Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reading Like a Grown-up (or Can I Handle the Truth?)

Tip of the Day: Even if you don't usually read adult books or non-fiction books, I highly recommend THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot. You can learn about science while seeing how real people are often the best characters.

I am a huge reader of YA fiction. Some may say I am obsessed with the genre. They may be right -- but let me explain WHY:
1. Part of my YA Librarian job is to buy all the library's YA titles so I'm constantly reading reviews of these books.
2. Part of my YA Librarian job is to recommend YA titles to teens so I have to keep up on reading them.
3. The YA Librarians in my county lib system put together a Best Of list of teen fiction every year, so I have to keep up on my reading.
4. Because I read so many reviews of YA fiction for my job, I'm enticed into reading some of the titles based on good reviews.
5. As a YA writer, I read a lot of YA writer blogs and industry news, which entice me into reading even more YA titles.
6. To keep up on the YA fiction industry and to see what is selling, I skim the jacket flaps of many YA titles at the lib and am enticed into reading them.
7. I love the immediacy, the pace, the voice, the relatability of just "growing up" and learning about yourself and others of YA fiction and will never stop reading it.

In slightly lesser amounts I read MG fiction, and in even lesser amounts, adult fiction and non-fiction. But the proportion of adult books I start to finish is higher than that of YA or MG bc there are just a ton of great adult titles out right now. And no matter what genre of kidlit you are writing, it is important to read books for adults.


In addition to just hitting on some great stories, often trends that hit in kidlit are trickle-downs from popular or notable adult works. There are also substantial adult non-fiction titles that can get your wheels turning for kidlit fiction ideas.

I loved THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS, and am also really enjoying Elizabeth Gilbert's latest, COMMITTED. On deck I have Peter Lovenheim's IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. When I'm feeling the glut of YA paranormal romance and dead sibling books, I need to remember to kick up the adult lit.

What recent adult novels or non-fiction are you reading and loving right now?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Kate Fall said...

Oooh, that IMMORTAL LIFE book looks great. I love reading nonfiction. It definitely keeps the wheels in my head spinning. Right now I'm reading Isaac Asimov's Book of Humor, where he analyzes why certain jokes are funny to different people. It's very interesting reading.

Lisa Schroeder said...

My problem is that so often I pick up an adult novel and it's just way too slow moving for me. Our book club is discussing THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO tomorrow night and I bought the book to read it, and the first pages are just SO slow and boring to me. People tell me it picks up eventually, but when I have so many other great books around me I want to read, it's hard to plow through.