Thursday, April 29, 2010

Plain vanilla fiction

btt button

From this day forward, you may only read ONE type of book–one genre–period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business … you can choose, but you only get ONE.

I don't know if this is cheating, but I would go for contemporary fiction - not historical novels, not romance, not mystery, not sci-fi - just plain vanilla new fiction in English. The advantage of that is a variety of subject matter and prose styles that would change over time, as styles and themes reflect the time and place of which they are a part and the writing going on around it. Just looking at a few examples of the contemporary fiction that I have read so far this year - The Magicians, Authenticity, In the Beginning, and The Unnamed - there is such richness of subject matter, setting, and prose style. In fact, I might even be willing to restrict myself to reading fiction that came out in the year in which I was reading it, allowing that I could carry over the book I'm in the middle of reading on December 31 but that I hadn't finished yet. But I'd rather not, reading for me is an exercise in indulging my intellectual and experiential fancy, not restricting myself.

11 comments:

Ewa Munchkin said...

I agree about the non-restricting-yourself part. Often I start a book (especially a classic) and realise it's not the right time for me to read it, so I set it for later (a year? three? twenty?) to avoid 'spoiling it'.

you can find my answer here:

http://ewamunchkin.blogspot.com/2010/04/yellows.html

Sa Toya said...

Clever! I wish I thought of that...I know what you mean I love reading but I prefer reading challenging books...not all the time though. I love YA but some can be just a tad too juvenile.

Lynda said...

It would be impossible to read just one type of book - but my answer is here:http://lyndasbookblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/booking-through-thursday-restrictions.html

Wanda said...

I'll have a scoop of that, please!

My BTT is here.

nashvillebookworm said...

I like your loophole. :)

I have to admit that I would be hard pressed to choose. I love all kinds of books.

Rose City Reader said...

Glad I found your blog!

Here is my BTT answer on Rose City Reader.

Carina said...

Hah! At least I'm not the only one who thought of an all-encompassing genre like that. My post is here.

Nithin said...

That's a smart plan! I couldn't really come up with a genre that I could pick... it's too difficult a question. I might have picked mystery or sci-fi, but there are so many great books in every genre that it's impossible to think of not reading those genres again.

Matt said...

Contemporary fiction is just fine. My thought is that some of these titles will end up being classics in the future. I totally agree on prose style and subject matter.

C.B. James said...

I made just about the same choice--contemporary classics. I'd want to be sure I had good material to read, but I also value having books that speak directly to my own life and times.

Ted said...

It has been interesting to compare everyone's essentials - a lovely variety of answers!