I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
So, last week, Peace Love Books introduced me to Top 5 Wednesday! This is a weekly group post started by Lainey on goodreads, in which book reviewers all over the internet list their top 5 favorite books/genres/authors/etc. in whatever the weekly topic is. This week's topic is genres. Keep reading to see mine!
5. Chick Lit
I have chick lit ranked lowest because, to be honest, I am a bit of a book snob. While I always appreciate a good story, I will always be most partial to books that have a good story AND are well-written and meaningful, and, unfortunately, I've found that chick lit books have a tendency to be shallow. However, they are usually also very clever and witty, if a bit crass and silly, and I usually find that I can't put them down. They're quick reads, great for the beach or a lazy Saturday afternoon, and make fantastic guilty pleasure reads. In my opinion, definitely worth making my top 5 genres, even if it's at the bottom of that list.
Kara's chick lit pick: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - I read this with my tumblr reading club and really loved it. The movie is pretty good, too, though definitely not quite as good as the book - and it has one of my favorite actresses, Kate Hudson, in it, so obviously that helps.
Fantasy books are a fantastic choice for any reader who wants to escape reality for a bit. As a lover of fairy tales, it's no surprise that I'm partial to this genre, or that I generally love fantasies with a high emphasis on royalty. I love fantasies with magic, but I tend to shy away from ones that are heavy on action - while I enjoyed what I've read so far of the Lord of the Rings saga, all the battle scenes overwhelm me and, to me, they're kind of energy draining. My favorite fantasy novels are set in worlds that resemble medieval Europe, but with magic and supernatural entities mixed in, a la Seraphina.
Kara's fantasy picks: I couldn't decide between two staples of my childhood: Ella Enchanted and the Harry Potter series. I first read Ella Enchanted in 2nd grade - it was my mom's gift to me for making my First Communion (so random, I know, lol) - and I read it so frequently that the paperback fell completely apart. As for Harry Potter, my copies of the series are some of my most treasured possessions and I have read them countless times. In both cases, I much prefer the books to the movies, but I did enjoy the movies as well.
In this case, my mother's impact on me is very evident. My mom pretty much exclusively reads classic and Catholic literature, with some dabbling in young adult. As she always says, there's a reason why these books have withstood the test of time. While they can be challenging, they have universal messages, and they're SO well-written. Any time I'm in the mood for a thought-provoking read, classics are the books I turn to - and I always feel super educated after completing them, haha.
Kara's classic pick: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I adore this book. It's SO long, but it's basically a Russian soap opera that provides incredibly insightful commentary on 19th century Russian society. It's very scandalous, but tactfully so - it leaves much to the imagination, which I find preferable in books such as this.
2. Young Adult
Young adult books are a hit or a miss for me. I've found that with them, I often have to weed the bad from the good, which can get tedious. But good young adult books are SO good, and that's a huge part of why I've chosen to specialize in children's and young adult services as a librarian. These are the books that get not only teens, but also many adults to read, and I think they're a crucial part of modern literature.
Kara's young adult pick: This was hard for me to pick, because there are so many different sub-genres of YA which could easily fit into other genres that I've chosen. But ultimately, I've settled on Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. It's a fantasy book about dragons and I read it for my YA lit class last semester and LOVED it. It was my favorite book that we read for the course and I recommend it to any fan of fantasy OR young adult!
1. Historical fiction
Last but not least, my all-time favorite genre is historical fiction. This shouldn't be surprising, since my BA is in history. I prefer to read historical fiction books about women, because of my interest in women's history, and my all-time favorite era to read about is Tudor England. But I'll try just about anything that qualifies as historical fiction, so if anyone has any recommendations, please send them my way!
Kara's historical fiction pick: any of Philippa Gregory's books, provided that they are about real historical figures. Her most well-known book is The Other Boleyn Girl, but my favorites are the ones that she's written about the Wars of the Roses/The Cousins' War. I don't like her books about fictional characters as much, as they tend to get kind of odd - her Wideacre trilogy features a lot of incest and that just kind of freaks me out, haha.
What are your favorite genres? Have you read any of my picks from my favorite genres?
If you're interested in joining in on Top 5 Wednesday or learning more about other readers' favorite genres, check out this group on goodreads - even if you're not active on goodreads (I pretty much only use it to catalog after the whole deleting reviews fiasco), you can still join in on the fun by posting on your booklikes account (as I have) or your personal blogs :)