Venturing into unknown territory
The third category listed in the 2015 Reading Challenge is “a book in a genre you don’t typically read.” Since I’ve broadened my reading horizons so much in the last few years, I knew that choosing a book would be a challenge in itself. After all, if there’s a genre I don’t read, I’m probably just not interested in it.
To trigger some ideas, I played with the Genre Map on Book Country and looked at the overwhelmingly long list of genres on Goodreads. One genre that sparked my interest was Western, so I considered trying something by Louis L’Amour or Cormac McCarthy, but I wasn’t excited about it.
Next, I thought about some of the books I already own that I haven’t read.
- I ruled out I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban because I’ve read quite a few autobiographies, so it probably wouldn’t count.
- I seriously considered Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, but I do most of my reading at bedtime, and didn’t think it would lend itself to that.
- I finally decided upon David H. Burton’s Broken: A Paranormal Romance.
If you’re wondering why I even have these books, I Am Malala was passed on to me, I believe The Art of War came preloaded on my Kobo, and Broken is one of many free ebooks I received via a special promotion. When I purchased my Kobo in 2012, they offered me one free ebook per month for a year in exchange for joining their mailing list. Some months the choices were dismal, but I was introduced to two series which I’ve continued to read (Marie Bostwick’s Cobbled Court Quilt seriesand Phyllis Smallman’s Sherry Travis Mysteries), and I particularly enjoyed Run by Blake Crouch.
Broken is the only one I hadn’t yet read, mainly because I’m really not into the paranormal, but that’s how I came to choose it for this challenge. I didn’t have high hopes for it, and my expectations were lowered even further when I read the very ambiguous copyright message:
“This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment. If you would like to share this book with another person, feel free to do so, or purchase an additional copy for each person you’re sharing it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then feel free to purchase your own copy.”
Fortunately, this was not a reflection of the writing style in the book itself. It wasn’t excellent, and there was no doubt it was self-published, but it was an okay read. I would consider it a YA love story with a twist – but it didn’t seem to have anything to do with the paranormal, as I understand it. It’s not about ghosts or the supernatural; it’s about faeries. In my mind, this classes it as a fantasy, not paranormal, but maybe I’m splitting hairs.
The point is I read it, I didn’t hate it, and I can check one more challenge off my list.
I’ve read 10 books towards my Goodreads challenge of 40 for this year, putting me two ahead of schedule. In addition to those mentioned in Reading Current Books and The Happiness Project, I’ve read Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country, Sarah Pekkanen’s The Opposite of Me, and Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Takes Manhattan.
When’s the last time you chose a book from a genre you don’t typically read? How did it go?