In the Trenches: Catching-up

Books lined up by a window

Perhaps I have already spoken about it among the other issues I have discussed in this blog but I am woefully behind in my reading. Specifically, I am behind in my reading for the particular genre I am writing.

Long ago, I used to devour fantasy books, and I do mean devour. Between grade school and graduating high school I could read a 300+ page book in a night. I was avid to the point of rabid in relation to reading. And, in particular, I read fantasy. 

I started with The Hobbit and quickly moved on. Xanth, you remember those. The Belgariad when it first came out. The first Mercedes Lackey, if I have those in the right place in my memory. Et cetera. 

I hadn’t noticed how radically my reading habits had changed until recently. I discovered the change as I started to look for comparables for the novel I am attempting to interest folks in representing or publishing. I realized I hadn’t picked up a fantasy book in a decade, maybe more. 

What? Seriously? Well, dang. I guess so. 

What had I been reading? Lots of history, western european, eastern european, Russian, American. I even squeezed in a couple of histories involving the Panama canal. Scanning my shelves I see whole sections on pandemic history: influenza, plague, yellow fever, polio, tuberculosis. Ya know, like most people do. <ahem>

What else was there? Lots and lots of sociology and politics. A fair number of modern biographies were in the mix. Loads of books on textile history, knitting and other fiber arts. 

And classics. I certainly went through a ‘classics’ phase. And then more modern writers like Angelou and Morrison. 

So, in all my reading there had been very little fantasy. I hadn’t even read George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. Still haven’t read most of it. 

So, now I am playing catch-up just as quickly as I can. It’s a challenge to cram a decade and a half of reading into a few months, that’s for sure. But this is where I need a bit of help. Ya ready? 

What are, in your opinion, the most important fantasy reads of the last two decades? I will happily give them a look-see. And, seriously, thank you.

3 responses to “In the Trenches: Catching-up”

  1. Can’t help you there, since I rarely if ever read fantasy. But I’m in the same position with my crime fiction…scrambling to read current titles!

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