This Writer’s Reading Round Up – Q1 2022

Virginia Woolf quote: For once the disease of reading has laid hold upon the system, it weakens it, so that it falls an easy prey to that other scourge which dwells in the inkpot and festers in the quill. The wretch takes to writing.

I’ve really enjoyed my first quarter’s reading this year. As I’m sure I’ve told you before, I love to read almost as much as I love to write, and I strongly believe that the more good writing I read, the more my own writing improves.

I generally choose to read books that have been recommended by other people, mostly my WP reviewer friends. Once again they’ve picked real winners. I’ve also read a couple of well-known authors whose books I’ll always turn to (Jasper Fford and Isabel Allende) and a couple of instructive books to hone my ‘word-smithery’ (Kathy Steinemann’s Writer’s Lexicon) and to improve my poetry-crafting (Colleen Chesebro’s Wordcraft).

It has long been one of my missions to read more authors from South Africa and the African continent, since I feel we are frequently under-represented in the wider world. You’ll see that my first four reads were all SA authors, after which I spread my reading wings and flew north to find Jude Italkali in Uganda.

I hadn’t read a collection of short stories for ages, but Chris Nelson’s excellent collection, The Beautiful Silence, has re-kindled my appetite. As soon as I’d finished reading Chris’s book, a reading recommendation made to me by Liz Gauffreau* on the thread of a post about Magical Realism on Jacqui Murray’s excellent site, led me to seek out a short story by Gabriel García Márquez, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World – a delightful read! Encouraged by the fact that I found a copy via Mrs Google, I also sought out Ernest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro, which I’ve been keen to read ever since I began dipping into Hemingway’s Boat by Paul Hendrickson. My obsession with Hemingway’s prose continues.

Here are the books I read as the scorching South African summer mellowed into a glorious golden autumn. My next round up will find me shivering as we head into the depths of winter!

As a writer, I know how exciting it is to receive a review from a reader, and I offer a big, big thank you to my readers (and listeners, now I’ve three books published as audiobooks) who’ve taken the time and trouble to rate/review my books. That aside, to know someone has read one of my books is enough.

My reviews:
Open a New Door by Robbie Cheadle and Kim Blades
Operation Outperfect by Alex Canna
Fire Angel: Igniting the Spark by Paul English
Noah and his Solar-Powered Ark by Jill Morsbach
One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde
The Writer’s Lexicon Volume II by Kathy Steinemann
The Beautiful Silence by Chris Nelson
Ghosted: Disappearing Acts by Paula Light
Wordcraft: Prose & Poetry: The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry by Colleen M. Chesebro
Violeta by Isabel Allende
Realms of the Mist by Jude Itakali
Holly Ward Investigates: The Steam Train by Mason Bushell

*A quick heads up for poetry lovers: Liz Gauffreau is hosting a live poetry event Poets in the Blogosphere, on 23 April 2022 from 4-5:30 PM ET. This is a perfect opportunity to enjoy poetry being read out loud. Just as it should be. You can find out more here.

54 thoughts on “This Writer’s Reading Round Up – Q1 2022

  1. You put my reading to shame, Chris! I should try to go back to reading a few pages before going to sleep at night, which was how I used to finish my day, but lately I’m well away as soon as my head touches the pillow! 🙄
    Thanks for the recommendations though, I will check some of them out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HI Chris, what a wonderful collection of books you have read. Thank you for your glowing review of Open a new door, for some reason it always surprises me when readers enjoy my poetry. I think it’s because I see it as a bit of a self indulgent expression of pent up and deep emotion. I am delighted to see Jude’s wonderful book featured here too, there was something very African in the pulse of his story and writing. I like it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great list, Chris. I’m a fan of Allende and was curious to read your review of that one in particular. I haven’t read any of her books in decades. Thanks for all the reviews and recommendations. Happy autumn reading. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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