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Read to write

August 31, 2011

I am a big believer that to be a good writer, one has to be a good reader.  Have just finished reading The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin. Love her books, particularly The Earthsea Quartet. Can also recommend The Left Hand of Darkness, which to me is like reading about life in an alternative Imperial Japan. Was discussing with my M.A. tutor yesterday how closely linked science fiction and ancient history can be.  The two extreme points of time can be bent to form a continuous circle. Or do you think that time is linear?

On a lighter note, what are you reading at the moment and why?  Like most people I usually know from the moment I pick a book up whether I am going to like it or not.  I tend to go for American authors (although I am not sure why) and therefore bemoan the loss of Borders.  I could spend hours in there – and pounds!  I definitely spent less on books while I worked for the library service.

Whilst studying for the M.A. in Creative Writing, I learned to savour books rather than devour them, and to reread to analyse how the story is structured. I recently noticed that The Sunderland Book Project, which displays hand made printed Artist’s Books, is coming to Washington Arts Centre from the 5th September to the 5th November. I hope to pay a visit to see how people have been inspired to put books together. The display includes work made by local, national and international artists, designers, printmakers and bookmakers.  Should make an interesting artist date as promoted by Julia Cameron for filling the creative well.

In the meantime, I am reading The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2011 edited by Rich Horton. I have read several of these anthologies now and find it an accessible way of keeping up with the latest writing in the genre. Over half the stories in this compilation were first published online. Another example of the role digital technology is playing in changing the way that writing is published these days.

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From → Reading

3 Comments
  1. I am reading only women writers this year, as I realised that I hardly used to read any and for some reason didn’t believe that we girls were quite as good as the boys. So I prescribed myself an intensive course of women authors for 2011 and am blogging about the results. Best of luck with your writing.

    • Enjoy your reading. Do you think you will set yourself a year of reading only men writers at some stage? I prefer to alternate and have sometimes found the author’s name to be misleading. Generally speaking, from observing issues while working for the library service, I think that women tend to read women and men favour male authors, although they are more likely to select a mixture of the two.

  2. Hi Judith

    I agree – to be a good writer one has to be a reader and it always amazes me that not all writers think like this! I’m reading The Possessions of Dr Forrest by RD Kelly – it’s been nominated as the Durham Book Fest read together novel, all the reading groups in the county are reading it. Wendy and I are running a workshop during the Book Fest which will include discussions on it. So far I’m finding it tough going and very male in a way I’m not sure I like but I’m trying to reserve judgement. In response to Londonchoirgirl – enjoy your year – women writers are the best!!

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