Monday, September 27, 2010

Marvellous Monday: What I like in a book

Now that I'm getting somewhat settled into the school year with the kids (I know, they've been at it for a whole month...I'm a little slow, haha), I'd like for the routine to spill over into my blogging. This is the first installment in my new regular feature (okay, so it's the only regular one I've come up with so far...but baby steps, right?). Since a lot of you are writing (or at very least, you like to read) I thought it appropriate to start off with something writing-related.

I will say that I'm not terribly picky when it comes to books. I rarely stop reading a book once I've started it*, unless there's tons of bad language or the writing is distractingly awful. As long as I'm sufficiently entertained, I'm usually good to go. In the past, I've been known to read the dictionary and encyclopedias for fun. It's nerdy, I know, but I love to learn, and have acquired a vast knowledge of many useless things. :o)

Non-fiction aside, I'll read (and enjoy) anything from picture books to complex literature, but only if it has some of the following criteria:

- a sense of humour (from the dry wit of Pride and Prejudice to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Mercer Meyer books - I LOVE I Was So Mad and Just Go To Bed! - and on to some of Meg Cabot's books which are seriously LOL funny)
- alternate universe/time travel (Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters series, Chronicles of Narnia)
- dystopian themes (Uglies/Pretties/Specials, The Chrysalids and Ender's Game are faves)
- wizards (Harry Potter, Septimus Heap, Lord of the Rings)
- historical/literary twists (Anne of Green Gables, Ophelia by Lisa Klein, Sorcery and Cecelia)
- WWII (Anne Frank, The Book Thief, Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
- Fairies/genies/mythology (Artemis Fowl, The Children of the Lamp, Percy Jackson)
- Fantasy (A Wrinkle in Time, Books of Bayern, Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, Shannara series by Terry Brooks, Fionvar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay)

This isn't a comprehensive list, by any means, but it's a start! How about you? What are you most likely to pick up?


*I wish I had put down Gone With The Wind and War & Peace, but dangitall, I'm THAT stubborn.


Laura said...

Great question, T! I admit I have a pretty narrow list of the genres I enjoy reading.
1. Murder mysteries: I know a lot of people think of these as 'trash' and frankly I've read some that were terribly written and constructed (how do some people get published?!)However, many are extremely well written, suspenseful, and gripping. I particularly like Sue Grafton, Kathy Reichs, P.D. James, Martha Grimes, James Patterson, Jeffrey Deaver, Micheal Connelly ...
2. Young/Adult Fantasy - I'm a big fan of J.K. Rowling and Sean Cullen (read the Hamish X series, if only for the footnotes!). Douglas Adams was a genius and sorely missed. When I was a kid I read the Narnia series until the books fell apart. The Dark is Rising series is still a favourite.
3. History and anthropology non-fiction - I can't help it, I have two degrees in history. Of course, I started reading the genre for fun many years after I finished my thesis! :)
4. Education, pedagogy & religion non-fiction - as a Unitarian Universalist religious educator and parent it's just something that I love.

Thanks for getting me to think about this, T! Super Fun!


Tracy Loewer said...

Oh, man, Laura! How could I forget Douglas Adams? Those Hitchhiker books are classic! And I haven't read the Hamish X books, but I've heard good things about them. I don't think mysteries are trashy at all, either. I was a huge Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys fan back in the day (mind you, those were a bit Scooby-doo, but still fun!). I'm not even sure why I don't read mysteries today, because there are lots of great authors out there.

And I often wonder how some people get published as well...

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love MG fantasy - it's probably my favorite: The Fablehaven series, The Ranger's Apprentice series, Inkheart trilogy... so many good ones!

I also love the YA titles like Shiver, LOVED Paranormalcy...

And then there's Janet Evanovich and James Patterson and Wilbur Smith and... :-)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hi! Thank you for dropping by my bog and leaving a comment. I love books that have a romantic element like Giants of the Frost by Kim Wilkins. I also enjoy fantasy reads like The Hobbit or The Hourglass Door. :)

Jo Schaffer said...

Great taste in books.I loooove to read and am only recently venturing into YA. (even though I write YA!) (=

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I like a wide variety of books from fantasy to woman's fiction. Like you I will quit reading if the language is bad. And I don't care for explicit sex either.

I had to read a lot of old English novels when I went back to college to earn my degree. If I can read those I can almost read anything. :)
Great post!

Ixchelle said...

I LOVE non-fiction books. I really want to read the book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." I heard it' an awesome book. I think I will search for that one.