What Do You Like To Read?

Mystery?  Suspense?  Romance?  Science Fiction?  Memoir?  Humor?

What calls you back to the written word?

Fantasy?  Do it Yourself?  Cookbooks?

What are you looking for in the pages of a book?

Do you like knowing how things will end up or do you want the element of suspense?

Surprise?  Clues?

Do you enjoy a single point of view or do you want to know what the leading characters are thinking?

Are you a fan of a particular setting?  Paris?  Tropical Islands?  Gothic Mansion?

Do you need a tactile physical page turning book, or does an e-reader work as well for you?

Some people are strictly readers of one genre or another.  They know what they like and they stick with it.  I enjoy many different categories and have a wide variety on my bookshelves.  And I feel slightly resistant to the e-readers, although I am warming up to them.  For travel, they would be super.  And the speed of downloading immediately makes them intriguing.  I am sure that I will acquire one – eventually.

One thing I believe we all want from whatever book we read, is to be pulled into the story.  Even a travel book should give me enough intrigue to make me want to experience the city/museum/restaurant/park.  One of the best compliments that I have received was from a travel agent who told me that I made her want to see a particular location because of the way I made her feel when I talked about it.

Do you like strong female characters? Or do you want to have her in need of rescue?

I don’t mind the lead characters getting rescued at the beginning, as long as they don’t need it by the end of the book.

What is your favorite flaw in a character?  Men with eating disorders?  A wealthy kleptomaniac?  Addiction?

Biographies?  Autobiographies? Predictions?

I don’t know about you, but I find an intriguing biography hard to pass up.

Classics?  Dickens?  Austen? Shelley?

Do you like an intelligent book that requires a dictionary close by, or easy reading?

What is on the bedstand right now?  What are you reading that you can’t quite put down?

Give your favorite books and authors a shout out!




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  1. I like to read a story featuring characters that are flawed but persevere against adversity .. like you, it’s ok if “she” needs rescuing but I like it most when the lead rescues herself – in some form or fashion. If I can predict the ending, I soon bore of the book.

    Hmm … you’ve got me thinking. The last really great book I read was “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. Written in 1986 (I think), it’s set in the future — a future of anarchy, reproductive control and religious intolerance. Brilliant & unexpected.

    Thoughtful post, thankyou!

    1. I loved ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ too. I also liked ‘The Cat’s Eye’. You won’t get boring or predictable with Margaret Atwood! Am I correct in thinking she is Canadian or do you know? Great answer MJ.

      1. yes … she surely is! 🙂

        I read a lot .. but I go in spurts & stops b/c I have no ability to restrain myself if 1) the book is good and 2) there are other tasks to be done. I.e. I’ve probably ready a dozen books since Christmas – this is the one that came to mind immediately.

  2. I’m currently reading another Thich Nhat Hanh book and Stephen King’s latest book on JFK. Can’t get much more diverse that that I guess! I love to balance fluffy fun-to-read books with the more deeper ones. I plan on reading Janet Evanovich in the future, someone told me I’d love her books. If only I had more time…

    1. Evanovich is a quick read. Lots of fun and a little crazy. We call them beach books.

    2. I didn’t know that Stephen King had a book on JFK. Must add that one to my list! I have his book ‘On Writing’ and it is great for authors. Such common sense advice! Oprah introduced me to Thich Nhat Hanh and I read her interviews with him and also some exceprts, but not the whole book. You should do a book review on your site when you finish that one.

  3. I actually like all genres of books. I love historical fiction and mysteries, but anything that is well written and keeps my attention. If it’s boring or poorly written that book often ends up recycled to a used book store.. Horrible I know. I’m particularly fond of humor and Melynda Fleury’s books. Oh wait that’s me. lol Well I do like them!

  4. I’m a totally esoteric reader. Fav of all times, To Kill a Mockingbird.
    On bedstand right now: The Instruction; Living the Life Your Soul Intended by Ainslie MacLeod (recommended to me – way out of my normal range of genres) Capitalism Hits the Fan; The Global Economic Meltdown and What to do About It by Richard D. Wolff, Boleto by Alyson Hagy.

    I gravitate toward historical fiction and memoir or biography, but really I’ll read practically anything.

