Happy hump day! Does anybody else find it rather alarming that another month is nearly over and we are nine weeks away from the end of the year? I am not sure where this year has gone; they seem to fly by faster each passing year.
At the start of the year I set my self a goal to read more books than I did last year. I passed that number over the weekend and it makes me really happy. I am enjoying reading more and more and it is only going to get better/ worse as we get closer to Christmas. It is such an expensive time of year for readers as most of the big authors release their new books. I feel sorry for the books on the bottom of my TBR pile… some of them have been there since last Christmas. With so many exciting new books coming I can’t see them getting read any time soon!
The latest book to get me excited is John Marsden’s South of Darkness. After writing more than forty books for children and young adults including his best selling Tomorrow series, Marsden has written his first adult novel. He is a fascinating man and I happened upon two interviews with him from this week. He spoke of his interest in the convicts and the inconvenient truths of history. He questioned who the convicts were (hardened criminals or people doing what they could to survive) and out of it came a story about a young boy who is sent to New South Wales in the 1790’s. Although it was not a conscious decision to write it as an adult novel, Marsden suggests that the story had an energy about it that he just had to roll with. I certainly look forward to reading it.
Marsden also made some interesting observations about the young adult market. He said that roughly thirty thousand young adult novels were published in the States last year. He voiced my own thoughts in saying that they have the same look, the same style and the same marketing tactics. He also suggested that they are being produced with a cynicism and a lack of integrity. Is he right in saying that there is something sad about middle-aged adults grasping for the ‘hip’ voices of a sixteen year old and creating something that doesn’t seem true? I think he has a point. There is a small amount of quality books that are being published but their voices are getting lost between the general masses of stories being produced. These stories make money and they get kids reading. As a reader and as someone who works in publishing, I understand both sides of the coin. It is an argument that will continue to draw attention as the young adult market is grows at a rapid rate. As a reader I am constantly searching for a unique voice, something that stands out from the crowd. I only hope that these voices don’t get lost completely.
In the last week I have read a young adult fantasy book called Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (amazing!), the second book in Richelle Mead’s adult fantasy series (Age of X – awesome!) and the sweetest romance book I have read in a long time!
Over to you – what have you been reading?