Friday, September 22, 2006

Wendy's Reading 101

I stole this idea from another blog, and given some of the reaction to this earlier post, I thought I better explain myself. Also, I've been blogging for almost 4 years now, and honestly I don't think anybody has been following me all that time. So here it goes:

What Wendy Likes To Read 101

Romance - I discovered romance in 1999 shortly after I took my first professional library job. I knew I was in trouble when I was placed in charge of buying adult fiction and I had no clue who Nora Roberts was. In my defense - when you go straight through college in 5.5 years, earning two degress in that time, you have zero time for pleasurable reading or browsing the NYT Bestsellers List. I think I might have read 5 books during those years that weren't assigned reading, and they were all mysteries. So there you go.

What I Like to Read in Romance - I'll try just about anything once. Even short-time readers of this blog know I love westerns, I also enjoy American-set historicals that don't take place in the Old West. I'm sick of the Regency. It has never been my favorite time period in British history (and I'd know, my undergraduate degree is in British history). So now that the glut is on I'm really burnt out. I'll still pick one up occasionally, but usually it's been sitting in my TBR for a gazillion years. I can't remember the last time I bought a Regency-set historical. Don't ask, it's been eons. Not even used. I like the Victorian era in pretty much any locale. I enjoy romantic suspense, erotica, erotic romance and have a soft spot for Harlequins.

I like the occasional paranormal - but again I'm getting a little more selective with those. And frankly this sub genre has too many tendencies towards rabid fangirls, which I admit sorta turns me off. I'm also a little tired of seeing the paranormal and erotic-romance sub genres mixed, but I suspect I'm the only one.

I also like gothics a lot - but only gothics that don't go in for the woo-woo. Trust me, this is a tall order.

- I cut my teeth on mysteries, and I'll read anything here. Pulp, noir, cozies, female PIs, forensics, serial killers etc. However, I do not dip my toes into the true crime pool, and these days I tend to get most of my mystery fix through audiobooks.

Anything else? - I used to like to read history a lot, but frankly it takes me longer to read non-fiction and I just don't have the time these days. I like British history (I gravitate towards the Victorians), Irish history (give me a good book on the potato famine and I'm all over that sh*t), women's history, and Russian history pre-Soviet Union (love that wacky Rasputin).

What I Don't Get - Pretty much any author/series that inspires Rabid Fangirl Syndrome. I just don't get it. I mean, I do have fangirl tendencies for some authors (see Tess Gerritsen, Maggie Osborne), but I look at their work fairly objectively. Gerritsen has written very good books that entertain me, but I don't love all of them on the same level. Same with Osborne. She's written western romances that I think are masterpieces, but she's written a couple that I just haven't been wild about.

I suspect this sort of rabid fangirl mentality springs from a lack of good sex (yeah, I went there).

More likely it's that I'm a librarian and almost see books like a commodity. Yes fiction is great, yes fiction is fun, yes it's important to encourage people to read for enjoyment and pleasure - but it's not going to cure cancer, pay off my student loans, or even make me a better person. Sure a good fiction book can enrich my life. It can make me think. But will it make me a better person? No. I'd like to think that I'm in charge of my own destiny, and ultimately while a book might move me or even encourage me - I'm the one who has to put in all the hard work.

And that's our Wendy Reading History Lesson for today.


Amie Stuart said...

Recommend some Tess Gerritsen books missy! I picked up Vanish but I'm not sure it's working for me...

Wendy said...

You really need to start with THE SURGEON! My absolute favorites of her hers are THE SINNER and BODY DOUBLE - although they're books 3 & 4 of the series respectively. I liked VANISH - but wasn't madly in love with it. So says the fangirl....

Rosie said...

One of my pet peeves in any genre is the rabid fan. You can see them on sites like Amazon or author forums giving reviews and gushing over their favorite author. This is the main reason to stay away from the forums and Yahoo groups.

I'm all for giving kudos to a favorite author, but I don't get alot of the stuff the so-called rabid fans get into.

Worse yet, I roll my eyes when the romance blogosphere gets its collective panties in a knot over the latest fan-girl kafuffle. To me it just feeds the fire.

Amie Stuart said...

I have to agree w/Rosie over the fan girls...and thanks for the recs! I'll definitely check them out but i"m not giving up on Vanish yet =)

Rowena said...

Hey this was interesting reading...I've learned my lesson on those rabid fan girls, never going there again. ;)

I'm so glad that I'm not the only person who enjoys a good western from time to time...have you read Prince Charming by Julie Garwood, if so, did you like it? I swear I'm the only person that did...LOL.