    1. Good ones! ‘The Capitalism Hits the Fan…’sounds like one I should read, but probably won’t make a good beach read. Have you reached the part where the crisis is solved? I’d be curious to know your final take on this one.

  5. We read a LOT! I’m pretty diversified with my tastes but the man likes his “fantasy fiction”.
    My favourite book is “Trinity” by Leon Uris. I have re-read that book many times since I was in my 20s. I read a lot of Irish authors with Andrew M Greeley probably at the top of my list. He does a couple of different series but his Nuala Anne McGrail Novels always keep me captivated. There is always a current mystery with a historical mystery intertwined so it is kind of a two-four. 🙂
    For what I call “beach books” it is people like Janet Evanovich (fast and fun) that I read.
    I recently read “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami. It was fascinating! Quite different from anything I have ever read before. We both thought it was brilliant. If you have not read this book I highly recommend you do.

  6. Great questions. I’d love to ponder awhile and answer, but I’m caught up in getting ready for a trip, in the midst of panic!

    1. When you get back, you can let us all know what you read during the trip. I always stick a book or two in my luggage and you have a handy e-reader for this sort of thing. I can’t wait to hear about this trip and see your pictures! Safe trip friend!

  7. I do not favor one over another unless it is written by a renowned writer. I just prefer writer rather than anything. I just simply like to read, and for me, that’s what is more important. 😉

    I guess you might have your own account in “goodreads.com”. I use it too. Very nice site for readers like us. Let me know if you are there.

    1. No, I haven’t joined ‘goodreads’ yet. But you are the second person to recommend it to me so I think I’ll check it out. I think most writers are great readers and they know what good prose is.

  8. I love witty adventure stories. Eoin Colfer comes to mind, as does CS Lewis, Lemony Snickett, Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, William Goldman, and Dickens. I can’t put those books down and I eat them like candy. If a book can make me laugh, it is a winner.

    1. C.S. Lewis has always been a favorite of mine as well. Dickens makes me think. I love his work and even did a post dedicated to him earlier in the year. I’m not familiar with Eoin Colfer, but I’ll check out those witty adventure stories. Sounds like fun! Thanks.

  9. I’m all over the map right now. Just finished “The Sense of An Ending” by Julian Barnes. Highly recommend it. Now I’m reading a memoir by Deni Bechard called Cures For Hunger. Slower, but I like it. Up next is the Orange prize winner Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles…and one of the runner-ups, Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder. Great question. I love to hear what people are reading.

    1. And isn’t it the time of year when we all want a good book, shady porch swing, and a tall iced tea? I think this is becoming a great list to print and take to the library or book store. Thanks Annie!

  10. All of the above! And like Ellie above, I LOVE the Eoin Coifer stories. Brilliant. (It gave me my favorite Google moment when I couldn’t recall the author. So I looked up “Books with Farting Dwarves” and Bingo. Eoin Coifer…

  11. I like a good mystery, especially laced with humor. I also like stories that take place in Europe. I’m a fan of noir fiction (which I suppose fits into the mystery thing). I enjoy big, sweeping generational sagas. I like straight out funny, although that is not easy to come by. I like other stuff too, but there’s a start!

  12. Yes, I also enjoy books with a European setting. You sound like a Dan Brown fan. Me too. Every chapter ends with a hook that makes me turn another page. Love it.

  13. Ursula K. LeGuin’s EarthSea series. I discovered it when I was roughyl 12 and have loved it ever since. It has realistic social pitfalls for people entering a culture that stands outside the rest of the world. You get glimpses of it, maybe some good hints, but it’s not until the fourth book that you see the true cost of seperation.

  14. Hi,
    I like all sorts of books, I read a lot about Ancient History, Modern History, the world in general I suppose, Ancient History is number 1 though it has always fascinated me,

    But outside of the knowledge type books, I love Sci-Fi, Horrors, Supernatural, Dramas, Mystery, Fantasy and Thrillers. The same in movies, I find them always full of suspense, and these type of books I find are never boring, but I hate it if I have guessed the ending before I finish reading. 😀

    1. Yes, Ancient History is fascinating. I’ve read a little about the Etruscans who lived in the region known as Tuscany. They keep unearthing more artifacts from them and the ancient rock walls still exist through the countryside. Suspense is never bad though, is it?

