Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA Mystère et l'Amour!

armchair bea button
Design credit: Emily of Emily's Reading Room

The bookish focus for today's Armchair BEA is our favorite genre fiction. First of all, before I get into the topic, I just want to say how pleased I am that Armchair BEA is addressing genre fiction this year specifically. I do feel like genre fiction is marginalized in the book blogging community, especially in big events like Armchair BEA, so I'm glad the organizers decided to focus on genre this year.

SO. My favorite genres are mystery and romance. My first love was actually mystery. When I was an itty bitty, I read TONS of mysteries of the MG variety. The first book I ever read on my own was Bunnicula by James Howe, and after that I was a big fan of Barbara Michaels, Mary Stewart, the ghost mystery books by Bruce Coville, and any other mystery I could get my hands on. I even wrote a mystery when I was in the 3rd grade!

Then, as a teen, I switched to romance. I admit before then I was a bit snooty about romance. But I was at my grandparents' house one day and I was super-bored and I'd just finished a book... So I decided to pick up Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas, which was lying on the table next to my grandfather's chair (my grandfather is a huge romance fan, by the way). I was immediately sucked into the story. At the end of the day, my grandfather was like, "Fine, you have this book, but I want it back," and after finishing that novel I was 100,000% a romance fan. I threw myself into the genre and read everything that sounded even vaguely interesting.

Romance is still my favorite genre, but right now I'm not feeling a lot of romance novels. I think my tastes have just changed. Not that I don't still love romance! I do, but I'm not a fan of series or urban fantasy, and most of the contemporary and historical romances I read these days seem too same-y. Look, I know people read books for different reasons: some read for beautiful writing, some for great characters, some for deep meaning, and that's all fine. But I read mainly for a great story. That's what attracted me to romance in the first place, but nowadays I feel like story is last is on the long list of Important Things to Put in Romance Novels. And that gives me the Rage and the Sadness.

Right now, I love books that combine my two favorite genres: mystery and romance. Honestly, I feel like these two genres are related because they're both about questions: Who will I fall in love in with? Who committed the murder? Is that guy who he seems (probably not)? Questions are what drive novels narratives, and I feel as though these two genres do their best at telling stories and focusing on questions we all care about.

So what's your favorite genre?

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...