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Do You Have Favorite Generes?
10 months ago

I enjoy fiction of many types, as well as a wide range of non-fiction areas in science and the humanities. I particularly enjoy British mystery writers such as Ruth Rendell (also when writing as Barbara Vine), Minette Walters, P.D. James, and Ellis Peters' Cadfael series.

10 months ago

Oops...apologies for the misspelling, which I can't seem to edit.  Of course, I meant "genres".

5 months ago

For me it is much easier to say which genres I prefer less – detective and crime fictions, vampire sagas and primitive contemporary romantic novels. At the same time I am absolutely agree with Oscar Wilde who refers, however, to other aspect of book quality saying that “… there is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all”. So, I suppose that some masterpieces in mentioned above genres could be very good, but the chance to choose them for me is minuscule  

5 months ago

Anything that is well written, not formula, not silly romance.....it looks like Valentina, & I have similar aversions! Except I do like detective and crime fictions but not the kind I can figure out in the first few chapters - I like surprises. I like what I call "science fantasy" where there are elements of science fiction and fantasy combined but it can't be so far beyond the possibility that it's dumb. The genres I look at when I go to the library are Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery & Thriller. At least that's where I start. Miranda - I love Cadfael! I got started watching the PBS mystery series but then anything with Derek Jacobi is worth watching. I haven't even thought to read the books but now I will. Thanks!

5 months ago

Nancy, I too love the BBC Cadfael series...in fact, I own all the episodes and my husband and I have enjoyed watching them several times over the years. I had read the books as they came along, so had read them before seeing the series...but I think the books would still be enjoyable for you even though you've seen the film versions first. There's so much more to many of the characters, for example, the sheriff and his family life, and Cadfael's part in it; Cadfael's son. Really, do give the books a try.

5 months ago

I agree with that quotation from Wilde, Valentina.

For me, as long as it's not some romance, I would say I try different genres. However, what I read mostly is Fantasy and Thrillers, some Science Fiction maybe, or, like Nancy said, that mix of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I read some philosophical books as well (don't really know how to call that genre - these books that are kind of sad, but go really deep and are still kind of beautiful and nice). And I also like children's books As C.S. Lewis said: "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest."

I love reading Roald Dahl, Sebastian Fitzek, Cornelia Funke, Astrid Lindgren, Michael Ende, Markus Zusak, Walter Moers and many many others

5 months ago

I'm with you Laura - I loved the Witch, The Wardrobe and the Lion series. I also loved the Harry Potter series. We're just kids at heart ;-}. I'm going to have to check out some of your other authors. Miranda - I've got the first Cadfael on hold at the library and an excited about it. There are very few books that make it successfully and faithfully to the movies or tv so I usually avoid them like the plague so when one comes along that is successful I get excited. It takes so little to get me excited these days ;-}.

5 months ago

You're right, Nancy

Astrid Lindgren, Michael Ende and Cornelia Funke write pretty good kid's books, and I love Roald Dahl's kid's books (so much humor!).

5 months ago

That's why those names sound vaguely familiar! Thanks Laura! By the way, what are you holding in your hand in your picture? I can tell it's a little critter of some kind but I'm not sure what kind.

5 months ago

You're welcome!

That on my picture is a baby rat, one from a litter from my pet rat a few years ago =) It must have been 5 or 6 days old on that picture.

5 months ago

Awww, what a cutie, Laura!

5 months ago

I prefer non-fiction, though I have read everything attributed to Billy Shakespeare, as well as all of the Harry Potter novels, devoured Tolkein's Ring Trilogy years ago, and the C.S. Lewis science fiction trilogy, of which "Perelandra" is part.

5 months ago

For those who enjoy children's literature, here are a couple of great titles intended for very young readers...and all of us who love a good book regardless of the age range at which it is mainly aimed:

The Table Where Rich People Sit by Byrd Baylor (and all her titles, in fact)

Oddhopper Opera: A Bug's Garden of Verses by Kurt Cyrus.

Genre
5 months ago

I have been reading mysteries since I was around 9 years old. You would think I would get tired of them but I don't but I am finding it harder to find the quality of mystery at times. There are so many formatted ones now that are almost like romance novels so I stick to mostly UK authors. Of course there are many good ones in Canada and the U.S. too!

5 months ago

Miranda, thank you very much for your suggestion, I will take them into account! I started to read adventure and romance novels quite early and for this reason I lost many good children books. Probably now I feel an obvious lack of magic in mature routines and to compensate it time to time I am escaping with children book to the parallel universe

3 months ago

I must admit I was a something of a snob about magical mysteries since they are usually classified as "cozy", a genre I avoid.  Well, this review of several series in the genre is my big plate of crow!

Having enjoyed books by Hailey Lind, I then learned "she" was acutally two sisters and that one of them, Juliet Blackwell, wrote other books under her own name.  I tried one, was hooked, and have branched out from there.


I know perfectly well that good books can be found in every genre...and, after all, even "serious literary fiction" is just another genre and books thus defined fall within the conventions of it.

