This week’s blog hop topic is Favourite Genre. I’m afraid I won’t be much help in that area. You see, I enjoy everything from P.D. Eastman and Dr. Seuss to Edgar Allan Poe. (See why I can’t nail down my favourite?) But I will share my thoughts on several genres.
While I am learning to focus and read almost anywhere I find myself, when I read nonfiction, it’s better if I’m in quiet, comfortable surroundings. Well-written nonfiction requires concentration. There is something to learn in every line and I wouldn’t want to miss it.
There are several wonderful books that help us understand the Scriptures and the many facets of sound theology. Because I am relationship-driven, I benefit most from those that have clear application to day-to-day life and challenge my personal walk with Christ, those that teach me how to enrich the lives of others. More academic tomes, for the most part, don’t have a strong appeal for me.
My favourites are those that tell how God enabled an individual facing very real challenges to overcome in His strength. Again, it’s about the people.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
As a labour doula, I want to know all I can so I can be a blessing to my clients. Supporting and encouraging mom and dad and welcoming the newest family member . . . one of the most amazing experiences EVER!
Health and Fitness
A number of years ago, I joined the gym as my daughter’s workout partner. Amazingly, it led to me becoming a personal trainer. This is when the health and fitness section of my bookshelves started to grow. I see new fitness magazines and books and remind myself, “You will never need another – ever.”
Fluff and Mystery
Okay, this isn’t actually one genre, but it would be kind of fun if it was.
I do spend most of my fiction-reading time reading books by Christian authors. There are just some things I don’t want to read about in graphic detail. And as a visual learner, “colourful language” has a way of burning itself into my mind . . . again, something I don’t need.
However, I have enjoyed a number of Nicholas Sparks’s novels (fluff – aka an easy read that I can follow even if I’m drifting off) and the occasional Harlan Coben mystery as well as other secular authors.
I’ve found that you don’t “outgrow” books written for a teen audience. While I haven’t read the Ender series by Orson Scott Card, I did watch Ender’s Game and realized I just may not be smart enough to write for young people. While filled with plenty of action, it’s an incredible exploration of the thought processes of one young man (Ender) training to save humanity, very deep and philosophical.
As editor Christie Harkin said, “You can lead children and teens into a dark place; you just have to leave a door open.”
I’m with them. I’m not a fan of reading a book that doesn’t offer some kind of hope, even if it is just the faintest glimmer in the distance.
Christian Thrillers (and the like)
I like these books because, when well-done, they reach out and grab me by the throat. I don’t want to put them down, as was the case with Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, the first book to capture me in a death grip. I even tried to read it while doing dishes. Just an FYI . . . that doesn’t work well.
Reading Ted Dekker’s books is similar to reading nonfiction in that I must be rested and uninterrupted. If my mind wanders, I have no idea what I just read. That’s sometimes the case even if I’m fully awake. Sigh!
I do have several ebooks in this category awaiting my attention. (I have about 400 ebooks in total and maybe as many physical books both nonfiction and fiction, but that’s another story.)
Christian Historical Fiction
Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly was the first Christian novel I read. When I had the opportunity to hear Janette speak, I was pleased to buy a copy and have her sign it.
I was recently introduced to Anne Mateer’s work and I have to say, I really enjoyed Home for My Heart and plan to read more of her novels in the days ahead.
While I enjoy a lighthearted, formula romance from time to time, there are a couple of must-haves: at least one character I really care about and a storyline that is, for the most part, believable. (Fairy tales are fun to watch. I don’t read many, however.)
Among the books on my shelves are those by Sandra Orchard, Dee Henderson, Brandilyn Collins, Terri Blackstock, and many others. I am presently reading Janet Sketchley’s Heaven’s Prey. I have the feeling once I get a little further into it, I won’t want to “put it down.” That would be a problem, however, since I’m reading it on my desktop.
This is often my go-to genre, but as you can see, I couldn’t really call it my favourite.
No matter what the genre, I want the novels I read to “hit the ground running” and keep me hooked until the last page. They must be inhabited by three-dimensional, authentic characters I love intensely or want to shake violently. I love well-written TV and movies. If an author can evoke the same emotions in me without skilled actors, special effects, and a highly-effective soundtrack, I’m going to be a fan.
For more insights on other authors’ favourite genres, I invite you to stop by Ruth Synder’s post to begin.
So, do you see what I mean by eclectically-interested? How about you? What is your favourite genre?