Been a few months since I had a look at what books were cluttering on the bedside table, so it is time for another look. Some are new, and some are still there from last time.
Oddly, most aren’t there to simply be read. Some are for inspiration and ideas, and others I’m trying to critically analyse – the first time I’ve ever looked at books in that way – to see how they are written. Specifically I’m looking at how conversations are handled and descriptions done. Sometimes the conversations I write seem to bog down into two people just starting blankly across at each other stating their lines, which needs fixing. They need to be alive, carrying out tasks, with facial expressions and tones of voice. Likewise for descriptions, what takes a couple of lines for me can be a couple of paragraphs for others. I need to learn to pad a bit better.
The Silmarillion – J.R.R.Tolkien. As my favourite book, its pretty much a permanent fixture beside the bed.
Hornblower and the Hotspur – C.S.Forester. I read this first in my first year of high school and it was my introduction to the world of Hornblower and the wider world of the Napoleonic War era. Currently there for clues to making a couple of scenes at sea for Tears of the Mountain more realistic.
Sharpe’s Honour and Sharpe’s Trafalgar – Bernard Cornwell. More Napoleonic War era fun, and being read for the same reason as Hornblower, for scenes of the sea and the land.
Just So Stories – Rudyard Kipling.. A collection of short stories about things like how the elephant got its trunk and the leopard got its spots. Read it to spark ideas for the writing of more Cahuac myths.
Queen of Sorcery – David Eddings. The fantasy equivalent of a hamburger and coke – sometimes you just crave fast food and this series fulfils that.
The Summer Tree – Guy Gavriel Kay. It has been a long, long time since I read this series. At the time of reading I was going through a bit of a bad time and this series was emotionally draining enough without that on top of it. Great read otherwise.
The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan. Book one of the Whale of Time. Er Wheel of Time. Pulled this one out just the other day to flick through after I started churning out the new stories, to see how he did it padding out the book so much.
Gardens of the Moon – Stephen Erikson. Ditto for The Eye of the World. More critical research than reading.
Toll the Hounds – Stephen Erikson. Its been sitting there so long I’ve forgotten where I was up to and what half the series is about. That is the problem with these door-stopper series – you need to reread them all first before starting on the latest one just so you can remember what was going on 5000 pages earlier.
The Complete Chronicles of Conan the Barbarian – Robert E. Howard. That one is still there because I simply haven’t gotten around to putting it away