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Do you read anything else besides fantasy?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Endymion, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Endymion

    Endymion Troubadour

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    I know this is a fantasy writing community,
    but I would like to know (don't know why) if you people read anything else besides fantasy.
    Maybe it is because deep inside I still respect other genres more than fantasy because
    As I already wrote, I really haven't read to many good fantasy books.
    So yeah, I really want to get to know your interests and I thought this is a good way to get to know you a bit better.
    I enjoy many different genres. Here is a list of my favorite books with different genres:
    - The count of Monte Christo (probably ever single one of you have read it)
    - Vij (Written by Gogol, a Ukrainian writer. Horror story. Am not sure if it has ever been translated to english)
    - Two captains (A. Pibakov, a russian writer, not sure if it has been translated to english either. This is my absolutely favorite book)
    - Jeeves and Wooster (P.G Wodehouse, humorous, comedic books. Lovable)
    - Lord of the rings (...)
    - Purge ( Sofi Oksanen, a finnish writer. The book is terribly gritty and violent, but awesome anyways)
    - Strange House (am not sure if it was the books name, Agatha Christie)
    - Headless horseman (Mayne raid)
    - Dead souls (again Gogol. Not fantasy)
     
  2. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

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    Yes, some Sci-Fi, true crime, historical fiction and also non fiction, 19th Century horror, classic- Monte Christo, Wuthering Heights, Les Mis etc.

    I do not generally like trashy romance, modern horror or biographies. Although I did read Peter Falk's "Just one more thing" and that was very good.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I'll read anything. Science fiction, thriller, horror, crime thriller, historical fiction, YA, classic literature, western, whatever. So long as it is well written.
     
  4. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    I also read historical fiction. In fact the book I'm reading at the moment is Patrick O'Brien's The Mauritius Command. I found HMS Surprise a little slow and actually never finished it, but I'm enjoying Mauritius Command more. They're quite slow paced, but O'Brien had masterful grasp of his characters' personalities, which I'm finding enlightening. I made my way thorugh a lot of the Sharpe books before giving up when they started getting samey, and have read some historical fictions about the Romans in Britain too, notably Eagle of the Ninth.

    I've read thrillers too, mostly by Joanne Harris. A lot of them have historical settings but I wouldn't class them historical fiction. My favourite is Gentlemen and Players.

    Mostly what I read is non-fiction though. One I'm part-way through is A History of God by Karen Armstrong. I've also recently purchased In the Shadow of the Sword by Tom Holland which is next on my reading list. There was one I read last year called the Suspicions of Mr Whicher which was very well written, a fascinating look at a murder in 1860 which led to the profession of police detective being established. And for my ancient history articles I read an awful lot of books and articles about ancient history topics. Currently working my way thorugh books about ancient Argos.
     
  5. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    Same as Steerpike, I read anything, as long as it's well written. All I need is a recommendation - and it helps if I've already established similar reading habits as whoever is recommending.

    Though I also review books for publishers. Generally I get to pick which books I review, but at times they send books to me at random. So my reading tastes are varied. Fantasy just happens to be my favourite.
     
  6. deilaitha

    deilaitha Sage

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    I agree with you on this. Romance novels, trashy or not, are not my thing. Sometimes I feel like some of the books in the fantasy section are just trashy romance under the guise of fantasy. I've never been a huge fan of horror, either--but I will read about anything and love it if it is well written. I generally read based on recommendation from friends.

    Besides SF/Fantasy, I enjoy the classics, poetry (I love poetry and have published a few poems in college journals. I was always really inspired by my step grandfather who wrote poetry), young adult, even kid's books (oh Roald Dahl how I love you) historical fiction, and so on. I've never much enjoyed westerns but I don't disrespect the genre.

    I like to read. I think a fantasy writer who only reads other fantasy novels severely handicaps themselves--there is a world of inspiration out there. Besides, I have heard that "realism" is a lamp and "fantasy" is a mirror--realism illuminates the world and fantasy helps us to see who we truly are. If you don't have light, though, a mirror will do you no good.
     
  7. Jess A

    Jess A Archmage

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    I read a lot of various fiction genres. Depends on my mood. Sometimes I am too sick of fantasy to read it so I will pick up a historical fiction novel or crime thriller or classic instead.

    I also read a lot of non-fiction. Magazines (science, Nat Geo, travel, history), history books, natural sciences stuff, journalism and other research...list goes on. I have a nice collection of non-fic stuff that contributes to my books or my journalism - or just general interest. That's not to say I've had the time to go through them all. Or the fiction I've collected either.
     
  8. Mostly fantasy and SF. Occasionally something else, but I'm spending most of my time writing rather than reading ;)
     
  9. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Science Fiction, occasional pseudo-historical stuff (think Count of Monte Cristo), comedic writing, and every now and then collections by people I think are especially interesting or insightful. Currently reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius in that vein, and intend to get a collection of writings by Thomas Paine fairly soon.
     
  10. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I mostly read SF and Fantasy, but I'll dip into contemporary, horror, pretty much anything that's good. I think it's self-limiting for a writer to read only one genre. There's so much one can learn from exploring outside your personal boundaries.
     
