Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stages of Reading

by Kirsten (Inara) Scott

Lately, I've been thinking about the stages of reading. No, not those kind of stages. LOL. I mean the kind of stages where you will only read ONE KIND of book and nothing else. You gorge on your chosen genre, reading every book you can get your hands on. And then…miraculously…you realize you’re done. You go to the bookstore and find yourself picking up other kinds of titles. You realize you brain will explode if you read one more Regency romance/contemp romance/YA paranormal/women’s fiction/chick lit/WWII memoir/cozy mystery. You move on to a new stage.

For me, stages began in high school. At the time, I was a historical romance reader. Not necessarily Regency; I’d read anything historical. Extra bonus points were awarded to books about pirates, and books in which horrible, terrible, awful things happened to the heroine. Preferrably at the hands of the hero. Who would then feel horrible, terrible, and awful about the way he’d treated her! I don't know why I loved such horrible, terrible, awful things, but I did. One book I remember incredibly well: Tears of Gold, by Laurie McBain.

Strangely enough, after college, I lost all interest in fiction. II didn't understand it myself, but I discovered an incredibly narrow subgenre – memoirs of women from the west – and loved it. I wish I could remember all the wonderful writers I discovered during this stage, because I remember that their words inspired me to be strong and independent. I do remember two of my absolute favorites: Gretel Ehrlich and Terry Tempest Williams. Of course, you don't have to be in a Western-women-memoir stage to read these. They are incredible books that stand the test of time. (Not sure I can say the same for Tears of Gold, unfortunately!)

Once I started law school, I stopped reading for pleasure; all my time was spent studying or researching obscure topics for law review articles. I got pregnant during my third year of law school, which catapulted me into the “what to expect” books for pregnant women, and then the “how to raise my child” books. Now THAT was a stage. Whew.

Then, in a hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, I rediscovered romance. Julie Garwood, Mary Balogh, Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn…I went back to my old love. And interestingly enough, that's what started me writing. I remembered the joy of the happily ever after, the impossibly beautiful women and unbelievably manly men, and I wanted to have them in my head ALL THE TIME.

Since then, I’ve gone through stages of Regency romance and then contemporary romance. Now, judging from my Goodreads shelf, I’m in what may be the most diverse stage of my life. Or maybe the stages are just shorter. I go from women’s fiction to paranormal YA to non-fiction. And I’m enjoying the heck out of it.

What stages have you been through? Are there any genres you WON’T read? Do you have a stand-by you always return to (Regency romance for me!)?

One commenter will win a recent favorite from my bookshelf: When the Stars Go Blue, by fantastic YA/romance writer Caridad Ferrar.


Barbara said...

Well, I'm a historical romance fan through and through. Initially, it was the Indian Romances, then Regency, then Victorian. Then oddly enough for me, I went through a paranormal stage with JR Ward's BDB series. That faded quickly and I was back to historicals. I think it goes full circle because once again I find myself looking for a good Indian Romance. I agree though, it definitely goes in stages.

Christie Kelley said...

I have always read more historical romance than any other genre. Every now and then, I'll binge on some paranormal or some contemporaries. But I always return to the historical books.

For my neighborhood book club, I usually read more of a literary book. Unfortunately, these seem to be mostly depressing books that I don't usually like.

Anna Sugden said...

Well done Barbara! Enjoy your day with the pesky bird!

I went through several stages of reading, starting with Sci Fi and fiction linked to TV series like Star Trek. Then, I went on to Thrillers and the big name fiction writers like Ludlum, Deighton and Forsyth. Loved anything to do with the Cold War, spies etc.

I've always loved romance - both historical and contemporary, category and single title. My preferred genres are romcom, romantic suspense, contemp and historical.

I will read paranormal but only if it's light woo-woo. I won't read dark paranormal, erotica or inspirational. I'm not a fan of Scottish romances, though will read them if it's by a fave author.

I also enjoy biographies, books about hockey and non-fiction books about topics that interest me or catch my eye.

I'd be stuck choosing between romcom and romantic suspense, as my go-to faves.

BTW love Barb/Caridad's cover!

Beth Andrews said...

After some deep thinking (not an easy task before I've finished my second cup of coffee *g*) I realize I do read more contemporary romance than any other genre. But I love to read pretty much any sub-genre of romance - RS, historical, para - and I love YA books of all flavors. I also enjoy other types of fiction and nonfiction books, too.

