Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jumping Genre Batman!

As a general rule of thumb, most of my reading in the past has been of books that are educational. I strayed away from fiction novels for the most part, not because I didn't enjoy them, but because I felt I always had to prove something to my peers and family. This thought process drove me to pick books that would "teach me something," rather than entertain me. I did have a few fiction novels in there, but mostly I stuck with books that explained how things were or are.

Some examples of books in my library are

The Knight in History

A Brief History of Time

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything

Recently though, I've begun to back down from that type of reading and really delve into the imaginary world of fiction. Like I said, I rather enjoy it, but it used to be trumped by the educational reading. As I look at fictional work, I find that I tended to stay in the sci-fiction/fantasy genre, but recently I gave in and tried some recommendations by fellow readers. "LOOK Ma, I'm expanding my horizons!"

One such read was the Twilight series, which, I understand most of us are sick of hearing about, but let's be honest...it was a pretty good read. At least I thought so. I would have never picked it up, had I known what it was really about, but I was duped into reading it, because a co-worker told me it was a book about vampires. After finishing the whole series though, I found myself realizing that YA fiction wasn't a category I should stray from anymore. Previously, I'd avoided it, thinking that it was childish or somehow not as literary-powerful. I was wrong. Another such read was the book Shiver. Just finished it yesterday (Amazing how much reading you can do when you're home sick). Again, I was very entertained by it and I've been playing around with the idea of writing a YA fiction novel.

How about you all.

Do you have any genres that you used to avoid and were pleasantly surprised when you tried them out?

Have any of them influenced your desire to write in a different genre than what you'd consider "your speciality?"


David J. West said...

If someone would have asked me a year ago if I would ever write YA I would have said no-and I'm still not presently-but I do have a few great ideas now, so someday.

Candice said...

A Brief History of Time is just a good read. It's also the only physics books I've ever enjoyed.

I used to read Adult Fiction almost exclusively, but YA wasn't really around when I was younger. I'm so happy that there's a whole section for it now. I also enjoy a lot of middle grade books. Their stories are surprisingly intricate and entertaining. One of my favorite series is Fablehaven. The characters are 11 and 14, but I loved the story.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I always stayed away from Middle Grade and YA, but now I'm finding I enjoy them. So I've been alternating those with historical and literary fiction. Right now I'm starting The Hunger Games.

Steph Damore said...

I never thought I'd write fantasy, but low and behold, I have a whole novel attesting to that genre.

Now say the same thing about sci-fi--I don't read it, or write it. Hmmm...wonder if an idea will come along that's worth enough to dive in?

About Me... said...

Welcome to the dark side baby! If you want good recommendations for some more I have this crack addict habit and know quite a few. Let me know.

Yeah! Another YA lover!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I pretty much only read YA. I'm not at all pleased with adult fiction. And besides, as a YA author, it's my job to hone my talent by reading others. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Perhaps because almost no one in my family ever read other than my sister, I've always been relatively uninfluenced by other's opinions on what I should read. In fact, I have a tendency even now to deliberately avoid what others tell me I should read. I'm recalictrant that way.

catwoods said...

Hold onto your hat Stephanie. Hunger Games is the bomb!

Unwind is also good if you want a quirky and creepy perspective on the anti-abortion pro-life thing--in a dystopian kid's world. Great read.

As a rule, I will read anything I can get my hands on. However, my heart beats for juvenile lit. Always has, always will--I hope!

Natalie said...

I've been surprised by awesome steampunk lately. It's not really my thing, but I like it. :)

Steph Damore said...

Oh, and I've got some blog bling for you over my way. Stop by and check it out.

Voidwalker said...

Well, some nice recommendations and overal it sounds like we all tend to stick to a genre (except Charles, who isn't willing to conform hehe) but have been surprised when we strayed from said genre.