January 13, 2011 React

I got an email  from GoodReads today saying authors in my “selected genres” had new books published. Well, I beg to differ! I don’t read thrillers…

I HATE the fact that mysteries and thrillers are lumped together into one category by book sites – and indeed, by movie sites too!

I love mysteries – probably near the very top of my genre picks. I like cozies though – Agatha Christie type books, often with an amateur/unpaid detective or protagonist. (Think Sookie Stackhouse, Kate Shugak, Mary Russell) I don’t generally read books with cop detectives or professional PI types. (Think Kate Martinelli or Bobby Dodge). There are, of course, always exceptions – I love Anne Perry’s detectives, but they are Victorian, which changes the format somehow.

I want to go to the library and browse mysteries, and know I will see more Janet Evanovich than Peter Straub… more Charlaine Harris and Dana Stabenow than James Patterson or Lisa Gardner. It may just be my personal idiosyncrasy, in which case I am screwed. Seems to me that thrillers and action go together, but NOT with cozies and mysteries.

Trying to figure out what I am saying? I want “Clue” type books – you know, Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick. I don’t want detailed blood and guts, graphic violence, or rapes and incest. That is too much reality for me!

Yes, some of my reading is pure escapism. I read a lot of serious stuff. I am on a Mary Magdalene quest these days, and I love memoirs and biographical stuff, such as Betty Auchard’s  The Home for the Friendless, and Agatha Christie’s beautifully penned biography. I adore Maisie Dobbs, China Bayes, and even Peter Wimsey. I like adroit whodunits, with clever ripostes and dialog, and even some food for thought. Is it too much to ask that Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing and other sites devoted to books actually spend some time dividing books into their proper sections? Why does it have to be so hard to find similar authors to ones you already enjoy?! There are sites that have such capabilities, http://www.similarauthors.com/ being one, but they rarely seem to have my kind of books on them! I have had fun with http://www.literature-map.com/ lately, it is a bit more accurate, but requires some time and devotion to checking out the mapping. Worth investigating though, if you, like me, want to expand your author base!

So, in a nutshell, my complaint is this – finding authors you like, and books to read, shouldn’t be so doggone hard. We want to read, the publishers, libraries and booksellers want to promote reading. Why can’t it be done in a manner that allows exploration, without confusion? I have started a little Amazon store of recommended books, so check it out too – help pay for my blogging addiction!



About ReaderWoman

Professional reader and researcher for writers - Reviewer and Editor for online book review sites - AVID reader (well, duh!) writer, crafter (sewing, jewelry, fiber art) photographer, herb gardener, love to learn new things - Married 3842 years, 2 "kids" (now 34 and 36) and two grands (13 and 15) Born and raised California Girl, with stints in Tennessee, learning to speak Southern, and Arizona, learning that living in a trailer is NOT fun! Enjoy conversations with wine and chocolate, long walks and being with hubby and family. Life is good!
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6 Responses to January 13, 2011 React

  1. Laura Hodge says:

    Well, my friend. I agree. Then, I disagree. I agree with your contention that the search for like genres could be a lot more tailored. However, I see the browse as akin to a wander through my favorite brick and mortar bookstores. If I walk into the bookstore looking for a specific author and/or genre I generally end up walking out with something else that I chanced upon during my search (ever mumbling about why can’t they just put them in logical order/collections). Most forays end up being “2fers.” I like that, even if my budget groans.

  2. ReaderWoman says:

    You truly have a valid point – I don’t go in brick and mortar stores much anymore – we are a good (or bad, depending on your POV)half-hour from a new bookstore, and I know the stock pretty well at our local used store. Browsing is fun. But when I want a book with a specific feel, I have no patience for the drawn out search for “like so-and-so!”

  3. Wow. What a FANTASTIC entry with such good links. And I thank you a kazillion times for placing my book in such time-honored company. I ordered Agatha’s memoir. Good luck with your Amazon spot. (smile)

    • ReaderWoman says:

      Your book moved me. I am glad to recommend it to friends! You know, we don’t live THAT far apart – let’s “do lunch” someday and talk books! As to Agatha I adore her. And her autobio is fantastic I reread it over and over again! Thanks for ordering it (u used my link, right.?!) HUGS!

  4. Madlyn Creekmore says:

    I’m impressed with this whole thing! I tend to get hooked on one author until I read all of their books. Great links here – thanks! Will check them out and it’s good to be on your email list!.

    • ReaderWoman says:

      Hi Madi! Glad to have you here! How is life in the cold South!? MY son just moved back to TN (sigh…) so maybe someday on your travels you can meet him anyway!

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