BBT ~ Evolving Tastes in Books

June 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Books, Gothic Fiction, Guilty Pleasure, Historical Fiction, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading | 15 Comments
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Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

Since I started this blog at the beginning of 2007, the biggest change I’ve noticed in my taste has been my almost glutenous love for historical fiction. That discovery has really taken me by surprise. Barnes and Noble featured Philippa Gregory and The Boleyn Inheritence in their book club. On a whim, I ordered the The Other Boleyn Girl and the rest is history (pun only intended if it doesn’t offend). Thinking back on that, I can’t believe that I didn’t look into that earlier on my own. I’ve always loved history and Gone with the Wind is my favorite novel. It would be a no brainer if I had known that there was a historical fiction category.

In general, I’ve always preferred to read books that challenge me and those tend to be on the more serious side. For example, I read Crime and Punishment on my own in college after finding out, much to my disappointment, that it wasn’t a requirement in my college curriculum. Still, I’ve discovered that I enjoy reading memoirs and have come to enjoy reading books I would catergorize as guilty pleasures. I’ve definitely grown in my ability to admit to those guilty pleasures. Sometimes you need to just let your mind play and Janet Evanovich comes in quite handy in that regard.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how much I enjoy Gothic fiction. I might not read it all of the time or have the same compulsion to read it as I do with Historical Fiction, but I immediately feel at home when reading Edgar Allen Poe, Daphne du Maurier, Charlotte Bronte, and Patrick McGrath. When I get the bug to actually write on my own, I find my work to fit in that category. I’ve never been able to write anything else. If I ever do write that novel, I could only hope that my work would be compared to any of those authors.

The great thing about reading is that you are free to evolve in any way your fancy takes you. Where else in your life do you have that freedom?

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