I just realized one of my favorite genre of books to read is...cookbooks! Oh, how I love them! Must have something to do with my love of food :-) Right now I'm into a Barefoot Contessa book (Back To Basics, I think) that is gorgeous and has the best recipes *g*

MsHellion said...

I'm a historical romance fan through and through. Cut my teeth on them--and loved the type you reference in Tears of Gold *LOL*, though when I read one now I'm usually pretty horrified--and I always return to them.

I usually read Regency, but lately I've been reading Scottish set romance (set in 1300s or 1600s) and have been LOVING it. Oh, and anything by Elizabeth Hoyt--whatever era she wants to write in!

I also read contemporary, but it has to be either like Women's Fic (like Robin Carr?) or chick lit (Sophie Kinsella). And I love YA fiction, many kinds.

I don't tend to read romantic suspense or vampires anymore--or most paranormal because I've been burnt out on them. I feel like they've become too alike (which is incidentally why I've been avoiding a lot of Regency).

I generally (on principle) refuse to read any book with a jock (big star athlete) or CEO in it. I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and I admit I read all her football books, but I don't own any of them and they're not the first book I recommend of hers. I know they're really good, but I really can't stand football or football players. And I feel about the same way about CEO. Now if the hero is a small business owner, that's great, but if he's one of those NY tycoons--avoid, avoid, avoid.

When I read, I don't really look for genres per se. I look for character archetypes. I like the rake and the wallflower (no matter the era), or the warrior and the hellion. The rock star and the librarian. Beauty and the Beast. Cinderella. I go for themes and not "settings" because settings are usually not the focal point of the books anyway, you practically don't notice where they are anyway. *shrugs*

Laurie Faelan said...

I read all over the place and always have. I guess maybe I do read more of one genre at different periods of my life. I started out in my teens with mostly historicals and Regencies and when those genres changed dramatically, I kind of got away from them for awhile. But, I've always been one to follow favorite authors no matter the genre.

I don't read much horror but there is some I really like. Same with Sci-fi. I love suspense, mysteries, cookbooks, nonfiction, biographies, paranormal, historical, and contemporary romance, women's mainstream, YA... It depends on the author.

I do get on "research" kicks though. A topic will interest me and I'll exhaust everything I can find on the subject before go on to the next. I did the same as you when I was pregnant, and read every book I could find on childbirth and raising kids.

I love browsing the libary shelves for a topic that catches my eye. Always new discoveries!

Kirsten said...

Barbara, congratulations on nailing the bird! (and I mean that in the nicest possible way ;-) ).

I forgot about Indian romances (should we call them Native American now?) -- I definitely went through one of those stages. I always preferred the ones where the girl was Native American and she got flung into white society, but remained a total bad ass. Loved how she attracted the hero's attention because he knew she was different. What about you? What's your favorite archetype story?

Kirsten said...

Hi Christie! Of course, your love of historicals shows in your writing (don't they say write what you love, or something like that? ;-) ).

I love your use of the word "binge". That's definitely how I feel about it. When I'm entering a new stages, I will consume vast quantities of the genre, without regard for bedtimes, children, and chores. Then, of course, I must at some point deal with the stomach-ache that follows the binge and do laundry for three days straight!

I know what you mean about those literary books -- I swear, I WOULD read them if they all weren't so depressing! Have you found any you liked?

Kirsten said...

Hey Anna! Nice to "see" you! :-) Isn't Barb's cover gorgeous? And the book is fabulous too. It's a retelling of the Carmen story that is just amazing.

I've never gone through a thriller or big name fiction writer stage, though I did enjoy a few Grisham books, and I seem to recall reading a number of Sidney Sheldon novels many years ago.

Which reminds me of another stage, though I'm not sure what you'd call it: did you ever read Lace, or Princess Daisy, or any of those sorts of books (Judith Kranz, I think is the author)? They were big, sexy, family sagas I just adored.

I am also not a reader of dark paranormal (nor can I write it, unfortunately!) but I can enjoy a good scottish brogue here and there. Did you ever read the Bertrice Small Skye O'Malley books? They are amazing. A stage in and of themselves.

Kirsten said...

Good morning Beth! I can't believe you're not even done with that second cup of coffee. I'm on my third and it's only 8:45 here. I guess it's because I'm doing some contract legal work, so I'm back to writing at 5AM. When you get up at 4:45, coffee is an absolute necessity. LOL.

Cookbooks are a fabulous stage! I don't have cable, so I'd never seen the Food Network before we got a gym membership, but now I get to see the Barefoot Contessa every now and then while I'm on the treadmill, and oh man, she's fabulous! I definitely need to learn the basics, and her food looks amazing. I just wish everything didn't seem to involve so much butter and cheese.

