Back in the day, when there used to be more decent bookshops around to browse through (R.I.P Borders), I managed to read more diversely - gleaning gems from the staff picks, discreetly stalking other readers to see what captured their interest on the shelves, sipping a hot chocolate while I read the first chapter before deciding whether to buy the book...
Nowadays, you could say that my reading has become far more selective. In fact, I have come to the uncomfortable realisation that it's perhaps now way too selective. I get a lot of new "must-reads" from publishers, which is cool, and also from blogs and other book reviews. And while I've read a lot of interesting, emotional, occasionally fiercely intelligent fiction this way, something is missing.
That spark, the frisson that you get when you pick up a little-known book or author, go home, read it, and it changes your life. Most of the books I read now are by well-known or "hyped" writers. In other words, the 1 per cent that gets through the publishing bottleneck and are lucky enough to get their works reviewed and pushed out to the reading masses.
While these are all worthy books too, I want to recapture the magic of falling in love with something fresh and new that comes to me through sheer word-of-mouth.
I want all the crazy, mad, bad, good, gory, whatever-else stories that rock your world. I am currently reading three books: The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (the story is rather genius, but not one for the weak of stomach...or fanatical dog lovers), The Fault In Our Stars (of which more later) and The Gospel of Loki (Joanne Harris' first adult fantasy novel, out this month).
I am loving all three for various reasons and expect to do reviews at some stage.
But I am throwing the ball back into your court, dear readers...
What are YOU reading that you'd recommend to others at the moment?