Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Favorite Genre

Since we're all big readers and/or writers, I was wondering what everyone's favorite genre is. What do you like reading best, and if you're a writer, what do you like writing best? I like reading fantasy, science fiction, and mysteries. I think they're all good, but it does depend on my mood. I like how fantasy and science fiction can take you into another world.  Authors who have obviously spent a lot of time world-building have my complete respect. And I love mysteries, especially if they can surprise me. Some of my favorite authors, listed in no particular order, are J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie, and Mercedes Lackey.  I don't have a favorite genre to write. I like to explore different genres with my writing. I used to write a lot of fantasy. (It was mostly urban fantasy. I have tried to come up with my own epic fantasy world. It needs work.)

So, discuss: Why are your favorite genres your favorites? Do any of you like the sort of action/adventure books like what Dr. Thomas wrote with Butterfly Kisses? Looking forward to any of the books we are reading because it is your favorite genre? I am looking forward to Anne Hillerman's book. I thought it was coming out sooner and was disappointed to realize I got the release date wrong.


  1. My favorite genres would have to be science fiction and romance. I think reading allows us to enter a different world that we would otherwise not be able to know. For me, the idea of living in the future with futuristic gadgets is very appealing. I have read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card because of this about four different times. The idea of fighting off aliens to save humanity with extraordinary battle ships is very fun to think about.

    Romances, specifically those set in 18th and 19th century Europe are must reads, I think. Has anyone read Jane Austin’s novels, specifically Pride and Prejudice? Well I highly recommend them. After I read novels like that, where the women are the main characters and aren’t given a passive attitude, it always leaves me feeling a little brave but also upset that I am not as witty when it comes to the opposite sex. Maybe that’s why it is so fun to read about these women that stand up to men.

    I guess what I am saying is that for me, anything that is fiction is fun to read. There is nothing that compares to sitting outside near a tree, especially down by the Rio Grande and the botanic garden, and enjoy a good novel while eating an apple. Ah heaven!

  2. My favorite genres are urban fantasy, mysteries, and thrillers. I enjoy stories that focus on nitty gritty aspects of urban life (even the bits that you love), like most hardboiled fiction. Setting becomes a character of its own in these (and most well-written) stories, which I've been trying to incorporate into my own writing. My favorite urban fantasy novels include Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" and Daniel O'Malley's new book "The Rook." I like the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and I'm sort of drawn to collaborative projects of all kinds.

    The major exception to my tastes is Terry Pratchett. I've read all of his Watch series for Discworld, as well as those for Moist von Lipwig; his satire, world building, and ability to mix humor with drama keep me interested in almost every book of his I read.

    Karla, I haven't read the original Pride & Prejudice yet, but I watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube as they came out. That was a lot of fun, which I found surprising as I don't generally like romance stories.

    Does anyone have good recommendations for any of the genres we've mentioned so far? I like having a good book waiting for me when I finish my current one.

  3. I also enjoy mostly science fiction and fantasy. I also like romance, but not just strait romance novels. I like when a fantasy or science fiction book incorporates some romance. My favorite all-time series is the Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. It is a fantasy book, but throughout the series the two main characters meet, fall in love, and get married (with MANY bumps in the road).
    I also tend to avoid single books and go for the long series because I really really hate endings. I have about 7 or 8 books series that I have not finished simply because I refuse. (As long as I am not done with a series, I won’t be heartbroken…right??) This had included Harry Potter for a while. I bought the 7th book the day it came out, but I didn’t read it until the week before part one of the 7th movie came out, and that is only because I have a strict rule about reading the book before I see a movie based on a book.
    As far as what I like to write, I think I’m all over the place. I’ve written some romance, some fantasy, and some horror/suspense. I would have to say almost everything I write has a “twist” of some sort. For instance, last semester I wrote a story for an honors class that was all about Robin Hood. We had to do a final creative project and so I wrote a short story about Robin Hood, but it was from the Sherriff of Nottingham’s perspective and Robin had stolen the love of his life, Maid Marian.

  4. "Hard" sci-fi is my genre of choice, though I'm happy reading anything that I can tell the author put a good deal of thought into. When a writer works hard to build a world, plot, or character cast, I like to think that it shows, and I want to encourage it. Different authors in different genres have different areas of expertise, so at times it's less a matter of genre than a matter of how the author's effort and enthusiasm manifest in their writing.

