Here’s an interesting conundrum.
I’m a voracious reader. Truly voracious. I gobble books up and just can’t stop until there’s nothing left. I also love to talk about what I’m reading, or have recently read, but I hate book clubs and I won’t join one.
But wait, it actually makes sense. You see, I would join a book club, and love it, but it’d have to be a club of one (me) or else a club populated entirely by clones of me.
Because the thing is, I have a tricky taste in books. It’s kind of – ahh, well – eclectic would be the best word for it, I guess. I’ve read (and loved) every word written by the incredible Ms. Atwood (I actually still lie awake at night sometimes teasing out details from The Handmaid’s Tale, and the last time I read it was probably back in fourth-year Canadian Lit circa 1992). Actually, I have a soft spot for contemporary Canadian writers that still lingers all these years later. And OMG if you haven’t yet read Emma Donoghue’s Room, crawl out from under that rock you’ve been living under and read it. Now. RIGHT NOW.
But then again, I’m not exactly married to the Literary Fiction genre. Oh no, not by a long shot. I spent a good half of the last year reading (and enjoying – well, until all my favourite characters were killed and then miraculously reincarnated in more and more ridiculous ways) all five books in the now-made-famous-by-virtue-of-an-HBO-series epic A Game of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.
Oh, but it’s not just Literary Fiction and Fantasy that catch my fancy. I have a really soft spot for a mushy Historical Fiction and Period Romance, as well. Think Philippa Gregory (well, not the Wideacre series), Edward Rutherfurd (especially Sarum and London) and really, if you haven’t read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and World Without End – what planet are you living on anyway? And then there are the Historical Mysteries. Just hole me up on a soft, warm armchair with a Brother Cadfael mystery (Ellis Peters) or let me solve a titillating crime in ancient Rome with Marcus Didius Falco (Lindsey Davis) and I’ll happily read away my days.
I also love a good character-driven, feel-good story. Especially the Irish kind. Most especially the Irish kind written by Maeve Binchy (who sadly passed away recently). And although not exactly Maeve, I’ve really enjoyed some of Sheila O’Flanagan’s books. Have I mentioned the books I will go back to and read over and over (and over) again? The ones that have to be held together by a rubber band because the spines are so hopelessly cracked that the pages are falling out? Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frank Herbert’s Dune series, all seven Harry Potter books.
Ahh…Harry Potter. The gateway drug of Young Adult fiction. Yup, it’s true: I read YA and I love it. It all started with Harry Potter, and grew from there. In fact, since I picked up The Hunger Games the summer before last, and with the exception of the half-year of my life I devoted to that all-consuming Game of Thrones, I have read not much else for the last few years. I’ve read the Percy Jackson series, His Dark Materials series, The Maze Runner and Divergent and just finished Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras.
So really, it seems like I’ll read just about anything, right? And that therefore I would be a boon at any book club, no? Um yeah. NO. Because the one book I won’t ever read is the one someone else tells me to read. Just ask my sisters: I still haven’t – and won’t – read the Twilight series or the Shades of Grey trilogy. And if Oprah or Heather recommends it, that usually means it’ll be at least ten years before I pick it up, if ever.
I don’t really know why, but hey…some of the mysteries of the universe are not meant to be understood. So I’ll leave the book clubs to the other ladies, and I’ll just stay home and read the next YA book on my list: Insurgent.