Tuesday, July 24, 2012


It is sort of quirky that there is no rhyme or reason to how I choose which books to read. I have no particular genre that I prefer over another. At one period in my life it was "the thicker the better" as I read The Drifters by James Michener, War and Peace, Tolstoy, Atlas Shrugged , Ayn Rand...well, you get the picture.

Years ago I was in deep with mysteries, girl PI's  police drama, police beat novels  and courtroom dramas. When I discovered Sue Grafton I began with C is for Corpse and set out to read every one in the neoteric Alphabet series. Ever since, I have collected most of them and of late, checked her last two from the library. I went crazy over Wm. J. Coughlin, Sara Paretsky, Marcia Muller, Linda Barnes, Julie Smith, Scott Turow and Edna Buchanan.   Those are off the top of my head!

I went through a phase where I read all of Anne Rice. I picked up Queen of the Damned and was hooked and began with Interview with the Vampire and keep going and going until I became bored with her. My very favorite being The Mummy which, when I met her, asked if she were writing another Mummy and she told me yes. She lied!! Or else decided to not publish. My favorite last one was Tale of the Body Thief - I became dis-enamored with her trying to get through Merrick and just have never gone back.

I enjoy women writers as opposed to men authors. That is not entirely true since I devoured many  Alexandre Dumas novels. I love H. Rider Haggard and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I had a crush on Sherlock Holmes for a long time. What a man!

But when I decide what to read there is actually no method to the madness. I will saunter into a library or a book store and just browse. Something will eventually catch my fancy. Either a cover or a description of the contents. I do not limit myself to fiction and you will find me equally among the the 916's and 914's. I am not much into biographies though I occasionally will tackle one, as I am now trying to read a Martha Gellhorn but only made it to page 50 and tossed it aside for another book of non-fiction which requires much less labor. There is something so.....cold about a certain type of biography, all the foot notes and the side bars and back story. 

When push comes to shove I will refer to Oprah's Book Club. I have rarely been disappointed.

How do you choose a book to read?


Lori said...
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Lori said...

I get into different moods and find myself reading an author's entire bibliography whenever I can. Sometimes I'm in the mood for detective fiction or crime drama and then a few weeks later I'll enter a cycle of historical fiction (romance/adventure, adult and young adult, but not "bodice rippers" -- nothing with sex scenes -- I like "romance" not explicit sex in my books). Then I might take a side trip to a few old favorites, classics, a series from a favorite author, a book I like a lot as a child or teen. And currently I'm reading books on English history (the 900s). Lately I've finished a fascinating book called "The Knife Man" about Dr. John Hunter, "father of modern surgery", and an equally fascinating book called "The Poisoner's Handbook", about the birth of forensic medicine. Sometimes I want to bury myself in a deep, intriguing book that will take me day to finish, and sometimes I want to skim a light, perhaps silly, book I can finish in a day. Great post!


I like the jacket covers of books. That is what gets my attention. But very often they don't pan out when I open them up and have a look inside. I am currently crazy about writers from the UK, Ireland, Australia. ENJOYED hearing about all your journeys through one author or another. Been there. Done that too. Take care.

alphawoman said...

Lori, when I get back to Jeff we need to start a book club!!