QLTR August 2019

Once again, as I do at the end of every month, I’ve taken a big breath, dived deep into my stack of books and come up with some volumes I’d Quite Like To Read over the next several weeks. This time, I broke the surface clutching six books. August is the last month of winter here in Australia and I wanted some reading material that I was already pretty sure I’d enjoy, to see out the last of the winter, especially as I’ll be heading back to chilly Bathurst after two weeks at the coast. Here are my picks and the reasons I chose each one.

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QLTR July 2019

Well, here’s a turn-up for the books, so to speak: only four of them? Is that really all I’d Quite Like To Read next month? What’s going on, I hear you ask. It’s simple. I have declared July 2019 to be Writing Month. And if I’m writing more, I’ll need to be reading less.

When I’m writing a first draft, I average about 12 000 words a month. But not this month. No, in July I intend to be a Super Drafter. I’m aiming for 30,000 words, which should bring my work in progress up to around 85,000 words in total. The end will be in sight!

I’m excited and apprehensive. Can I do it? Even if I can, will I? Or will I wimp out and capitulate to the desire to read other people’s words while consuming too much chocolate? Who can say? Only time will tell. And other cliches. Can you tell I’m nervous about this? Anyway, this isn’t meant to be about me and my neuroses. On to the books. The very, very few books.

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QLTR June 2019

Here are the books I’d Quite Like to Read in June. QLTR is my version of TBR (To Be Read). If you’d like to know more, see my fuller (and rather rambling) explanation here.

So, on to the books, in order from top left to bottom right:

1 RED SISTER by Mark Lawrence.

Yes, well spotted, this was also on my QLTR for May. And in my defence, I did start it in May. But I was loving it so much that I didn’t want to rush through it, meaning I didn’t finish it, so here it is again. This is the first in Lawrence’s Book Of the Ancestor trilogy. Fantasy? Check. Magic school? Check. Warrior nuns? Yes please. And I can now add, it’s beautifully written.

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How to Make me Pick up Your Book, Part Two

PART 2: GIVE ME THE PERFECT JOB

Once we’re past the cover (See PART 1: I’M A COVER GIRL) we get to meet the protagonist or The Main Character. I’m not fussy about the gender or age or even species of the Main Character, but I do want to know how they occupy their time, professionally or otherwise. If your Main Character performs one of these jobs, I’m much more likely to be interested in reading your book:

DETECTIVE

Yes, give me a good sleuth, professional or amateur, and I’ll give them a chance to dazzle me with their crime-solving abilities. But I’ll be sleuthing too, so don’t make them either too stupid or impossibly smart. Ideally, they should solve the mystery about half a page after I do. And please make your detective an individual rather than a copy of a hundred others. No more hard-bitten, hard-drinking, overweight, divorced middle-aged men, please. Please. Instead, give me an old lady in a care home, a child genius, a sentient spaceship. Here are two very different detectives that made me read every one of their cases:

HERCULE POIROT (from numerous novels and short stories by the inimitable Agatha Christie)

Well, naturally, mon ami. Poirot is quirky, sometimes absurd, but brilliant without cheating. His inspired guesses always have logic behind them.

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