As much as we all love to read in our genre, and as much as it really is mandatory, as often as not I find myself reading other things. And, as often as not, those things are either classics, or books that were somehow recommended.
When I read Wonderbook (the best book on writing fiction PERIOD), the author, Jeff VanderMeer, uses numerous examples from a wide range of authors, both genre and literary. Because of the books he cites in that book I am now reading the amazing “The General in His Labyrinth” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A book that never would have crossed my radar before.
Because I caught part of the movie “A Passage to India” on TV the other day, I remembered I’d downloaded it for my Kindle long ago. Now I’m reading that one too.
A couple years ago I was doing research on the city of Manaus and couldn’t find much. But I found one very old book called “The River that God Forgot” which was a phenomenal non-fiction account of the atrocities committed by turn of the century rubber barons. A library book I enjoyed so much I bought myself a copy from Amazon. A lucky find considering the age of the book.
So often reading one thing leads us to books we never thought we’d read, and would never have read otherwise. Like a trail of breadcrumbs we arrive at new and interesting books far outside our favorite genres.