We've talked about the importance of reading fiction to train ourselves as writers--to get that osmosis thing going. Personally, I find it hard to squeeze in time to read each year. I certainly cannot read books in the volume that I did as a kid when I had no responsibilities.
But this year I did manage to read 14 fiction titles, which is good for me--that's a lot of reading scheduled around a jam-packed life. I hope to make it 15 by year's end.
Not much surprise as to the categories they fell into. My favorite books to read are historical fiction, but I must rule out a lot that are romance driven, which considerably depletes the field of available titles. So I only read 4 books under the historical fiction category.
Seven of the titles were suspense--this is my fallback category for reading pleasure. I like the suspense genre, especially since I can usually read a suspense novel without being battered over the head with a romance thread. Rounding out the reads were a contemporary romance (very funny), an old and very long classic, and a middle grade novel.
Out of the two primary genres--historical fiction and suspense, two suspense titles I read stood out from all the others. Those two were John Gilstrap's Threat Warning and James Scott Bell's Try Dying. Two books which the writers wrote so well it seemed effortless (and I'm sure the authors would disagree with that effortless bit!). They were a pure pleasure to read and the osmosis got a definite boost while reading these two works.
What about the other books? The other 5 suspense novels I have literally already forgotten so they would have to go into the indifferent category. As to the historicals: One was very disappointing, the other 3 did have some take-away value, just not enough to vault them to the top of the ranks in my reading pile for 2011.
So osmosis did get a bit of a workout in 2011. Here's hoping for a lot of great novel discoveries in 2012.