Today I want to tell you about certain themes/topics that I simply can’t resist when reading a blurb, and also those which make me stay away from certain books.
I CAN’T RESIST…
Family secrets – They say every family has a skeleton or two. I love finding out about the skeletons, especially when the secret has been concealed for a generation or so… I love this type of novel. Kate Morton’s “The Lake House” and Lisa Jewell’s “I found you” are prime examples.
Remote and isolated settings – Novels set in remote locales, especially islands, have always appealed to me. It started with my love of “Jane Eyre” as an adolescent. Those bleak Yorkshire moors, miles from anywhere…. Now I seem to really enjoy this remoteness still. For instance, “The Blackhouse” by Peter May was set on an island and is one of my favorites. “A pocketful of names” by Joe Coomer is also set on an island.
Village/Small Town stories
I love a good novel set in a small village or town. A place where everyone seems to know everyone else. I love the dynamic of village life, perhaps because I’ve never experienced it myself. And… if it is a village in the United Kingdom it is even more appealing. “Rainy day sisters” by Kate Hewitt is a good example.
Police Procedurals with flawed cops that have baggage, but have a strong moral compass
Procedurals have been my weakness for a long time. Many of my favorite series are police procedurals. British policemen are my favorite. I have only to read the words “Detective Inspector” to want to investigate the book further.
Eccentrics and people who are a little ‘odd’ or are misunderstood
I can’t help it, I’ve always loved people who are just a little bit out of the ordinary.
Fredrik Backman’s “A man called Ove” and Gail Honeyman’s “Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine” are great examples.
Family Sagas – Reading about the multi-generational story of a family holds great appeal for me. Probably because my own family is very small (I’m an only child). Some of my favorite family sagas are “Of sea and seed” by Annie Daylon; “Miller’s Valley” by Ann Quindlen; “The shell seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher; “The forgotten garden” by Kate Morton; “Black Rabbit Hall” by Eve Chase. These are just a few of the many I have enjoyed.
New Beginnings – Books that feature characters who are ‘starting over’ have always held an allure for me. You know, those where someone has inherited a house in an unfamiliar locale… those who have had a traumatic experience and move house to start over…
Old house with a secret – From the time in my younger years when I couldn’t get enough gothic fiction, this theme continues to attract me. If houses could talk…
Betrayals – Once trust has been broken, it is so very difficult, if not impossible, to repair. This is a subject I find endlessly fascinating.
Time Travel – My love affair with time travel novels started with Marlys Millhiser’s “The mirror” and was reinforced by Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series.
Immigrant Stories – the trials and tribulations of immigrants have long been a favorite theme of mine. I attribute this to the fact that my mother was a British war bride.
I WILL STAY AWAY FROM…
I’ve read a few novels featuring this subject and I’ve found them distressing and disturbing – not is a good way.
Life is bleak enough without reading of an imagined dystopia. The only exception I can think of that I read and enjoyed was P.D. James’ “The children of men”.
Vampire, Shapeshifters, Dragons, Gargoyles, etc.
I dislike fantasy on the whole. I prefer more realistic storylines that are at least semi-believable…
Spaceships and aliens
Science fiction does not generally appeal to me at all. I just can’t explain it…
This is not something I want to read about, and that was even before 911, and recent events in Paris, London, Manchester, and most recently Las Vegas & New York. The nightly news is distressing enough without reading about it too.
Just not believable, and frankly I think they are ridiculous.
Again, there is enough evil in the world.
USED TO LOVE, BUT NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE…
Serial killers – I guess I’ve just overindulged on serial killers. There are just SO many of these titles floating about… some are on my TBR at the moment. I just don’t actively search them out anymore.
War stories – Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good historical set during the war years, it is just the novels that feature battle scenes that I’ve had too much of.
I would love to hear of your favorite (and perhaps least favorite) book topics. Please share in the comments.