Whatcha Reading?


The reality of my book shelves

Writers tend to be voracious readers, don’t they?

Of course, I was more voracious before I started writing so seriously; now, I squeeze in my reading in odd little increments here and there. Still, I savor any snippet of reading time, and I’m sure I’m a better writer because of reading.

During early days of writing kidlit, I read a lot of kidlit. Because I was drawn to writing middle grade and chapter books and humor, those are the books I sought out in my library. And then I immersed myself in picture books because I had a hankering to write a picture book or thirty-seven. Then back to middle grade and YA novels where my heart was calling. If I wanted to write kidlit, I figured, I needed to be kidlit.

Or something like that.

But a funny thing happened. I missed adult books. I missed mysteries and women’s fiction and award-winning novels. I hungered for Brit wit and classics and Neil Gaiman’s fairy tales. Oh! And ghost stories! I love true ghost story collections!


The book shelves of my sweet dreams

And so I began to sneak in an adult novel here and there, or a cheesy ghost story paperback, into the old TBR pile. To be honest, those sneaky books would always somehow end up on the top of the pile. So I’d practically read ’em under the covers– and get back to my serious kidlit reading before anyone caught me.

Until one day when I realized that any reading–even the really bad stuff– is good for me and my writing.

Goodness. That was a long way to go to ask what are you looking forward to reading in 2018? Do you have reading goals? I hit my goal over at Goodreads for 2017, thanks to a pile of terrific rhyming picture books I read there at the end of the year (and a ghost book or two).

So. I started this year with a book of essays, I WAS TOLD THERE’D BE CAKE by Sloane Crosley.

And you know what? I’m enjoying every delicious minute of it!


What’s On Your Bookshelf?

ImageIf you read–or particularly write Young Adult novels, then you’ve probably heard about that article over at Slate. The one with this tagline:

Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.

Naturally, there’s been a tremendous backlash because…well, for various and obvious reasons. (Margo Dill over at The Muffin today shared her opinion, and it’s a fine one.) Mostly it all comes back to Graham’s remarks being offensive. Offensive in that elitist, snobbish, I’m-better-than-you-are-because-I-read-adult-and-meaningful-literature. But also, as any schoolkid can tell you, because nobody likes being told what they “should” read.

Let’s take a look at what’s on Cathy C. Hall’s bookshelf (or the floor, as I like to call it):

Margo Dill’s Caught Between Two Curses

Stephen Colbert’s I Am A Pole and So Can You!

Susan Spencer-Wendel’s Until I Say Goodbye

Nina Amir’s The Author Training Manual (Coming up this Wednesday on a WOW book tour!)

Suzanne Lilly’s Gold Rush Girl (Just finished! See my review on Goodreads.)

Becky Povich’s From Pigtails to Chin Hairs (next up on the e-reader)

So…that’s two YA’s, one picture book, two adult memoirs, and one non-fiction. And  you know what?

I will read them on a train. And I will read them on a plane. I will read them on the street. And I will read them in bare feet. I will read them here or there. I will read them anywhere.

Because I’m an adult. And I read what I want.

(Have you got a read you’d like to recommend? Tell us what’s on your bookshelf! And you can sound off, too.)