Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reading for Pleasure

With being in school for the last couple of years, I've not done a lot of reading for pleasure.  Mostly it was text books.  Prior to going back to school, I was doing a lot of book reviews.  This led me to getting tired of reading as I was usually under a deadline and reading material I didn't necessarily like.  To some degree I'd forgotten how good it was to sit and read for hours on end.

Two nights ago I started a fiction book - Fablehaven.  I've read part of this series before but I couldn't remember much about it.  I remember enjoying what I read.  I started it and enjoyed the book though the main character Kendra was somewhat whimpy. 

Anyone who knows me, knows I don't like whimpy female characters unless they show development and growth.  I feel that role is a cliche perpetuated by male writers.  Kendra is a bit of a whimp.  She doesn't like to break the rules and she is afraid to explore.  Seth her brother is exactly the opposite.  To me this is very cliched.  However, the author did something smart.  Even though Seth is daring and reckless, the author shows that Seth also experiences fear and Kendra does daring things in small portions. 

As the novel progresses, Kendra learns to be a bit more daring and Seth a tiny bit more cautious (though not much).  In the end Kendra has to overcome her fears, find her courage in order to rescue her family. 

Last night I couldn't put the book down.  At 9:00, I said to myself I was only going to read until 10:00 or 10:30 and then put the book up.  That didn't happen.  I looked up at one point from the book I was thoroughly enthralled in and realized it was nearly 11:00.  I just finished the book. 

I loved getting lost in the book.  Even though I remember some parts of this book, I didn't remember all of it.  The adventure the author wove around his character kept me entranced until I finished the story.  This is what a good story is supposed to do - keep you turning the page to read the next line, paragraph, chapter without thought of anything else. 

There is a second book in the series and I was going to start it but it was already after 11:30.  I was good and opted not to start the next book - I'll do that at some point today.  Here is another good thing the author did - he created such a good story, I want more so I'll be returning to his world and reading the next installment sooner rather than later.

In addition to all the other stuff I have going on, I am going to try to read a book a week.  Right now I'm reading two books - one in my car as I drive and one on one of my kindles.  I'll finish the one in the car today and then I'll have to figure out what I'm going to listen to in the car. 

As a writer reading is two fold.  I'm reading for pleasure but the author in me is also reading for analysis.  What did the author do to draw in the reader?  How did the author develop the characters, the tension, the plot and so on?  This is a hazard of being a writer.  What is wonderful to me is when I read a book and at some point I'm so interested in the story that I stop analyzing the story. 

I'd recommend the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull especially if you like stories on fairies, magic, and tales of good / evil. 

If you are looking for something else - my books are on sale at Smashwords.com.  There is a code on the page for each book on the right.  Get 25% off any of my books.  All of them can be found on my page, just follow the link below.  If you know which one you want to purchase, I've provided a link for each book below as well.
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