A while ago, I interviewed my readers for a change, and my final question was, “What question have I NOT asked at BTT that you’d love me to ask?” I got some great responses and will be picking out some of the questions from time to time to ask the rest of you. Like now.
Amy and Sarah both asked about genres:
Name a book you love in a genre you normally don’t care for. What made you decide to read it? Did it make you want to try more in that genre?
While I read a lot of fiction from a lot of different genres, I will admit that I generally steer clear of some of the contemporary Christian fiction on the market. Part of this is that I believe that novels, short stories or music in this arena should be read or listened to not out of guilt, but out of merit. The books should be held to the same standards as any other professionally published work.
Unfortunately, a lot of what rises to the top of the best-seller list in this arena isn’t always the best-written fiction out there. This is especially true when it comes to the Left Behind novels, which I think are poorly written novels that don’t necessarily accurately reflect what’s in the Book of Revelation. After reading two and a half of them with increasing frustration, I decided my time would be better spent reading and studying the actual Biblical text itself and not having it interpreted for me in a fictional allegory.
That said, in the arena of Christian fiction there is an author who stands out–Robert Whitlow. I picked up one of his legal thrillers years ago and was struck by how well written it was, how authentic the characters were and how compelling the stories could be. Some of his books are among my favorites (and there have been a few I didn’t care as much for, but that’s the way it is with all authors) and I find myself looking forward to each new novel from Whitlow. If you haven’t read him, I highly recommend starting with The List. A great book that didn’t translate well as a movie.
Bookish Sarah asks an interesting assortment of questions:
What genre do you avoid reading and why?
I’d have to say romance novels is the genre I avoid most. I don’t begrudge anyone enjoying them because I have my own love of genre tie-in novels from the Star Trek or Doctor Who universes. But if I’m in the bookstore or library, I don’t seek out romance novels. Or let me clarify and say I don’t seek out bodice-ripper romance novels. (Though on some level, it is amusing to see the various euphemisms used in the love scenes. You gotta love any book that can use the phrase “love muffin”).