Thanks to Boats against the Current who helped out with some blogging prompts! I’m going to try out a couple of these suggestions and see where they take me.
This time, I will talk about the Genres I don’t read. Hopefully you’ll know I have a review policy, which has been built up over the time I’ve been blogging. I know it looks pretty big and scary but it’s been built on, often as a reaction to a review pitch where my instinctive response has first been “no!” and then “err, why?”.
I am not a fan of Christian (or generally religious) Fiction. I have read enough of them to know to avoid. One or two have almost changed my mind, but they are outweighed by the ones that have put me off. I don’t like it for the same reason I avoid evangelical Christians……simply far far too earnest and desperate to make me exactly the same as them (or that i’m somehow inferior/unworthy if I resist). There are a couple of books where I’ve come away feeling hit around the head with a brick. “I am going to tell you why my life is better than yours, why I am a better person than you and all you have to do is exactly what I tell you too, and then you will feel exactly the same way I do”. I am a practical person, and much prefer the “show, don’t tell” way of things: TELLING me means nothing – SHOW me how good a person your religion has made you in both thought and deed; what joy, compassion and goodwill your religion has brought and how, when the going gets tough, your religion brings you peace and strength. Problems with organised religion much? moi? haha!
I’ve always had a problem with poetry, ever since I was in school. If I did read the “fun” stuff as a kid, I don’t remember. There was the Owl and the Pussycat I suppose, but that was offset by also reading The Illiad, Wordsworth and Coleridge by the time I was in my early teens – and having to learn The Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan by rote at the same time. Guess what – I had a Classics education – sue me.
Therefore I’ve never had much enjoyment out of poetry, and certainly wish there had been more of the less prescriptive stuff – I never studied Shakespeare’s sonnets for example, or spent much time on The Jabberwocky. The only “poem” I’ve chosen to learn of my own accord is “The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things” from Alice in Wonderland (and even then I remember it imperfectly!).
Kubla Khan does provide a useful word in “Xanadu” – great in Scrabble, and also in the “name cities beginning with each letter of the alphabet”!
I’ve been reading and writing non fiction texts throughout my working career and have found that my ability to write fiction has suffered accordingly. I tend to find that non-fiction writers tend to be rather dry and a little too factual (which seems to clash with the comment above eh?). Given the choice of reading a straight Tudor History non-fiction book or the same period covered by a fiction book, I would take the fiction book any time, even knowing that a good percentage of the book is likely to be poetic licence. I have learnt more from reading Philipa Gregory et al than I ever did in History class at school. Though I wish I had a show similar to Horrible Histories when I was a child, as I find they can get the same (or even more) information over in a silly 2 minute song, that from a dry delivery in front of a blackboard. All down to delivery eh?
Ok, not a genre per-se, more a style. I have a number of collections on my kindle, from authors I really enjoy, but have yet to get further than a couple of stories. It’s a style I struggle with – I appreciate the work that has gone into telling a story and creating a world in so few words, but….it’s just hard work you know? Considering the amount of commuting I do you would think these would be ideal but apparently no.
So what about you? are there any genres you avoid?