  15. Renee, let me ask YOU a question: How long is a piece of string?

    Like you I need a book as a tangible item in my hands, though also like being read to. No Kindle for me.

    Genres: It’s probably easier to list what I don’t like. What I don’t like is, loosely termed, romantic fiction aimed at a section of the female reading market clearly too dim to make up their own day dreams. Even if the story line isn’t too bad the prose often makes you want to curl up and die. The other thing you will not catch me with on the beach are blockbusters you can pick up at the airport. Having said that, and oh the shame of it, If I had the stamina to pen one of them I would – under an assumed name. Sci-fi leaves me cold to the point of intolerable boredom.

    If I told you what I DO read your other commentators would think me terribly highbrow. Mainly because that’s what I am. To make me more human and likeable I will admit to having a to die for selection of food porn (cookery books) – yes, more than 200. But then I love to cook.


    1. Hey, we can take highbrow. And surely there is a British writer that you think we Americans should know about but don’t. We definitely have love affairs with many of your authors – Dickens, Austen, Bronte, etc.

      But if you have 200+ cook books, is there any room left on your shelf for novels? Wow! What are you cooking up? Do you use them or just drool over the pictures? Which one is your favorite that you go to over and over?

  16. Renee, for me, it doesn’t matter what I’m reading as long as it’s well written. I love a good yarn, and can’t read trashy novels that are poorly written. For example, when I started reading the very first page of The Help, I knew this was something special. Beautifully written. Another favorite is The Time Traveler’s Wife. OMG, what a story! About the only genre I don’t care for is science fiction.

  17. And didn’t you recently review ‘Mrs. Kennedy and Me’ by Clint Hill? I recall that you enjoyed that one as well. I knew you would have a couple of good recommendations. Thanks Monica!

  18. I read just about anything I can lay my hands on, Renee. I can’t choose just one or two genres as favorites. I adored “The Hunger Games”, but also loved “The Kite Runner”. I have a hard time passing up a mystery (if it’s a good one, think Michael Connely or Robert Crais) and really adored “Geisha”, and “Glass Castle”.

    My husband gave me a Kindle a couple of years ago and I protested it loudly. Now I don’t know how I lived without it. (Keep in mind, I have a full basement with shelves filled with thousands of books under my house. This is so much more practical for a book addict like me.)

    1. Oprah recently said the same thing about the Kindle, so maybe I should think about getting one. I can definitely see the benefit of having one for travel purposes. Sometimes all of the books I take with me get rather heavy. Thanks for those book titles. ‘The Kite Runner’ is spectacular!

  19. I’m a reader. I will read just about anything as long as I’m entertained. Non-fiction, fiction, how-to, art, magazines…whatever. I started reading A Midsummer Night’s dream and I’m in the middle of Wild Swans. Both are wonderful.

  20. I read a variety of genres but probably my favourite genre of all time is what they now call magical realism, which I guess is fantasy set in the real world. Alice Hoffman is probably the most well-known author in that genre. I like strong, slightly flawed characters and a dark, poetic narrative.

    I am also a huge fan of anything to do with King Arthur. Love him. Love that period in history.

    At the moment I am reading Hilary Mantel’s A Place Of Greater Safety which is about the French Revolution. Another fave period of history for me!

    1. Isn’t Alice Hoffman the author of ‘Practical Magic’? That is an awesome book and movie. I remember a book I read about King Arthur when I was a teenager – a fantasy – ‘The Crystal Cave’. I don’t recall the author, but it would be thirty+ years old. It was fantastic!

      1. Yes, she did write ‘Practical Magic.’ Most of her books have some kind of magical vibe. ‘The Crystal Cave’ is an Arthurian classic written by Mary Stewart. One of my absolute favourites!

  21. I love to read Sidney Sheldon books. I like his style of writing. I hope to read Rhonda Byrne’s books soon. I love to read books which are simple yet heart touching.

