Changing reader preferences

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Changing reader preferences

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Feb 17, 2008, 3:20pm

I wondered if I was the only one (I know, I know. Probably not) who has this: wanting to step back from your usual/favourite genre (in my case horror/thriller) and reaching out to new ones. I suddenly feel the urge to try out Jane Austen, Anne Rice. Also I want to read classics (Jules Verne, Edgar Allen Poe, Alexandre Dumas,...) and literature. The Book Thief sparks my interest, as do the books by Stephanie Meyer.

Odd thing is that I hesitate, because I am not sure if I will like them.

Anyone else recognise this? Thoughts? Opinions? Recommendations?

Feb 17, 2008, 3:24pm

I can't think of a time I made a conscious decision to read something else-I just read and read and then as things catch my interest I switch to that subject.

I heartily recommend The Book Thief though. Also, H. G. Wells, if you haven't read him before. I know you didn't list him, but I thought if you were interested in Jules Verne you would be interested in Wells, too. I haven't read any of Dumas' books, except for the Count of Monte Cristo, which is one of my favorite books.

Sorry no touchstones, LT is acting up.

Feb 17, 2008, 3:34pm

I think I understand the feeling. Over the summer I decided to explore sci-fi (previously my reading was limited to literary fiction). I had dismissed sci-fi for a long time, without having ever really read any of it! So I've had a good time (and been introduced to some good authors--I particularly liked Neal Stephenson and Connie Willis). I should have branched out sooner!

I'm one of the legions of people who adored The Book Thief. If you're hesitant, you might give it the ol' 10(+)-page test. The book is fairly consistent in its tone, so you'll get a good idea of what you're in for by reading the first bit.

I have started reading Jane Austen only in the last year--Pride and Prejudice is a good starting place. The charm of her fiction lies in its subtleties, I think--I have to read slowly so as not to miss the ironic humor. She writes about a narrow world, certainly, but she writes about it very well.

Poe: I love the story "The Pit and the Pendulum." I've not read Verne (I mean to get around to him at some point), but if you're thinking about Verne, perhaps H.G. Wells would appeal to you also?

Feb 17, 2008, 3:35pm

#2 and I seem to be of one mind. :)

Feb 19, 2008, 4:10am

I know exactly what you mean, s_c! Just a few weeks ago, I was thinking about how much fantasy I have been reading lately and I realized I'm quite sick of it. Or not exactly sick, but it feels like I'm missing out on a lot of other books, just because I know I canbe pretty sure I'll like the fantasy I find, so that's what I'll be reading, instead of trying something new.

I have read quite a bit of Poe and he has written a lot that is very, very good. I can heartily recommend The Black Cat to begin with, but most of his writing is very good. And if you think you might like some of his poetry, I can tell you that I really liked "The Bells", "Stanzas" and "For Annie".

Feb 19, 2008, 5:41am

Ah, I'am glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for all the suggestions!

To message #5:

That's how I feel! I feel I miss out on great reads and that I shouldn't be 'scared' to try out classics. Nice to see other people had this phase as well.

Feb 19, 2008, 5:50am

I used to read a lot of fantasy. In fact, while I was at high school I almost exclusively read fantasy and a bit of science fiction. My horizons were broadened when I started working in a bookshop. All of a sudden I was exposed to so many books of different genres that inevitably I was drawn to trying out new types of books and I'm so glad I was. It opened my eyes to some hard facts about fantasy books....particularly the genre cliches that seem to fill every book. Reading new genres made me appreciate when I read a truly well-written book, whether it be fantasy or any other genre.

Feb 20, 2008, 1:44pm

For those a bit wary of classics... just keep in mind, at one time those classics were the brand-new bestsellers :-P

Feb 23, 2008, 11:22am

I'm terrible, I have tried to leave the romances alone for a while but anything else I tried I just cant get into....I've tried fantasy, horror, crime, but nothing compares. The only other thing I can read is Autobiographies. Looks like I am destined to be a romance genre only girl! (not that I mind)


Feb 25, 2008, 11:01pm

Well, I tend to read pretty much everything poetry and fiction wise, but for the last year I'd really been thinking about getting into nonfiction. I signed up for The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur by Daoud Hari, and felt so strongly about it that now I've been reading near on only nonfiction...I think my boyfriend is actually starting to worry about me because of it....

In any case, if any of you are thinking about branching into current events or nonfiction, I'd strongly recommend that, as well as Not on Our Watch: the Mission to end Genocide in Darfur and Beyond by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast. I don't think the touchstones actually lead where they're supposed to, but they make the titles stand out anyway...

Mar 2, 2008, 1:56pm

Hrm. Admittedly, I've always been strictly biased toward non-fiction. (Any hardcore non-fiction fans out there?) Lately though, I've been thinking about packin' a few classics under my belt. I believe I shall start with Dickens. Any suggestions on which of his works I should begin with? Even if it doesn't really matter?

I'm a new member, by the way. My name's Ajay. I stumbled upon an article which dealt with online social networks and... well, here I am!

Mar 2, 2008, 2:03pm

#11: I'm a fiction gal myself, so I'm afraid I don't have anything to offer in terms of non-fiction. But if you're going to do Dickens, I suggest A Tale of 2 Cities. (I had to use the Arabic numeral to get the touchstone to work--strange.)

Great Expectations has more critical acclaim, but "A Tale of Two Cities" seems to be one of those books that people absolutely adore. (Myself included. I read it in high school, and I will never forget the joy I felt in reading such a wonderful book.)

Welcome to LT!

Mar 2, 2008, 5:46pm

Thanks =)

Mar 3, 2008, 9:50am

I loved Bleak House by Dickens, but then that seems to be one of those stories that you either love or you hate too, so take that for what it's worth...

Mar 3, 2008, 11:28am

Hi Ajay! Welcome!

I LOVED Bleak House too, but it's long. I don't recommend David Copperfield; the middle drags and half the time I wanted to smack either Mr. Micawber or David :-P. Pickwick Papers is hilarious and probably a good introduction to Dickens. And of course there's A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol and so on...

Mar 6, 2008, 1:28am

I have to echo the A Tale of Two Cities rec, and also one for Oliver Twist, which is my favorite Dickens.

As for changing tastes, when I was in high school, I read a lot of VC Andrews, until I read Pride and Prejudice my senior year of high school. Since then I've mostly been interested in classics or in literary fiction. I've been trying to make myself read more history books that haven't been assigned (I'm a history major).

Mar 14, 2008, 10:15pm

My favorite Dickens is David Copperfield, closely followed by Great Expectations. My brother recently decided to start reading Dickens, and I recommended Great Expectations as the better one to start with, because it's, uh, a good three hundred pages shorter. (Same issue with Bleak House. Great book, but if you haven't done any Dickens, you probably don't want to jump into an eight-hundred-page novel. A Tale of Two Cities is a little too short, though, in my opinion.)

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