There's a serious lack of fiction in my diet

My bookshelf

My bookshelf fiction... or at least some of it

Over the past couple of years I’ve worked quite hard to expand my taste when it comes to reading. No longer reaching for the blood, gore and investigative mystery most crime fiction offers, I now touch on the literary, the romantic, the fairytale, the adventure and, most importantly of all, the recommended. I’ve now started to trust the recommendations of friends.

It’s not only expanded my reading list, but also my ability to talk about books, genres, styles of writing and ideas. Good writers have to be good readers too.

But with that said, for the last month I have ditched novels altogether. The start of my Masters signalled the end of my fiction feast, at least for now. I am reading more often that I ever have, at least more regularly – not only because I have to but because I’m enjoying the reading list so far. But I’m reading a different sort of book now: non fiction, educational, informative, historic, technological, eye-opening.

My favourite so far has been What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis, which I quote on a semi-regular basis, and I feel like my current read – Journalism Next by Mark Briggs – should be a permanent fixture in my handbag, a mini guide to my career.

But I am starting to miss fiction, immersing myself into other characters’ lives, problems and stories and taking myself off, completely, to another place; an armchair traveller. And I’m not sure when there’ll be time for fiction because I struggle to read more than one book at a time, like it’s a kind of infidelity to start one before finishing with the other. And it’s such a pleasure to get lost in another world for a few chapters and put the stresses of the day behind me.

The reading for the MA is a permanent reminder of the work I do (good and bad) and sparks a trail of ideas which pour from my brain to my hand to my notebook to my computer, an endless stream of things I want to do, follow up or achieve. And it’s a tad exhausting, an educational reading journey rather than a relaxing escapism.

But I’m not surprised, it’s what I expected really. So, when the Christmas break comes around I’m going to treat myself to a fiction novel and revel in it. Merry Christmas to me!

Anyone got any recommendations?

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7 Comments

  • Reply Steven October 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Have you read Dino Buzzati’s “The Tartar Steppe”? It’s often described as an existentialist novel and is really about nothing happening at all, but I loved it. And it’s listed in “1001 Books To Read Before You Die” and so I’m not alone in liking it.

    Steven…er, y’know,…the UniCyclist

  • Reply lesley heardman October 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Try Tokyo by Mo Hayder – nearly finished so you can borrow

    Mom

  • Reply lesley heardman October 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Try Tokyo by Mo Hayder – nearly finished so you can borrow

    Mom

  • Reply robynbateman October 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Yay, The UniCyclist reads my blog! Welcome aboard Steven :0) And I’ll certainly add that one to my reading list, thanks. Mum, you can bring that one with you next time you visit please – but don’t expect me to return it ;0)

  • Reply robynbateman October 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Yay, The UniCyclist reads my blog! Welcome aboard Steven :0) And I’ll certainly add that one to my reading list, thanks. Mum, you can bring that one with you next time you visit please – but don’t expect me to return it ;0)

  • Reply atimg November 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm

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  • Reply atimg November 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm

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