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Posts Tagged ‘Lilian Jackson Braun’

It’s summertime, and thoughts of summer bring to mind pictures of people lounging in the sun, reading. I read all the time for many reasons, but sometimes I like to give myself the gift of reading guilt-free, just for fun. After all, reading has always been my most enjoyable non-writing activity.

Looking back to my youth, I loved the Nancy Drew series. Two main genres that most intrigued me at that time were mysteries and horse stories. (I was fortunate to live on a farm with horses, so that was a dream come true.)

In high school, I discovered classic novels, including Russian titles such as Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov (didn’t ever get through that last one).

When my children were young, I couldn’t find as much time to read, settling for short books on how to keep your sanity while parenting young children. And children’s books, of course.

Then I discovered Bodie Thoene. She was the author who inspired me to venture into writing. I found her books bold and intense and impressive, and wanted to write like her. (I’ve since realized that no matter what books and writers I admire and emulate, I still must find my own voice and style.)

My current interests vary widely. I have always loved historical fiction, and I should, since that’s primarily what I write, but I also enjoy good contemporary fiction. I’m on the library committee at our church, so I get to read lots of different Christian authors: Jeanette Windle, Joel C. Rosenberg, Heather Day Gilbert, Patrick W. Carr, Terri Blackstock, James Scott Bell, Angela Hunt, Jill Eileen Smith, Dani Pettrey, Dee Henderson, Siri Mitchell, to mention a few.

photoMy preferred secular books are Alexander McCall Smith’s The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series, Alan Bradley’s Flavia deLuce series, and Kate Morton’s novels. I also stumbled upon Lorena McCourtney’s Ivy Malone cozy mysteries, which I love. Add to that my complete series of The Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun, which I’ve read and re-read for easy, engaging entertainment.

I could go on, but I’d love to know what some of your favorite titles are. What do you read just for fun?

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blog-hop-for-writers imageMy favorite genre is historical fiction. Of course, if you know me you might expect me to say that since I’ve read scads of them and have had three complete historical novels published, as well as one being released in installments (shameless self-promotion here).
River volume 4

However, I also love reading mysteries such as Anne Perry’s Victorian series (William Monk / Charlotte and Thomas Pitt), The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun, and Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache stories. I could list countless others (Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books are another example), but these are books I read. I have yet to publish a mystery of my own, although I am currently editing a cozy mystery.

That brings me to another favorite genre: cozies. If you are unfamiliar with the term “cozy,” it is a subgenre of the mystery category in which violence is limited and mostly off-stage (my own definition). Something you can curl up with on a dark and stormy night without subsequent nightmares ensuing.

Speaking of genres, I recently read a great romance set in Scotland that made me want to hop on a plane to Skye to see the place for myself. Thanks to Carla Laureano for the experience. So although I don’t usually read dedicated romance novels, this one provided a lovely balance of character, plot and setting to keep me hooked from the beginning.

I also have a dear friend who writes gripping Christian suspense, which is a good balance to some of my other reading. Janet Sketchley’s Heaven’s Prey is a recommended read, but I couldn’t write suspense either.

Sometimes we all need a good belly laugh, a book that will make us forget our troubles. I love to read humor, but it’s a challenge to write.

So if I was forced to reveal my favorite genre, I would have to say, “yes!”  To all the above and more. Fiction has “food groups” and I like to have a balanced diet. I think it’s important for readers and writers to read widely. As they say: so many books; so little time.

my library photo

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