I was tagged by Jackie at Death By Tsundoku yesterday, and it couldn’t have come at a better time – I’ve been a real slacker here lately. In between bingeing on new Gilmore Girls, the Thanksgiving holiday, and my family being sick, I haven’t felt much like blogging. This is the kick in the pants I need to get back on track!
Drew@TheTattooedBookGeek created this tag. Check out his blog!
Question 1: What is your favorite genre?
While I enjoy many different genres, my go-to favorite is mystery (with a special shout out to British mysteries.)
Question 2: What is your favorite author from that genre?
Nope, no way, can’t pick one favorite. Some of my favorites include Ruth Rendell, Michael Connelly, Agatha Christie, and Robert Galbraith (A.K.A., J.K. Rowling.)
Question 3: What is it about the genre that keep pulling you back?
I love the challenge, to see if I can solve the mystery before the detective/main character does (I usually can’t!) I also love the page-turning, immersive quality of mysteries. I love literary fiction but I can more easily put a novel in that genre aside, while with (good) mysteries I am so caught up that I don’t want to put them down. I love the sense of resolution and tidyness that mysteries can (usually, but not always) provide. And with long-running series, I love seeing how a beloved character develops and changes over time.
Question 4: What is the book that started your love for the genre?
Well, I’ve written before about how the Nancy Drew series and Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game were integral to my love for mysteries from a young age. But I also fell in love with mysteries early on by devouring the Nate the Great books by Marjorie Sharmat, the Cam Jansen series by David Adler, and the Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald Sobol.
Question 5: If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?
Oh man, this is tough. I’ve got a few picks that I think are good places to start for a mystery newbie. For a more literary take on mystery, you can’t go wrong with Kate Atkinson’s terrific Jackson Brodie books. The first one is Case Histories. It’s one of my all-time favorite reads. For a classic British mystery, go with Agatha Christie’s Murder On the Orient Express or The A.B.C. Murders. For a lighter/cozy-ish spin on mysteries, try Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series. They feature an 11-year old precocious British girl with a passion for chemistry and tempestuous relationships with her sisters. Oh, and she happens to help solve murders. The first one is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. And for a grittier, more violent detective series, try Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books. Set in Los Angeles, Harry is a Vietnam vet and a maverick detective, often fighting corrupt government officials and fellow policemen. The first one is The Black Echo.
Question 6: Why do you read?
I read to learn, to connect, to vicariously experience, to empathize, and yes, to escape. I read because it’s a central part of who I am. I read because books are “uniquely portable magic,” as Stephen King said.
Thanks, Jackie, for tagging me. This was fun! I’m going to tag a few people because I’d be interested in their takes on it, but if you don’t have time to participate, no worries! And if I don’t tag you but you’d like to participate, please do so! Or tell me your favorite genre in the comments below! If you also like mysteries, tell me some of your favorites.