Choosing a different shelf

I was a reader long before I was a writer. As an only child to older parents, I was allowed to read whatever book, out of the many crammed shelves in our home, took my fancy. I read thrillers, fairytales, history, plays, poetry - making no differentiation between genre or form.

As a writer now, I continue to read. I don't just read what I write though (plays, murder mysteries, fantasy). I do my best to stretch my reading choices to other less familiar genres too. This is what I've read over the last six months.

The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie

I came to Titania Hardie through her books on witchcraft. She has a very calm writing voice so I was excited to buy her first adult fiction book. The Rose Labyrinth is a historical mystery featuring Elizabethan spies and geniuses, a family legacy and the long, hot summer of 2003.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

This non fiction book discusses Campbell's theory of the journey of the archetypal hero as found in many world mythologies. I've found the journey of the hero to be incredibly helpful in plotting my current novel and I'll use it for future novels too.

The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

This historical adventure is set in 1793 and is an old favourite that I return to every so often. Sir Percy Blakeney is a dashing hero (the Scarlet Pimpernel) and his wife Marguerite is as clever and brave as always.

What have you been reading? I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Interesting reading, Fi.
    I'm reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. OK, so it's not completely off genre but it has fantastic illustrations and it's a brilliant piece of writing :-)

  2. I love to try new genres. Although I think that might be why I tend to write so many different things. ;)

    1. You are very diverse, Kelly, which I think is brilliant.

  3. The Rose Labyrinth sounds fascinating, Fi - just my cup of tea!!

    I, too, have The Hero with a Thousand Faces open ... it's one of those books I dip in and out of.

    At the moment, I'm not reading anything for real pleasure, I'm knee-deep in reviewing books for Macmillan Cancer Support - brilliant one called 'Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer' which is very factual but also entertaining, believe it or not!

    I did, however, pick up a hardback copy of Deborah Harkness' 'Shadow of Night' in our local charity shop this week for an absolute song!! I read A Discovery of Witches in one weekend (even through the night, I could not put it down!) so methinks this will be a good book to accompany me while I'm in hospital :)

    1. Good luck with your time in hospital, Olio. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I am reading Stephen King's 11/22/63. The plot is great, though I was expecting the writing to be more lyrical. Still a good read so far.

    1. That's one of the few Stephen King novels I haven't read. Must add it to the list.


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