What I’m Reading Right Now

First of all, I’m revising more than reading right now– I swear it! ::looks around sneakily, checks for editor ::

But when I’m writing a lot, I tend also to be reading a lot. This leads to accusations that I am being anti-social, because there are only so many hours in a day and other things have to go by the wayside. That’s the story for a lot of writers, I think.

I want to share the lovely books I’m enjoying right now. First, the book I am absolutely obsessed with at this very moment and itching to get back to even as I post this blog:
“A Place of Greater Safety” is just a magnificent book from the 1990s about the French Revolution. It has the oddest writing style, in that it’s a historical, but present-tense. It’s third-person, and strangely distancing at times just to provide this incredible panorama of an entire age, not just the three men who are the focus of the narrative: Danton, Desmoulins, Robespierre.

And what larger-than-life, epic lives these three lived!

I’ll be honest with you here. I think the French Revolutionaries did some horrendous things. However, I think their savagery was in part a reaction to the abuse of the French Royals in the ages leading up to that– which was just as nauseating. Peasants were forced to serve as slave labor to construct roads. The nobility – the wealthiest – never paid taxes, while the poorer members of the country paid for everything. So of course, as they scrabbled in the bread line for food they could barely afford, they were ferocious beasts witnessing Marie Antoinette in pearls. That’s why I found this book, which I also recently picked up, a bit difficult to read:

It had a bit too much sympathy for the royalists for me. I cheerfully read novels from Marie Antoinette’s POV, where of course she is the protag. However, from the POV of someone who is not an aristocrat, I just can’t buy this. It may be rooted entirely in Madame T.’s real views– it probably is. The writing is beautiful, the research is marvelous. I just can’t tolerate the viewpoint.

Hence, why I’m in love with A Place of Greater Safety.

On a lighter note, I always try to keep up with my YA reading, and this book is just fun. Brings me back to the Buffy days:

And then there’s my ‘research’ book, which does help a bit with revisions, though I don’t understand half of it:

I recently spoke to an aspiring writer friend who stated she doesn’t read much. For me, these things go hand-in-hand. My reading binges always happen at the same time as my writing binges.

What about the rest of you? How does the reading/writing thing work out for you? Do you read while you’re writing, in between writing bouts, or just all the time at a low, steady interval? Or do you not read at all? 😉

  1. I can’t imagine writing without reading. The two definitely go hand-in-hand for me!

    And I love books set in France, so I will make note of A Place of Greater Safety. Thanks for the tip! I don’t necessarily have a desire to travel to France (I know I’m crazy!), but my two favorite classics are both set during the French Revolution.

    Happy editing! I just finished one of my final edits before querying. Getting closer….


  2. Ooh, which ones? I am dying for more French Revolution classics! (Though I’ve read Tale of Two Cities and the excellent City of Darkness, City of Light.)

    Very exciting about new round of queries! My fingers are crossed for you.

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