30 Days of Book Talk discussion

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Day 4: A Book that Got You Into a New Genre

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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship (emmadeploresgoodreadscensorship) | 103 comments Mod
What book convinced you to take an interest in a genre you hadn't read much before, or that a genre you'd written off wasn't all bad?

I didn't used to read nonfiction at all; the book that converted me was Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. The author is a journalist who follows six people through their lives in North Korea, escaping and trying to make a new life in South Korea. It's fascinating in every way - a part of the world I knew very little about, great storytelling, interesting people, details that seem almost too bizarre to be true. I'd read a little nonfiction before, but this book was the one that convinced me that it could be as compelling as any novel, and maybe more so.


message 2: by Henk (new)

Henk | 34 comments I’m not a big fan of historical fiction, but reading Wolf Hall and especially Bring Up The Bodies really gave me more appreciation of the genre.


message 3: by Gogol (new)

Gogol | 110 comments I studied math in high school and we had a lot of physics. I was heartbroken about not being able to pursue mathematics any further, but I was super happy not to touch another text about physics for the rest of my life. I hated it in school. Then I met a guy and because of him I read a brief history of time, half of which I could not understand, but for the first time I realised what vast, and beautiful subject physics is. I still have a very shaky foundation and have forgotten so much of what I knew, but I still try to read a book about physics once every couple of years. Or rather, plod through, because I don’t understand most of it. I think it’s like poetry of the scientific world in a sense.


message 4: by Melindam (new)

Melindam | 158 comments I read "Lord of the Rings" when I was 18 (25 years ago! OH MY!) and it has been my one of favourite books ever since.
After that, it was really hard to find another fantasy book that I would find at least entertaining enough, especially as at that time there were very few fantasy books translated into Hungarian.

It was after I finished university that I stumbled upon the translation of "The eye of the world" by Robert Jordan and got hooked. Also, I was happy to discover the next 4 books of the Wheel of Time series in English and devoured them all. While I found the later books in the series bogged down by much-too-much details & unnecessary repetitions, it will always be The Original Fantasy Series for me that determined my love for the fantasy genre, even though now I tend to avoid series that go on far too long without an ending in sight. :)


Two Envelopes and a Phone | 26 comments I love reading books suggested by lists and ‘good reading’ guides. The book Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You'll Ever Read is wide-ranging, but turned out to be more useful to me in its sections dealing with unfamiliar genres, because, to some degree, where it dealt with my comfort genres I saw that I had read many of the books mentioned.

After dealing with some key Westerns I had been ignoring, I finally took the plunge, and turned to the Historical Romance list. I had not read any of the books on the list, though I knew many of the titles. I picked Music & Silence by Rose Tremain, and thoroughly enjoyed it; hmm, this would not be such an unrewarding genre after all, if the Tremain book were a reliable example.

Then I picked The Far Pavilions M. M. Kaye and went absolutely nuts for it. A superb book, one of the greats. I love The Other Boleyn Girl almost as much, though for different reasons. A shout out to Forever Amber and A Bloodsmoor Romance.

Gone with the Wind still looks intimidating. But, one day...


message 6: by Melindam (new)

Melindam | 158 comments I just saw "Music &Silence" in a bookshop today, but I wanted to check it out on GR first. Clearly, THIS IS A SIGN. :)


Two Envelopes and a Phone | 26 comments Melindam wrote: "I just saw "Music &Silence" in a bookshop today, but I wanted to check it out on GR first. Clearly, THIS IS A SIGN. :)"

Could it be?

I like music-themed Mysteries, so it’s not surprising I picked the Tremain first off the list. “A little familiarity with my first Historical Romance”.


message 8: by Jen (new)

Jen  (jennsps) | 10 comments I’m not a big “chick lit/contemporary romance” person, but after reading If I Never Met You, I now need to read more of that genre. It was perfect for me at the time I read it. I had read others in that genre before, but they were OTT to me. This one wasn’t and I now have a glut of books in that genre, because book obtaining spree, but don’t know which one to pick up first, lol! Any suggestions would be welcome. :)

Ps-I love these book discussions, but my Mt. TBR is getting taller and taller, lol.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship (emmadeploresgoodreadscensorship) | 103 comments Mod
I’ve read a couple of Rose Tremain’s books (The Colour is quite good if you like historical fiction - it is about the New Zealand gold rush) but I’d definitely have called her a literary author and am surprised to hear one of her books is on a must-read romance list!

Sadly I think the Wheel of Time series might also have been the one that got me into epic fantasy, even though I think very poorly of it now! But at age 14 it really hit the spot, in that the first few books are exciting action adventure and it grew my vocabulary and expected a lot in terms of memory (at a time when I definitely wanted to be challenged by books in those ways), presenting a huge cast of characters who were easy to understand because they’re all really about 14 in maturity level!


message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark (kilimaro) | 20 comments Melindam wrote: "It was after I finished university that I stumbled upon the translation of "The eye of the world" by Robert Jordan and got hooked. Also, I was happy to discover the next 4 books of the Wheel of Time series in English and devoured them all.."

Wheel of Time was definitely a great "gateway drug" for epic fantasy for a while there! And appropriately since Brandon Sanderson ended up finishing off the series, I wonder if he's taken up that mantle now.

