What began several years ago as a challenge to myself and to get out of the habit of only reading J.D. Robb's In Death series, interspersed with some W.E.B. Griffin, and a rare library find, I believe I have noticeably, decidedly moved into the world of reading books. I can truly call myself a reader. Yes, I can. I am a reader. True, I'm nowhere in the realm of reading as the likes of Modern Mrs. Darcy, and honestly, I never will, nor even my very own mother who can quite literally read anything; and because nowhere, in either of my college degrees, is English, Literature, or even History, prevalent within my transcripts, but I have learned through these personal challenges that I've come to love books, more and more.
But, I have also realized, while much of the reading world will like a certain book, if I read it, I often will not. Maybe it is the genre that I can't appreciate. I haven't quite figured out how to enjoy a book without allowing my personal morality, judgments, ethics, biases, or, I guess, tastes, to cloud my views of a book. For instance, I read The Girl On The Train. Rave reviews far exceeded negative reviews. Yet, I hated the book. Hate may be a strong word but I didn't get all the hype, especially since I figured out who the killer was in the beginning and there were absolutely zero redeeming qualities in any of the characters. Or, The Book Thief; frustrating literary devices that others raved about and because they are probably, within the literary realm understood as clever, I, however, was left mystified and frustrated. More recently, I read What She Knew. Again, rave reviews and I absolutely hated it. Zero redeeming character qualities - again.
However, I am loving the Harry Potter series. So, I'm not completed whacked, right?
I guess it could be varied tastes that leads me to dislike something while many in the literary world love a certain book. And, that's the beauty in the world of literature - everyone's tastes are different; if, they weren't then we would have far less variety of books published. Our hearts could not be moved and our minds challenged. We'd have little room to grow emotionally, ethically, morally, or intellectually. Thank God for our individuality! Thank God for books!
My favorite books are still J.D. Robb's In Death series. Even after all these years of reading new books more. I pick up one of those books and it's like I'm snuggling under the covers on a chilly winter's night in front of a blazing fire drinking a cup of steaming coffee. But, I am finding I love Christian non-fiction (Glory Days, The Daniel Prayer, etc.). Some good, by the Book (Bible) non-fiction. I can appreciate those self-help, simplifying, life essential, life-growing non-fiction books, too (The More of Less, Simply Tuesday, etc.) . I have also found another series, Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon, that I have fallen hard for. There are only 15 in the series thus far and I'm trying not to read them one right after the other so maybe Book 16 will come out as I'm finishing that last book. Each one is rich in storyline, or plot, and have substantial character development with proceeding books. The character, Allon, is an art restorer come Israeli intelligence spy. Since I'm a fan of Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp, I'd say spy thrillers are (some of) my 'cup of tea', too.