Metamorphosis of a Reader

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!).


Just a small portion of the full TBR stack decorating most of my side tables…

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. 🙂

About Eva Rieder

Eva Rieder is a speculative and contemporary/mainstream fiction author. By day, she masquerades as a high school Math and English teacher. Though she adores teaching and her students very much, when Eva returns home she reglues her fingertips to the keyboard to pursue her alter ego’s destiny. She currently lives and writes in Northern California with her two keyboard-savvy cats. View all posts by Eva Rieder

4 responses to “Metamorphosis of a Reader

  • coldfeetstudio

    I have read everything by Carol Goodman. The lake of Dead Languages is one of my favourite books. I have not read her fantasy books, which she writes with her husband – does she? – but I did buy them for my daughter. I was told The Secret History by Donna Tartt was as good but I don’t think so myself. The Drowning Tree was also good, I love all that mythology weaving through it all.
    I love Mary Doria Russel. The Sparrow is my all round favourite. You have to read it if you haven’t and let me know. The Children of God is it’s conclusion but for some reason, her book A Thread of Grace left me chilled and needing forgiveness for just being a part of the human collective. I literally cried in the shower after I finished it one morning. It was either brilliant or I was having a really bad day lol
    I love murder mysteries, they’re my go to easy read. I’ve read everything by P.D. James and am now on Susan Hill. Before Hill wrote mystery books she wrote one called I’m the King of the Castle. This one also left me cold. I’m going to have to pick that one up again just to see if it still moves me as much.
    Also, Ian McEwan, Louise Penny (my latest fad) and, yes, the classics. Jane Eyre, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc. etc. Mostly English Literature though, I don’t think we got as much American Literature in school.
    These are just a few of my favourites. I get excited just thinking about them

    • coldfeetstudio

      ok a few typos in there. sorry, having a sleepy morning lol

    • Eva Rieder

      Goodman has written some with her husband under the pseudonym Carroll Lee. The Demon Lover is her first endeavor writing fantasy solo, as Juliet Dark. I’m three chapters in and already enthralled. 🙂 I also enjoyed The Drowning Tree, though I think Lake was much better. I have not looked into Russel yet, but I’m intrigued! Thanks so much for sharing your interests! I love hearing what people enjoy reading—sometimes there’s a new discovery just waiting to be found.

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