What Are You Reading?

As a children’s book writer and a mother of 2 young kids, I read a ton of children’s books. We add a new batch of picture books to our reading list each week when we visit the library, and the kids eagerly expand their personal libraries when they get bookstore gift cards. I have a long list of “want to read” books, which include new books that have been recommended and classics that somehow escaped my childhood education.

My son and I are slowly working our way through the chapter books and young novels on the list, reading a few chapters each night together. We just finished The Borrowers (which my daughter also liked listening to), and now we are on to Holes. I like when there is a film version to show them afterwards. It results in some lively discussions about how the version on screen is similar of different than what they had built up in their minds. The Japanese anime movie The Secret Life of Arrietty is based on The Borrowers, which we’ll watch next week.

With all of these children’s books to read, sometimes I want a break to return to the adult world of literature. I have a big stack of writing craft books and a Jim Henson biography waiting for me, but my go-to books help me escape to somewhere else entirely. My favorites are fantasy, science fiction, and suspense/thrillers/crime.

Sometimes the categories blur a little between adult and young adult, like in the case of Harry Potter, Eragon, and The Lord of the Rings (all of which I absolutely loved). I just finished a Terry Pratchett novel called Snuff, featuring the complex and tell-it-like-it-is Commander Sam Vimes. Terry Pratchett is a comic fantasist, weaving dry humor, social commentary, and human nature into his Discworld novels. I have thoroughly enjoyed nearly everyone of his books, and his characterization of Death cracks me up every time.

I’m starting J.K. Rowling’s book, The Casual Vacancy, and then I’m on to some crime novels. I especially like Swedish crime novels right now (like Three Seconds), which I got interested in after reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Luckily, I’m a fast reader, because there are so many more books I want to read!

What are you reading right now? Who are your go-to authors? Please share your suggestions… I’d love to keep supplementing my list with good recommendations!