Even though I'm working hard on my deadline for The House of Hades, I always have to make time to read! If anything, it's even more important to read a lot while I'm writing. It fuels my engines and energizes me when I find new good books. Below are some of my recent favorites.
I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Siege and Storm, the second in the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I won't give any spoilers, but I will say this: If you liked Shadow and Bone, you will love Siege and Storm when it comes out in June. And if you haven't read Shadow and Bone yet, go get it! This is a great YA fantasy series set in an alternate Tsarist Russia where magic and technology collide.
I've had The One and Only Ivan on my 'to be read' list for several months, and I'm so glad I read it! A fabulous book for elementary and middle grades (and older), this is probably my favorite animal story since Charlotte's Web -- and I don't make that comparison lightly. Like E.B. White's classic, it is by turns tender, funny, sad and uplifting. It's a quick read -- I'm a slow reader, and I got through it in one day. Ivan the gorilla narrates, and he is a very fine fellow indeed. I loved it. More importantly, I think kids will love it too.
I am late to the party with Junot Diaz's work, but wow, what a book! This is realistic adult fiction, with interlocking stories tracing several generations of a Dominican family. I say 'realistic,' though it owes a debt of gratitude to the magic realism of Garcia Marquez and Borges. I knew very little about the Dominican Republic before reading this novel. Now I can't imagine how I got along without the wonderful voices and characters Diaz evokes. He tosses out literary, pop culture, geek, and Dominican Spanish references with equal gusto, and if you don't understand them all, don't worry. Just hang on and enjoy the ride. It all adds up to a rich stew with wonderful, unexpected flavors mixed together.
That's it for my recent reads. And now it's back to that second draft of The House of Hades! A long way to go still, but I'm making progress and I'm on schedule!