Three months ago, I wrote a post called Journeys, Detours, and Destinations highlighting how I came to this place in my life as an author and photographer and where I want to go.
Since that time, I established a routine of sharing new short stories every Monday and photography at the end of each week on this website. I am also writing and editing a few longer projects which will be coming out later, a prospect that makes me both excited and nervous.
In the meantime, I have decided to add a third post to the website most (not all) weeks on Wednesdays. The goal will be to share some of my journey as an author and photographer. To be successful and fun, the Wednesday post needs to be very interactive, so feel free to comment, ask questions, and even suggest future topics.
To kick things off, I thought I would spend a few minutes talking about an important part of being an author – reading. And, yes, there are questions for you at the end, dear reader.
300 books. Reading 300 books in one year. Nearly a book every day. Can you imagine?
Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series, was recently quoted as saying he reads 300 books a year. The point he was making was that authors need to read – and read a lot – in order to be good authors. Since reading is a major foundation to good writing, no wonder his books are so good.
I compared that to my own track record. So far in 2017, I have read 55 books, on pace to read almost 100 books this year. Pales in comparison to Lee Child, but more than I have done in a long time.
As a teenager, I used to read voraciously and quite widely. My favorite books from those years remain some of my favorite books today – S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders (two of the best character names ever – Ponyboy and Sodapop) and Stephen King’s The Stand. Both are books that I have read several times – worlds I suspect I will visit a few more times over the coming years.
After college, during my time in corporate America, I found my travel and work schedule crowding out my pleasure reading. For a couple of decades, I don’t remember reading any novels at all, though I read hundreds – if not thousands – of contracts. Hardly a suitable substitution.
Now I’m trying to make up for lost time.
Of the 55 books I have read so far this year, 49 of them are by just five authors. I am trying to catch up on all the books they wrote while I was working so hard, making up for lost time.
At 16 books, John Grisham (last read Sycamore Row) leads this year’s pack. He is followed by David Baldacci (Stone Cold) at 13 books and Michael Connelly (City of Bones – an excellent Harry Bosch detective story) with 11. The new author I have started is Lisa Gardner (Survivor’s Club) with her dark books about chasing serial killers, hardly a light read, though I have completed six books. And, finally, I have read three of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series (Tripwire) with a fourth in my hands right now.
I expect by the end of the year that I will be caught up with each of these authors. In addition, I will have read the latest from Stephen King (Sleeping Beauties written with his son, Owen, out in September) and Dean Koontz (Silent Corner already out and Whispering Room releasing in November), two of my favorite horror authors. Next up on my list is to catch up with Robin Cook and Nevada Barr.
My favorite non-fiction book of the year? Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind:Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion, probably the best explanation of our political divide I have seen.
So question for you dear reader, who are authors that I need to explore? How many books a year are you reading? Do you get to read as much as you want? What are your favorite all-time books? And what are you reading right now?
P.S. – I am currently reading Michael Connelly’s Chasing the Dime.
NOTE – The book links in this article are all Amazon Affiliate links. If you make a purchase via those links, I receive a small commission from Amazon though it does not affect your price in any way. Feel free to search for the books on your own if you prefer not to use my affiliate links.
The featured image in today’s post is licensed under Creative Commons: 0.0 License via pexels.com