I’m answering Leeann’s question out of sequence, because I need more time to think about Auntiemichal’s question.
Leeann asks: “You often post about writing, but I don’t recall ever seeing a post about reading? Are you an avid reader? If so, what types of books do you typically read? What do you look for in a book? Is it okay to ask multi-part questions?”
Okay, starting at the end, yes it’s okay to ask multi-part questions.
I wouldn’t describe myself as an avid reader, but I do like to always have a book on the go. I especially love having a book I can’t put down, but that doesn’t happen as often as it did when I was a kid. I remember lying in bed late at night, so sleepy the words were swimming on the page, and fighting to stay awake because I wanted to know what happened next.
I still do most of my reading in bed, in the half-hour or so before I fall asleep.
I’m currently reading “Half-Broke Horses,” which I just started last night.
If you ever want to see what I’m reading or what I’ve read over the past couple of years, just click on Zoom’s Bookshelf over there in the left-hand sidebar. It’ll take you to my Goodreads page, where I rate and review most of the books I read. My most recent review is of Deafening, by Frances Itani, which I finished a few days ago.
My Goodreads page will also answer some of your other questions, like “What kind of books do you typically read?”.
But it won’t answer “What do you look for in a book?”
I have a Billy bookcase in my bedroom where I keep my unread books. Most of these books I buy second-hand, at yard sales or thrift shops. I generally look for books people have recommended, or whose back cover blurb intrigues me. I have always liked Canadian women writers and short stories, but some of my favourite authors are American men, like Donald Barthelme, Richard Brautigan, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I read everything I can find by Ivan Coyote, and I wish Heather O’Neill would write more books. I am drawn to award-winning books, because I love good, solid writing. I’d rather read a well-written mediocre story than a fascinating, badly written story.
The Ask Me Anything series will continue for the next little while. If you have a question, ask it in the comments or by email at zoomery at gmail dot com.