February Reading

I went crazy last month! Well, it might be better to say that I did a lot of reading last month to keep me from going crazy!

I read two non-fiction books last month:

  • Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman was an important book for me to read. I am sure I am not writing a blockbuster novel, but it can’t hurt to make it better using some of these techniques. He stresses the outlining and revision process.  He talks about creating big characters. And he gives plenty of examples so you are left with no doubt of what he is talking about.Reading the examples from “big” books, I saw that I could make my little book a lot better.
  • Writing Horses by Judith Tarr initially made me think that I should take out all reference to horses in my books, but after I finished reading, I realized that I just needed to be careful with what I write about them. And I really think I have been. But I am re-reading to manuscripts to be sure.  If you are writing something that includes horses as character, this book will prove highly beneficial.  In the same way that reading about the “jungles of Manzanillo” –  when I lived there and knew the closest thing to a jungle was a small nearby banana plantation – irritated me and took away from my enjoyment of the book (which I have long since forgotten, of course, except for my irritation with this obvious lack of research and understanding), gross errors in connection with horses will turn off a reader who is knowledgeable about horses. 

In historical fiction, I read only one book Their Golden Dreams by Willard Thompson. It was part of a series about California during the days of the gold rush. Unlike most stories set in this time and place, it was not really focused on the gold rush. Instead it gives insight into the politics of the time and the lives of the many different peoples who lived there. It was an engrossing story, and I really loved it. I feel like I learned a lot from the book, but I never felt I was being taught. It is the third book in the series. Now I have to see about getting the first two and reading them!

I listened to three audiobooks: all Dr. Who stories that I got through Humble Bundle. (These books are no longer available there, but you should check out the site if you aren’t familiar with it. They always have wonderful offerings.) I don’t have enough Dr. Who experience to talk about them as Dr. Who stories, but as stories, I liked them a lot.

I’ll be back later to tackle the other two categories: Mysteries and Thriller and Speculative Fiction.




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