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My reading habits, for your consumption

July 22, 2011

I’m taking a break from fiction for a while. Not writing it of course, but reading it. Maybe just a few weeks, maybe longer. We’ll see.

I’ve been a big reader of history, philosophy, science, and even psychology and sociology for most of my adult life. So much that until recently I almost never read fiction, restricting myself to a few classics now and again. This may prompt you to wonder (or even if it didn’t, you will now that I’m pointing it out), “how can you write fiction if you don’t bother to read it?” The answer is: only passably, and not nearly as frequently as I should have.

That has changed a great deal in the last couple of years – mostly due to recommendations from the lovely and wonderful Michele. A steady diet of authors like Dashiell Hammett, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and Ray Bradbury – just to name a few – has expanded my ability to understand and construct good fiction (at least I think so – the verdict is still out for everyone else I guess) and honed my instincts about what will work and what won’t in order to make for an interesting story. I’m very glad to have read all of them.

That said, I miss my non-fiction. Having just finished A Dance with Dragons (which I’ll be exploring in depth here soon) I feel the need to climb out of make-believe worlds and join the real one again for a while. There’s a new biography of Machiavelli that I just recently spotted which I can’t wait to start. I’ve also been meaning to read a book called Imagined Communities, which is a book about the causes and effects of nationalism in the modern world.

Ok, I’m losing you. I know. Super boring stuff for many of you, lovely peeks into other kinds of ideas for me. To each of us their own, I suppose. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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