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Topic: What Else Do You Read?

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Subject: What Else Do You Read?
Date Posted: 4/16/2009 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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The discussion here as been slow this week, and I'm bored.  Thought I'd start a new thread to see if we can get some action going around here!  LOL!

So, I have become a MAJOR HF buff since finding PBS and this forum. (Thanks, guys!!) I went through a phase of 5-6 years after I exhausted Anne Rice's books (she kept me enthralled for a few years) where I didn't read any fiction simply because I couldn't find anything that held my interest.  This place introduced me to HF, and I am so happy.

Just curious, though, what else do you HF lovers read when you're not reading HF?  What other genres do you enjoy?  Do you consider HF to be your main genre or do you primarily read something else?  Tell us about yourself beyond your love of HF!

Personally, HF is mainly what I read.  I do a fair amount of spiritual reading (love reading Christian, Hindu, Buddhhist texts and writings because regligions fascinate me), and I will sometimes read non-fiction books (mostly self-help type books on exercise, nutrition, meditation, etc.).  Once in awhile I will read other fiction.  Usually some current book that's causing a stir or something that speaks to me.  I loved Eat, Pray, Love and Breakfast With Buddha.  I just ordered The Shack because that got some buzz lately. I read Expecting Adam because my 6-year-old DD has Down Syndrome.  Other than those occasional books that pique my interest, though, I pretty much stay with HF. 

How 'bout you?

 

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I also read a lot of contemporary fiction, history, spiritual reading (I'm Orthodox Christian), a slight bit of cozy mysteries, and young adult fiction too.

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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I read mostly historical fiction but I do read contemporary,  some fantasy, and the occasional non-fiction (memior or history type book).  I love classics too and have a whole shelf full of them even though I only read one every once in awhile.

I tend to completely avoid romance, chick lit and paranormal.  Its just not my thing  :)

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I read memiors, true crime , history and some contemporary fiction.  I really like non-fiction about events, e.g. Issac's Storm, The Triangle Fire.  It's ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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Lately I've read mostly historical fiction because of all of the challenges and BOMs on this site.  But, I also like contemporary fiction and biographies.  I've got a bunch of new contemporary books on my TBR list that I'm going to switch over to when I finish the HF challenge.  I did a bunch of spiritual reading on Buddhism and Hinduism when I first started going to Asia, because everyone seemed so peaceful and I wanted to gain a better understanding of those religions. 

Holly - I also tend to avoid romance and chick lit.  Although when I first finished my MBA a few years ago I read a bunch of chick lit - it was like junk food for the mind after doing so much reading for school!

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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Historical fiction is absolutely my primary genre. In fact, Linda did an analysis of all our reading in 2008 and our number of books that were NOT HF was quite low ... Mom's considerably lower than mine. I think she only read 4 or 5 non-HF books during all of 2008.

When I'm not reading HF I also enjoy thriller/spy/crime novels. I *love* the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. And then some Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Stephen J. Cannell, David Baldacci, etc. I love the old Robert Ludlum thrillers and have found a few that are comparable, but titles/authors escape me at the moment.

I also like some contemporary, very light-weight, fast reads, i.e., the Janet Evanovich and Robert B. Parker series. They're good "in-between" type books; books that you can stick in your purse for a short week-end trip or to lug to doctor's offices.

I also enjoy books (women's fiction?) by authors such as Maeve Binchy, Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Alice Monroe, Deborah Smith, Anne Rivers Siddons, Barbara Delinsky, Cassandra King, etc.

But somehow, when I'm thinking about the next book I want to read, or am browsing my bookshelves to see what the TBR has to tempt me, I nearly always gravitate to another HF-book.

Great idea for a thread, Shelley ... and most interesting!

Kelly

 

 



Last Edited on: 4/16/09 9:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Historial Fiction Genre
Date Posted: 4/16/2009 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 31
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I have been reading HF for many, many years -- and it is my absolutely favorite genre -- Sharon Kay Penman, Phillipa Gregory, Margaret George, etc.  So very good.   But every once in a while I throw in a thriller/spy/crime novels -- I too really enjoy the Jack Reacher series by Lee Childs,  Lucas Davenport is a great character (the Prey series), and I love Vince Flynn and his Mitch Rapp character.  

