I ask myself week after week if I will ever be on time with this challenge? I think the answer is NO. But better late than never. So this week, romance writers are asked what we like to read. What a GREAT topic.
Before I became a writer, if I can call myself that now, with four books under my belt and number five and six dropping in July! I ran a book club here in London for about almost five years. It was a book club for women only. The feel of the club was that it’s our space, our time and place to forget the kids, husbands, work, bills to be paid, and the endless to do list we have as busy working mums, career girls, or stay at home mums. When I set up the club online I wanted to attract women from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds. And that I did! I surprised myself it grew to well over one hundred members. All I wanted was a get away once a month, and to speak to people who loved to read as much as me. I never imagined it would last almost five years and beyond if I stayed. Not all one hundred members attended each month, but turn out was good and it’s how I met my good friend and now editor. About twenty or so of us each month met up, after we read a choice of two books per month. We met in one of London’s famous book stores in central London, on a Saturday afternoon. Drank wine, talked about books, had lunch and gossiped the afternoon away. It was A LOT of fun. I met some really lovely friends. I only gave up running the club as I scored my first publishing deal, and found it hard to read, meet deadlines with writing, juggle a family as I became a mum and work. I miss it with all my heart. I remember when I was heavily pregnant I’d still fit my fat ass on the bus, and waddle up to the book store in crowded and busy central London protecting my bump, every month. Or I’d talk to the girls and participate via loud speaker on the phone, if I could not make it. Sometimes I feel like starting it all over again.
When it comes to reading, I read a lot and like to read believe it or not genres I don’t write and can’t write. Even if I tried I could not craft a paranormal or sci-fi book. I just don’t have the creativity in that respect. But I love to read it! I also love to read historical fiction. I can turn my hand to a bit of this as a writer. I also love of course romance, suspense, thriller and a good dose of crime fiction. Also urban romance or African – American fiction.
I like books that push boundaries, and I also really love first person story telling, especially in thriller and suspense. Some call this “amateur writing” whatever! It’s not easy to be consistent with it. I like to get up close, and be right next to characters even bad guys. I wrote a blog post on one of my favourite books that inspired me as a writer with this style. It’s Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Gillian writes first person so so well. I wrote this well over a year ago I think, you can see it here.
Here is a list of my favourite books
- Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
- A Thousand Splendid Suns- Khalid Hossani – I read this while in hospital during the birth of my son. I finished it during my labour and stay in the maternity ward. Such a wonderful book.
- Americanahh- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – now this lady writes it how she likes it! And she really is herself one of the things I love about her.
- Purple Hibiscus- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie .
- Half a Yellow Sun-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
- Deadly Embrace- Jackie Collins- my inspiration to write my first romantic suspense! Wonderful writer.
- Faceless- Martina Cole- great British crime writer, I buy her books whenever she releases them.
- Me Before You- Jo Jo Moyes- I’ve read a lot of her books always enjoy them.
- Necessary Lies- Diane Chamberlain- Wonderful writer I’ve read a lot of hers.
- The Coldest Winter- Sista Souljah- A classic African American story.
- Midnight- Sista Souljah- A great love story between an African American immigrant boy and a Japanese girl.
- Memoirs of a Geisha- Arthur Golden what a classic.
- Women of the Silk-Gail Tsukiyama – my gosh I have never been so blown away by historical fiction.
- Language of Threads- Gail Tsukiyama- the follow up to the book above I loved it.
- The Seamstress- Maria Duanas – Fantastic historical fiction. This book highlights the strength of female character set in the backdrop of war. The story spans across north Africa and Spain. Totally engrossing story but a good 500 pages long.
- Fifty Shades of Grey all of them- Yeah I went there. No matter what people say about this author’s “simple writing style” Christen Grey totally does it for me!
- Crimson Rooms- Katharine McMahon I read this book YEARS ago, and remember it like I remember my own name. Historical fiction featuring a strong woman trying to solve a “problem” of the era.
- Jane Eyre- I love Jane!
- To Kill a Mocking Bird- Harper Lee…. Need I say more! It’s a classic. One I will make sure my son (who is only three) reads and understands.
- The Colour Purple- Alice Walker- A classic.
I have many more but these are the first twenty that came into my head, while I wrote this writing prompt. I think I will re-read numbers ten – twelve and the follow up stories. Maybe even number five and twenty again.
Can you list twenty or less of your favourite books at the snap of a finger? Share them with me and leave a comment.I’d like to find new books to read.