(This post began as a comment on this post, but ended up long enough to be a post of its own.)
Writers talk about reading like a writer, analyzing the work of others for plot structure and character development, etc, to improve their craft. Though I’m trying to learn to be a good writer and improve my craft, I have yet to learn to ‘read like a writer’ and analyze the writing to learn from it. I decided I’d find a really good book and re-read it, trying to read like a writer. I don’t think I could ever read a book analytically the first time through. That kinda seems hypocritical in a way: distancing myself from a story I’m reading to analyze it when I’m supposed to be writing stories which draw the reader in. It just doesn’t seem right.
I read some people talk about analyzing the books that don’t draw them in and get them caught up in the story, but I don’t think those books would be worth analyzing. Besides, I get caught up in stories easily. There are occational times as I’m reading when I find something in the story hard to believe (which is a sign of bad writing), but even then I can almost always forgive the writer and get back into the story pretty easily. Another mentioned analyzing the books that “hit it big”. Humph. I don’t care about books that hit it big. I care about books that hit me big.
Anyway, I’ve pretty much decided on Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson to reread for this purpose (and probably The Chestnut King -the book that comes after it, but I haven’t finished reading it the first time yet). Recently, I also read Ender’s Shadow, which turned out to be unexpectedly good (getting a rare 5/5 rating from me on Goodreads.com), but it isn’t in my genre. Maybe I’ll reread it later, but I wanted to start with something in my genre.