I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Favorite Book in Each Genre (Part 1)

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In keeping with my habit of ranking things in my head, I was recently thinking about the books that are my very favorite examples of each genre (each genre that I like to read that is).  And I was thinking why those books appeal to me so much.  After having made my mental decisions, I had to make sure I wrote them down somewhere lest I forget!  It could so easily change in the future.  So here are my favorite books in each genre - right now.  Part 2 next week will be my favorites in YA.

Why I picked Confessions of a Conjuror:
I generally read biographies only if I really love the person it's about.  And Derren Brown is a person I love.  What makes this biography stand out for me though, is in how his sense of humor is integrated into the story, and in how eclectically he tells his story - weaving in his personal thoughts on several issues, and some history and philosophy and magic tricks.  It made for a delightful read.

Why I picked Jane Eyre:
Classic Lit novels are always good.  That's why they are Classics.  But for a Classic novel to really grab me, they have to fundamentally change me.  Jane Eyre is a book that has done that in many ways.  Most importantly in how I viewed the importance of independence and self-respect as a teen.  It was very eye-opening.  I can't imagine this will ever change as my favorite Classic and favorite book.

Why I picked Austenland:
I'm conflating 'chick lit'/romance with contemporary here, because in those categories there is only one favorite and it has to be Austenland.  Contemporary isn't generally a genre I go for, but with the historical aspect in Austenland, along with the romance and humor, I couldn't help but absolutely love this book.  I go for happy books - especially if they will become favorites - and this is such a sweet, romantic and light-hearted read.  And I identified so completely with the heroine!

Why I picked Traitor's Blade:
For the longest time my favorite fantasy read was the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, but Traitor's Blade just hit me over the head with it's awesomeness.  Both series has a strong sense of morality and justice which I love, but Traitor's Blade wins out for the sheer fun and humor of the protagonist Falcio, despite how bad things can get.  And for how deeply touching some of the scenes are.  Fantasy works best for me when I can identify with the struggle and Falcio's fight for justice is so inspiring and something everyone should be fighting for.

Why I picked Blackmoore:
This was another hard decision, because there was a time I would have picked Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, but Blackmoore has a much sweeter and gentler tone and ultimately has a romance and setting I find more appealing (but just by the slightest margin).  The story has an unbearable romantic tension throughout too, with the main characters taking forever and a day to declare their feelings for each other and it's altogether a lovely, achingly romantic read.

Why I picked And Then There Were None:
Agatha Christie is my favorite mystery writer, so there was no contest there - the only trouble I had was picking this or my favorite Poirot novel.  But ultimately I had to go for the first Christie I read, and arguably the most inventive Christie mystery - it's a locked room (locked island)/character study/countdown tour de force.  It has ALL the markings of a great mystery with some major twists and brilliant red herrings.

Why I picked: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
There is a common thread with most of my favorite genre picks - I like humor in my books.  And this is the funniest book on my list.  There is something about the kind of humor in this book that highlights the foibles of humanity and how it persists into the universe and makes even the extraordinary into something relatable and human.  And very silly.  Hitchhiker's Guide was such a different kind of sci-fi read for me, and that made it the most memorable.

Can you pick one favorite book in each genre?  Are some genres harder for you to choose than others?

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