For me, I would say that Rebecca was my biggest eye-opener in recent years because it showed me that what you might call "real literature" (as opposed to just nerdy science fiction/fantasy or what have you) could be gripping and interesting rather than just these unpleasant experiences to be somewhat endured because some expert said it was good. Rebecca was the first one where I wasn't really sure ahead of time that I'd be into it and then I liked it a lot and I've gone on to read a wider mix of stuff since.

Not exactly a specific genre I guess, but I hope it's in the spirit of the question.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship (emmadeploresgoodreadscensorship) | 103 comments Mod
That's very much in the spirit of the question! Rebecca is a good one, though I had the misfortune to be spoiled on it beforehand by a friend I allowed to spoil me because I didn't think I'd be reading anything so literary anyway.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 43 comments I think I'm also going to say Wolf Hall - because generally I avoid modern "literary fiction." But Wolf Hall (and its sequels) are fantastic. I still don't stick my toe into that water much, but I'm less cautious.


message 13: by Maria (last edited May 23, 2020 02:57PM) (new)

Maria (mariajennings) | 4 comments This is a great question! I also loved Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite. Such a fascinating look into daily life in North Korea.

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry was the first book that really opened my eyes to the fact that nonfiction can be fun and entertaining, not just dry and informative. Jane Eyre was one of the first classics I read by choice, and got me really interested in the Brontës. Also, The Poppy War helped me get over my fear of chunky high-fantasy!


message 14: by Ange H (last edited May 23, 2020 06:34PM) (new)

Ange H | 47 comments My parents should definitely have supervised my reading a bit more when I was young. I'll never forget reading this, and it put me on a bad path for a long time during my teenage years when all I wanted to read were books with Fabio on the cover. (Many of you will be too young to get the Fabio reference.)

Shanna

And then I took an abrupt left turn after discovering:
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

Then I was done with swashbuckling pirates and hoop skirts and rakish dukes and I wanted to read about every grisly murder that came down the pike.


Two Envelopes and a Phone | 26 comments Lady Delacour wrote: "After seeing a move based on a book by Dorothy B. Hughes,
I have ventured into reading Female authors of the Hard-Boiled Genre.
Margaret Millar, Charlotte Armstrong, along with Dorothy B. Hughes.

..."


That’s cool. Leigh Brackett has a fun Noir novel called No Good From A Corpse.


message 16: by Melindam (last edited May 24, 2020 12:26AM) (new)

Melindam | 158 comments Ange H wrote: "My parents should definitely have supervised my reading a bit more when I was young. I'll never forget reading this, and it put me on a bad path for a long time during my teenage years when all I w..."

😂

Love your Fabio-reference, Ange.


message 17: by Gogol (new)

Gogol | 110 comments Melindam wrote: "I read "Lord of the Rings" when I was 18 (25 years ago! OH MY!) and it has been my one of favourite books ever since.
After that, it was really hard to find another fantasy book that I would find ..."


The eye of the world? Sounds pretty interesting. I really love, love, love fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal, but there just aren’t many writers who write in these genres. Thank you!


message 18: by Gogol (new)

Gogol | 110 comments Maria wrote: "This is a great question! I also loved Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite. Such a fascinating look into daily life in North Korea.

[book:The ..."

I liked the poppy wars too!


message 19: by Gogol (new)

Gogol | 110 comments Ange H wrote: "My parents should definitely have supervised my reading a bit more when I was young. I'll never forget reading this, and it put me on a bad path for a long time during my teenage years when all I w..."

Hahahahha I don’t exactly know the Fabio reference but I checked Shanna, and I can guess,.

Now murder or horror is a genre that I can never, ever, in a million years see myself even trying to read. I mean I accidentally almost read one once. But never ever again.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 43 comments Fabio was a male cover model so famous he was featured in TV ads for "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter."


message 21: by Gogol (new)

Gogol | 110 comments Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Fabio was a male cover model so famous he was featured in TV ads for "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.""

Ahahhahahahha i checked it right now and I can’t stop laughing.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship (emmadeploresgoodreadscensorship) | 103 comments Mod
Apparently, his career ended when an unfortunate accident with a bird on a roller coaster ruined his looks.


message 23: by Gogol (new)

Gogol | 110 comments Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship wrote: "Apparently, his career ended when an unfortunate accident with a bird on a roller coaster ruined his looks."

I’m sorry to hear it. He reminds me of the actor in the old series with Jane Seymour, where she was a doctor. I don’t remember the name.


message 24: by Ange H (new)

Ange H | 47 comments Hey Emma, I didn’t realize I had derailed your thread with this Fabio tangent. 😝

But since the train has left the station, I’ll quote a message board I used to belong to where we would always say, “This thread is useless without pictures.”

So here is one of Fabio’s 466 book covers, in all its cheesy 1980s glory:




Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship (emmadeploresgoodreadscensorship) | 103 comments Mod
Don’t be sorry! Fabio is totally book-related. (I actually know someone named Fabio and it’s super weird to use his name because it has become such a byword for over-the-top sexiness.)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 43 comments I also think of Survivor: Nicaragua. The winner's nickname was Fabio. He was a long-haired surfer dude.


message 27: by Mahoghani 23 (new)

Mahoghani 23 (mahoghani23) Im not a fan of fantasy/paranormal but two authors have challenged my resolve.

1. First Grave on the Right/ Darynda Jones First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) by Darynda Jones

2. The House on Tradd Street / Karen White The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #1) by Karen White


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