    Fantastic speculation about the future of humanity is what interests me most. The topic can get me going like a crazy person, so finding an excellent author who shares that interest makes for my ideal reading experience. Nothing satisfies me more than an author willing to take on the scientific aspects of the worlds and plots they build; even if their explanations fall apart under scrutiny, I'm happy to suspend my disbelief knowing the spaceships aren't fueled entirely by magic and necessity.

    Karla, Pride and Prejudice is one of the few books I've chosen to read more than once! Jane Austen was a staggeringly talented writer--strong enough to draw me into a genre that otherwise can't be farther outside my interest. The quality of her writing allows her stories to reach beyond their target audience.

  5. My favorite genres would have to be fantasy, and horror, specifically zombie novels. I've read novels of all genres, but those two seem to be the ones I lean towards more. It's funny that Dr. Thomas would mention "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" in his presentation, because I'm halfway through it, and it's a really great suspense/mystery read, I recommend it to anyone looking for something a little bit more concrete and satisfying than "Butterfly Kisses". And as for zombie stories, the plot is almost always the same - the end of the world, a sole group of survivors team together to (that's right, you guessed it!) survive. All the while, very bad, and usually very gory things happen to a number of people here and there. But, what distinguishes one author from another is if they have taken the time to re-introduce the plot, create characters you can emotionally relate to, and tell a story that doesn't seem redundant at all. Plus, there's usually an "Uncle Joe" type character in the story somewhere. What captivates me most is the idea that zombies have nothing to lose; they will stop at nothing to simply consume any and all humans in their wake. I'm not sure how else to describe, but just thinking of that is both intriguing and daunting to me.

    Books that I would count as "great reads", outside of the typical fantasy or horror genres, would have to be Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451", John Grisham's "A Painted House", and Daniel Levitin's "This Is Your Brain on Music". Those are just examples of titles that range from Sci-Fi, to drama, to scientific (narrative?).

    I would say that it's not so much the genre that I look for when looking for a new book to read, but rather the plot of the story. There are so many plots out there that seem regurgitated (to me, at least.) If I begin reading a book where the author clearly knows how to develop their characters and plot, I will read it, not because I'm forced to or because it's supposed to be a good book, but simply because I can't put it down, or if I do, I can't stop thinking about it. If I had to be completely and utterly honest to the class, is that I had to force myself to read "Butterfly Kisses", and though I found the story enjoyable during some parts of the plot, it's a book I would have probably never finished it (sorry!).

  6. My favorite genres would be fantasy and romance. Fantasy or reading in general gives us an escape from this world and lets us get lost in another one.

    I have read Pride and Prejudice and really enjoyed it. I like almost all of Jane Austen's novels and like how her main characters are strong women and have wit and manage to make their own fate. Karla if you liked Pride and Prejudice I would recommend if you haven't read it already Emma. It's another novel by Austen.

    I also like those books that really get you involved. This can be any genre, but it is one of those books where you just get frustrated with the characters in the book. An example that comes to mind is The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Ever time I read that play I just get so mad at the characters, and even though I know what is going to happen I still wish I can change it.

  7. My favorite genres would have to be Fantasy, Fiction, and Romance. I am not a huge fan of nonfiction but on occasion it can be pretty interesting, especially journals.

    The one thing I love about Fantasy, what a lot of people have said before, is the ability to enter an entire different world and live and/or watch the life of a person in that world. Fantasy is perhaps one of the most creative of writing styles to me. I enjoy reading the inter workings of another's mind. One of my favorite Fantasy novels would be the Inheritance cycle, Lord of The Rings, and Inkheart.

    For fiction, it is a very large spectrum of books. But some books that are my favorite fiction pieces would be Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Paper Towns, and Perks of Being a Wallflower. The one thing I found amazing about these books is that they were not overly cliché and they were extremely relatable, and more realistic than most while still carrying on a proper enthralling storyline.

    Last but not least, romance. I like romance just as much as the next girl. And yes, I am a sucker for cheesy story lines. But when it comes down to it I prefer books with deeper plots and drawn out tragedy.


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