What I’m Reading

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Stephen King

True story.

I realize that, as a writer, it is just as important to spend time reading as it is to spend time writing. Reading makes me a better writer.

I’m not just talking about reading Facebook feeds. I do a good bit of that. I also do a good bit of reading articles and other blogs on the Interwebz. Not enough, I know that.

I also read to learn and observe the writing styles of others. As a Southern author, or at least as an author who lives in the South, I need to read the works who also know about sweet tea, and bourbon, and grits. I’m just sayin’.

So, I try to always be reading at least one book. Usually I have several going, as is the case right now.

I have set my Goodreads challenge for 2018 at 50 books. In 2017, I read 40. I can do fifty, and I’m well on my way.

I’ve already completed two books for the year. One I started just after Christmas, so it’s not entirely fair to say I read it in 2018. The other is a script for a play, readable in one sitting.

In other words, I have not finished War and Peace in the first week of the year.

And, it is not on my reading list.

As for now…

The Books I Finished…

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy, a semi-autobiographical novel about an overbearing Marine father and his son. Not normally the type of book that I’d read, and maybe I should have started with The Prince of Tides.

Still, The Great Santini is raw, gritty, and well written. It is not, however, for the easily offended.

The Man Who Came to Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. This play, like many, is a product of its time. Perhaps in the 1930s it was relevant. But in today’s society where so much of the news is focused on sexual harrassment and mistreatment, I’m not sure the character of the overbearing boss is exactly what people want to be portraying on the stage. Reality is harsh enough. Honestly, I can’t recall seeing a production of this work, or even seeing that a theatre company had it on their season.

The Books I’m Currently Reading…

The Bible and the Bard by Bob Hostetler. This was a gift from my wife sometime last year after I said I wanted to read my way through The Complete Works of Shakespeare. I still do, and I did not accomplish that in 2017. A few of the plays will be amongst my choices for this year. This book however is a devotional that spans 365 using quotes from The King James Version of the Bible and lines from Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. I’m a little more than a week in, and I’m gaining a new appreciation for both works.

The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People with Forewords by by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. I’ve been through this one before a number of years back. In 2017, I worked my way through the entire English Standard Version of The Bible. I readily admit that there’s a good portion of the Old Testament that I just don’t get. This work is an easy read, but I’m limiting myself to just a few pages a day. It tells the story from Genesis to Revelation in easy to read and understand language. It’s not really the Scripture, but it helps put things in context.

The Gypsy Morph (Genesis of Shannara, Book 3) by Terry Brooks. I’ve been reading my way through all of the Shannara books for some time now. I’m using the author’s suggested reading plan. I read many of the books back in the 1980s and some in the 1990s. But, I put them aside. Quite honestly, I couldn’t remember which ones I’d read and which I had not. I’m making good progress, and finding used versions on Amazon has been a pretty cool thing to do.

I’ve also been re-reading my way through the Harry Potter books. Yes, I know that yesterday I mentioned binge-watching the movies. I love the movies. The books are better. I’ve read the first five and up next is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

It’s also time for a re-reading of The Lord of the Rings. I’ll probably start with The Hobbit for good measure. And, as also mentioned yesterday, I’ll re-watch The Lord of the Rings movies at some point. I will not, however, bother with The Hobbit movies. For those, I cheered when the last one was finally over. Sorry. Not sorry.

While I’m currently working on…let me count…five scripts as I write this (various reasons), I plan to try…that is try…to read at least one new script (new to me) a week. If you’ve got scripts to loan, let me know. I’m not picky. Well, I am, but sometimes you need to force yourself to read stuff.

So, I have plenty to read, and there are things I need to put on my reading list.

Give me some suggestions. What do you think I should read in 2018?


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