Or maybe that's why it's so good.

Nancy said...

Barbara, congrats on the bird!

Kirsten, I do this, too, plow through a certain kind of book, though it's usually an author's backlist rather than a particular subgenre. Once I find an author I like, I want to read everything that author has.

Imagine what happened when I discovered I loved J.D. Robb, along about book 28 or so.

Historical romance is always a fallback for me, but I got to the point where I was sick of Regencies--could we have SOMEthing else, ANYthing else, for variety? Now, as the market has widened a little, I find myself going back to Regencies. Those and medievals are my favorites of the periods currently being offered. I'm always ready for a good medieval.

I tend to go through these stages about other things--I get interested in something and then have to learn everything I possibly can about it. Or I get interested in a performer and have to know about him or her. When I exhaust the available material, I move on to something else.

The dh says I'm given to serial obsessions. :-)

Kirsten said...

Hey MsHellion -- you're absolutely right, I tried to re-read Tears of Gold once and it definitely wasn't what I remembered! There was so much violence against women in those books. It's pretty awful, actually, to see how prevalent it was. But they also had such sweeping, larger-than-life stories. I do miss that part of it.

I think the stages of reading theory is probably why there are such trends in the book world. Everyone binges together on vampires and fallen angels for a little while, and then needs a nice contemporary romance to clear the palate. ;-) In the YA world, everything is going dystopian now, and I just can't get into it. It's the whole dark, depressing thing that doesn't work for me. *shudder* Gives me nightmares.

How funny that you won't read CEOs! I guess no Harlequin Presents for you? LOL.

Kirsten said...

Laurie, it sounds like you are incredibly well read! I bet everyone wants you in their book club because you can talk knowledgeably about every genre.

I've never done the horror thing, though people rave about Steven King. I loved his memoir On Writing, but that's as close to one of his books as I'll ever get. I just don't like being scared when I'm reading. Real life terrifies me enough as it is!

I love the idea of going on a research kick. I went through a stage where I obsessively read gardening books. What sort of topics have you been after lately?

Barbara said...

Hi Kirsten. Oh, mine fave "American Indian" Romances are definitely the prim and proper young lady who gets "kidnapped" and ends up--going against everything she thought she believed in--falling head over heals in love with her "savage". Ugh, so romantic. I love the underdog who gets the gal and the whole forbidden romance theme. There's also something very romantic about it all taking place in the untamed wilderness, as well.

Kirsten said...

Nancy, LOL about JD Robb! I guess that kept you busy for a while! I rediscovered Julie Garwood about the time I rediscovered romance, and boy did I have a lot of backlist to keep me happy. :-)

Serial obsessions is a great way to put it. I can imagine your books are impeccably researched. Do you find yourself interested in the history of the time period you're reading about? Like, when you're reading medieval romance, do you read up on the history of the times?

When I went through my Bertrice Small stage, I got really interested in the Ottoman Empire. I read tons of books about the sultans and the history of the region. It was great fun -- carried me through into college, where I studied comparative religion and history of middle and south-east Asia.

Kirsten said...

Barbara, I hear you -- of course, it wasn't a fair representation of either culture, but did make for a fun romance. LOL! And I agree about the untamed wilderness making for a good story. I think it adds to the vulnerability of the heroine, and the manly-ness of the man!

BJ said...

I went through the stage of "I'm not reading unless I have too!" and now I'm at the stage of if the back blurb looks good I'll give it a try, but NO GOSH DARN WESTERNS!!! I draw the line it so is not happening....Vampires can be dress as HOT Scots attacking cowboys and I'm still leaving it on the shelf!
I read a lot of my 13yr old's books before hand, only because he likes to try to skip through and fail english, so mommy had to fix that. Some arent that bad.
Then I find since I married my Hubby I've read many off-road trail books....just so I know where he's taking me...LOL
The secret...If it's late at night and everyone's asleep...I curl up with either a Historical Romatic or Paranormal.

Kirsten said...

Hey BJ -- nice to see you here! :-)

I have never read a real western, but one of my favorite Johanna Lindsey books was Heart of Thunder (I think that's the title). I'll never forget the first scene, where the heroine is methodically shooting this guy coming after her in a hotel. Left shoulder, right shoulder, leg, leg...never killed him, if I remember it right, just made sure he wouldn't touch her. Loved that!

