Books on the Brain

For writers, reading is fundamental, or at least it should be. In order to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. I read for fun, by and large, but I can also learn plenty of new things technique-wise from my fellow authors at large. How they structure their work, how it's paced, their dialogue and use of description. So, I read voraciously. Last month, I joined NetGalley and have found myself a bit buried in review copies. For a book lover like me, this is a good problem to have! It can also be a bit time-consuming and I need to figure out a more structured plan of what to read and when, and balance this against any particular appetites that might arise and hop back and forth between genres, and figure out when I can read the books I've invested my own money into.

I thought I sort of had a plan for this month, and have stuck to it pretty well (a whole two books in...), and mostly because I forgot about one big title dropping next week that I've had on order for a while: the new Campus novel by Mark Greaney, picking up the series that had grown into a Tom Clancy staple prior to his death last year. I think I'll need to do a bit of reshuffling and re-prioritizing, but I think it's going to look a bit like this (and, oh yeah, I got a few new titles that I absolutely deem must-reads based on their descriptions and authors of much renown):

First order of business is to finish up Chuck Wendig's Blightborn. Look for a review on that one here soon. After that, I think the order will go as follows -

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I've got a few non-fiction goodies that sounds pretty dang awesome and need to figure out when to get to them.

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There's also a few series reads that I need to catch up on... Namely, Richard K. Morgan's A Land Fit For Heroes series. I have an advanced copy of The Dark Defiles but I urgently need to read The Cold Commands first. I think I'll need to find some kind of resource to remind me what happened in book one, The Steel Remains, as it's been a good long age since I read that one.

Also on tap are the first two books in Marcus Sakey's Brilliance Saga, as well as Timothy S. Jonston's The Tanner Sequence novels.

I can't help but think I may have overextended myself, but that's often my warrant... And oh yeah, I have to edit a book of my own and get cracking on the next draft, and figure out what the hell I'm supposed to write next for book three (of course, the problems there are singling out a particular idea and concept, and figuring out how to connect A to B).

What's coming up in your read pile?

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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