I do read some classics now and then -- all of Jane Austin, Jane Eyre, Rebecca -- wonderful reads.  

But I always go back to HF -- I really enjoy the Civil War era as well as medieval England & Victorian England.  

I have found a wonderful Australian author, Bryce Courtenay who I think is fantastic.  If you haven't read "Power of One" I highly recommend it.  I just finished "The Persimmon Tree" --a sweeping saga about Japanese invasion of Java and the Dutch exodus of the region. The story spans from 1942 and the fall of Singapore and the American landings at Guadalcanal to the ongoing fight against the Japanese for supremacy in the region, and follows the fortunes of a colourful cast of characters.   His books are hard to find since he is out of Australia.  

So many good books -- and never enough time to read.   My TBR stack fills my spare bedroom!!!   I can't wait to retire from work.

Diane

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/25/2005
Posts: 1,413
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Other than historical Fiction,  I also read:   Cozy mysteries, the classics, autobiographies, weather related and  some borderline chick lits.

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Thanks for the responses!  Interesting stuff.  Okay, a couple of people have mentioned them, what are "cozy mysteries?"

Date Posted: 4/17/2009 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Cozies are mysteries that are much lighter in tone, with little to no "on stage" violence or sex.   The main character is supposed to be an amateur detective - not a real one.  Most cozy mysteries are written in series and have themes or a common setting and characters (such as cats, dogs, needlework, tea, a coffee shop, a flower shop, etc. etc).   So reading a cozy is as much about the characters and character development as about the mystery.

Now - back to the OP's question:   I'm a VERY eclectic reader.   I read everything from classics that require Cliff Notes to Harlequin romances.  It's a little hard to tell, but I have would to say that Mysteries are my main genre, not historical fiction.   I read all types of mysteries - and obviously enjoy historical mysteries very much as that combines the two genres. 



Last Edited on: 4/17/09 9:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/17/2009 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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And then some Michael Connelly

I LOVE Michael Connelly!  I think he is one of the few I read in this genre.  I prefer his Harry Bosch novels ones featuring other characters but I just finished Void Moon the other day and it was ok.

I have found a wonderful Australian author, Bryce Courtenay who I think is fantastic.  If you haven't read "Power of One" I highly recommend it.

I just added Power of One to my WL a couple of weeks ago.  I sometimes use histfiction.net Top 100 list to plump up my WL and this one is currently #14 on there :)

Date Posted: 4/17/2009 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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HF is a fairly new genre for me unless you count a few mysteries.  I've been reading the Didus Falco series by Lindsey Davis for years.

I've also been reading for years so I've read a lot of things in the past but it's been mostly mysteries - or so I say.  I just finished "Death of a Cozy Writer" which was excellent.  Why on earth did it have discussion questions?  Is Oprah everywhere now?  I took DD's advice and ignored them.

Prior book was "The Kid" by Dan Savage.  Current is "Light House" by William Monahan. 

And I also started what I think is one of those "cozy" mystery series with a main character named Fifi Cutter (author Gwen Freeman).  I think I may be too old for this one but I just started it.  A lot of these seem to verge on chick lit to me now.   Somehow incompetent doesn't really seem cute which seems to be a recurring theme in many of these series.

Audio, I finished "The Moonstone" and am listening to "The Prisoner of Zenda."  So, yeah, I just read mysteries.  I'll get back to the HF shortly.

Amy
Date Posted: 4/17/2009 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I'll stop lurking now..

When I'm not reading HF, I am reading SF or Fantasy.

Date Posted: 4/18/2009 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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For me, the list of what I don't read would probably be shorter, LOL. In addition to HF, I read a lot of mysteries, especially cozys, chick lit, classics (especially Jane Austen),  the occaisional light romance or paranormal, political biographies, women's history and the history of particular groups (like the Irish in Chicago) or of particular areas (mainly the Great Lakes region). Oh, and some YA periodically.

The only things I tend to avoid are books Oprah recommends (we seem to have opposite tastes)and ,umm...,  'graphic' romances. 

