As I started writing this post, I actually pondered how I could formulate a better headline, something that will attract you readers more to open up the post and read it entirely. I thought about all the tips and rules I had read through just that same day, about call-to-action, or the magic of titles such as “5 ways to become a successful writer!”
So, very briefly, I envisaged putting some boastful headline that would scream out something along the lines of “The 4 novels every writer should read this summer!” And it only lasted a second because, seriously? Who the hell am I to give anyone out there advice about where to get inspiration to hone your craft? And then also, we’re all so completely different, with each and every one of us having brain connections that work in the craziest ways and I am quite sure that no two writers think and write and get inspired in the same way.
So, long story short, instead of proning any life-changing solutions, I simply wanted to share with you the novels I had the luxury of reading in the weeks off and in how far, each of them, was enriching in its own way.
First of all, I can’t tell you how awesome this was. Reading through four entire books, from beginning to end, without major interruptions, without weeks going between chapters where I forget which book I’m actually reading right now. It was pure bliss!
As a soft and mindless introduction to the holiday feeling: nothing better than Lauren Weisberger’s The singles game. Not only is it highly entertaining, it is the kind of easy reading, yet taunting in its own simple and greatly enjoyable way. I ended up staying up half of the night to be able to finish it in one set. And one of the most surprising things was that it made me curious of the life of a professional tennis player, yes me, and I kind of loathe tennis and can’t imagine anything as boring as watching a tennis game. Thus, making me get hooked on a story that has tennis as a main background story shows how far you can go with a topic that your reader doesn’t actually care about in the beginning, until in the end he craves to hear more about it!
Second to that was Isabel Allende’s latest book, The Japanese Lover. Wow. Little less to say. I vaguely remember reading something by her many years ago, but in my overwhelming spurt of optimism I forced myself to read it in Spanish. Which explains why I can’t seem to remember the title of it or much of the story for that matter. And although usually I refuse to read a novel in a translated version if I can manage the original version, I might have to admit that in this instance, that was a huge mistake. After reading The Japanese Lover, I want to get all her former books and read them again, but this time definitely in English. Beautiful storytelling, intricate and delicate plot, pure pleasure.
I then went on to something completely new and different, Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch. I’d never heard of him before and was intrigued by the back cover. It took me a while to get into the story and I’m afraid I lost part of it, mostly because the half-phantasy world it reflects isn’t exactly my cup of tea. I had a hard time catching the story and understanding the action, which maybe is due to the fact that this wasn’t the first one of the series. Lesson learnt: I discovered a new genre, which was enriching enough. Second lesson: be aware not to lose your readers in case they grab one of your books that isn’t the first in the series.
And then, last but not least: The kind worth killing by Peter Swanson. Now that was fabulous! It exceeded my expectations from reading the blurb on the backover by far! Great great plot, nice build up, perfect structure, I loved every minute of it!
As these holidays were meant to be a major break from work and writing, I am so glad to have chosen such completely different genres. It gave me so much input, inspiration and longing to get back to work and create something really good, a piece that someone out there will want to stay up for at night…