Reading is compulsory

So I posted yesterday about how writers need to read (and watch, and listen, and basically stuff stories into every facial orifice as often as possible and wow that’s an interesting mental image). And I do read. I read constantly. I have caches of books scattered everywhere- in the bathroom, in my handbag, in the drawer of my bedside table – in case I am caught without reading material for a few minutes at a time when I can’t immediately get up, or don’t want to because my bed is cosy. One of the first things I bought when I found out I was pregnant was an e-reader, because five days in hospital and you’re only allowed to bring one bag? Yeah, not going to work for me.

As it turned out, this was the best purchase I made, because between the fact that I couldn’t get out of bed to get a book for three days thanks to the c-section, and spending my first day in intensive care without even my baby to pass the time with, I would have gone nuts without it. But that’s another story.

I read constantly, but I recently realized that it’s been quite a while since I read anything new. I love to reread, in part because I love dwelling on the eloquent prose of my favourites and revisiting favourite passages, and in part because as previously noted my memory is epically bad. So rereading is actually super fun for me because I know I loved the book but I don’t actually remember half the details, so it’s like having a nearly new book.

It does not, however, help much in the whole ‘growth as a writer’ stakes. I already know what these books have to teach me, so now I’m just rereading for the fun of it. Which is not making me grow. Growing is required – plus, if I want to get published, some passing knowledge of books published in the last three years would probably be a good idea.

So new project for the new year. Read – and review, I think – at least ten new books by writers previously unknown to me. I want to try to read some Australian authors, maybe more steampunk, some classic fantasy and some science-fiction, because I’ve been reading almost no science fiction lately. Does anyone have any recommendations for new books? I would be very grateful! Those available as ebooks are best, since I rarely read paper books these days. Also ebooks tend to be cheaper.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?