Reading (and reading widely, both within your genre and without) is crucial for writers, helping them to develop basic skills and to craft a personal style of writing.
In this thread, I include titles I have been reading throughout the month, from most recent backwards. Feel free to post yours in the comment section. Be sure to warn us if you were not satisfied with a particular read.
To make it easy for readers to check out your recommendations, please include a live, clickable link with your comment [Amazon links are great, because the provide both reviews and a means of purchase]. There are two ways to add a link: first, you can compose your comment as a new blog post, add the links in the usual way, then copy it, HTML and all, into the comments section here; or you can write it yourself like this:
[a href="http://paste.amazon.address.here"]write title of book here[/a]
Don't forget to change the web address and name the title of the book. Then replace those two pairs of square brackets  with pointy ones <>, or the link won't work.
Here is my rather large feast from April 2009:
- Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot [sequel to 'The Boy Next Door,' see below]
- The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger [audio CD, read by Rachel Leigh Cook]
- Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
- The Boy Next Door by Meggin Cabot [super cute book written entirely in email]
- Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) by Stephenie Meyer
- Messenger by Lois Lowry
- Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr [one-day read]
- The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
- Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
- The Recess Queen (children's picture book) by Alexis O'Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith
- I am Not Going to School Today! (children's picture book) by Robie H. Harris and Jan Ormerod
- Ladybug Girl (children's picture book) by Jacky Davis and David Soman
I purposefully included a sample of the market research I have been doing within my genre (children's picture books). Each of the three I listed above stood out of the crowd of other PB titles I read this month. Reading within my genre allows me to objectively pinpoint what works (and what doesn't work) and helps me to tailor my own style of picture book writing. Don't neglect market research. It can be a valuable exercise to propel your writing to the next level.
So now that I've shared, what have you read this month?