BrooksBlog: Why I Recommend The Books I Do

Why don’t I recommend more Fantasy & Science Fiction? That’s what I write, isn’t it? So I must read a lot of it, and aren’t there more books in my own field that I could suggest.

Well, no. First, I don’t read as much as you might think of what’s being written. This is because I work long hours writing it, and reading it afterwards is sometimes – often times – just too much. Also, much of it is too long. I backed away from long books after Wishsong because I thought I was using too many words and wanted to write a less word-cluttered story. I still feel that way. Almost all the long fantasy fiction I read (say, over 500 pages) needs trimming. Too much of nothing not happening, too much treading of water, too many words that don’t need to be there. I start with long books and grow tired of them too quickly. Just me, but that’s how it is. Lots of you read long books and long series and that’s just fine. But I couldn’t survive it. Even Shannara would be unmanageable if I hadn’t decided years ago to write it as an historical saga that would allow me to step away from the characters and the storyline after each series and start all over again. So only a few hold my interest, and I either recommend them to you directly and believe you will find them on your own.

I also think that writers and readers should diversify more than they do. We all need to read outside our comfort zone. We don’t often do this without a nudge, so I view this platform as my chance to give you that nudge. I want to recommend books in my own field I think you would like, but I also want to recommend books you wouldn’t otherwise find on your own. Many of my most memorable reading experiences have come from reading books that someone else told me I shouldn’t miss, frequently when they were types of books I don’t normally read. Reading is an adventure; it should be mysterious and exciting and take you to unexpected places.

Now you know how I get there.

Written by Terry Brooks
I am the author of the Shannara, Landover, and Word/Void series, as well as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Street Freaks. I love to write, read, and travel. For more information about me, you can read my writing guide/memoir, Sometimes the Magic Works.