I have come to find I approach reading in the same way that I approach food. That may sound odd but hear me out.
I am not a big meat eater. In fact many would go so far as to call me a pseudo-vegetarian. You know, not really one but I mimic their ways often. However, give me a big ole pile of seafood and it will be gone almost instantaneously. Now, red meat I can usually do without but I will get a craving for a big juicy steak every now and then. On that note, my favorite food is stew! I love all the hearty veggies and the hunks of meat thrown in.
How does this apply to the way I read? I LOVE books that have a good solid story line without all the fancy trimmings much like a stew. Give me Stephen R. Lawhead, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison and Lilith Saintcrow. If I can put it away in just a few days and still be satisfied with the meat of the story I am truly happy. Now, I am also a seafood eater. While it is no steak, there is still some meat/protein to be had. Sometimes I just want a meaty story without all the decadence of a steak. This is when I reach for Robin Hobb, Sara Douglas, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jennifer McMahon and Dean Koontz. But, as I’ve said before, pseudo-vegetarian. What I gravitate towards are the lighter things, not they they hold that special place in my heart like some of the others do, I just enjoy reading them. The list I have for those authors is so long that I’ll just name a few: Nora Roberts, Amanda Stevens, Richelle Mead, Cate Tiernan, Amanda Hocking, etc. Those are the stories that make me want to keep reading all day. The ones I may get something out of or I may not. Doesn’t matter, it was good for me and I enjoyed it. Then we have the fruit. I love fruit but apparently when it comes to books, the fruit must also make me cry. If I am going to real something sweet it better be heartwarming and all around just adorable, ie Kristin Hannah (She is my go to fruit source… Just saying). Then there is the ever indulgent Nutella. My Nutella (and I promise, this is a food group in my house) are Laurell K. Hamilton, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, P. C. Cast, Karen Marie Monning, etc. No, I never jumped on the 50 shades bandwagon nor do I intend to. I like stories. All I’m going to say about that.
Now, let’s get to the steak. I know I said I’m not much of a red meat eater but it is generally because of the way it makes me feel. It is so heavy that after I eat it I need a nap… Or a belly rub… Something. It makes me lag that day and the next. It sits on my belly and weighs me down. Also, the gristle. Its impossible to chew and it gets stuck in your teeth and you always have to spit it out. Keep in mind, I didn’t say I didn’t like the taste. In fact a good steak is hard to beat… Or even a good burger for that matter. My red meats are Terry Goodkind, Patrick Rothfuss, Terry Brooks, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Anne McCaffery, and the list goes on.
These are the books that give me a hangover. They are SO good it is hard to move on from them. They leave you thinking and they keep you wondering. They are so full of underlying plot you are still left rifling through it days later. You tackled the beast and now you have to walk away. You’ll come back to it, but some other time. These, however, are the books that you grow on. That you need every once in a while. That my mind craves.