A lot of writers I know suffer from the inability to walk past a bookshop. Even worse, many of us cannot enter and then leave a bookshop without buying at least one book. This is only partly solved by visiting the library more often, as they have this unfortunate rule that you have to take the books back to them (and they even fine you when you're late!).
But there is nothing more joyful than wandering along the shelves and finding a new book by one of your favourite authors. Such was the case last week when I discovered a new book from Louise Rennison. First of all I had to check it really was new (her books are often released in the UK and US with different titles, and here in Australia we get both), and then because it was hardcover, I had to hold my breath and check the price. US and UK hardcovers here often cost AU$35-40, which puts them out of my reach.
Lo and behold (a suitable Christmas expression), it was a "cheap" version at only $20. So it went into my shopping basket immediately. If you want a good laugh, try her books - YA humour written in diary form - they are guaranteed to make me laugh out loud.
I'm still waiting for Kate di Camillo's book, "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane", to come out here in paperback. That's one HC that does pass the $35 mark.
My holidays are looming so now is when I start stockpiling "good reads" for my time off. Christmas? What Christmas? Don't bug me, I'm reading. Yes, and writing lots instead of little bits. Headspace is gradually returning, filling with words instead of admin and chores and grading and enrolment stuff-ups.
Books I would recommend from this year's reading? I tend to go with the ones that stay in my head - to me that means they were strong enough to be memorable. "Whale Talk" by Chris Crutcher, "Dairy Queen" by Catherine Murdock, "Kira-Kira" by Cynthia Kadohata, are three I can think of right now.
I've enjoyed the new Ian Rankin, James Lee Burke and Tess Gerritson. And my binge on literary fiction in the middle of the year was great for thinking and writing. I've also got "We Have to Talk About Kevin" on my stockpile, along with "Thirteen Moons" by Charles Frazier.
All that reading will be wonderful, and it will keep me away from the computer which has caused my neck and shoulder to seize up again (serves me right for not doing something about the ergonomics). The laptop will be allowed on holidays with me as long as it stays on my lap and doesn't sneak up to the table (too high and screen at bad angle). I have to get this ergo stuff right, because the dictation software programs all hate my voice and make millions of errors.