Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Top 10 Tuesday - Books I can't believe I read...or occasionally Kay reads out of her 'normal' mystery/thriller genre...
Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly event that is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is 'Books I can't believe I read'. I've talked before about my 'rule' that 'if you're not enjoying a book, stop reading it'. It works for me and our reading lives are too short. So, thinking about this prompt was a bit hard and I had to consider 'out of the box' pathways. This is what I came up with:
I love mysteries and thrillers and suspense books, crime novels and detective fiction, and occasionally, in my long reading life, I've taken side paths into other genres. Occasionally. Here are some that I can think of. As a young girl, I read a lot of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden and other 'kid' mysteries. When I was about 12 or 13, there were a few books that were meant for teenagers, but not very many. My parents did not pay attention to what I read or rarely did. We went to the library and I checked out my stack of books. If I got it past the librarian, it was all good.
One book I brought home was about teen pregnancy, Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones. I can recall my Dad picking it up, reading the cover above, and then asking my Mom if she knew what I was reading. Ha! Not too long later, he passed a book to me and said I should read it. My Dad rarely read books, but he read this one. It was The Godfather! Yes, teen pregnancy was 'bad', but the 'Mafia' was OK for my tender reading eyes. I read both of them, by the way, before I was 15.
When I was in college, in the mid-to-late '70's, I got a bit hooked on horror. That started with Stephen King and his delightful 'Salem's Lot. I went on to read many, many of his scary stories. I also added John Saul and Dean Koontz to my list. And loved them.
After my husband and I got married in 1980, I decided that I would try some of the books that he liked - fantasy. Now, not all of them appealed to me, but I read quite a few in Piers Anthony's Xanth series, which begins with A Spell For Chameleon. I also picked up more than few of Anne McCaffrey's Tower and Hive series. The first book is The Rowan.
The '80's were the decade of the 'big' books - the long sagas about families and places. I read many family sagas by authors such as Susan Howatch, but I also read books by James Clavell and James Michener. And others. Noble House by Clavell was set in Hong Kong and was over 1,000 pages. Michener did huge amounts of research for his very, very long books. I read several of them and probably remember Texas (1,400 pages), Chesapeake (1,000 pages), and Centennial (1,100 pages) the best.
In the mid-'90's, we moved from Texas to Oregon for a few years. I knew no one up there and also knew very little about the Oregon Trail and Pacific Northwest history. I read a number of non-fiction books about women and the westward expansion. One of these was Women's Voices From the Oregon Trail. I also discovered one of the best bookstores ever - Powell's. If you have a chance to visit Powell's in Portland, take it. Amazing!
I worked for the Austin Public Library for a few years between 2000-2010. One of the things I was lucky enough to do as part of my job - processing the new books and I got first pick - most of the time. It was a lot of fun. I worked with a couple of staff members who were getting their MLS degrees and they encouraged me to expand my Young Adult and Juvenile fiction reading. I tried Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother, Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief and Cinda Williams Chima's The Warrior Heir, among other books. I've never lost my love for YA fiction after that time.
Lastly, a couple of years ago, I decided to expand my reading into graphic novels. It was quite an experience and one that I mostly tried after reading about these books on blogs. I read books like Anya's Ghost, This One Summer, and Blankets. Books by Raina Telgemeier, Roz Chast and many more. One of my favorites was Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Yes, blogs have been a big part of my reading journey these last few years. Recommendations from friends here have expanded and broadened and enriched my reading immeasurably. So, before this post becomes so long that it's ridiculous, let me say - THANK YOU! Thanks for your suggestions and comments and recommendations. I do read outside my 'comfort zone' on occasion. And, I still maintain that there's a reader for every book and a book for every reader. You just have to find it!