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TSS: Changing Genre Tastes

I’ve had the strangest experience this year in terms of what genres I’m enjoying.  When I started this blog, my clear favorite was historical fiction (hence the title).  It’s the largest section of my personal library by a fair stretch and goes even further if you include historical romance.  And I love history; I find myself drooling over the history section in the library much more these days though I don’t always have the mental stamina to read non-fiction as often as I’d like.  But fiction?  I don’t think I’ve loved a single title this year.

Then there’s fantasy.  Epic fantasy has long been one of my absolute favorite genres.  Am I feeling it this year?  Not at all.  I’m reading a book now, Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov, which just isn’t working for me.  I’ve been reading it for a week (I’m sensing a trend in now reading difficult books for a week!) and I haven’t finished yet.  I’m still not thrilled by it.  To be fair, I have reasons, but I’m not even interested in their quest.  I haven’t picked up a truly epic fantasy of my own free will since January, and even that one wasn’t one of my favorites.  I intend to test this out by reading one of my favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson, and seeing what happens there, but it’s a little dismaying to realize my favorites might not actually be my favorites.

So what do I like now?  I still love speculative fiction, and I love that epic feel, but I’m more into urban fantasy or YA fantasy these days.  Maybe because it’s shorter, maybe because I’m more demanding – I don’t know.  And I’ve loved more books set in modern day or relatively recent eras this year than possibly ever before.  But I still feel like I’m looking for the next historical or fantasy epic that will astonish and delight me and make me fall in love with my two favorite genres all over again.

Has a total shift in genre taste ever happened to you?  And did it ever switch back?

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20 comments to TSS: Changing Genre Tastes

  • That happens to me a lot. It’s kind of like food. I can go eating the same thing for lunch for YEARS, then all of the sudden I don’t want it anymore! For me, I can’t say I’ve ever switched back, either to genres or to lunch food…

  • Amy

    This happens to me every once in a while. I go on binges with certain genres and then once day decide that I need something different and become wildly addicted to another genre or author. Sometimes I go back and sometimes I don’t. Lately, I’ve been all about the historical fiction but I have this craving for fantasy…
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..The Sunday Salon =-.

  • I think it happens a lot. I can see that my taste in books has evolved as I’ve got older. I’ve moved from chick-lit to fiction to literary fiction. I’m sure you’ll still enjoy some fantastic historical fiction if it were to appear, but you’ll now be a bit more fussy in your tastes for it. Nothing wrong with that!
    .-= Jackie (Farm Lane Books)´s last blog ..Links I’ve stumbled across this week =-.

  • I haven’t been reading as much fantasy either this year. I don’t think it’s that my taste has changed or that I’ve become more demanding and see all those flaws I missed before – it’s just the kind of reading mood I’ve been in. Plus I have a bunch of shiny new reading interests (like mysteries) that I want to pursue. I think we all go through phases in our reading, though I also understand how it can be a little saddening to walk away from something you used to love.
    .-= Nymeth´s last blog ..The Sunday Salon – On Rediscovered Classics =-.

  • I find that my interests go in spurts. I’ll read a bunch of historical fiction, then I’ll read a bunch of mysteries, then some fantasy, then back to historical fiction–it jumps around and depends on my mood. I never really give up on a genre though–I’ve always come back to it at some point.
    .-= Katy´s last blog ..Interview with Francine Rivers, author of Her Mother’s Hope =-.

  • Great post, Meghan! Like others, I think it is natural to have shifts in your reading tastes. Sometimes it’s easy to get burned out. I am also a huge fantasy and historical fiction fan (that is probably why I follow your blog so closely!), and like you, I LOVE epic fantasy and I even really am specific about loving Georgian and Regency era historical fiction. But this year, I’ve read more American historical fiction, which is something that never really interested me before. And I’m trying really hard to spread out my reading over more genres. I still love fantasy- I think I continue to read it more than any other genre, but I’ve enjoyed finding books outside of my normal range, too. For example, I just finished a non-fiction book set in 1950s Mississippi that I LOVED. I never would have looked into that previously.
    .-= Aarti´s last blog ..TSS: Commenting Etiquette =-.

  • I think there’s something in the air. I haven’t been feeling satisfied with my historical fiction like I used to be – and not just Tudor-era, either. I did listen to Outlander this month and loved it, but Dragonfly in Amber is going a little more slowly.

    What I’ve really loved this year is something that I really am unsure of how to describe. I want to say Literary Fiction – things with more substance and literary style. I’m not trying to judge other fiction, but it seems that books with more umph in their use of language and style are holding my attention.