  22. Sidney Sheldon is definitely a big hit here. Good choice. Rhonda Byrne is the Australian writer who does inspirational and self-help – right? I think I know her from the book ‘The Secret’. Please correct me if that is wrong or if there is another Rhonda Byrne you are talking about. Thanks, Arindam.

    1. Yes you are absolutely correct. Rhonda Byrne is the author of the book, “The Secret”. One of my niece recommended it to me. It’s a really nice book.

  23. It depends on my mood, I like all genres, but am partial to nonfiction, cookbooks and reference books for crafts & such. I have thousands of ebooks in every genre, so whatever I’m in the mood for I have at my finger tips. Gosh I do love this part of our techno world. 🙂

  24. I like to read thrillers, supernatural stuff as well as motivational and inspiring thoughts and reflections. I do enjoy looking at inspiring images as well to go with the wonderful thoughts. Beautiful post. Thanks.

  25. On my nightstand right now: They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, The Bang Bang Club, Steve Jobs, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, and a Lonely Planet book on Southeast Asia. I guess I like nonfiction. 🙂

    1. Yes, WW, I’m feeling like you are NF fan. Steve Jobs is an inspiring example of what one can do in a short period of time. Thanks for the recommendations. I am not familiar with a couple of your titles, so I’ll check those out.

  26. On my nightstand is David Copperfield and lol, Mockingjay!
    Just wanted to stop over and say hi to you…I was over at Arindam’s place and I’m glad he featured your blog.
    I enjoyed reading this. Thanks! 🙂

  27. Someday an e-reader, but we have such a great library with a “new book” alcove that’s always being refreshed with just arrived titles – hard to beat that.
    So many books, so little time!
    I read historical fiction, mysteries, science fiction, some fantasy, conspiracy titles…well, just whatever grabs my eye or interest – something with well developed characters and interesting plot. Not much on the romance titles – I’ll leave those for the next book searcher.

    1. You are lucky to have such an updated library close by. Ours isn’t quite as modern and always running late with new titles. But they try hard and will get a book from another library that they share with if you can wait for it. Here’s to libraries!

  28. I like different types of books. Love biographies. I rarely make it all the way through a book unless it’s just superb. I get bored easily if it doesn’t capture my attention. Oh yeah, and I get distracted so easily, which doesn’t help.

    I’m checking out an old book we have on our home shelves about F. Scott Fitzgerald from 1945.

    And I much prefer happy endings. Especially when it comes to romance.

    1. Yeah – I couldn’t get through Bill Clinton’s. Too much political ‘mentioning’ for the sake of it I thought. F. Scott Fitzgerald is definitely a classic. Nice.

  29. I love history and historical fiction and hands down my favorite author for history is Alison Weir and my favorite author for historical fiction is Diana Gabaldon (the Oulander series). If you haven’t read The Outlander series you are missing out! They are to die for 🙂

  30. I love to read Western books. My favorite author is Zane Grey. In his books there is always love and justice. Many times hero can be woman also. My absolute favorite by Zane Grey is Wildfire. During 37 I have read Science Fiction and specially Space. My favorite series in Science Fiction is the adventures of Perry Rhodan. It is possible world’s biggest space opera ever written. They have been sold over one billion copies.

    I read them in French and those books which I have about 250, I brought from Paris and Brussels during 25 years.

  31. That’s a lot of questions! Like you, I read books in various genres, but for some time now murder mysteries have been my preference for bedtime reading. I also love a good biography or travel book, and particularly anything humorous in the travel line. It’s nice to mix it up and have a complete change sometimes, a bit of sci-fi perhaps or a romance. I’m with you on e-readers too, I was initially opposed and I’m sort of warming to the idea – simply because you can carry so many books with you in one small package – but I don’t think I’ll ever lose my love of paper books and I haven’t yet invested in an e-reader. As for settings, I do enjoy reading books set in places that are familiar to me, but it can be great to enter a new country via a book, too, and I’m a big fan of armchair travelling. As for needing a dictionary, that happens to me a lot, and I now keep a voice recorder under my pillow so that when I’m reading at night I can make a verbal note to look a word up in the morning.

    1. Welcome Lorna. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I am looking into an e-reader – finally – but still haven’t taken the plunge. There’s just something about actually holding a book in my hands that feels right. Let me know which one you choose.

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