Reading is Fun(damental)

I love to read.  My only disappointment about working from home is that I’ve lost my built-in reading time, the 1.5 hours a day that I got to read while I was commuting to and from an office downtown.

I read for a lot of reasons – to edify myself (often when reading non-fiction), to form and test my beliefs and boundaries (particularly when reading literary fiction), to study new genres and authors (often when I’m starting a new writing project), to judge contests (two extensive rounds this past year), to critique editing clients and critique partners (an especially time-consuming form of reading), and to just have fun (alas, not often enough…)

With summer here (as evidenced by the heat and humidity outside my office door!), I feel myself yearning for plain, old, everyday *fun* reads.  I’m not looking for anything that requires my brain to engage — I don’t want to parse the deep, inner meaning of struggles for the good of humankind.  Instead, I want to just kick back and read a good story, one that has engaging characters who are caught up in a gripping plot.

The most recent books that carried me away on the Tide of Fun Reading were Suzanne Collins’s first two Hunger Games books.  (And yes, I’d pay a decent bribe for an ARC of MOCKINGJAY…)  Before that, I got my fix on Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books.  Many years ago, I got my “fun-reading” kick out of Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni books (at least, her first three trilogies.)

So?  How about you?  Do you read for plain, old, unadulterated fun?  If so, what was the last book that pushed your “fun” button?

Mindy, who has a super-secret reason for asking, which will be revealed in the next few weeks…

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  1. 1. Terry Weyna

    I’m currently reading Kage Baker’s NOT LESS THAN GODS, which is set in her Company universe. We lost Kage too soon, but we still have her books! This one tells the history of Edward Bell-Fairfax, and is written in Baker’s pellucid prose, the kind that makes you feel you’re right in the middle of the story. Great stuff!

  2. 2. Jim C. Hines

    I try to read in before bed, though sometimes I can only manage 10-15 minutes. I just started The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. I’m only about six chapters in, but so far I’m blown away by how good this book is.

  3. 3. Angela Korra'ti

    Pretty much every book I ever read is for fun, really! :) But the most recent one that pegged highest on the fun meter was Mira Grant’s Feed.

  4. 4. Angela Korra'ti

    _Every_ book I read is for fun, really, and I find different things fun about different books. I’m all over the commute reading, as well as the reading during lunch.

    But I gotta say, the thing that pegged highest on the fun meter recently was Mira Grant’s Feed!

  5. 5. Ryl

    For pure, unadulterated fun I usually grab one of my old Fritz Leiber papebacks. Otherwise I’m hip-deep in research — but then I think research is fun, too.

  6. 6. hampshireflyer

    Yes, Temeraire was fun! Although sometimes even thinking through the implications of Temeraire’s political leanings is a bit too brain-engagey… I suppose that’s what Tom Holt type comic fantasy is for :)

  7. 7. Mary

    When my brain is fried and I’m feeling generally out of sorts.

  8. 8. Nicole Murphy

    This year I’ve been inhaling the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I’ve read nine, and number ten will be devoured this week. It pushes all my buttons, in characterisation, worldbuilding, writing. My perfect storm of story, so to speak. I don’t know what I’ll do when book ten is done and I have to wait a year for the next one. I guess I’ll have to see if Ms Harris’ other books work for me as well.

    And before anyone says ‘Anita Blake’ – yeah, been reading those, but they don’t work for me the way Sookie does. Perhaps it’s the advantage of being able to picture Eric Northman as I read :)

  9. 9. Rabia

    I was sick in bed all day Saturday and finished up two books: smith by Leon Garfield and Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson. Just what the doctor ordered. :)

  10. 10. Mindy Klasky

    Jim – That’s on my to-be-bought list. (So, alas, is a batch of extra “time” so that I’ll have time to read all the things on the to-be-bought list!)

    Hampshire – I agree, that the underpinnings of the Temeraire books can become think-y. But the storytelling just carries me along!

    Mary – I think bookstores should have an entire section of “comfort reads” for those days! :-)

    Rabia – Both of those titles are new to me, but I can hardly pass up something about Evil Librarians! Time to go check out new books…

  11. 11. karen wester newton

    My most recent fun read was a novel called WHEN GOOD WISHES GO BAD. -)

    But I also like YA books for fun. I enjoyed NATION by Terry Pratchett, and last year’s Newberry winner WHEN YOU REACH ME was fun read partly because it was like travelling back in time to the 1970′s.

  12. 12. Mindy Klasky

    Karen – I remember your talking about WHEN YOU REACH ME at Capclave – I felt like the book was an old friend when it won the Newbery! I read a lot of YA – for fun, but also for market analysis…

  13. 13. Deborah Blake

    I love to read chick lit (a much maligned term these days–but I don’t mean the stilettos in the city kind of thing, but more the woman-on-a-journey-filled-with-humor book) or humorous romance when I want a fun read. Right now I am reading books by Lani Diane Rich, who I discovered because of her collaboration with Jennifer Cruise, my favorite FUN go to author.
    And of course, humorous paranormals, like your books!
    I generally read at breakfast and in bed at night.

  14. 14. Laura

    My current fun reading has been the ‘The Bloodhound Files’ Series by D.D. Barant.

    It’s refreshing take on the Vampyre, Werewolf mythologies.

  15. 15. S0BeUrself

    I wish I could read for fun again. Since I started writing three years ago, I’ve avoided reading for fear of influencing my style. Now that I’m finished, I’m too busy marketing/researching. And when I’m done that? I’ll working on the next book. I think my ‘fun’ right now – and for the foreseeable future – are blogs like your own. Thanks!

  16. 16. Mindy Klasky

    Deb – I suspect that you and I read about 95% of the romance read on this board! :-)

    Laura – Yet another book to add to my fun reading!

    SOBe – Interesting… I didn’t mean to imply that research isn’t fun (I *love* doing the research on my own books…) It looks like I should have chosen different words, to better express myself. Not what a woman wants to say, when she makes her living by words! :-)

  17. 17. Mikaela

    Right now, I am longing for something light and funny like Jenny Crusie. Hm… I think I have on of her books here. So I think I will read that tonight.

    Actually. What I should read right now is a bunch of cozy mysteries, since I am writing one. Minus the murder. ( Why, oh why, is there always a corpse in mystery and crime novels? Yes, it is a pet peeve of mine)

Author Information

Mindy Klasky

Mindy Klasky is the author of eleven novels, including WHEN GOOD WISHES GO BAD and HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH in the As You Wish Series. She also wrote GIRL'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, SORCERY AND THE SINGLE GIRL, and MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, about a librarian who finds out she's a witch. Mindy also wrote the award-winning, best-selling Glasswrights series and the stand-alone fantasy novel, SEASON OF SACRIFICE. Visit site.

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