  11. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    I'll read science fiction and history (mainly WW II or US Civil War), but if something is recommended and pretty good, I'll give it a shot.
     
  12. dragonangel517

    dragonangel517 Scribe

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    I will read most anything, with the exception of true crime. At the bottom of my list is historical fiction(unless it it romance) westerns, and espionage. I love a good spy movie-Bourne is a good example-- but can't get into reading a book in that genre.

    I am one of those crazy people who like mash up genres. I like romance in any genre, doesn't have to be the main thrust of the story, but I like it to be there. Back when I was alternating between reading historical romance and fantasy, I kept wondering why I couldn't have my cake and eat it too. This was before the wave of Urban Fantasy hit. I loved the WoT books at the start, but then I kept waiting for the main characters to start acting like adults. Didn't happen before I gave up. I think I might have finished book 5 before I moved on.

    That's kind of what pushed me into writing seriously. I wanted an adult, gritty, sexy fantasy, where the men weren't either assholes or too good to be true, and the women weren't perfect virgins or so kick ass they scared all the men away.

    I have a TBR stack that reaches the moon, so I will never run out of things to read in my favorite genres. Lots of fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery and a few SF. To me hard SF is better on the screen than in the hand.

    Oh, I also read comics on occasion. Big Witchblade fan before Marc Silvestri and Michael Turner jumped ship. The Darkness too. If I could have my way, those two would make my WIP into a comic.Hey, a girl can dream can't she?
     
  13. Claire

    Claire Scribe

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    I have gone through phases where I've been interested in reading different things. But, as others have said, I'll read just about anything if it is well written (hence, I get into it). Also not a huge fan of romance or modern horror. I'm a sucker for a love story within a novel, but the trashy romance bit isn't really my thing. Maybe I blush too easily ;).

    I've always loved fantasy, but I've also read a lot of sci-fi, plenty of "in the real world" type fiction (some good, some not so much), and I've recently begun delving back into a lot of classics and enjoying them in a whole new way - Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters, etc. I have a big list of classic literature that I want to read over the next few years. I've read some good historical fiction, but it's been a while. I'm finding that branching out and reading other genres is really helping improve my craft and giving me fresh ideas. I love to see how other writers tell their stories.
     
  14. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

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    I loved reading Beowulf in High School and it really got me into more classical works like the Iliad, Divine Comendy, and more.

    I love sci-fi too. Warhammer 40K is probably my favorite thing to read about. Love the Horus Heresy series.

    Also a fan of Manga. I remember when I read DeathNote back when it wasn't mainstream popular. Dragonball Z, Yu-Yu-Hakusho, Inuyasha, Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo etc.
     
  15. yachtcaptcolby

    yachtcaptcolby Minstrel

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    I'll read pretty much anyone someone recommends to me. Recently I read "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," which I thought was absolutely fantastic even though it was really depressing.
     
  16. Lawfire

    Lawfire Sage

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    I read a lot of nonfiction, as well as thrillers, historical fiction and some science fiction.
     
  17. Fnord

    Fnord Troubadour

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    Fantasy is about the only fiction I tend to read anymore. The vast bulk of my reading time is spent in nonfiction.
     
  18. Alva

    Alva Scribe

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    I study literature at the university (meaning: I "have to" read all kinds of genres), and although I'm not personally into romance or chick lit, I gladly digest any genre as long as the book itself is well written.

    Hmm. I realize this is your personal opinion but nonetheless your choice of words caught my attention. I feel that fantasy (and speculative fiction in general) deserves the same respect as any other genre. After all, it’s one of the oldest literary genres there is. Even realism – although so common nowadays - is a modern trend.

    To me, a work of fiction can be read as a work of fantasy even if it includes only a few fantastical elements. When picking up a book, I simply hope to achieve the feeling of novelty, unknown, intrigue and surprise. For instance I liked “The Lord of the Rings” but any more dwarves or elfs or dragons (or any other pre-existing races simply because of their fantastical features) tend to bore me.

    Fine speculative fiction I’ve read:
    - Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke)
    - Earthsea, Hainish Cycle, short stories (Ursula K. Le Guin)
    - Einstein’s Dreams (Alan Lightman)
    - Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (Jules Verne)
    - Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones)
    - The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch)
    - Orlando: The Biography (Virginia Woolf)

    Other fiction:
    - The Last Samurai (Helen DeWitt, not the movie)
    - The Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
    - Measuring the World (Daniel Kehlman)
    - The Catcher in the Rye (J. F. Salinger)

    Plus, since you share the same native tongue as I do, I also do recommend Johanna Sinisalo's "Not Before Sundown" (Finlandia Prize for literature 2003) even though it doesn't belong into my personal favourites.

    In any case I found your list interesting. I haven’t tried out Gogol yet but he’s definitely on my list. : ) And I've been meaning to read "Purge" for ages. Next I’m going to read Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore”, though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  19. Alva

    Alva Scribe

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    And I nearly forgot, I also enjoy reading all kinds of essays, causeries, plays, scientific texts, poetry...

    Eeva-Liisa Manner, for instance, is my favourite poet. Her poems can also be found translated into English.
     
  20. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    I will read just about anything really, though I tend to read lots of Sci-Fi and Fantasy more than anything else.
     
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