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BPAL Madness!
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Everything you ever wanted to know about books...

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Edited 4/4/13 to add links to amz, etc.



Bookmooch - woefully out of date and a combo of me, my husband and my kid

Goodreads - not so much a wishlist, but sort of what I'm poking around with


Okay, maybe not exactly, but it dawned on me that it might not be a bad idea to toss my answers to the recent bookworm swap over this away, for the curious.



What kind of books do you usually like? Any favorite authors, genres, or topics?


I love urban and traditional fantasy, whether it be about vampires, fairies, steampunk or something strange happening in a castle far away. I definitely like the supernatural twist and have a yen for post-apocalyptic tales (e.g. Terry Brooks) and mystery and fantasy kids lit (think John Bellairs, Harry Potter, Neil’s kids books, the Garth Nix "Keys to the Kingdom" series, the Uglies series, and Clive Barker's kids books). I also like straight mysteries (particularly about the southwest US (Nevada Barr, J.A. Jance, Tony Hillerman, Kirk Mitchell) and I also really like Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series) and am woefully behind on new developments in that genre. Fave authors include Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, Julliet Marrillier, Robin McKinley, Jacqueline Carey, Catherynne M. Valente, JK Rowling, John Bellairs, Jonathan Carroll, ...I could go on for a while, but the links below should really help. And I'm just getting into Charles de Lint.


Pulling a list from a similar swap (kind of repetitive, but more info is better, right?):


*Urban fantasy(DeLint, Gaiman, lots of people I really need to read, I'm sure)

*Magical realism (Jonathan Carroll and the like)

*Quasi-historical fantasy (I'm thinking things like a Juliet Marillier and some of the non-adaptation McKinley here and I'd probably put Outlander in this category for my purposes since I don't otherwise tend to enjoy historical romance)

*Supernatural romance (vampire, werewolves, zombies, OH MY! Things I'm pretty well caught up on incudes Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Kelly Armstrong, and I've read most LK Hamilton to the point where I just can't anymore ;-)

*Sci-fi (although I tend to gravitate toward short stories in this genre - a la Ray Bradbury - and more worldbuilding Steampunky sorts of stuff than hard tech-geeky a-bunch-of-guys-land-on-a-strange-planet sort of stuff)

*Mysteries/crime/detective novels (tho I'm more into the actual crime solving than the legal wrangling, so, more Sara Paretsky/Raymond Chandler/Michael Connelley than Scott Turow/John Grisham, also I sort of love true crime, which I rarely admit to and never seek out but adore when it falls in my lap)

*Fairy tales (classics and adaptations and totally new interpretations)

*Mythology adaptations (really, just kind of in love with adaptations of almost any sort, including comic versions especially the original text classics)

*Authurian/Avalon myth (this is a fairly recent acquisition, so it's good mining as well is my guess. I've got MZB covered, but otherwise...)

*Comics/graphic novels (not so much superhero stuff for the most part, but there's a lot of BPAL related stuff I haven't read)

*Kids lit of any of the above, especially the mystery/fantasy bit (loving Rick Riordan with my 8 year old right now!)


Any authors, genres or topics you really dislike?


I am not a fan of Jim Butcher, oddly. I should be, but he just doesn't grab me. Similarly, Holly Black and I have never really hit it off. I think most of my other "dislikes" are touched on below.


Do you consider yourself "well-read"? Well-read within a particular genre?


Kinda, in that I read all-the-damn-time. There are huge gaping holes in my knowledge base, though, as I'm kind of a magpie.


How do you feel about classics?


I'm kind of embarassed to admit this, but kind of meh. I love Dickens, but otherwise, can pretty much take or leave most lit written before 1900. I know, I'm a philistine.


Would you like something challenging/outside your comfort zone or would you prefer something fairly close to what you know you like?


I would definitely like *something* in my comfort zone. There's a pretty deep well there, I think. I would absolutely love to discover new authors within genres I like and am happy to discover things kind of on the fence. Pride, Prejudice and Zombies sorts of crossovers hold no interest for me, though.


How do you feel about nonfiction?


I'm typically not a huge fan, to be honest. I do tend to like narrative non-fic storytelling along the lines of Sarah Vowell or Chuck Klosterman (I just bought his new novel, FYI), but I really look to recreational reading for escapism. I do love a good political firebrand, but I have a lot of that unread on my shelves at the moment. Although, as noted above, true crime is kind of my secret shame.


Are you ok with something like a graphic novel or young adult book?


Abso-frikkin-lutely. I love graphic novels and YA lit.


What makes you pick a book up and want to read it right away? What makes you put something down and never want to pick it up again?


You know, I have no idea. My main go-to books that I read over and over again are Gaiman's Neverwhere, McKinley's Chalice and the Harry Potter series. They are all escapist fantasy to some extent, but I read plenty of other things in the same genres, but don't feel compelled to read them repetedly. Those books, though, feel like slipping between the pages and into a whole new world, almost like pulling up the covers in bed on a cold night. I know I just mixed my metaphors, but I don't care. ;-) In terms of putting things down, while I have no particular issues with violence and gore, being shocking and gross just for the sake of being shocking and gross just doesn't appeal to me. And I have no issues with genre tropes, but I really really need a story and some fabulous characterization as well.


Would you be open to receiving ebooks? If so, what sort of reader do you have, and do you prefer electronic or physical books?


YES! I would love/prefer kindle books, to be honest, but would be perfectly happy to get physical goodness as well. And for anything with color pics (e.g. graphic novels) the Kindle just won't cut it. For physical books, used is a-ok.

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