Earlier this year I decided on a new reading tactic. I would buy the opening book of a bunch of different series and read the 1st book of each one to see what they were like.
So, here's what I've read so far:
The Shepherd's Daughter - Book 1 of the Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon
A Game of Thrones - Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
The King's Dragon - Book 1 of The Crown of Stars by Kate Elliott
The Innocent Mage - Book 1 of Kingmaker,Kingbreaker by Karen Miller
Wizard's First Rule - Book 1 of The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind
Daughter of the Blood - Book 1 of the Black Jewels by Anne Bishop
The Mountain's Call - Book 1 by Caitlin Brennan
Now, I have yet to finish Daughter of the Blood or The Mountain's Call for different reasons.
Daughter of the Blood was interesting, but I'm more than halfway through it and there is just too much of the same thing over and over again: powerful beings operating with near impunity, killing and torturing anything they feel like. Now, so many people have raved about this trilogy that I will get back to it (I did, after all by the whole trilogy), but no rush at this point.
The Mountain's Call just got bumped through no fault of its own. I'm enjoying the story and really want to get back to it. However, at the same time as my experiment above, I am also fitting in certain readings as a sort of inspirational exercise for my own writing. I've gone back to reread certain favorites of mine to see -- from a writer's perspective -- how they handled imparting critical information.
Also, I just started The Innocent Mage since it was just released here in the US a couple of weeks ago. The second (and concluding novel) was just released today. So, I will be able to read both books one right after the other, a rare treat.
Now, as for the others listed above - the ones I have read, all were thoroughly enjoyable. Two stand out from the rest however:
A Game of Thrones
Both are far above the others. One great thing about King's Dragon is the entire series (all 7 books) is available in paperback. I've already started book 2: Prince of Dogs and it is just as good as the first.
So, not only do I have to read all of the remaining books in each of the series above, I have an ever growing wish list to get around to. I've realized that, if I want to be a published Fantasy and Science Fiction writer, I need to really know the marketplace better than I do now. As much as I do read, I need to widen my reading list.
Now, trying to find the time to read all of these books, keep to a consistent writing schedule and fit in the time for all of the technical books I need to read for my IT job, is going to prove interesting.