Last year, I didn't read nearly enough. In my defence, I work with words all day long, so picking up a book in the evening always feels like a struggle. Nevertheless, there was plenty to be learned from the few novels I did manage to make it through. Emma Donoghue's Room, for example, introduced me to the power of a good narrator, while Patrick Ness' wonderful Chaos Walking trilogy impressed me with its meaty themes, so relevant to the young readership at which it's aimed. And after devouring Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden (unfairly labelled a 'summer read'), a fully-fledged fairy tale popped into my head, which I promptly wrote almost all of in one sitting.
That number may not sound particularly earth-shattering, but I'm hoping to go for a bit of variety with my reading this year, mixing up female authors with male, modern fiction with classics, fantasy stories with reality and maybe even try out a little non-fiction and (gasp!) poetry. Of course, it's not exactly an unpleasant or even academic exercise - I love reading, so mostly it'll just be fun. But perhaps, along the way, I might stumble across something unexpected, as well as many, many books that, inevitably, I will end up wishing I'd written.