Friday, February 5, 2010

Things I've Noticed: Choosing your next author can be hard

Alright, I'm going to explain my reading schedule to you - yes I'm aware that I hold to a rigid schedule while readings books and yes, I'm aware I may over-think this aspect of my life - but you know what, I'm a reader, so I should be doing it the best I can.

Every month I read six novels (It's normally ten, but I'm nearing the end of my Undergraduate education so I've cut down for the time being), they break down as follows:

1) Read one Fantasy book
2) Read one SF book
3) Read one Horror Book
4 & 5) Read whatever my two book club books are, and
6) read a book by my current author

Usually I pick the Genre books off of either an awards list, the best-sellers list, or a list of top 100 books I'm working through for each (that top 100 horror books book? Yeah, there's one for both SF and Fantasy as well).

The book club books pick themselves and that just leaves me with my own choice.

Back in 2003 I read the complete works of Elmore Leonard, and got hooked on the habit of reading complete authors. Right now I'm just about up-to-date with Robert R. McCammon (Horror, then Horror/Fantasy, then Historical Fiction), and have just caught up with the Ancient Rome mystery novels of Steven Saylor.

My dilemma is this - who should I read next? Here are my three choices and reasons why I should pick them.

A big reason for reading Crichton is that I've already done most of the work - like a lot of people I got into his stuff after Jurassic Park came out and read virtually all of his fiction in my twenties. I think I have about 8 books of his left (including the non-fiction) and then I could be finished with his stuff - plus his last book was a pirate novel.

I'm a pretty big fan of Urban Fantasy, so the idea of a Canadian Urban Fantasy writer definitely peaks my interest, in addition my wife is a big fan and his earlier books were horror fantasy novels, makes him a strong contendor, the fact that I'd be signing myself up for over 60 novels (and still counting) makes me a little hesitant.

Having read three of his books (I Am Legend, Incredible Shrinking Man, and Hell House) I know I would enjoy the books, plus the fact that a couple of them are westerns appeal to me (I did go through that big Louis L'Amour phase a while back), added to the fact that I've got about half a dozen books of his on my shelf make him a pretty strong contender.

It's tricky stuff - I'll eventually read them all but where to start? Any ideas?

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