Saturday, May 28, 2011

What I'm Reading

By Pamela Moeng

Thanks to Damaria I've been reading an author I never tried before, not that she hasn't been proclaiming her enjoyment of him for many years. My first thought was, "This is scary!" But I continued reading to the end and enjoyed the book: Cold Fire by Dean Koontz.

The closest I'd been to this kind of thriller was Stephen King's Thinner and John Gresham's law-oriented crime thrillers. My partner is a lawyer and he introduced me to the author and after reading one, I haunted bookshops looking for more.

Ken Follet's Eye of the Needle was something I had read in high school and reading his Jackdaws reminded me how much I enjoy his work. Now both my man and I are hooked on finding more.

A person's bookshelf speaks volumes, I think. Mine probably shouts, "Split personality!" Romances share space with language teaching books, business and marketing books, what my mother dubs New Age hooeyness, children's books, religious books from a range of religions, and self-help pop psych(o) books.

Variety is the spice of life, I'm told and certainly my reading pleasure has been enhanced by forays, reluctant or not, into genres I had hitherto scorned. In the USA, I think Oprah - wouldn't you just love to be so famous someone simply breathing your first name was enough of an introduction? - singlehandedly revitalised the book industry.

I like to find out what genres and which authors people read. Not pretend to read because they think everyone else is, but really read for pure pleasure. I'm not ashamed of my love of chick lit and romances.

What is on your bedside table? What is your favourite genre and why?


tiah said...

Ach! Thinner broke my heart. That is the thing with King, he doesn't just scare you, he gets personal. Have not tried Koontz. Did go through a Gresham phase.

While I have read crime / mystery from time to time, it isn't big in my life. I will read Sci-Fi, but I don't do well with any of the hard core stuff where the world(s) becomes so complicated I feel like I need a crib sheet and an alien dictionary in order to read the book.

Lauren Beukes hits the perfect place for me on that one. I 'get' her altered South African world without being lost because there is enough of the 'now' remaining. But then again, LB is rock n' roll literary Sci-fi, not your serial practically comic book sci-fi.

Friend got me reading romances again after she promised me 'times had changed!' And so they have. I still have rules about the hero (no rapey creepy nonsense - that isn't romantic, that makes him a criminal).

One thing I've noticed, too, is the women tend to be more spunky. Sure they fall over themselves in love, but they tend to be stubborn, fighters, intelligent - where a lot of women's mainstream commercial fiction (so called chick...) has dizzy girl who can't do maths (tee hee) and dizzy girl who can't resist shopping so now she is in debt (tee hee) and that drives me bonkers. There are main stream commercial reads who do not do that, and I do read them.

But I honestly love literary fiction. And I am going through a major short story addiction which, again, tends towards the literary slant.

Oh, and I am trying to read poetry more. My writers group if full of poets and their input on using language has dramatically helped my own short stories.

po said...

I am a real book snob, unforutnately, and I don't really venture outside of my preferred genre. Which I guess is... literary fiction? I'm not sure of the category, but I hardly ever read non-fiction, or mystery or crime or thrillers. Sometimes I read sci fi because that is what my boyfriend reads.

Pamela said...

I'm a book slut - read anything and everything nearly. Hate stopping partway through a book, even if I'm not enjoying it but the older I get the more I think "Life is short and there are so many other books waiting to be read...OR WRITTEN!" I do literary fiction - absolutely loved Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, the poet, and The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda. But I'm a book ho at heart and will read almost anything, although science fiction is not one of my favourites usually, Dean Koontz aside. I enjoy Joanna Trollope and Jodi Picoult. Popular fiction is popular for a reason; a good story is like a good friend when times are bad.

Damaria Senne said...

I tend to read more genre fiction ( for entertainment) that literary fiction / even nonfiction. Scifi, fantasy, romances, I find an author I enjoy and then feel compelled to buy everything they ever wrote. About 2 years ago, I also discovered gay fiction and have been reading various genres within that - yaoi, shaunen ai, murder mysteries, romances etc and I have to say i'm thoroughly enjoying the various authors who contribute to that genre. I'm also finding that I read more ebooks lately, so there's nothing beside my bed, but my laptop is chockful of novels in my "to be read" list.

Pamela said...

Hey, friend, tell me more about ebooks and how to get them. I haven't bought any but would love to or maybe get a Kindle. Are ebooks easier to read, carry, etc. What's the skinny on them? And which authors, like Ann Michaels, Zakes Mda and others like Jodi Picoult are on ebooks?

Damaria Senne said...

@Pam - I'll get back to you about ebooks, ebook readers, which authors you mention etc. I think the subject could also make an interesting post for READ SA.

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