I'm still struggling to find my rhythm and direction when it comes to writing this blog, but for today I thought I'd step away from the shoes of a writer, and slip into the comfortable role of a reader. I truly believe you have to first be a reader before you can be a writer, and although my reading habits have changed since I decided to chase the publishing rainbow I still consume books at a junky-like rate. I meant to start a list on April 1st but like most things in my life here I'm a week late. Every time I finish a book I'll post a short blog talking about it. I'll warn you now that this will not be a true review. Reviewers serve an important function and there are several I trust and usually agree with, but I will offer very little, if any, criticism of the books I discuss. Hey, I know how hard it is to write a novel and besides it would be highly hypocritical of me to blast a published author when I am still working to get there myself. I'll admit that I have read books in the past and said, "Hey, mine is better than that," or "How in the world did that get published?" but to say so on a public forum such as this would come across as sour grapes. Besides, tastes are relevant. How else can you explain that nobody has seen the clear signs of genius in my novels. Hope you are smiling as you read that last sentence because I certainly was as I wrote it. To catch up, let me take you back to last Sunday when I finished reading Even Cowgirls Get The Blues by Tom Robbins. This was recommended to me by editor Michael Neff at the Algonkian Writer's Workshop I attended recently. I haven't seen the movie but after reading the novel I probably will just to see how they pulled the story off without Robbins clever word play and sidebars. Over the course of two nights I read Swordbird a young adult fantasy by Nancy Yi Fan. I don't read a lot of young adult fiction or fantasies but this one was written by a young girl, eleven or twelve when she started writing it if I remember right, who came to America at an early age. I was curious to see how someone so young, writing in what I believe was her second language, (I could be wrong about that since it has been awhile since I read her background) pulled off such an ambitious project. Over the course of the rest of the week I read East of the Mountains by David Gutterson. Best known for Snow Falling On Cedars my favorite work of his is Our Lady Of The Forest. No matter which novel you prefer, his prose is always excellent.