Wednesday, March 3, 2021

March IWSG, 2021


And it's March. Almost a year has passed since school was closed for our kids and the big lockdown occurred. Things haven't changed a whole lot since then. The kids do go to school twice a week, but we still don't eat inside restaurants, we have not gone on a vacation, and we don't plan to until we're vaccinated. My parents got Covid (mild cases) and recovered. I don't obsess over the news as much as I used to, but I'm watching to see if there will be a fourth wave due to the variants. Strange times.

Books are a great escape when the stress gets too much, so I was happy to see this month's IWSG question. But before that, let me thank our host, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his posse of co-hosts: Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose.

March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

Stephen King's Firestarter, Amazon

When I was a kid, horror was the best and only genre worth my time and Stephen King was the ultimate. I wanted to be The Firestarter. Yet I can remember loving the first six or so books by V.C. Andrews as well and sincerely hoping to find a doorway to another realm as in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.


Jonathon Kellerman's First Alex Delaware novel, Thriftbooks

As an older teen and in college, I stretched a bit into the horror of the real world and got into detective/crime works with Jonathan Kellerman's series featuring Alex Delaware as a particular fave.

Then I branched out, taking in more popular fiction and literary-leaning fiction. I fell madly in love with the books of Barbara Kingsolver (especially The Poisonwood Bible and The Lacuna), Anne Patchett (State of Wonder), Yann Martel (Life of Pi), Sue Miller (The Senator's Wife), Kathryn Stockett (The Help), and Wally Lamb (The Hour I First Believed).

Before I wrote a historical novel featuring antebellum times, I read a big stack from that genre, both an inspiring and intimidating task.

I stuck a toe in the wide world of nonfiction and discovered treasures like John Krakauer's Into Thin Air, Andre Agassi's Open, Cheryl Strayed's Wild, and Tara Westover's Educated

Books that entertain and inform with characters that feel alive motivate my reading choices. Two of them that I've recently finished include Suzanne Redfearn's In An Instant in which a horrific car crash contrasts the best and worst of humanity. The other is The Window by David Cole (publish by Dancing Lemur Press!) in which a magic portal to the future brings absolute chaos to the main character's life.

Do you use reading to escape and de-stress, gain writerly inspiration, or all of the above?


  1. I'm in lockdown to stay safe too. I was so relieved to hear that we may have enough vaccines by the end of May. And yes, reading is a fantastic way to escape from these and other trying times.

  2. I won't get the vaccine unless absolutely necessary but I'm grateful my in-laws just got it so we can go see them soon.

    Thank you for taking a chance on The Window.

  3. I'll admit, I've not read much horror. Some paranormal though.

  4. I never have cared for horror and yet I'll read a true crime story... (go figure!) I read to learn, escape, travel, gain inspiration.

  5. You've named some of my favorite authors here. I used to read King, but after Cell, I was turned off (no pun intended).

  6. It sounds like you and I have very different reading pools.

    My kids are in grade school and have been going 5 days a week since last October after the school district decided it was safe for 5th grade and under. So far, my immediate family has been spared any covid infections. My parents live on the road and are almost always in areas devoid of other people. I'm hoping there isn't a fourth wave, personally.

  7. I'm with you about not eating inside restaurants. We order carryout or delivery. I've had my 1st shot. Can't wait for the 2nd then the next wait until I can hug the grandkiddies. You really are an eclectic reader. Wonderful.

  8. You have some interesting books here. "Into Thin Air" was a book that really affected me physically. I found myself breathing heavily as he described climbing above 8000 meters (I know I breath heavy climbing at 4500 meters).

  9. Hi Tamara! I loved Kathryn Stockett's The Help. I'm still a big chicken. I can't read horror. I'm with you. We haven't eaten in restaurants since before Covid. We can't wait to take a vacation somewhere...anywhere! All best to you!

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