    I think this is all good, though. It’s good to be challenged and enjoy other things. I’m sure that we’ll eventually go back at some point. What’s novel to us now won’t be in another few years. Then the old will seem new again.

    Great post!

  • Happens to me all the time. I sort of bounce back and forth among genres every few months. Once upon a time I used to love fantasy, but now it really seems to turn me off. Also used to read a lot of gothic romance novels, but the last time I tried one of those, I just couldn’t get past the first few pages. The only genre I’ve really stuck with over time is mystery/suspense – don’t think I’ve ever tired of that one. But change is good, right?
    .-= JLS Hall´s last blog ..The Sunday Salon: Long Time No See =-.

  • Shadow Prowler showed up unsolicited at my house and I thought of giving it a try even though I loathe epic fantasy. But if even you aren’t interested in the quest, I sure as heck won’t be.
    .-= Lenore´s last blog ..Book Review: Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay =-.

  • My tastes have definitely shifted through the years – I think maybe when you read too much of one genre, they all start to feel the same.

  • I used to read such a wide variety of books before I got to college and then after a brief but intense flirtation with romance novels I went over to literary fiction, which still makes up the bulk of my reading. Blogging has exposed me to so many new ways to find quality books on other genres that I have been branching out and rediscovering books that I haven’t read since high school. I think that trend is one that will likely continue.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..Daughters of the Witching Hill, by Mary Sharratt – Book Review =-.

  • My tastes have definitely changed over the last few years since blogging. Once upon a time I didn’t read many fantasy books, but these days I am reading quite a lot. On the flipside, I used to read several cozy mystery series and I haven’t read one of those for at least a couple of years.
    .-= Marg´s last blog ..TSS: Anzac Day 2010 =-.

  • That has happened to me. By far my favorite genre for years and years was romance, especially historical romance. But for months I haven’t had the urge to pick up a single romance novel; I just have no interest in it any more. Not that I don’t want to read books with romance in them, because I definitely still do, but I haven’t found romances to be romantic for a long time. Nowadays I’m finding that more in mysteries or YA.

    Maybe I’m just not reading the right romances.
    .-= heidenkind´s last blog ..Leanna Renee Hieber Interview =-.

  • My taste in literature evolves quite a bit. For the past few years I have been reading mostly literary fiction. Previously, I had bouts of historical fiction, chick lit and true crime reading. I also had a thing for Dean Koontz. It’s funny to go back and try to read books that I loved years ago because now I can’t stand some of them!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Sunday Salon =-.

  • I kind of want to blame the historical genre right now, but I’m bitter so probably ignore me. It’s just so, so dominant right now, like every second novel is a historical novel. So many are so similar, despite being set in totally different time periods. Eh I don’t know, probably just me.
    .-= Jodie´s last blog ..Debut Book Battle =-.

  • I agree with most of the others: My reading goes in phases. I still have core genres that I will always love, but I do find myself on kicks or find myself unable to fully engage in a favorite. I just go with the flow and eventually find myself right back with my favorites after my break (of however long).
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Beth Fish Laces =-.

  • When I started my blog, I wanted to focus on mainly literary fiction and Indian fiction, but I grew to realize that I really, really liked historical fiction, and I think it’s become on of my favorite genres, which is a surprise to me! I have bought a ton of books since beginning to blog, and most of them have been historical fiction. I have yet to give fantasy and science fiction a go, but I am hoping that I can add even more favorite genres to the list. Ditto for history and memoir. I think it happens to all of us to some degree, and that favorite genres are somewhat changeable.
    .-= zibilee´s last blog ..The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox — Guest Post with Aarti =-.

  • It happens to me too. I used to read primarily mysteries and now, I hardly ever do. There are so many different books and mysteries, for the most part, seem so similar.
    .-= Melissa – Shhh I’m Reading´s last blog ..Review: A Gift from Brittany by Marjorie Price =-.

  • I go through phases where different types of books appeal to me at different times. I definitely do think my taste in books has broadened over the years. The problem is I want to read it all.
    .-= Literary Feline´s last blog ..Happy April Fool’s Day from Riley and Literary Feline =-.

  • I can’t say that I have experienced a total genre shift, but my mind is now open to different types of books. Books I wouldn’t have given a second thought before, now attract my attention. Light hearted fun books, like stories in a small town, or a few chic lit books, particularly Mansell. I still like YA and sci-fi, but am selective with those too, because they run together for me sometimes.

    I also think our choices and tastes change with what is going on in our lives. Busy and hectic? Try a quick YA where they may not be a lot of thinking required. or a romance. Interesting post.
    .-= jennygirl´s last blog ..Book Tour for The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder =-.