Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Genres, Authors, and Taste in Books

Erica here: One of our readers asked if we could each talk about our favorite genres, authors, and tastes in books. What a fun idea. If there is anything a writer loves to talk about, it's books!

I have wildly eclectic taste in reading matter, and most of my reading is outside the Inspirational genre. I enjoy mysteries, thrillers, historical romance, children's books, even a dash of horror, and I am a sucker for a Victorian detective novel! 

So here are some of my faves!

Dick Francis mystery/thrillers.

 What do I love about Dick Francis? First, his heroes are always reluctant, but super heroic. And they are wicked smart and capable. Each story is set against a backdrop of British Horse Racing, but the heroes might be photographers, chefs, builders, accountants, or pilots. I learned a lot about careers. My two absolute favorites are Longshot (about an author!) and To The Hilt, about a Scots painter. I have an autographed first British edition of To The Hilt that I treasure.

Essie Summers made me want to become a writer.
 Essie Summers was a New Zealand native and minister's wife who wrote more than 50 romances from the 1960's to the early 1990's. I have all her books, and it was Essie's portrayal of romance and what a hero should be and how he should treat a lady that made me want to write romance novels...and to visit New Zealand long before it was Middle Earth.

Longmire mysteries by Craig Johnson!
 Craig Johnson is a gifted storyteller with a unique perspective. His character Longmire is droll and smart, and capable, and the friendship between Sheriff Longmire and his best friend, Henry Standing Bear is delightful to read.

Amelia Peabody mysteries from Elizabeth Peters
 If you haven't tried this series, give it a go! Amelia and her husband Radcliffe Emerson are archaeologists/Egyptologists, and their relationship is a HOOT! The books are written in the Victorian style of inviting the reader into the narrative, and I definitely have a crush on the Emerson's son, Ramses.
LOVED The Black Stallion stories!
 The Black Stallion books! I received my first Black Stallion book when I was in third grade, and I must've read it dozens of times. I own the entire series, and I've read them all many times. I was so thrilled when my son began reading them all on his own, devouring them one after another.
Who didn't love Laura? 
 When I was in third grade, my teacher read the entire Little House series aloud to us. The next year, I think I checked Farmer Boy out of the school library at least six times. I have lived all of Laura's adventures so many times, and I love every one of her books.

Cherry Ames!
 For years, reading Cherry Ames books made me want to become a nurse. God had other plans, but thanks to, I am renewing my relationship with Cherry a few books at a time!

A little Horror!
 I LOVE the Agent Pendergast series from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. This series falls under the horror/paranormal/cop/thriller/mystery genre...yeah, Barnes & Noble doesn't know where to shelve it either, so it just goes into general fiction. But Pendergast is a truly unique character that will stay with you after the book is done.

Anne Perry's Inspector Monk series.
 Anne Perry is the QUEEN of Victorian murder mysteries/police procedurals. She has two very long running series set in Victorian times, the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels and the Inspector Monk books. I prefer Inspector Monk, but both are very, very good. You will learn so much about Victorian Society, and you'll feel as if you're right in the action.

From the guy who wrote RAMBO!
I recently (within the last year?) discovered the De Quincey mysteries by David Morrell. So far there are two novels and one novella in the series, and I can't wait for the next one to come out!

Lee Child is  genius.
And finally, Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. In this day of reluctant heroes, Jack Reacher is an anomaly. Jack is capable, cunning, relentless, smart, ruthless, brilliant, and unencumbered. He travels the country free of personal possessions, itineraries, and relationships, and he NEVER backs down from a fight.

I didn't even touch on my love of Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, Sarah Graves, Mons Daveson, Carla Kelly, L. M. Montgomery, Glenn Balch, Shannon Garst, and so many more!

These are just a few of the books that I love. I have four hundred books on my kindle, and more than 1000 books on my bookshelves. Space here doesn't allow me to go into my collection of history books from the places I've visited and the places I research for novel settings.

My husband says it's a sickness, this collecting of books, but I prefer to call it a quirk. :D

Have you read any of the authors here? Any you think you'd like to try out?

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  1. Yes! Who didn't love Laura!? :)

    1. :) I have been able to visit several of the Little House sites. I was giddy when I got to see De Smet. When I read the books now, I have such a better reference to the distances and locations.

  2. My maternal grandfather, who died when I was only 3, could not read or write a lick. Interestingly he loved westerns and had a collection of those type of books. My mom has them now. They're very old and I hope one day to inherit them. She told me he would "read" to me by looking at picture books and making up stories that went along with the pictures.

    1. What a treasure, both the books and the memories of him 'reading' to you. :)

  3. Gave me idea's for new authors always on the hunt for more books. :)

    1. Enjoy! I am eagerly awaiting new books by some of the authors...sadly some have passed away, but since I'm a re-reader, I enjoy their books over again. :D

  4. oh my goodness!!!! amelia peabody is life!

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  6. Ramses will never be half the man his father is.

    1. I love Ramses as a talkative boy. And I never thought Nefret was good enough for him.... :D

    2. Yes, he was an amazing child. Some of my favorite Amelia quotes are about the work of raising him. I never thought Margaret Minten was an interesting character AT ALL. Sethos should have married Fatima.

  7. Wow, Erica, I am amazed by your taste in fiction. I am always surprised when an author writes heavily in one genre, but reads heavily in another. I have to say, I haven't read any of the books above, but I have heard of all of those authors. I like a little bit of suspense and mystery with my romance, but not too dark. I'm not a big fan of formulaic who-done-it mysteries, though.

    1. Oops, I don't want to be dishonest. I didn't read Little House books when I was young, but I did read a few of them aloud to my own kids.

    2. For me, story trumps all, no matter what the genre.

  8. Wow! This is AWESOME! I haven't heard of MANY of these writers! Thank you...can't wait to check some of them out! :)

    1. Oh and I have the same sickness! ;) My collection is more old memoirs and children's literature though! :)


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