You might be asking: if you can’t wait to read them, then why not now. Well, quite simply, they’re further down on my reading list.
That may sound legalistic, but the list keeps me focused on reading books that are important research for upcoming novels. For instance, I really want to finish “Last of the Mohicans” but it has no direct correlation (albeit genre, subject matter, or similar characters) on my next book. I do think any book does help to some extent, even the awful ones, but I don’t want to just read any book, I want to be intentional with every book I read. The novel that LotM is best aligned with is a couple years away, so I don’t want to waste essential reading time with it now, when I could be reading a book that is crucial to understanding the genre of my next novel.
Here’s an example, if I want to write a novel about zombies, then I would read some of the more notable books in the genre: “World War Z”, “Dead City”, and another random book I find on Goodreads by searching Best Zombie Book (currently there are 117 to choose from). It might be a classic title like “I Am Legend” or the more contemporary “The Walking Dead” graphic novels. I try to read an eclectic mix within the genre to ascertain what’s been done, what works well, and where could I add to the mythos or tropes. So this is why some books, though I would love to read immediately, are further down the list.
Now without further ado, here are the three books I am looking forward to in 2015:
The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell: I love Cornwell’s fiction; he writes smart, gritty tales where the villains are always smarter and more cunning than the protagonists. So when I found out he wrote a series on the Arthurian Legend I nearly became that guy who camped outside the library to obtain a copy when it became available.
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson: When I saw “Momento” by Christopher Nolan, I loved the concept, and here Watson has added an element of retrospection. This was obviously a really good idea, because the novel has won numerous awards. Though it could also be attributed to the prose, which I found to be very engrossing (I read the first chapter).
Twilight by Stephanie Meyers: Yes, I wrote that. The fact is I am writing romance, and even when I write a novel that blends a few different genres it will have a strong romantic element. So I want to learn how Meyers established such a rabid fan base (pun was partially intended) with her writing. Because I’m willing to bet it had very little to do with sparkling vampires, and everything to do with how she communicated the longing every woman has for love, mystery, and danger. If I can learn to do that from reading her work, then I absolutely will read each one of her books (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves; one is plenty for 2015).