Monday, March 23, 2009

Time to Read

I sort of have a rule against writing a book and reading a book at the same time. Really, the reason is that I find it too confusing. When I'm writing, my head is totally immersed in my characters and my story -- no room in there for anyone else's. And when I'm reading, I really like to get involved in that story, and think about those characters in the space in between when I reading about them. So yeah, too confusing.

But I've spent most of the past year, writing and revising, non-stop. I've taken a break to read a book or two, here or there. Once I even broke my rule and read a book while I was writing -- but then a character in the book I was reading and a character in the book I was writing were coincidentally both named Stella. Totally confusing. And I ended up having to change the name of the character in my book, just to get away from the image of that other Stella, in the book I was reading. See, even my explanation is confusing.

So right now, I'm printing out a revised draft of my adult novel to send back to my agent tomorrow. I'm also stewing over this new YA novel I just started, and I just happened to glance at the to-read pile on my night table. It's getting ready to topple, and I decided I must take a small break from writing just to begin to tackle it.

Here's what's on top: Up first is The Nightingale by Morgana Gallaway. I met Morgana a few months ago -- she lives just down the road from me -- and strangely enough our debut books both came out in February. Plus, this book looks really interesting, and I feel guilty that I haven't read it yet. Then I've got Freaked by J.T. Dutton -- this one was just released from Harperteen, and I read the first chapter on Amazon and really loved the writing. From there, I've got Goldengrove by Francine Prose (My editor sent this one for Christmas and I'm intrigued -- it looks like it has similar sister themes to The September Sisters), Shelter Me by Juliette Fay (My mom told me this is a must read.), and Life Sentences by Laura Lippman (I read a few really good reviews of this one.) And, in case you're keeping track, I'm still only on page 75 of Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed. Yes, I know -- I started this months ago!

So what's in your to-read pile?


Jill said...

I am totally the same way about reading while writing. I start to mimic tone and steal dialogue. Then, I start to judge my own writing -- the other writer is always better. But now that my book is coming out and I'm in research mode for the next, I have a stack of books to read, including yours. I'm also reading some popular YA -- Lightning Thief, The Schwa Was Here. Also, nonfiction, "The Reluctant Mr. Darwin" by David Quammen (love his topics and writing)

Laina said...

I'm sorta the opposite. I have such a short attention span sometimes that I don't mind popping back and forth between what I'm writing and what I'm reading.

My to-read pile is a to-read shelf (small, only a few books I own), bin (it's green and pretty large :P), and... well, most of my floor. I need to clean and organize it all, lol. Plus there's my over 100-page to-read list!! Lol

Readingjunky said...

I recently discovered your blog while reading about THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS. I'm anxious to read the book.

I'd also like to nominate you for the Sisterhood Award.


Jillian Cantor said...

Jill, I'm the same with starting to judge my own writing. And I'm excited for your book to be released next week. Can't wait to read it!!

Laina, my to-read pile goes beyond what I mentioned, too -- piles and piles of books. I wish I had more time to read.

RJ -- Ooh, thanks for the nomination! I hope you enjoy the book!