I have decided at the beginning of 2018 that I will start reading better books (and so far I think I really have). But I wanted to take the topic further and discuss what books I won't be reading and what books and genres I will be striving to read more.
In 2017 about 90% of the books I've read were of YA genre (mostly YA fantasy and YA contemporary). This year I'm planning to bring down my YA books to 10% (and only because I have few that I would really like to give a chance to). I will not be counting my favorite YA re-reads into the percentage, as those are books that I already experienced and loved.
Reason? YA genre doesn't fulfill me anymore. It doesn't provide me anything new to learn either. And the lessons it teaches are repeated consistently throughout every other book. So I got tired of reading "same but slightly different book" every time I pick up YA author. Of course, as in everything, there are some great exceptions. I just have to be more picky.
Here are some genres that I will be striving to read more:
- Women fiction (authors such as Liane Moriarty and Gale Honeyman)
- Historical fiction (and not just WWII anymore)
- Books by foreign authors (meaning not from United States)
- Specifically books by asian authors about asian culture
- Asian culture in general (I feel like there's so much to learn about asian culture)
- Books about life in countries such as Iceland, Mongolia, India, Nepal and more
Here are some specific books that I'm very excited for:
1. The Good Earth (House of Earth #1)by Pearl S. Buck
Wang Lung, rising from humble Chinese farmer to wealthy landowner, gloried in the soil he worked. He held it above his family, even above his gods. But soon, between Wang Lung and the kindly soil that sustained him, came flood and drought, pestilence and revolution....
2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.
3. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt.
4. It's Not Yet Dark by Simon Fitzmaurice
In 2008, Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (mnd). He was given four years to live.
In 2010, in a state of lung-function collapse, Simon knew with crystal clarity that now was not his time to die. Against all prevailing medical opinion, he chose to ventilate in order to stay alive.
5. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
A love story across the ages - and for the ages - about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. How to Stop Time is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.
6. The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
In Lisbon in 1904, a young man named Tomás discovers an old journal. It hints at the existence of an extraordinary artifact that—if he can find it—would redefine history. Traveling in one of Europe’s earliest automobiles, he sets out in search of this strange treasure.
Thirty-five years later, a Portuguese pathologist devoted to the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie finds himself at the center of a mystery of his own and drawn into the consequences of Tomás’s quest.
Are any of these books out of my reading comfort zone?
Absolutely. But I've decided that sitting in my happy "fantasy, mystery genre" comfort zone is boring (this excludes Brandon Sanderson because, you know, the man is brilliant).
I urge you to evaluate your reading habits and see if you are sitting in stagnant waters of "mass produced books" or if you are swimming in fresh streams of barely touched subjects and books that are just waiting to be read by you.