new toy, THE NOOK after Mother's Day. The timing of the gift coincided with my renewed desire to read more books, not just for analysis of my genre, but for pure pleasure. For quite some time, I had spent hours writing. I had spent hours reading blogs about writing. I had spent hours learning about writing via online courses and reading books about the craft.

I had not spent a lot of time READING. What had once been a passion for me had transformed into only work. I resolved to change that in the new year. And I've been happily reading books by Suzanne Brockmann, Nora Roberts and slews of other writers. I've read YAs for fun, Women's Fiction and pure romance.

Remember Romance? Remember when it was simply about a boy meeting a girl, falling in love, falling in love with their love, feeling sad when they reached their romantic black moment, wondering how they'd patch things up, and finally cheering for them when they reached their happily ever after?

I do. I have missed the purity of the original romances I read when I was a teenager, a young adult, a new mom and an active school parent. Sure, I like action stories. I read them. I love thrillers written by Grissom, Clancy (guess who the Dowager Feline is named after LOL), and Ludlum. I enjoy a great read with epic sweeping themes. The classics. Love them.

But I really love a great love story. Best of all, all of this renewed reading has affirmed a decision I made about my writing. I want to write about love. The relationships and the characters matter to me. The plot is secondary to my characters. Sure, I know I have to have the external plot, but it's the love story that sweeps me away as a reader.

Good to know if I'm writing love stories. Good to know if I want write great love stories.

So I've made a conscious effort to read every day, for an hour, minimum. And not just at night when I'm bone tired and falling asleep, but reading during the day when I am alert. Reading to escape. Reading for fun. Reading to get lost in a story that fills me with hope.

Okay, so here are the books I've read so far on my NOOK.

The Bride Quartet Series by Nora Roberts.
*Vision in White
*Bed of Roses
*Savor the Moment

Loved all three and can't wait for the 4th book to come out in November. They are written in classic Nora Roberts' style and yes, there's a bit of head hopping, but it's seamless. And she gets people and relationships and love and all the gunk that happens between two flawed individuals as they struggle to find their way to lasting happiness. I love her stories because they are pure romance. Period. And if I should have the pleasure of meeting her in Orlando, by accident, in an elevator or wherever, I will seriously have A FAN GIRL moment. And I am not typically a fan girl kind of person. But I do believe I would hyperventilate if I met her and she spoke to me.

I just finished a wonderful romance by Emily Griffin called Something Borrowed. It reads like a chick lit with a ton of romance. There aren't any bombs or SEALS in it. There's a friend getting married, a selfish girl at best who has a best friend, the heroine, who is learning to free herself from her self-imposed "good girl" rules. And wow, does she ever find a fabulous way to do it! Read the book cover to find out about her story.

On the docket? I've got the following books queued:

Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery
Once a Cowboy by Linda Warren
Best Friend, Future Wife by Claire Baxter
The Next Best Thing by Kristin Higgins

I know reading for pleasure will enrich my writing. So what's on your bookshelf? Or in your E-Reader? And if you're a writer, I hope you're reading, too!


JustineDell said...

The bride series by Nora Roberts is awesome! I can't wait until that last book comes out. I think it will be the best out of the four.

Since I write romance, I enjoy a good-feeling romance too. A lot of Nora's older books are like that. Some romances have gotten a little iffy for me, but there are still some good ones out there.

Enjoy your nook!


Christine said...

I have a lot of Nora Roberts' books in my bookshelf--my goto books for comfort reads. I am getting back to basics with my future CR attempts--tho' this current WIP does have suspenseful elements, I have returned to my roots when it comes to the romance. I just love a feel good romance.

I am enjoying my Nook. It's so easy to read it and the pages flip faster as well.

Gwen Hernandez said...

I'd like to read the Brides series at some point. For now, I have a whole bag of miscellaneous books (mostly RS, of course) that I got at the used bookstore. I'm trying a bunch of new authors that I've never read, and some old goodies too. At least if I can't write during the move, I'll be able to read!

I do love a good contemporary romance too, and in the end, I get frustrated if the story is too much about the suspense, and not enough about the romance. I've read several authors that I think are trying to fit more into the thriller category and don't give the relationship enough page time.

I read a big name author recently who writes well, but the H/H weren't actually in the same room for the first 190 pages! They thought about each other, rehashed previous meetings, but it wasn't enough. I got my happy ending, but I was kind of ticked about it by then. ;-)

Happy reading!

Christine said...

Oh, I would not like to read a book where my H/H are not together for 190 pages. But I will do so if it is NOT a romance.

I'm excited about my next read. And I have my RWR Magazine to read now, too. Tons of cool articles in there about writing Category Romance (it's not as easy as some might believe--I KNOW!).

Happy reading to you as well.