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!
26 thoughts on “A New Genre – Reading Women 2019”
I’m actually opting for the first book in that series, “A is for Alibi”. The idea of starting a series at the end just gets under my skin!
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You’ll have to let me know what you think of the first book! I’m hoping that starting at the end won’t be too confusing for me. 🙂
I’ve never read Prehistorica Fiction, so I’m going to give Mother Earth, Father Sky a try.
Do let me know what you think of it. I wish I had more time in the day so I could read all these books!
I actually wound up realizing I just didn’t have time, so went for a shorter read. 😦 But unknown genre turns up in book challenges frequently, so I will keep it in mind for another time. I read The Mussel Eater by Octavia Cade… the Monstrous Feminine!
I had to take a deep dive into genres to find a genre I hadn’t read *something* in. But I ended up with a shortlist of three:
Biopunk – Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood
Picaresque – Jane Bowles’ Two Serious Ladies
Romantic fantasy – Mercedes Lackey’s The Fairy Godmother
When I get back home from vacation (on the 5th) I’ll go to the library and find out which one is available!
I love, love, love Lilith’s Brood! It’s also called the Xenogensis series so you might find it at your library under that name. I hope you find a book you like!
I’m not sure if there are any genres I haven’t read, but there are quite a few I steer away from. Western is one of them (that whole cowboy mystique and the John Wayne characters have never interested me, I strongly dislike western movies). So I clicked the link and that will probably be one of the books I read. I have read prehistoric fiction (The Earth Children series anyone?!) but I have always been interested in reading Mother Earth Father Sky so that will also be on the list. I also have a challenge to read books I *already own* so I hope to intersect the two challenges as much as possible.
Thanks for doing this!
I feel the same way you do about Westerns. I hope The Hearts of Horses is better than we fear!
p.s. I also have a zillion books on my shelf I haven’t read… I’m hoping this challenge will help me read some of those as well. (Spoilers: Frankenstein is definitely coming up soon!)
You’ll have to let me know what you think if it. Personally I’m finding it very dull and hard to stick with. I can only make myself read it before bed and it puts me to sleep quickly. I’ve tried to curl up with it during the day but I quickly get bored and get up to do something else (great for my other Habitica challenges, just not any of my reading ones). I might have to call this one a wash and see if I can find another one which will fit the challenge. I hope you enjoy it more.
Definitely don’t punish yourself with it. If nothing else, this confirms why you don’t usually read Westerns!
Browsing GoodReads’ list of genres, I plucked Gothic Revival – which apparently Wuthering Heights falls under! That’s been on my TBR list forever now, and I keep kicking it down my list – so no time like the present to knock that out! Thanks for this challenge!
Sounds like a great book to read! Let us know what you think of it.
I love the idea of reading women authors. I mostly read books for middle schoolers or younger so this reading challenge is going to really push me out of my comfort zone. I’ve chosen The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers to begin with.
I’ve heard such good things about that book. I hope it’s as awesome as the reviews suggest!
It is a fun, interesting read. A unique read for me.
Well this was a tough one because I’m quite into obscure genres and have the additional constraint of needing to get it from the library on not a lot of notice (I’m avoiding reading the list until the last moment because that’s more fun to me), but I finally realized I have read no superhero comics so I’ll do volume 1 of Ms. Marvel.
Ooh superhero comics. What a wonderful idea for a genre to read. Let us know what you think of the Ms. Marvel comics!
Happy New Year, everyone!
Cross-genre fiction is a genre which has always seemed incredibly exciting, and yet to explore it! Mixing prose with poetry, Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha begins my year; fragments of fact, little sparks of autobiography, all wrapped up in beautifully rendered worlds of pure imaginative fiction.
The ones you’ve all chosen sound deeply exciting!
May your books inspire you beyond description, and may your 2019 be full of fearless women and their peerless worlds of words! Happy reading!
Sounds like a lovely book to read. Thanks for the well wishes! Happy reading to you as well. 🙂
I, Poluo, decided to read your book recommendation Mother Earth Father Sky as I’ve never read a book in that genre before! I’m looking forward to it.
Fantastic! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
I’m reading Roses & Bones. A gothic fantasy poetry collection written by Francesca Lia Block. Goodreads rates it 3.5/5 but I feel like it deserves so much more! I’m not gothic and this is my first time reading anything gothic but the writer gives you a familiarity with each character and somehow, you can feel the pain and costly bliss each one feels. Not through yet though so I will update you guys when I get farther through.
That sounds fascinating–even just the title draws me in. Please do let us know what you think!
I finished Laurie Frankle’s This Is How It Always Is, and it was incredible. I don’t usually listen to fiction audiobooks, but the narrator and story were both fantastic!
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I am reading The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman as it is a non-fiction book and I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. Thanks for the promts.
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