Date Posted: 4/18/2009 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I ditched the Fifi Cutter book already.  Maybe it is an okay series but I've decided that a light 'cozy' really shouldn't require the 50-page rule to capture your interest.  I made it over 30 and it hadn't done the trick.  I may get annoyed by the end of my next book but he hooked me by page 2.

I would really like to find a lighter series that I could enjoy. 

redwingsgal,

LOL, I have tried to look upon Oprah as doing me a public service by choosing all those books I'd never want to read.  I think it is the lack of humor for one thing.

Date Posted: 4/18/2009 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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 I have tried to look upon Oprah as doing me a public service by choosing all those books I'd never want to read.  I think it is the lack of humor for one thing.

:) Thank goodness there's someone else out there who's not enraptured with Oprah's book recommendations! Around here, it's considered a form of blasphemy. I agree, they seem to be well-written but a little bland.

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,069
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I read several different genres beside HF--- Christian fiction and nonfiction, autobiographies, true crime, romances, mysteries, paranormal, humor, and an occasional horror etc.

I agree with the previous posters about the Oprah picks. I find most of hers  not only bland and boring but depressing as well.

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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I've become a lot more interested in HF lately than I have been for a while. I guess my interests go in waves. Anyway, I also enjoy reading mysteries, fantasy, non-fiction historical, classics, and an occasional thriller.



Last Edited on: 4/19/09 4:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Although, I should admit that some of my favorite books have been chosen by Oprah later, and it usually makes me spitting mad, because now they are contaminated in my mind :)  "Midwives" and "Poisonwood Bible" come to mind.  And, I also really enjoyed "East of Eden" and "Anna Karenina"

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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Mimi - same here, I have some faves that were Oprah picks, which makes me mad!  :-)  A Fine Balance is one of my all time favorites, and unfortunately an Oprah selection!  Her picks do all tend to be a bit dark, though.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 11:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I'm a very eclectic reader also. Other primary genres are mystery/thrillers and fantasy, some paranormals, some speculative fiction, some general fiction and classics. Occasionally I will read some nonfiction which is likely to either be something related to history, to various pagan belief systems or something similar. Oh, and trivia books I enjoy too.  I read a fair bit of historical fiction but to be honest I mostly prefer historical mysteries, which combine two of my favorite genres.

What I don't read is much simpler: romance, self-help, and most chick lit and most westerns.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,456
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Must be something about the name, Cheryl!  I am a very eclectic reader as well.  H/F is certainly my first and major love, but I also enjoy some fantasy series, detective novels (lately especially historical mysteries).  I like to read biographies or straight history, but I have to be in the mood for those and tend to pick away at them over a period of time rather than read them straight through.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I will read anything. I mean it.

 

That said, I am hopelessly addicted to HF, have been since I was a teenager. My mother's legacy, it's all her fault---think early Kathleen Woodiwiss, etc. I love current fiction, current non-fiction, spiritual, history, religion (and history and religion together are another genre I adore), some mysteries and crime and true crime--I read very quickly and am always looking for new 'input' as my husband calls it--magazines (In Style, Elle, The Economist--reconcile those!)---just about the only things I won't want to pick up are heavy duty military history (battles are fine, machinery and war strategy not so much) and horror. I also don't love sci-fi and fantasy--I'll read one occasionally but they don't do it for me.  I will also read in other languages--I often find the words in an original language vary greatly depending on the quality of a translator and I adore comparing.

I, too, avoid like the plague anything that Oprah recommends--it didn't used to be so, her early picks were good, unsung gems, but not in the last few years.  Bet she's delegated it and the original picks were here but now it's her minions who are recommending.  But, I agree w/ Michelle, A Fine Balance is a truly gemlike novel and one of my all time faves as well--diminished by its selection as an Oprah's Pick.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2008
Posts: 456
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I will read anything. I mean it.

 

Colleen- I agree with that statement! 

My reading interests tend to ebb and flow, which historical fiction being my primary genre.  I also enjoy biographies/ memoirs, young adult fiction (I teach middle school so I'll read some things that they talk about), some sci-fi (but not as much as I used to).  I also LOVE reading non-fiction history books, but I really have to be in the mood to read those (I agree with what Cheryl M. said about needing to "pick away at them over a period of time").