Or perhaps I should say Rieder (yes, it’s pronounced Reader ).
I’ve decided that my To Be Read (TBR) stack has grown up to a height mighty enough to rival Jack’s beanstalk. At first, this alarmed me—but then I found myself ordering more books, so I figure the momentary fright was more akin to temporary insanity.
My reading has transformed quite immensely over time, but one thing has remained the same: I love to read. In my preteen years, I devoured books by V.C. Andrews, Christopher Pike, Susan Cooper, and Andre Norton. These authors took up the majority of my focus, though I did pick up various others along the way. No matter what occurred in the surrounding world, my nose remained firmly in a book because reading was my passion. I still remember a plethora of camping trips with my dad and sister, where I shooed them away while I stayed back in the camper, quietly reading until dinner.
In my teens, my interests changed and I fell in love with books by Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Margaret Atwood. I also found myself delighted with almost anything assigned in my English classes, simply because each book was something new that I might not have found on my own.
In college I discovered works of a more literary style, something fostered by a slew of contemporary literature courses. I loved the anthologies we covered in these classes, and had I not donated all my texts, I would still read from them today. Short stories became a new favorite, both for their brevity and for the craft involved in telling so much in such a small space.
After college I opted for lighter reads, switching into the type of books I referred to as “those smutty-looking crime books you see in the checkout aisle at the grocery store.” This style came mainly through the work of Erica Spindler, stories where clever heroines played detectives hunting serial killers, yet the killers often ended up playing their boyfriends (yikes!). I loved these books because they took me on a wild journey with murderers, strong women, and plot lines that could, in theory, be real (they also made for a long run of really bizarre dreams). The first book I picked up by Spindler was Shocking Pink, and I still have not forgotten how its plot sucked me right in.
Later I started reading more contemporary and mainstream novels, many of which were by Carol Goodman. She stands out as an incredibly talented literary writer—her novel The Lake of Dead Languages remains one of my most favorite books of all time. I recently learned Ms. Goodman had slipped into the paranormal romance genre under the pen name of Juliet Dark, and The Demon Lover is what I’m thrilled to be reading now (beautifully written and a paranormal romance!).
These days I find my favorite books are a mix of genres, either contemporary works, or fantasy works, or even a few from the YA shelves. I read slowly but thoroughly; rarely do I not finish a book, even if I don’t like it much. There are few books I’ve read more than once, but they stand out: Jane Eyre, anything by Christopher Pike, and I’m sure, in time, Anne Bishop’s entire collection.
Clearly, I have some reading to do—but what about you? What are your favorite genres and authors? What are the books you love to return to, or even books you’ve read recently and can’t stop talking about? I’d love to know. Please share!
And of course, happy reading.