The rest of the reading box is a mix of kid lit and adult, chiefly non-fiction.
M.T. Anderson, Feed
You had me at “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”
Tyler Anbinder, Five Points
My son read long passages to us during a drive from Vermont to Montreal this past summer, so I’d like to finally read the whole thing, end to end. Who knows? Maybe there’s a novel in there.
George Orwell, Why I Write
I love Orwell’s fiction (1984 has got to be one of the top three outstanding dystopian novels) and his non-fiction (find me another writer with the consistency across subjects seen in All Art is Propaganda). This is hardly more than a pamphlet, 120 pages at most, but I can’t wait to see what he’s thinking. Why we write is our basic question.
Edward St. Aubyn, On the Edge
I’ve had him in the back of my head as someone to read since I read a profile in The New Yorker. I love the titles of his books, if not the subject matter, and how he speaks, especially about writing: “I’m not trying to uncover the facts of my life, but to discover the dramatic truth of the situations I was in.” Or: “I have spent 22 years trying to transform painful lived experience into what I hope is pleasurable reading experience. The intention was to make a work of art rather than a confession.” As Marietta B. Zacker told us (thank you!), a book has to be authentic. But it doesn’t need to be not a point-by-point reenactment.
Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dias de Perros
I’ve got a son and write middle grade fiction with boys in mind and I’ve never read one of these all the way through. It’s time, already. But I’ll read it in Spanish, to make it fun.
Erin Mouton, Flutter
Erin is my husband’s cousin, but I don’t think I had taken up noveling the last time we saw each other. How odd and fun that we should find ourselves in so similar a place. I’ve heard enthusiastic reviews and enjoyed her blog, so looking forward to this (and all stories about families of sisters).
Neil Gaiman, American Gods
I’ve been nursing a long-term grudge against Neil Gaiman over similarities between one of his novels and and mine. This is to show him that all is forgiven. Almost.
Cheryl B. Klein, Second Sight
My theory is that you have to continually revisit all the facts you already know about writing in order to make use of them. I must have heard, “Show, don’t tell.” several hundred thousand times and yet—many of the last major changes to The Disappeared were all about showing. I read a few chapters when I was on vacation last summer, but was too busy writing to concentrate. Now there’s no excuse.
That’s what I have for now. I expect to add a few more after I return from SCBWI Midwinter. Two years ago I came home with Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, an outstanding and astounding act of story-telling. I literally could not put down for several weeks–I took it with me to work, made people look at it during the SuperBowl. If you didn’t like it, please don’t tell me. If you haven’t read it, go right now. I’ll still be here when you get back.