LOL on your son -- my boy is a big reader but lately it's all comic books. Gah. I don't mind a few of them, but I do try to find other things to engage him as well.

Your hubby sounds like he's got you on some great adventures. Do you go off-road biking, hiking, or ATV-ing?

BJ said...

My Hubby has me in his Jeep...on Trails that I would swear that Mountain Goats should only be on!!!
You look out your side of the jeep (that doesn't have doors mind you because they take away from the full and all you see is a good drop to the fun. He loves it and I do love the photos I get so it's a catch 22. :)

Kirsten said...

BJ -- that sounds intense! I get nervous driving on PAVED mountain roads. You must not suffer from a fear of heights -- either that, or you've got a truly amazing amount of courage!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Barbara, congrats on the chook!

Kirsten, what an interesting post. I definitely go in stages like you. I think it's something to do with being slightly obsessive.

Sometimes it's not even a genre, it's just one author. At the moment, I'm crazy about the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries by Carola Dunn (1920s cozies). I'm basically stalking the postman because the latest instalment in the series seems to be taking forever to get to me - our mail is still in a mess after the flooding at the start of the year.

But I distinctly remember my historical fiction stage - that lasted most of my teenage years. And it didn't seem to worry me then that most of those books had pretty grim endings. I remember a craze on Anne Boleyn books. Yeah, right, she definitely rides off into the sunset with the hero - although not with her head! Then in my very early 20s, it was science fiction and fantasy. Then I seemed to go through a literary fiction craze - again, the unhappy endings worried me less than they would now.

Actually I went through a stage of reading books about actors too. Suspect there are more that I've just forgotten. Oh, and then there was the British crime novel fest in my late 20s, early 30s.

I always read romance - that was kinda the chords that formed the basis of the song but these obsessions were like a melody that played above that!

Danielle Gorman said...

Until a few years ago I wouldn't go near historicals. I just had no interest in them. I was firmly living in YA world and I did not want to move on. I was also 25. I felt so silly only buying YA. I have always been a big fan of paranormals, especially vampires. Well everytime I would go and look at books I would see Teresa Medeiros's book The Vampire Who Loved Me. Something about it just kept calling to me so I finally just bought. Am I glad that I did. I have been a historical romance lover since. Now I primarily buy historicals. I still buy paranormals and YA but not nearly as much as historicals.

Kirsten said...

Hi Anna! I love how individual everyone's stages are. I thought memoirs written by women in the western US was specific, but a British crime novel fetish is pretty good too.

I really wish I had gone through a literary fiction stage. I just can't make myself read it. I don't know if it's my short attention span, some deficit in basic intelligence, or my utter inability to handle un-happy endings -- but whatever the reason, I just can't get through 'em. I want to, I really do, because I think it would make me a better writer. And because then I could throw around references to Faulkner and such, and feel very superior to those who hadn't read him. ;-)

Anyway, I hate to distract you from your mailman stalking! Meanwhile, I do hope the waters are receding. What terrible devastation people have gone through there. You have many friends in the USA thinking about you and your country-mates.

Kirsten said...

Danielle, I was like you, but with contemporary romance. I just refused to read them. If I was reading romance, I wanted it to be as far from reality as possible. Then, just like you and Teresa Medeiros, my sneaky writing buddy Susan Sey slipped me a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book. Magically, a whole new world opened for me and I started loving contemporary romance. Who knew?! :-)

As for YA, honey, you are talking to a woman who surrounds herself with books written for teens. Don't know what it says about me, but I think there's nothing wrong with a lifelong addiction to the genre.

There are some great YA-historicals these days, too. Have you read Emily Whitman (Wildwing) or Marissa Doyle? You should check them out -- maybe you could start on a whole new stage! :-)

Nancy said...

Kirsten, yes, JD Robb kept me occupied for a while, though I do read pretty fast. JD Robb led me to Nora Roberts' vast canon, though, and she kept me busy even longer!

I like reading history, so I sometimes will, as you suggested, go read something about a period that interests me when it figures in a novel I like.

I have a couple of fascinating books on India under the Raj, an interest inspired by one of Sabrina Jeffries' books (It wasn't set in India, but the hero had been there for years. Didn't Anna C. also use India when she was torturing her wonderful Gideon?), but I haven't had time to read them. Now that I'm not teaching, I hope to catch up on such things.

I think comparative religions would be interesting. The Ottomon empire offers worldbuilding potential, too. Osprey Publishing has some great source material on the Ottoman military.

