A friend recently wrote me and asked me what I read and didn’t and why. My answer turned out to be quite lengthy and so I thought I’d share it here in case others may be interested. Interestingly enough when I attended Pamela Goodfellow’s American Best Seller’s lecture at Changing Hands Bookstore last week I had read most of the books on the list – some by choice and others as assignment while attending school.

A partial list with semi review of books I’ve read can be found on GoodReads, Shelfari, LibraryThing and  JacketFlap.

I bought the book “Lovely Bones” on the bargain rack after I saw the movie preview. The book was shocking and riveting. But I have a pretty hardened core – having worked as a nurse and taken care of victims in the ER. I admired how well she was able to describe things without being vulgar in my opinion. I don’t read horror usually. This book was close to it. I’ve only read a couple of Stephen King’s books because they were assigned for a class I was taking. They gave me nightmares for a long time afterward.

Because of some horrific cases Ive come across during my nursing career, I’ve tried to write about sexual abuse – but the subject is so dark it leads me down a spiraling abyss of despair – so I put it away. Brent Yorgason published a book called Secrets back in the late 80’s I think. I can’t find it in the LDS bookstore on-line catalogs so I guess it must be out of print. He handled the situation of sexual and other abuse within the LDS community very well. I felt like it should be required reading material for new bishops.

Jodi Picoult writes excellent books always dealing with children who are at risk in some fashion. I like her style and the way she makes you part of the drama from the first sentence on. I’ve read a lot of her books. I have read all of John Grisham’s books. The first one “A Time to Kill” handled rape and murder. It was so graphic I thought they’d never be able to make a movie out of it – but they did – rated R. His first non-fiction was The Innocent ManIt  is the story of Ron Williamson’s wrongful murder conviction and twelve years on death row. I found it to just as engaging as his fiction stories – probably because I was made to care so much about the main character – who was real as it was his true story.

My reading preference leans to fantasy, clean romance, mysteries, historical fiction, & YA fiction, and medical suspense.  But then I’ll read any LDS author at least once because I figure it’s safe ground. But if I don’t like their style I won’t read another. I’ve read  Betsy Brannon Green, Dan Yates, Jennie Hansen, Gerald Lund, Kerry Blair, Sandra Grey, Greg Luke, David Wooley, Markham, Jack Weyland, and Alma Yates. Also some of Brent & Blain Yorgeson, Rachel Nunez, Dean Hughes, and Anita Stansfield, Michelle Ashman Bell, Chris Heimerdinger,

And then there are LDS authors that are on the national market that I read: Orson Scott Card, Richard L. Evans, Stephanie Meyers, James Dashner, Janette Rallison, and the Grey Griffin series by Derek Benz and Jon S. Lewis.  I also like to read non-fiction inspirational books by Beverly Campbell, James Ferrell and occassionally others.

I’ve read and enjoyed YA books by Anthony Horowitz an exciting English author with a teen MI-6 agent. Mary Stewart – Authurian Legends. Tom Clancy novels (usually actually written by a different author – like James Patterson – but I stopped reading him.) Luann Rice, Ann Rice (not the vampire books – too gory). Jonathan Kellerman , Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, Echo Heron, Susan Wiggs, Laurie Brooks, Gregory Maguire, Sue Grafton, Ridley Pearson, Terry Brooks, Christopher Paolini, J.K.Rowling, and tons more. Once I find an author I like I’ll read anything they’ve written that I can get hold of.
I took a writing class from Betty Webb after she taught a workshop on the 7 deadly sins of writing at an ANWA conference serveral years ago. I’ve read her Lena Jones books – all except for the latest one – haven’t had the $ to buy it yet. She’s a mystery writer, always takes on socially difficult topics and does a great job bringing the details to the forefront.
Of course there are the classics too, C.S.Lewis, Amelia Alcott, Charlotte & Emilie Bronte and Charles Dickens, and Jane Austin, Daphne du Maurier, Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, Agatha Christi, just to name a few that I’ve read.

I’m sure those of you reading this blog may agree or disagree with my opinion on some of these books. You may also read a completely different line of literature. Please share your thoughts and insights.

Have a great week!