You Need to do A Reading Study

Have you ever done a reading study? Recently, I listened to the Mysterious Goings On podcast that featured the Constant Reader and his journey re-reading Stephen King’s bibliography. The idea intrigued me. I’ve often re-read books I’ve enjoyed. Some of them many times. And of course, I’ve read complete series. But I don’t recall ever reading a single author’s entire catalog. The voice in my head said, you need to do a reading study. What is a Reading Study? That’s the fun part. You get to design your own. How? There are no rules. But here are some questions and suggestions to help you get started. What’s Your Purpose? For the Constant Reader, his deep love of Stephen King’s books motivated him. Which author do you read most often? Or choose an author you’ve never read before. If you’re a writer, you may want to figure out how an author created the world, or the characters, or how the writer makes us readers believe it all. Many things go into writing a powerful story. Perhaps you want to read an author with a unique writing style. Or a strong voice.  But what if you’re a reader and not a writer? […]

First Lines for the Holidays

Welcome to First Lines for the Holidays. December has more than just the Christmas holiday. See my posts on December Celebrations for some of the celebrations held this month.   For this First Lines Friday, here are a selection of first lines from science fiction and fantasy books that include or are about the holidays. I hope you find at least one you will enjoy. Have you heard of the great Forest of Burzee? The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum There was a Christmas tree in the lobby when Lauren got to work, and the receptionist was sitting with her chin in her hand, watching the security monitor. A Lot Like Christmas: Stories by Connie Willis The Reverend Lizzie Blackmore slowly blinked awake, and found, to her surprise, that she was already furious. The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell Once there was a boy who lived in a cabin in the deep woods with no one for company but an old woman and an old man. Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by Gregory Maguire Santa Claus… How vile your name upon my tongue. Like acid, hard to utter without spitting. Krampus: The […]

First Lines for August

August is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So I thought it fitting that I feature novels set in or about World War II in the First Lines for August post. Based on these first lines alone, would you buy the book? At dusk they pour from the sky.  All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Carla knew her parents were about to have a row. Winter of the World, Ken Follet The man at the end of the long table—he wore a trimmed black beard streaked white at the ends of his mouth—looked up at the wall clock: three minutes past seven. Prologue, From Time to Time, Jack Finney We stood bunched in with the little crowd you can see on the balcony down there at the right—see it?—just over the pillared entrance to the Everett House: Julia and I, her hands in her muff; and our four-year-old son, chin on the balcony rail. Chapter One, From Time to Time, Jack Finney SS-Sturmbannfürer Gunther Dettmer had been dreaming of this day since his childhood.   The Heroes of Sainte-Mère-Église, J.D. Keene Once Harry made a decision, he rarely looked back. Midnight in Broad Daylight: […]