Today, Lauren Baratz-Logsted is here with a Book Picks Post, courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her book, The Education of Bet. You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!
Reading as a Writer
I often get asked what advice I have to offer people who want to be writers and I always say the same two things, one of which is: Read, read, read - read everything you can get your hands on, including outside your field, because you can't be a good writer without first being a good reader.
I don't know if I'm a good writer - that would be for others to say - but I am a good reader. Since the age of 10, I've averaged 100-250 books a year. One year, I even committed to reading a book a day and succeeded in having a 365-book year!
My home is full of books read and waiting to be read. Any day I get to go to a bookstore or the library is a good day and my tastes are eclectic. I like almost all kinds of fiction - the few I don't read a lot of these days are serial-killer books, westerns and category romances, but if somene points out one they particularly loved I'm always willing to listen - and since I started writing YA in addition to adult fiction, I now read approximately 50% YA fiction a year. To give you an idea of what really floats my boat, here are my Number 1 picks for the past few years:
2007: This Human Season, by Louise Dean
2008: Breath, by Tim Winton
2009: Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
2010: Kings of the Earth, by Jon Clinch
2011 (so far): The Old Romantic, by Louise Dean
Coincidentally, all of these are adult literary novels, but that's all they have in common except for general excellence.
I do keep a reading journal and I put stars next to those books that please me most. Of the 64 books I've read so far in 2011, the following are the ones I consider star-worthy:
The Girl I Used to Be, by David Cristofano
Still Alice, by Lisa Genova
The Privileges, by Jonathan Dee
The Old Romantic, by Louise Dean
Gone, by Mo Hayder
The Poison Tree, by Erin Kelly
You Know When the Men are Gone, by Siobhan Fallon
The Complaints, by Ian Rankin
The Dark Divine, by Bree Despain
The Miles Between, by Mary E. Pearson
The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff
The Unwritten Rule, by Elizabeth Scott
Matched, by Ally Condie
Across the Universe, by Beth Revis
Brutal, by Michael Harmon
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A.S. King
Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
Some Girls Are, by Courtney Summers
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan
Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin
And that's me as a reader! Hopefully it wasn't TMI!
No worries, Lauren! A good book is a good book, and recommendations are always welcome!
Thank you for this awesome book-filled post!
Lauren's book, "The Education of Bet" is in stores now. You can find a copy at Amazon, located here.
When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they’ve both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she’s a girl, Bet’s world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will’s world is much larger. He is allowed—forced, in his case—to go to school. Neither is happy.
So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They’ll switch places. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.
Lauren Baratz-Logsted began writing for adults, but has also written for teens and for tweens. Greg Logsted, husband of Lauren, has written one novel.
Jackie Logsted, daughter of Lauren and Greg, is making her literary debut.
She is eight years old. The Baratz-Logsted/Logsted family lives in Danbury, Connecticut.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.