I've spent many years reading just exactly what I wanted to read. I won't even let friends press their most beloved books on me, because my to-read shelves are sagging with books by Ross Macdonald and Fritz Leiber books. (time to clean house!)
But those dudes are dead, and Miss Snark tells me I need to read *new* books. Books published this year (pretty much).
Fine, I say. I put aside the book I was reading and I started Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (It's good, too.) MS: uhhhh...
But I have a question about the next one. What sort of new books should I be choosing? Award-winners? Books by first-time novelists? Bestsellers with rotten reviews? Books from the publisher I hope will buy my own book? Should I skip over the latest Sue Grafton or Robert Parker? (yes)
If you are trying to get published for the first time, read first novels, published this year. If you are writing mysteries, go to Sarah Weinmans's invaluable blog Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind and look at her right sidebar. Read those too.
Read every Edgar Award winner, every year. Read the finalists in a couple categories too.
And of course, read this blog. That just goes without saying, right?
And am I the only person in the world who didn't like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Morrell? (err..Norrell, sorry)