Reality Check

I read a lot of YA fiction, and the bulk of it is fantasy. There’s just something about fantasy that speaks to me. I enjoy the new worlds, the new rules, the creativity of it allโ€”and the fact that there is so much truth to be found in something that’s not real.

But every once in a while, I top out. I reach a point where I can’t look at another fantasy book without cringing. It’s like eating too many sweet foods: they taste good, but there comes a point where you just need something salty.

Thankfully, the library seemed to sense that I was in need of a good dose of reality this week, and my hold on The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown came in. I’ve been waiting on this one for months, and it was worth the wait. It’s about the US rowing team in the 1936 Olympics. I have zero experience with rowing (except that I knew a coxswain once), but the book combines personal stories, rowing background, university rivalries, and international tensions (read: Nazis) in a way that makes it just as hard to put down as any novel.

What are your reading habits? Do you stick mainly to one genre or spread around? Do you ever find yourself sick of your favorite genre?

And seriously, if you have any desire to read a good nonfiction, check out The Boys in the Boat. One of the best reads I’ve come across for a long time.

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13 Comments

  1. I bounce around. I read historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, biography, classics, mysteries, thrillers. Usually in long spells until I get tired of it.

    My writing is confined to science fiction/fantasy/paranormal. There’s enough room here to bounce around and not get caught in a rut.

  2. I have to bounce around, but I usually wind up in YA more often than not. Right now I’m trying to read grown up books but they’re long, you know! I’ve started Count of Monte Cristo but it’s TOO long and so I’m going to read 100 books in the meantime while keeping Count of Monte Cristo in my Currently Reading slot on GoodReads.

    • Oh, I love the Count of Monte Cristo! Keep chipping away at it. Have you read The Three Musketeers? I found it a little easier to get through than Monte Cristo, though it’s still pretty long. That is the thing with classics–it takes a good while to get through them. Also one of the reasons I generally read YA. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I have not read The Three Musketeers. It’s been one of those that I’ve always wanted to read but never got around to. I’ve seen the movie the Count of Monte Cristo so I know it’s a good story… I should keep plugging along. I WILL keep plugging along! I’ll read this book yet! Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. I was just thinking about this on my way to work this morning. I used to read a lot of fantasy/fantasy-sci-fi (think Terry Brooks or Anne McCaffery), but I’ve gotten away from that. Now it’s more urban fantasy (Jim Butcher is the bomb!) and mysteries. All adult; I haven’t acquired much taste for YA (maybe the Twilight books spoiled that for me). I write mystery with a psychic slant, contemporary fantasy, romantic mystery, and an epic fantasy tucked somewhere, but only aimed for adults (been through YA years, don’t want to go back ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, I pretty much read the same genres I write. The classics are on my list to read, but I just haven’t run out of current reading material yet ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh, Julie, Julie, don’t let Twilight be your representation of YA fiction! I’m totally okay with you not being into YA, just don’t think that it’s all like Twilight. ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t tried Jim Butcher, but I’ll have to check out his books. Classics are fun. Have you read Jane Eyre? From your list of genres, I think that’s a classic that would appeal to you. Plus it’s pretty much one of my favorite books ever. ๐Ÿ™‚

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