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?