Mike Newman wrote:
My question concerns your tastes when the time comes to hook a finger atop a well-worn paperback and slip it from among its unselected brethren. Is it literary fiction from a Franzen, or a genre novel from the likes of a King or a P.D. James?
What do you consistently go back to when you want a book that is sure to satisfy? Just fiction here, non-fiction tastes aren't as interesting.
What a great question!
I suppose my tastes currently run to contemporary literary fiction. If it's edgy, well-written, with well-rounded characters and fast pacing, then it will likely appeal to me. I like things that are different
--recently I read "The Rosie Project," where the narrator/protagonist was a brilliant man with Asperger's syndrome, and "The Light Between Oceans," where the protagonist and his wife raise a stolen child.
I tend to dislike genre fiction, or anything formulaic or predictable. Romance, mystery, police procedurals, historical novels...they don't hold my interest.
That having been said--I'll read any
genre if it's well-written. Well, almost any genre: I'm not inclined to read horror or fantasy. Sci fi and speculative fiction are fun, chick lit can be entertaining, and I have a daughter who is a middle school librarian who frequently recommends good YA literature to me.
Three of my favorite novels, none of which would be labeled "Christian Fiction," but two of them with strong, positive Christian themes:
1. Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger. Hard to describe coming-of-age story with some magical realism, an awesome little girl who writes cowboy poetry, and a best next-to-last chapter EVER.
2. Once Upon a River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell. Best protagonist I've ever read in a tough teenager named Margo. Outstanding, sparse writing. Campbell is the writer I'd most like to write like (and never will). *This one is NOT Christian and not for those who object to a PG-13ish read.
3. Thin Blue Smoke, by Doug Worgul. Barbecue, faith, baseball, blues, redemption.
Hope this answered your question--what do YOU like to read?