I can't read literary fiction, either. I spent so much time immersed in people's woes that I developed a need for upbeat endings.

Donna MacMeans said...

Way to snag the GR, Barbara. Read him an historical and he's yours forever (grin).

I remember reading a lot of gothic novels when I was younger. And I was definitely on a James Mitchner kick for a while. I've read most of his novels - loved Colorado which launched me onto a period of westerns.

For a long time I avoided romances. Business executives don't read "those" kind of books. I read a lot of women's fiction and a smattering of horror, though I wasn't really crazy about the horror - I just couldn't put it down once started. Once I discovered romance - I was hooked. I took a recommended romance readers list and went to a used book store and bought every book on the list - maybe forty or fifty books - all with yellowed pages and an ocassional chocolate stain. I read contemporaries, historicals and some paranormals (esp. time travels) as long as they were romance.

Now I read mostly non-fiction for research, but that research runs along historical lines. For pleasure, I read a lot of historicals, bandita contemporaries (grin), and a couple of paranormal. I'm not a vampire or shape-shifter fan so that limits my paranormal options.

p226 said...

I haven't had many "stages of reading," but I do admit that they exist for me.

First stage: Horror/Suspense
Second Stage: Military fiction
Third Stage: General fiction?

Now, the third stage was kind of wide ranging. Everything from Watership Down through the LOTR series (again). I just kind of read anything that struck me as "good." All fiction.

Current stage: nonfiction

My current stage has by far been the most varied. I've been reading a lot of history and a lot of international relations work. I've also been reading a lot of political stuff. I won't say what, because I don't want to talk politics here. But I've developed a thirst for information on domestic politics, international politics, and economics. Maybe I could sum it up as a strong desire to figure out how the world works at the big picture level.

Quite the challenge.

But then, I like challenges. Sometimes.

Helen said...

Have fun with him Barbara


When I was young mystery stories were my favourites by a mile I read all of Agatha Christie's then I moved onto Harold Robins The Falconhurst series and I would also read romance comics and they also had small romance stories in like a little magazine, then in the 70's my Mum gave me a copy of Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers to read and that was it I beame hooked on historical romance and yes they were really "bodice rippers" but I loved them.

For many years I only read historical romance westerns regency victorian I love them and still do. About 2 years agao I won a copy of Nalini Singh's Slave To Sensation (here at the Bandits) and now I read all the genres in the romance world and am still loving them all. Historical (regency) will always be what I turn to and love but boy am I enjoying the paranormals contemparies romantic suspense and YA's.
As long as it is a romance I will read it LOL

Have Fun

Carol L. said...

I have read so many genres. Regency (one of my favs)Old West, Victorian,paranormal romance etc. But my favorite is always about the Scottish Highlander. :)Kilts and all. lol
Carol L

catslady said...

I think I would read almost anything although I mostly stay away from both extremes such as inspirationals and erotica. I've always loved variety so I don't usually read just one genre. I do love my historicals but I can fall in love with most genres. I just finished The Hunger Games (YA) and thought they were wonderful.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I did indeed use India as the background for Gideon. I had the most marvellous time researching that. One book I just loved (although it's quite a sad story) was The White Mughals about a love affair between an East India Company official and an Indian princess. Amazing stuff!

Maureen said...

I read a mixture of all different types of stories but the ones I reread the most are historicals.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Historicals are my first love and I always come back to them no matter where else I might roam. Regency and medieval being my favs but if you throw me into Scotland it will take a while to get me back out again, love me some Highlanders and medival with kilts really works. I branch out into paranormal on occasion, contemporary, western, pretty much everything except horror. No, I refuse to pay money to be scared witless either in books or movies. I don't like being scared.

traveler said...

I enjoy historicals since they are fascinating, compelling and unique. I also like contemporary but no horror or sci-fi. Fiction has always been my complete interest.

petite said...

My preference is for historicals set during the 1930's and 1940's England as well as post war era. These have always appealed to me for their vivid reality and the locales.

Kirsten said...

Hey Donna -- I have to laugh about the comment "business executives don't read "those" kind of books"! When I was still in the business/attorney world, I definitely wouldn't let anyone see what I was reading. It's terrible, but I did NOT want to be judged for my romance reading! Now, of course, I feel a little more free with my choices. I love to imagine you marching into the bookstore to get all your romances. What fun that must have been.

It is too bad that the paranormal market is so focused on the dark vampire/shape-shifter books. I sure would love more light paranormals!

