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!