Top Ten Tuesday: The more things change, the more things stay the same

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Changes In My Reading Life, with the explanation maybe you like different genres or topics, maybe you read faster than you used to, maybe you only like standalones now.

Here are some ways my reading preferences and habits have changed over the years:

1. I read on my Kindle much more frequently than I use to. Probably because it’s so easy and portable (especially since it syncs with my phone app, so I never have to wonder where I left off). Also, my husband is strictly a Kindle reader, and I end up purchasing the Kindle format more often for our shared library.

2. I think I’ve burned out when it comes to reading historical fiction set during the World Wars. I’ve read some amazing novels set during these times, but for right now, other time periods and settings are much more appealing to me.

3. Not so much a fan of high fantasy these days. I can’t be bothered learning entirely new systems of magic or the rules of new kingdoms.

4. I have less patience for books that don’t grab me within the first chapter or so. I have the power to DNF, and I’m not afraid to use it!

5. I’m trying to be much more cautious about requesting ARCs — I need to preserve time for me to read on a whim, and not based on publication date or other commitments.

And here are some things about me as a reader that have not changed at all:

1. I never, ever, ever leave the house without a book — or at the very least, without access to my Kindle app.

 

2. I continue to buy more books than I can possibly read in a year… or a lifetime.

3. I’m a complete mood reader. Having to stick to a reading plan makes me grumpy.

4. If you want to make friends with me, ask me what I’ve read recently.

5. I skip from genre to genre whenever possible — if I read too many of any one type of book, I can feel myself losing interest and have to switch it up.

 

 

How about you? Have you changed as a reader?

If you did a TTT post this week, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: My ten most unusual (or uncomfortable) reads from the last 12 months

Top 10 Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Ten Books I Enjoyed Recently (last yearish) That Weren’t My Typical Genre/Type of Book (or that were outside of your (my) comfort zone).

I’m not sure that I actually have a comfort zone when it comes to reading, or what could possibly be outside it. I read a lot of different genres, and can’t think of much of anything that would actually be uncomfortable for me to read. Well, apart from extreme violence, hard-core porn, gratuitous brutality, and… I don’t know… books about car racing? Okay, I guess there are some things I just won’t read.

nope

In any case…

For purposes of this list, I think I’ll focus on books that are a little different from what I might be most likely to read, for a variety of different reasons. My top ten unusual reading choices from the past year are:

drummroll

1) The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (review): I read very little non-fiction, and might not have picked this one up on my own if not for my book group. I’m so glad I read it! It’s a marvelous piece of historical storytelling that is moving and informative and so very readable.

The Boys in the Boat

2) Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman (review): I am just not a short-story reader. I get bored, my mind wanders, and I’m dying to get back to “real” reading (i.e., novels). But I discovered that I can tolerate short story audiobooks, and having Neil Gaiman narrate his own stories made this one a pleasure.

Trigger Warning

3) The Expats by Chris Pavone (review): I don’t gravitate toward spy thrillers all that often. I don’t remember why exactly I was drawn to this book, but I’m glad I read it and want to read more by this author.

Expats

4) The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy (review): It’s not that I don’t read horror, although I haven’t read quite as much lately. But The Dead Lands was certainly an uncomfortable read, despite being a great story. So icky and full of scary creepiness and nastiness. But really worth reading!

Dead Lands

5) All I Love and Know by Judith Frank (review): This one actually made me uncomfortable because of its political stridency. I was surprised, because I’d expected to really enjoy this book, but found it so preachy that it made me unhappy.

All I Love and Know

6 & 7) Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke (review) and The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (review): I love science fiction, but it’s been several years since I’ve read any of the classics. Both of these books were terrific.

Childhoods EndMan in the High Castle

8) Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (review): I wouldn’t call this an unusual choice for me, exactly — but I was uncomfortable with the questions marks surrounding this book, including whether we really understand the author’s wishes and whether she truly wanted this book to see the light of day.

Go Set A Watchman

9) The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand (review): Not a bad book, but romance is definitely not my genre. I mean, I love a good love story, but this was a bit too much for me.

Chocolate Thief

10) My final book is perhaps a weird choice, but I think it’s got to be Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer (review): I never thought I’d want to read another book related to the Twilight universe, but this gender-swapped version of the original story was a quick read and satisfied my curiosity.

Life and Death

What books made your list this week? Please share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

So over it

Do you ever get to the point in your reading that if you pick up ONE MORE BOOK about [insert your most over-exposed genre here], you’ll simply run screaming into the night?

No?

Just me?

I think not.

We all have those moments, I’m pretty sure. Call it genre burn-out, plot overdose, or simply too much of a good thing — but I’d be surprised if there are any avid bookworms out there who haven’t had these moments in their bookish lives.

Some readers find a genre or subject or style that they love, and that’s all they want to read. And there’s nothing wrong with that! If you like what you like, and you’re happy reading what you like, go for it!

It just doesn’t work for me.

I guess I’m a hopper. I can’t read any one genre, any one setting, any one time period for more than a few books before I start getting a little batty. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of taking a break or switching things up. Sure, I’ll read a horror book or two, but then I’ll need to switch off with a historical novel, a contemporary love story, or a thriller or two before I’ll even consider horror again. Variety is the spice of life.

Still, there are certains types of books that I am JUST SO OVER at the moment, and I can’t imagine wanting to read more of these… is ever too strong a statement? Well, at least for a long, long time.

I am SO OVER… anything you might describe as “dystopian”. I don’t want weirdly artificial social groupings. No bizarre rituals to select careers, spouses, or social castes. No common objects or foods that are randomly illegal in a future society. No battles to the death for survival, no high-tech arenas or stages, no bizarre contests of wits or strength in order to be selected for… anything.

I am SO OVER… historical novels with a split timeline framework. A 21st century woman finds [insert <relic/artwork/journal/rare book/other old-timey-thing-of-value> here] — and then, poof! wouldn’t you know it, the very next chapter is all about the 18th or 16th or 12th or whatever-th century woman who originally owned or handled or created that MacGuffin-ish thing.*

*Carving out a very big exception here for Susanna Kearsley, because I love her books no matter what, and if she keeps writing dual timeline novels, I’ll keep reading ’em. Period.

I am SO OVER… YA novels in which a geeky/shy/not-exactly-popular ordinary boy winds up in the orbit of a mysterious, slightly damaged, unforgettable wild girl. And his life will never be the same. No more. Just no.

These are my “over it” types of books at the moment, although I’m sure if you asked me again in two months, I might come up with something completely different that I’m just so over.

What about you? What type of book are you just done with? Is there a particular storyline or plot device that you never want to see again?

Share your thoughts!