How the Reading Taste Evolves

genreMy reading taste has evolved immensely since I started loving to read in the third grade. (Thankfully). Some of you may know that the reading bug hit me with Treasure Island, but I never pursued another book similar to that genre.

My obsession turned to children’s literature (appropriate considering the fact that I was in fact, a child).

I only read R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series. My mother would try to offer different choices but I just shook my head at her and pointed at the next Nancy Drew book to add to the shopping cart.

You see, my thinking was that since I loved these kind of books I couldn’t possibly like a different genre that wasn’t in any way similar to MY books. Why should I even try them out?

Don’t worry I moved on. I left elementary school for the scary and new middle school where there were no swing sets. My mother had been trying to get me to read Harry Potter forever but of course I would just say, “Why? There’s a new Goosebumps book right there!” She took me to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the movie theater which convinced me to give the book a try. Low and behold, a new obsession was born.

My new obsession was fantasy

I hungered for Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and the His Dark Materials trilogy. If it didn’t have magic, talking animals or dragons then it simply wasn’t a book worth reading. My mom would shake her head at this and I would shake my head back. She didn’t get it. She would read anything. But I was a one genre kinda gal.

So I survived middle school in one piece and moved on to the even scarier high school. My freshman year (please try not to judge me on this part) the Twilight fever hit.

New obsession: Paranormal Romance

Yes I am admitting to hopping on the train of the Edward craze. Soon after that I was reading everything that promised angst and love triangles. (Mortal Instruments– I’m looking at you). Simply because, love triangles were SO original and SO realistic and was made all the better if there was a mythical creature involved. “No.” I would tell my mother, “I don’t want to read that, I want to read this one about this girl who falls in love with this vampire.”

Which one, she would say.

Towards the end of my high school career I had to read The Kite Runner for my English class and was utterly captivated by the novel. I immediately went to my mom and demanded she read the book, “It will change your world,” I said, “Read it!”

She laughed.

Of course she had read The Kite Runner already and loved it so much that she not only owns it but also A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini’s other novel. But this isn’t why she laughed.

She laughed because here I was telling her to read a book. Telling HER! When she had recommended hundreds of books to me over the years and every time I would just stick up my nose at her and say no.

Needless to say, I got a taste of my own medicine.

I learned to broaden my taste. When someone recommended a book I would take the time to read it. As a result I have discovered a love for historical fiction, science fiction and classical literature. I’m also going to try horror very soon for which I am both excited and scared about, but nonetheless I’m going to try it, because my mother recommended it and she has never led me astray.

Every time my taste developed it was forced because of my stubbornness and snobbery. If my mother had never made me try other books I could still only be reading Goosebumps books today.

I’ve noticed that not only am I better reader for it, but I’m a better person for it too. My views on life have broadened dramatically and I’ve learned an incredible amount of interesting things that I never would have from Twilight.

Now, I’m not trying to take away anything from those genres. I still enjoy young adult novels, I’m just happy that along with City of Bones on my bookshelf I also have The Pillars of the Earth.

I also know that it’s perfectly okay for someone to only like one genre. As long as people are reading, we should be happy.

I just know that I am so grateful for all those times others broadened my reading taste. Does anyone else feel this way? Comment below and let me know! Happy reading!

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist WednesdayIn the famous word of Snow White, “I’m wishing (I’m wishing) for the one I love, to find me (to find me) today.” In this case (actually in most cases) the one that I love is a book, three in fact.

I came about Wishlist Wednesday hosted by the ever so lovely Pen to Paper. (Please check out their blog, it’s awesome).

Wishlist Wednesday is a meme that allows you to turn the spotlight on a few books that have been sitting on your get-to-eventually list for a while. Books that you dream of claiming their rightful spots on your bookshelf. Really you’re suppose to just pick one but I can’t pick just one (I know, I’m a rebel), so I have chosen three novels that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

mountainsKhaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramification of their lives and choices and loves around the globe– from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tino– the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

I’m a huge fan of Khaled Hosseini, having enjoyed both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns I immediately moved this novel to the top of my wish list. If it is anything like his previous two novels than I know it will be riveting.

stardustIn the sleepy English countryside, at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall, so named for an imposing stone barrier that divides the village from an adjacent meadow. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in this wall, in order to keep the curious from wandering through.

Here in Wall, young Tristan Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester. But Victoria is cold and distant– as distant, in fact, as the star she and Tristan see from the sky on a crisp October evening. For the coveted prize of Victoria’s hand, Tristan vows to retrieve the fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the ancient wall, and propels him into a world that is strange beyond imagining.

But Tristan is not the only one seeking the heavenly jewel. There are those for whom it promises youth and beauty, the key to a kingdom, and the rejuvenation of dark, dormant magics. And a lad compelled by love will have to keep his wits about him to succeed and survive in this secret place where fallen stars come in many guises– and where quests have a way of branching off in unexpected directions, even turning back upon themselves in space and in time.

I absolutely adore the movie, so when I heard that it was also a book I (almost) literally jumped for joy. I know that movies are often different than their book companions but the blurb seems pretty accurate so I’m willing to give it a try.

cuckooA brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story. His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to him.

You may think you know detectives but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

Okay, you caught me, I added The Cuckoo’s Calling to my wish list the moment I heard it was written by J.K. Rowling. However, that does not mean that I’m not interested in the novel, which I very much am! I don’t generally go for mystery novels even though I enjoy them so I’m knocking two birds with one stone with this one.

Those are my wishes this Wednesday. What are your wishes? Comment below, the wishing fairy is reading!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 5

15-Day-ChallengeThis challenge was created by the lovely blogger of Good Books, Good Wine. I can’t believe we are already a third into the challenge. But here we are whether I believe it or not and so on to today’s challenge.

Day 5: Recommend a tear jerker

An easy one today. I don’t particularly like to read ‘sad’ novels because countless authors think ‘sad’ means killing off a character you have come to love (Where the Red Fern Grows, I’m looking at you). I don’t appreciate it when the author’s purpose is to make the reader cry, that means the story lacks depth.

A tear jerker to me is a novel that explores the human condition, what it can take and what it can’t take. For this I have an excellent novel to recommend, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

sunsA Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding, that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives, the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness, are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love, a stunning accomplishment.

This story is so much more than a tear jerker, it’s a tale about the hardships of life, of women strong enough to face those hardships. Read it. Read it and tell me what you think. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!