Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday Thingers: Favorite Genres

Tuesday Thingers is hosted by Wendi of Wendi's Book Corner, and this week she's asking about favorite genres:
I've noticed that some book bloggers specialize in a certain genre, or even a specific niche within a genre (lots of vampire book blogs out there, Christian books, health, etc), while others read and review quite a variety of books.

Today's question: Do you have a specialized blog where you only review a certain genre or type of book? If so, what is your favorite thing about that type of book? If not, what is/are your favorite genre(s)? What makes that genre(s) a favorite?

No, I don't have a separate blog for any special genre. And I don't "specialize" in any particular genre, although overall I tend to read a lot more fiction than nonfiction. Not that I dislike nonfiction. And in the past I've gone through periods when I read nothing but histories and biographies and memoirs. But at the moment I seem to be mostly concentrating on fiction; and within the broad fiction category, my tastes are pretty eclectic. I read general "literary" fiction, mysteries and suspense/thriller type fiction, romance literature, science fiction and fantasy, young adult and children's books, historical fiction, ghost stories and paranormal fiction. I read modern and contemporary fiction, as well as the "classics."

What don't I read? Well, I don't read much "chick lit" – you know, the Sex and the City type of writing. I suppose it might have appealed to me when I was younger, but I think I'm just too old to enjoy it now. I'm not crazy about vampire stories; I figure I read Dracula and most of Interview with the Vampire back in the '70s and that should be enough (ya seen one vampire, ya seen 'em all). I'm put off by books with a lot of violence in them, and I don't really like war stories – I don't think I've read any of the novels that came out of the Vietnam War.

Oh, and self-help books. Although I could probably use the help, you won't find me reading about it. Don't read diet books. Don't read financial planning books. Don't read save-your-soul or save-the-planet books. (Not that there's anything wrong with reading those books.) I confess I'm not much interested in making myself the best I can be or expanding my consciousness or exploring my inner child. Been there, done that, got the emotional scars to prove it.

I used to read quite a lot of short fiction; but now, not so much. I find that short stories can sometimes have a much more powerful impact than longer works, and since I'm reading mostly for pleasure these days, I'm not as eager to embrace that experience as I might have been in the past. Similarly, I used to read a great deal of poetry, back when I edited a poetry journal. But since the journal folded I've read almost no poetry at all. I still love it and I'm sure I'll go back to it one day – just not ready yet.

In looking back over the books I've read in the past few years, I do notice something of a pattern. Most of them involve a bit of a mystery, even though they may not be traditional mystery or detective fiction. Most tend to be "quest" type stories – someone looking for something or trying to prove something or expose a secret of one kind or another. And most also have at least a moderate amount of humor mixed in. I figure life is just too short to waste time with books that depress me.


  1. I am with you on the mysteries...and I don't think they have to be 'traditional' mysteries because I would argue there is no such thing perhaps.
    I am with you on the humor. I am getting to dislike these deadly serious, depressing examples of 'literary fiction' I seem to run into a lot. I want to yell at them to lighten up a bit! ;-0

  2. ...oh, and I also hate self help books.
    Which no doubt means that I need one...lol

  3. I read lots of different things, including the occasional chick lit. I don't like romance or horror. Or self help books for that matter.

  4. I agree with you on the mystery issue - many of the books that I read have a mystery of some sort that must evolve through the plot, but I rarely read a mystery any more. Like I have never read Sue Grafton. I probably would like it, but I just have other things I would rather read. (not to single her out of course, just the first name I thought of.)
    On the other hand, I have come to enjoy chick-lit every now and again because they are mostly funny.

  5. My first time joining Tuesday Thingers. Enjoyed the reads. Thanks.

  6. Mysteries and suspense are my favorites. I do occasionally read chick lit, but it can be hit or miss with me. Some are better than others.

  7. My tastes run eclectic too...I use to really dig chick-lit but not lately, though I haven't read Ann Rice, I do have Interview with a Vampire in my bookshelves. I admit..I have a thing for vampires!!!

    Great post!

  8. I too hate self-help books and Chic-lit. I love reading mystery books, light romance, and historical fiction. In fact just finished reading David H. Jones' latest historical fiction book centered around the Civil War titled, "Two Brothers: One North, One South." This book was great mainly because it is firmly based upon historical fact and not mere melodramatic device. The real characters and events portrayed are expertly brought to life in this novel and become quite unforgettable as the story unfolds. Now that I have finished that book, I am desperately looking for another great read... any suggestions?

  9. Joy - you had an interesting point about the violence - I don't like violence either. I have only read a few books that had violence in them, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I probably didn't finish 1/2 of them!

    Thanks for stopping by and participating in Thingers last week! I've got the post up for this week. ~ Wendi


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