My Ivory Tower

My name is Karin Huxman and I write romance for New Concepts Publishing. You can find my author page at I write a mix of time travel, contemporary, paranormal, and sf/fantasy and love every minute of it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My reading year...

I've always been a voracious reader. I gobble books up. My husband calls it an addiction, I call it a passion. Hey, it keeps me off the streets. Unlike many writers I didn't have a passion to write from elementary school on. My passion was to read until that fateful summer when I couldn't find anything new or interesting to me at the library. This was way back when we were young and didn't have extra pennies for buying books, paying the mortgage and feeding kids took precedence. That was the summer I decided to start writing my own stories, thus offering me the added addiction of writing. But that's another story.

Last year I discovered that I'd been picking up books that I thought were new when in fact I'd read them years before. So I decided to keep track of the books, by title and author, that I read. I started last August so I have a year's worth of stats to wade through. Here are some of the preliminary results.
  • Total books read: 105 1/2
  • Fiction: 93
  • Non fiction: 12 1/2
  • Most read author: Nora Roberts (16) with Jayne Anne Krentz as herself and in her disguises as Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick coming in second at 13
  • Most unusual book: Plato's Atlantis Dialogues
  • Favorite non fiction: William Shatner's autobiography Up Till Now
  • The 1/2 book: a biography of Rudyard Kipling that I started after watching a PBS show based on a small time in his life. Couldn't finish it, alas!
  • Most books read in a month: 13 in June
  • Least books read in a month: 3 in September, I don't know why the number was so low

Enough statistics. Let me add that I enjoyed reading some new authors. One was Shana Abe who came to visit my writers group, Pikes Peak Romance Writers. She wrote a fantasy romance trilogy about shape shifters. You say, sure everyone's done that. No, silly friend. She didn't write about werewolves or anything as ordinary as that. She wrote a historical romance series in which her characters can shift into dragons. Very cool, and very well done. Another new to me author I picked up was Jim Butcher. His Dresden Files books are so very well written. They are about the wizard, Harry Dresden, and the alternate reality Chicago in which he lives and works and battles vampires, werewolves, fairies, and other dark creatures.

I renewed my acquaintance with some writers whom I haven't read in a while, Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux, and Sue Grafton to name a few. And I picked up a few of my favorite writers back list books to read.

My non fiction choices ranged from Plato to biographies/autobiographies to books on writing and creativity. I love William Shatner's Up Till Now. He writes with wit and humor starting with his child hood in Canada, through his years as a struggling actor, the TV shows and movies that made him a household name, through his first few seasons as Denny Crane Denny Crane on the TV show Boston Legal. I don't know how many times I caught myself laughing out loud as he reminisced and poked fun at himself.

Have you ever kept a list of books you've read? All you need is a cheap little notebook (they're on sale now, it's back to school time!) or set up a file on your computer. It's pretty enlightening to see how tastes change over time. So many books, so little time! What are you reading now?


Donnell Ann Bell said...

Karen, it's so nice to see where your interests lie. So different from what I normally read. For instance I would read JD Robb before I would read Nora Roberts, but I would love to read William Shatner's bio. I did a blog on him called he's such a character for Five Scribes. He's one of my all time favorites. I do believe I'll pick up that book. Reading makes the world go round, no?

Karin Huxman - Romance Author said...

It's obvious that I have some favorite authors, but working at the library has done a lot for widening my pool. Everytime something new or unusual comes across my hands, I put it on hold for myself. Yep, reading is what does it for me!

paulab said...

Great blog, Karin. I never thought to keep track of the books I read, but I think I will. The strange thing is, many of the books you've read this past year are the same ones I've read. Nora Roberts is one of my all time favorite authors, but I have to admit, I haven't enjoyed her newer books. I don't care for murder, suspense, and women in jeopardy, so that leaves out a lot for me. On the other hand, I probably read 15 or 20 Jayne Anne Krentz books, as herself and aka's. I also discovered Shana Abe's trilogy and liked it so much, I wrote to her--something I rarely do. She is a skillful writer. Jim Butcher is a new name for me, but his books sound interesting, and I'll check them out. I've also read several Jude Devereaux lately. As for non-fiction, I read lots of metaphysics and quantum physics for non-science types, eg. Gregg Braden and Michio Kaku. I love reading about Native American and other spirituality. And I will keep track. I'll post a blog next August. Should be interesting.

Karin Huxman - Romance Author said...

Hi Paula,

If you don't like Nora Robert's violent stories, you might be unhappy with Jim Butcher. The Dresden Files series is very dark. Very well written, but certainly has a lot of violence in it. I'm not always sure how his protagonist survives!

I'll be interested in seeing your list next year. :)