This post is part of a series on reading women 2019 hosted by Lonely Cryptid Media’s Narrative Designer, Dan Michael Fielding.
The reading women 2019 challenge has begun! We’re starting the year strong by reading something new to you: a book in a genre or subgenre you have never read before!
Even the most widely read of us have some genre we have avoided. It could be because it never occurred to you to read it or you were convinced you wouldn’t like it, but whatever the reason it’s time to break out of that box and grab a book that will help you declare, “I’ve read this now!”
My goals with reading a new genre are twofold: first, I want to be more widely read. It’s easy to get stuck in one genre (after all, every genre contains so very many books to read!) and forget that there are other ways to use words and ideas. By reading outside my main genres (science fiction and fantasy) I’m hoping to get a new perspective on the world.
Second, most of the genres I’ve never read have been subconsciously declared “off limits” because I believe that I don’t like them. Somewhere along the line I got the idea in my head that each of these genres would not be enjoyable to read—an interesting statement considering I’ve never actually read any of them!
To meet this prompt I began by writing out a list of genres and subgenres I’ve either never read, or I may have read once a long time ago (*cough* in High School *cough*) but have no real memory of my opinion.
Here are some of the genres I’ve never read:
This list comes from a number of presumptions I’ve made in the past about what I want to read. Many of the genres I’ve never read are because I worried I would find them scary or too disturbing: horror, paranormal, and slasher. Sometimes I am sure that the genre will contain themes I don’t agree with (e.g. the presumption that military science fiction is about masculinity and imperialism). Other times it’s simply because the genre is declared pulp and therefore considered lesser such as with Romance and Westerns. But there are also genres it simply never occurred to me to read: religion, superheroes, and prehistoric fiction.
I’d love to know what’s on your never-read list. What genres have you never (or only rarely) read?
After this I picked a couple genres and searched for the best books from those genres. Because after all if I’m going to read a new genre I want to start with the best!
Here’s my shortlist:
- Prehistoric fiction – Mother Earth Father Sky by Sue Harrison
- Military science fiction – The Red: First Light by Linda Nagata
- Mystery – Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton
- Western – The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss
Of these I chose Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton. I did a little research and discovered that Grafton is a hugely popular author—so popular, in fact, that I’m surprised she hasn’t been recommended to me before. Her books are supposedly hard-boiled and intelligently written, which are both huge draws for me. Y is for Yesterday is the last in a series of mysteries which follow detective Kinsey Millhone.
I’m super excited to read this book! I’ve already ordered it and it’s on its way. I’ll give you all a review when I’m done.
What book will you be reading for this prompt? Let us know in the comments!