what to do with the recommendations?

So, the July-to-December delay in posting recommendations probably made it clear that I’m having trouble with that whole endeavour.

Keeping up with the recommendations has always been difficult. I have a limited amount of time for reading; I have an even more limited amount of time for reading novels. Then, even when I am able to spend time on fiction, not everything I read is suitable. Some of it is re-reading, instead of new material. Some of it, I don’t like enough to recommend. And even when I find something new and good, maybe the thing in question turns out to be a six-book series, which still only provides me with one month’s worth of material. Is it any wonder finding twelve a year proved tougher than it looked?

Adding in the “primary source” recommendations (folkloric material I thought fantasy writers might enjoy/benefit from/make use of) was supposed to lighten my load, and it did. Nine novels or series a year, instead of twelve. But because of the way I chose to approach the folklore recs, those ended up being even more work than the novel ones. It’s no accident that I slammed to a halt this year during August: that was the Prose Edda, and I just kept on not finding the time and energy to put that one together. My solution ended up being not so solvent.

With five years of this under my belt, I’m wondering what to do now.

I know that I don’t want to change over to straight reviews instead of recommendations. I think reviews serve a purpose, of course — negative ones included — but what I want to do here is point people toward good books, not away from bad ones. So I figured I’d turn to you lot and see what your preference would be for, among my various possibilities.

Feel free to make other suggestions in comments.

0 Responses to “what to do with the recommendations?”

  1. milbrcrsan

    Sure having good books to read is great, but when you’re as busy as you are, I don’t think it’s that important. 🙂

  2. snickelish

    I voted for the non-fiction option because I’ve been really enjoying the blog posts about your research. I seem to recall you mentioning something about an entire book on Victorian sewers…? 🙂

  3. sora_blue

    #1. I enjoy the recommendations, but I’d rather you focused on your writing. Cuz it’s, like, your job. 😀

    • Marie Brennan

      Well, it isn’t like I’m going to not devote time to the writing. 🙂 That always takes priority over things like this.

      • sora_blue


        Well, yes, but sometimes it can be “Hmm… I haven’t done a LJ post… maybe I should… but I could write more…”

  4. d_c_m

    Which of these would you be interested in seeing me do for 2008?
    Post recommendations when you read something worthwhile and have the time to talk about it. Don’t sweat keeping a monthly schedule.
    Stockpile recommendations for a while, and come back with the monthly thing in 2009.
    Stockpile recommendations for a while, and come back with the monthly thing in 2009. In the meanwhile, post twelve nonfiction recommendations, because good nonfiction is cool, too.

    OR – do what feels best to you. 🙂 (Or I vote for 1.)

  5. mirrorred_star

    I voted ‘post recs whenever’, but good nonfiction is cool too. Though it would probably be more useful for the writer-types than the reader-types.

    • aswego

      I voted ‘post recs whenever’, but good nonfiction is cool too.


      (The thing about stockpiling is that when there’s a good book out there, a really good book, one wants to read it nownownow.)

      • Marie Brennan

        Mmmm. I’m debating whether I should try just using nonfiction as filler in a given month if I don’t have a good novel handy. Not sure.

        The thing is, if I don’t have a schedule, I suspect I may be too prone to letting other things crowd it out of my mind entirely.

  6. occultatio

    This is really tangential to your actual question, but I just wanted to say: this post got me to go look at your old recommendations for more or less the first time, and your recommendation finally got me to pick up the Dark Tower series, which I’m currently two and a half books into and really enjoying, in large part for the same reasons you pointed out.

    So… I guess the only comment I have is that I really like your fiction analyses, and you should do more of those in general than of the nonfiction. (You’ve also convinced me, incidentally, to pick up the Book of Ash quartet (just as soon as I finish the Dark Tower).)

    • Marie Brennan

      If there’s one real benefit to this poll, it’s that it’s prompted a few people to come out of the woodwork and tell me the recommendations are useful. Which is encouraging; I really have wondered at times whether anyone was reading them, much less following through.

Comments are closed.