Alison and Angie and a whole bunch of other people have been talking about reading challenges for 2009. While I’m not taking part in anything official, I commented on Alison’s blog that I do, in fact, have a sort of unofficial reading challenge for myself this year.
At the time I commented, I thought I hadn’t read anything outside of the romance genre in 2008 (and very, very little in 2007), but I did read the new Lucas Davenport novel—Phantom Prey by John Sandford. But still, that’s only one. (Depending, I guess, on how you classify the In Death series. While, by my own personal definition, only the first was a romance, it’s Nora and they’re utterly romantic, so I don’t really consider that reading outside the genre.)
And a huge chunk of that reading was category romance. Why? 1) I love category romance. 2) In 2008’s financial climate, you couldn’t beat category prices. 3) And I’ve grown horribly tired of good stories suddenly derailing into the gratuitous, overly detailed sex ditch. I’ve reached the point of fed-up-edness where coming across the female P-word will result in immediate book closure. The only exception is authors I trust to give me a strong story in addition to the hot sex—Jaci Burton and Lauren Dane, along with a handful of others.
But as much as I love romance, it’s unhealthy creativity-wise to stagnate in one place, so this year I’m going to read at least one book a month outside of the romance genre. And I’ll be starting with The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver (a Lincoln Rhyme story) and then I’ll move on to Just After Sunset by Stephen King, because short story collections have always been King at his best. I also haven’t read…Chelsea Cain?—Heartsick and Sweetheart are the titles, I think. (My laptop has been struggling with the opening of multiple windows so I’m not going to bother checking right now.)
So I’m looking for non-romance book recommedations! (Not that they can’t have romance, but they shouldn’t be considered a part of the genre.) A couple of things—I don’t care for urban fantasy or cozy mysteries, and I have to read a series in order or my head explodes so please don’t recommend book 19 of a 30-book series. I’m also not big on inspirationals or “Oprah books”.
Have you read anything non-HEA awesome lately?