The Gift of Recommended Reading

by Ruth Tenzer Feldman
Published on: November 28, 2011
Categories: Craft, Inspiration
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Sam-Nana readLet’s face it. I’m never going to be able to read everything I want to and still have the gazillion hours I need to write my next book. Not even when grandson Sam and I spend together time getting lost in our individual stories. Not happening. No way.

The books I choose to read now are often on a list of the top ten this or the five best that, which goes against my usual tendency to browse the bookshelves and decide for myself.  Writing is work, and sometimes reading is as well. There are some books I simply must read. Many of them are excellent, which is the reward for all that  eyeball time.

I mine Viva Scriva meetings for recommended reading, particularly because the Scrivas know exactly what I’m writing. Sara Ryan’s The Rules for Hearts is by my bedside with Amber’s suggestion to look at the “quiet girl” who resembles the main character in my sequel to Blue Thread. I devoured Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution on Scriva advice that I look at the time travel of a modern girl back to 18th century Paris (my sequel involves a 1960s girl and 11th century Paris). You get the picture.

It goes both ways. I suggested that Sabina read Ruta Sepetys’s Between shades of gray and Robert Sharenow’s The Berlin Boxing Club because one of her writing projects includes historical fiction from World War II.  What you read does inform what you write. Recommended reading can be just the critique you need.

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