Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.
And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
What books have intimidated you in the past & what (if anything) made you read them or deterred you from trying?
This is a multi-part question, and I meant it to be that way because I think all of these things go hand-in-hand with one another. There are so many books out there on the shelves these days, it's an impossibility to even consider trying to read them all. So, instead, we find what works for us and what doesn't, and we develop our own relationship with reading and reviewing books. In most cases, this works beautifully. In some cases, however, I know that my preconceived notions have deterred me from reading incredible books.
Take, for example, Raw Blue. From day one of my blog, I made it pretty darn clear to all my followers that contemporary fiction was not my thing. I was firmly under the impression that all contemps were trite, cliche and riddled with stupid romance that is neither realistic, nor in any way beneficial to me as a reader. So, I adamantly stuck to my guns for over a year, and swore off contemps like the plague. Guys, it's not that I hadn't seen absolutely glowing reviews for this book because, trust me, I did. However, I was so stuck in this rut of bad representations of a really strong genre that I couldn't see past it.
It actually took an invitation to a blog tour of this Australian gem for me to actually give it a go. I trusted the blogger who invited me, and I knew that she wouldn't have misled me about the quality of the novel. And, for the record, I was probably the most pleasantly surprised that I've ever been. This book is up there with my favourites of all time. It's meaingful, it's powerful and Kirsty Eagar is a true genius. This one should be on ALL of your lists. Please trust me on this one.
I'm ashamed that I still have prejudices towards the genre to this day though. Would you believe I still haven't read Anna & the French Kiss? I read the second installment and found it cute and fun, but I'm too terrified to be the only person that doesn't like the book to actually give it a go. I know I should read it, but I've yet to find a reason to actually force myself. Would you believe I was late to the game with Harry Potter, and I didn't even read the first book until three books were out? I was convinced that it was a children's novel only, and that it was beneath me. My sister convinced me to at least try it, and I humbly ate my words. That series is genius. GENIUS, I say!
But, for the most part, if bloggers and reviewers I trust make a strong enough case for me to try a novel, I'm willing to give it a go. I think that, more often than not, it's my own internal literary prejudices that, sadly, deter me from reading some great books. It's a disease. I'm working on it. Le sigh.