So here’s my thing with fiction — I used to naively think reading it was a waste of time. For years I only read memoirs, biographies, and career/business books. I’m not really sure why I even started reading fiction but once I started I was hooked. I still read an equal amount of memoirs, biographies, and career/business books, but now I’ve also always got a fiction book going at the same time (yes, I’m almost always reading two or more books at the same time).
Once I really started reading fiction I realized that it’s actually the most difficult thing (for most people) to write. Because the author isn’t necessarily basing it on a real event that they have experienced so they can’t just go into their memory and write from it, no no, they literally have to research it and make it up, then check to make sure it’s believable.
When I read Gillian Flynn’s three books (starting with Gone Girl) I was like HOW IS SHE THINKING OF THESE THINGS!?! How in her brain did she come up with these twisted stories!?! It literally seems like the hardest thing to me. Who knows, maybe I’ll try it some day (all the fiction writers are laughing, like ya go ahead, try). Anytime I have a crazy dream I wake up and type it up so I can remember the weird details just in case I ever decide later to attempt to turn it into a story.
I think reading fiction makes you a better writer, being a good writer is hard. I went to school for journalism and I’m still not an amazing writer. I write like you are sitting next to me and we are having a conversation. The more I read, and the more I write, the better I get at it (I think/hope).
Recently, a few people have told me how much they love my book posts and they refer to them when they are at the bookstore! That made me so happy, I’m glad they are helpful! I know I’m always looking for book recommendations myself (please leave some in the comments!), so I wanted to put together a list of all the fiction books I’ve read in the past few years. Most of these books I liked, some I didn’t, but just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean you wouldn’t like it!
In alphabetical order for easy reference, here are 43 fiction books I’ve read:
A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey (part fiction, part memoir)
Big Little Lies, by Laine Moriarty
Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding
Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner
Home by Morning, by Alexis Harrington
She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
Star Island, by Carl Hiaasen
The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
The Vacationers, by Emma Straub
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Where the Heart Is, by Billie Letts
Please share with me some of your favorite fiction books so I can add them to my reading list!
Photos by Meg Biram