Ageless Discussions: Genre Phases
Sunday, March 19, 2017
If you've watched Scrubs, you might be familiar with Ted. Now, of all the Scrubs characters I probably identify with Ted the least... except in one area. You see, sometimes Ted gets stuck on an idea.
I get stuck in genre phases when it comes to "me reads." A couple times a year I find myself in the midst of a multi-book-long streak in a certain genre, location, or rarely, series. I can usually trace each marathon back to a 5-star read that was SO GOOD it made me want more just like it -- but different. 2017 is shaping up like the ones before it; I've already embarked on several different genre sprees.
In early January, I read Kameron Hurley's all-female scifi The Stars are Legion, which directly led to The Fortress at the End of Time, which led to Martians Abroad and then rereading Glow. Review copies interrupted, but then the scifi spree was re-ignited by review-reading The Collapsing Empire, which then led to Shadow Run and Luna: New Moon then the combo of The Hangman's Daughter and Luna: Wolf Moon which were each so bad they effectively ended it.
While I am usually found reading fantasy, my second favorite genre has has been a big winner for me this year. First France specifically was a focus with the last four of Maurice Druon's Accursed Kings books (The Royal Succession, The She-Wolf, The Lily and the Lion, and the King Without a Kingdom), and then The Shadow Queen, the Courts of Love, and Sally Christie's The Enemies of Versailles. Lately, thanks to the five-star review-read that was Alyssa Palombo's The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, Italy -- Renaissance, medieval, Baroque -- has been a recurring theme to my reads and rereads. Simonetta's story was followed by a reread of The Birth of Venus, then In the Company of the Courtesan, Blood and Beauty, Roma Eterna, and finally The Violinist of Venice.
Here it temporarily halts while I wait for my BookOutlet order of two more Italian historical fiction novels: The Daughter of Siena and The Venetian Contract. The thing is -- I may be off on a different whim of reading by the time they arrive. That's how these marathons run; unpredictable. My brother once accurately described me as a lightswitch: I am either ALL ABOUT IT or I am completely uninterested.
It usually ends when I have a review book that zaps me out of the mindset and atmosphere I'm chasing (generational space ships! Florence during the Renaissance!) or a long-anticipated novel arrives and distracts me into falling into a new pattern. However, there is a third option: genre burnout. It doesn't happen to me often and it never lasts forever, but when I overdo a trend, OH BOY do I ever. I haven't read PNR in years thanks to my overindulgence -- and I don't see that changing, to be the exception of the previous sentence. On the other hand, I almost always read a series of scifi novels around the beginning of the year and never burn out.
Brains are weird, right?
What about you? Do you find yourself craving read-a-likes after a particularly good novel? Do you marathon a genre/subgenre?