It's Tuesday and Wendi, at Wendi's Book Corner has a cold, so she says she came up with a really easy question. I am not sure how easy it is because it made me think, and thinking early in the morning makes my head ache a bit....
But here is this weeks question....
Today's question: Do you have a specialized blog where you only review a certain genre or type of book? If so, what is your favorite thing about that type of book? If not, what is/are your favorite genre(s)? What makes that genre(s) a favorite?
Specialized, no...but SPECIAL yes! Now, of course, all blogs, particularly book blogs, are special, but mine is just the most special. Well, it is to me...
But no, I review a variety of books. Not a huge variety, because to be quite honest, there are many books I have no interest in reading. They don't interest me, so I would not request them or buy them because not only would I not enjoy reading them (which is still sort of the point of this) but I could not be fair in a review. For example, sorry, but I hate romance novels. Self help...oh, please, NO!
Do I have a favorite genre and why is it my favorite? Why, I am so glad you asked and yes, in fact, I do.
I love mysteries.
I always have. It was certainly the first genre I read in large quantities, very large quantities. I have in my bookcase, that I am looking at as we speak (if you are reading this, we are 'speaking' in a sense) a nice hardcover edition of 'THE Complete Sherlock Holmes' that my mom gave me as a birthday gift when I was a wee Caite. I read it cover to cover. Mr. Holmes was shortly followed by everything Agatha Christie every wrote...Rex Stout, Dick Francis....Oh, I had found my genre. Those were the days that my local library, talked about yesterday, got a workout. I like thrillers, police procedurals, detectives, PI's, cozies, medical mysteries, gothics. They can be mysteries set at race tracks, by the ocean, in the desert, in foreign countries. I like them set in the past, in the present...and within reason, in the future.
Now some of you may say "Oh, mysteries...they are so..." and then insert a negative term. Light, silly, gory, dark. Yes, I am sure some are. But that is the thing about mysteries. There are so many types, something for every taste! The settings travel the world, from Trenton, NJ, (Evanovich) to Iceland (Arnaldur Indriðason), present day to the 1800's, with Edgar Allen Poe's The Murder in the Rue Morgue, often considered the first modern mystery story.
And see, there is another thing about mysteries. Yes, they can be light, even funny, but also some of the great works of literature are actually, at their heart, mysteries. Look at this list of the 100 Best Mystery Novels of all time from the Mystery Writers of America, or this one from the Crime Writers Association. Poe, Dostoyevsky, Bram Stoker, Graham Greene, Martin Cruz Smith, P.D.James, John le Carre, Dorothy L. Sayers; we mystery lovers claim them all! Some of the greatest works of literature are, at their heart, mysteries.
Why do I love mysteries? Well, they are intellectually challenging, they make you think. Can you rise to the challenge and 'figure it out'? The setting, the characters can be as varied as the writers imagination. But ultimately, even in the most scary or funny mystery, it comes down to a battle of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. Mysteries present a world where, not always easily, not always clearly but fundamentally, logic and order and The Good ultimately come out on top.
And I guess that is how I see Reality...at least on my better days.
Gee, that didn't seem so easy...lol.