Juliet Blackwell.  Witchcraft Mystery series.  The main character here owns a vintage clothing store.  She is a witch who can "read" events and people from the past by touching items they previously owned, a talent which can lead her into solving mysteries.  There is a good cast of supporting characters, friends and eccentrics, and others with various magical gifts, in the San Francisco setting.  She has a familar, a gargoyle who disguises himself in more human-acceptable form as a pot-bellied pig (with a tendency to slip into dressing rooms in the shop to catch a gander at ladies in various stages of undress)...which gives you a hint about the kind of humor the book includes.  Titles in the series include:  Second-Hand Spirits, A Cast-Off Cauldron, Hexes and Hemlines, In A Witch's Wardrobe, Tarnished and Torn, Vision in Velvet, and via Kindle A Haunting Is Brewing.  Highly recommended.

Juliet Blackwell.  Haunted Home Renovation series.  The heroine here is running a construction/renovation company founded by her father, and she is equally talented with using power tools and finding the ghosts in the old houses the company is renovating.  Also a San Francisco setting.  This time the animal companion is a stray dog who adopts our heroine.  More mysteries to be solved, ghosts to find release, another great group of supporting characters, good humor.  Titles include: If Walls Could Talk, Dead Bolt, Murder on the House, Home for the Haunting, Keeper of the Castle.  Highly recommended.

Dawn Eastman.  An eccentric family full of folks with various magical talents, as well as a very over-the-top aunt who purports to be a pet psychic and seeks information about crimes (and gossip) from neighborhood cats and dogs...and our heroine attempting to deal with all of them, as well as the manifestation of her own talents.  We get the critters in here by our heroine dog-walking.  This series is lots of good-spirited fun.  Titles include:  Be Careful What You Witch For, Pall in the Family, A Fright to the Death.  Recommended.


Laura Morrigan.  Call of the Wilde Mysteries.  A heroine who communicates with all kinds of animals.  The first book begins with a scene in which she is attempting to get a lemur off her head.  She deals with a terrified giraffe.  And she cares for a dog who is the only witness to a murder, and too traumatized to show her the identity of the killer.  She also has a dog companion with a lot of personality.  Titles include:  Woof at the Door, A Tiger's Tale, Horse of a Different Kind.  Recommended.

I'll be back in the next post with one more recommendation and a general summary.



This post was modified from its original form on 30 Sep, 11:17
3 months ago

CONTINUING FROM ABOVE...



Shirley Daamsgard.  Ophelia and Abby series.  Ophelia is a small-town librarian and, to her own dismay, a psychic.  Abby is her grandmother, a witch and herbalist.  Lots of rune lore and herb lore in this one.  A bit more on the serious side than the other series I've discussed, but still in the magical mystery category.  I especially enjoyed the seventh book in the series, when Ophelia and Abby return to their ancestral mountain roots.  Titles include:  Witch Way to Murder, Charmed to Death, The Trouble with Witches, Witch Hunt, The Witch Is Dead, The Witch's Grave, The Seventh Witch.  Highly recommended.


I haven't read them myself, but have it on good authority from friends whose taste I trust, that Bailey Cates' Magical Bakery Mysteries (Brownies and Broomsticks is the first title) and Leigh Perry (A Skeleton in the Family, The Skeleton Takes A Bow) are fun reads. 


There seem to be an unending stream of titles in this genre...book store magical mysteries, cooking magical mysteries, library magical mysteries, tea shop magical mysteries, you name it there's a book somewhere about it with "magical" involved...as well as more books than I would ever have imagined which "star" magical and or psychic cats and dogs as main characters and mystery-solvers.  Not my cup of tea, but I wanted to mention them.



The conventions of the genre include, in all the books, a heroine not entirely at peace with her talents, great supporting characters, animals with a lot of personality, realistic murder and occasional violence but no graphic descriptions or gore, good writing, good plotting, lots of humor, and some romantic interest for our heroines, all of whom are single.  The romantic aspects...especially a tendency in some of the books to a "love triangle" of the classic caught-between-good-boy/bad-boy type...appeal to me least of all aspects in the books, but that's personal taste and I'm sure some readers would find this really put the books over for them.  More or less romantic entanglement varies from series to series.



This post was modified from its original form on 30 Sep, 11:39



This post was modified from its original form on 30 Sep, 11:40
3 months ago

big fan the True Crime genre, have a big section of books; also enjoy Mysteries, thank you Nancy Drew.  but I'll read any genre

2 months ago

What about plays? Do you like them, my friends? I do! That's why I was quite surprised to know that for some people they are difficult to go through and they avoid such a format. I like many of them, such as “An Ideal Husband” by Oscar Wilde, “The Blue Bird” by Maurice Maeterlinck or a bit crazy but really nice “Fando and Lis” by Fernando Arrabal, etc.

2 months ago

Three months ago,, I wrote that I like nn-fiction, in particular. After a conversation with an old friend of mine, earlier today, I want to refine my comment , to say that the non-fiction I prefer is about nature, on the scale we all experience, and recognize, daily, and on the quantum physics scale (for laymen).
An example of the latter is "Knocking on Heaven's Door...."

2 months ago

Valentina, yes I do enjoy reading plays.  Oscar Wilde is wonderfully witty on the page as well as in performance.  I often reread Shakespeare, those less well known to me as well as my favorites.

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