As the fun with Book Blogger Appreciation Week continues, today’s suggested blogging theme is:
We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger. What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?
Well, to be fair, I haven’t truly been pushed out of my comfort zone this year, although I have picked up a number of books thanks to other bloggers. Here are a few notable reads, and the bloggers that helped push me over the edge to finally salvage these books from TBR purgatory!
The Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor
Thanks to Kristen, the mastermind behind Fantasy Cafe, Ana and I HAD to get this one read. And even though I was more than a little burned out on YA Faeries, wouldn’t you know it? I loved it. Laini Taylor was a new to me author that is now on the must-buy list, thanks to Kristen.
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
It’s no secret that I love dystopian lit – I’ve been reviewing it since we started The Book Smugglers back in the day, and have been reading it long before that. I had a copy of Mr. Fforde’s new novel, Shades of Grey, but kept pushing it back on the calendar. Then, I read an interview at Presenting Lenore with the author, and immediately bumped the book up on my list – and to this date, Shades is absolutely on the shortlist for Best Book of 2010 for me.
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon, A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Eliott, The Agency books by Y.S. Lee, and more
Thanks to bloggers like Ari of Reading In Color, there are a number of PoC books of all subgenres that I have read and loved this year. Something good to come out of Bloomsbury-Covergate 2009/2010 is the fact that my eyes (and Ana’s too) have been opened to the problem of racism in the publishing industry.
The Girl with the Mermaid Hair by Delia Ephron, Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves and Other Assorted Subgenres (Contemporary YA, Romantic YA, etc)
Finally, how can I put together a list like this without mentioning my dear Ana Banana? I have basically zero interest in Contemporary YA (or YA Paranormal Romance, or Romance in general) – but because of Ana, I have given these genres a try…and I have LOVED some of my finds. Case in point, Delia Ephron’s stunning and heartbreaking The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (which is still in the running for one of my top 10 books of 2010) and the excellent Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (which, to be honest, has Thea written all over it’s gorgeous cover). Without The Banana, I would never have read these books, and my life would have been that much less rich. All hail The Banana!
Just like Thea I haven’t been exactly pushed out of my comfort zone but I definitely tried new authors and genres after reading about them in other blogs. Some of my favourite are:
John Green’s books
Rather than following one particular blogger’s recommendation, I decided to give John Green a go based on the collective appreciation for his books all over YA blogland. I mean, I knew that Angieville’s Angie LOVES his books and that would be recommendation enough but the fact that a lot of other good people also love his book was just too much for me and I caved. I read An Abundance of Katherines and after that I was a goner.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
I’ve had this book on my radar for about a year but it wasn’t until two events that combined to make me finally read it: first, I read a review at Things Mean A Lot and then I met Carla from The Crooked Shelf (at a John Green event, by the way) who said it was an absurdly good book and one of her favourites. I read the book soon after that and wouldn’t you know – I loved it. Had it been published this year it would definitely make my top ten of 2010.
Thanks to bloggers like Renay and Aja of Bookshop, I decided to read more YA books with LGBQT characters and themes in a conscious attempt to diversify my reading. Thanks to that, I found a whole new bunch of Contemporary authors that I have come to love.
YA! YA! and The Dark Side
Those who have been following the blog since we started will probably have noticed the new direction I have taken with my reading for the past year or so. I started out exclusively as the Romance Reader of the duo until I realised, mostly due to Thea’s all encompassing tastes that it was ok to start seeing other genres too. It was Thea who introduced me to darker reads (UF, Horror) but above all it was Thea who introduced me to the joys of YA reading (which she read and reviewed since day 1). YA account for the majority of the books I read now (I have SO much to catch up!) and if this blog is as eclectic as it is, it is all down to my Thea Bear. Thanks dude, you rule.
What about you? Any books or authors you tried this year upon a blogger’s recommendation?