Kirsten said...

p226, I really appreciate your comment about reading about politics. I read a lot about religion and politics, but it's one of those things that you sort of keep to yourself, just so the people who don't know you well won't jump to conclusions based on what you're reading.

I've been on a Malcolm Gladwell kick lately -- have you read him? (Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers...) He really knows how to tell a great story. Doesn't matter if it's fiction or not.

Kirsten said...

Helen, I can definitely imagine you reading Agatha Christie AND Rosemary Rogers! What a perfect mix. Yes, you're right they really were bodice rippers back then, weren't they. ;-)

I'm so glad the Banditas helped broaden your romance horizons. And with Nalini Singh, who is so wonderfully talented!

Kirsten said...

Hey Carol, I love a gal who isn't scared to play the field. LOL. I"m with you on the kilts -- nothing like a man who isn't scared to show you what he's got. Though, when it comes down to it, a pair of skin-tight breeches can do the trick as well.

For me, the Scots are all about the brogue. I wish I could hear all my favorite Scottish romances on tape, so I could fall in love with the hero's sexy voice.

Kirsten said...

Catslady, did you read all three Hunger Games books? I read (and loved) the first one, but I fell off the series after that. I think it just got too dark for me. I'm such a wuss. Are you following all the excitement over the movie? i bet it will be awesome.

Kirsten said...

Maureen, now that I think about it, I re-read my historicals the most as well. Maybe there's something special about a historical that holds up over time like that.

Cath's Chatter said...

I only ever read Stephen King and Dean R Koontz until my MIL introduced me to Harlequin Mills & Boon while I was pregnant with my first child, and I became an avid romance reader for about 9 years. I then didn't read anything until my now almost 13 year old discovered Twilight and there was no way she was reading it until I sussed it out first and now I read all sorts all the time. Historical, SF, PNR, UF, YA, SF, Erotic.....I just need to read ALL the time:)

mariska said...

i'm in stage of 'i'm going to read anything that i could read and understand the meaning of what i read' :)

i've always love paranormal, romantic suspense, mystery, Historical romance (yeah this blog had made me addicted to HR ;)

Kirsten said...

HI Dianna! I love your varied list of genres -- sounds like you're not scared to try just about anything (except being scared, and I am TOTALLY with you on that one!).

I guess I'm not the only one who always returns to the historical. I'm not sure what it is about it that is so magical. I guess when you want the HEA fantasy, the historical time period just makes it all work perfectly.

Kirsten said...

Traveler, thanks for stopping by! I think most people fall into the fiction or non-fiction camps, and then play the field from there. I agree with you about the historicals, especially the juicy, well-researched ones that really give you a flavor for the times. Much better than a history book, and you probably learn much more!

Kirsten said...

Petite, that's a cool specialty! Must be hard to find a lot of books in your chosen genre, though! I just read a great post-WWII YA called "What I Saw and How I Lied." It was amazing -- I'd totally recommend it as a period piece and a beautiful piece of writing.

Kirsten said...

Cath, you are awesome! Such a varied list AND you're brave enough to take on Stephen King! My hat is off to you lady.

I think you're very smart to read the 13 yr old's books first. There's a lot of very adult, sexy, violent stuff being sold as YA today. Of course, that's fine for the kids who are ready for it, but it can be hard as a parent to know what your kid is getting. A pre-read can go a long way.

Kirsten said...

Mariska, your motto is a good one. Part of what I don't like about literary fiction is that I'm never sure if I'm getting what I'm supposed to be getting -- and I'm way too proud to think that I'm not getting it! Not sure if that's a good thing or not (prob not!) but that's kinda how it is for me.

Actually, one thing I love about YA is that you get literary fiction, but it's wrapped in a good story that's easy to understand (usually). So you get great writing, but in a package that makes sense. Phew.

Pat Cochran said...

- Usual children's fare, favorite:
Secret Garden courtesy Mom.
- Teen years, added on westerns ala
L'Amour & Grey courtesy Dad.
- Late teens, Frank Yerby & his ilk
courtesy Aunt Lillian.
- 50s/60s, Early HQNs and Mills &
Boons romances courtesy me.
- 70s, Add in Woodiwiss, Spencer,
et al, women's novels.
- To Present Day: Focused on all
romance genres, but especially
historicals & contempories.

Pat Cochran

Pat Cochran said...


Should have read "contemporaries!"

(One shouldn't blog late at night!)

Pat C.

catslady said...

I did read all three of the Hunger Game books and enjoyed them all but then I don't mind reading "dark" too lol. I am looking forward to seeing the movies.