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Crime Fiction – Passing love or a lifetime commitment?

Crime Fiction, a genre that I fell totally and completely in love with during my teenage years. Mainly, I think due to the show Bones – Inspired by the Bones books by Kathy Reichs. And let me tell you a thing.. I have the entire collection of Kathy’s books…

image_17520.jpgall of which  have their own shelf on my book case. I had to have them brand new, in hard covers. My collection needed to match, they had to be the same height and be in order of their release date. And in all honesty, I didn’t even read them, and still to this day, I haven’t read them all. My obsession told me I needed them. because I loved the TV show so much.

When I did get around to reading them, I discovered something, that I wasn’t all that surprised about, about myself. I love the science surrounding crime-fiction. The forensics, the anthropology, the criminology, all of it, attracts me like flies to a bad smell. And when I started, I needed more. So of course I started reading Val Mcdermid and Alex Kava, both who have incredibly cheap books at the local book stores, often in the $5.00 bin near the counter (this doesn’t mean they are bad reads, it means they are mass-produced). So obviously, I had to have them all… and so my obsession with collecting all of the crime fiction books continued.

But, I never read any of them, not until recently, they just sat on my shelf, and I called myself a crime-fiction fan, simply because I had them. I think that says a lot about bookworms in general, we read a few books from a certain genre and suddenly that genre is life and we need to have all the things pertaining to that genre. Just recently, I went through my books and decided that I didn’t want to have shelves full of books that I bought, didn’t like or read, but kept because, you know… books. So guess what was the first to go? You guessed it, most of the crime-fiction. Not because I don’t enjoy it, I actually think, I enjoy it now, more than I did when I was younger, but because it isn’t my favourite genre and I don’t think it ever was.

I guess the point I am trying to make with this post, is that crime-fiction is a genre that will last the test of time, it will have fads where it is the top of the genre food chain, and then it will drop off again for a few years. Why you ask? Because humans are obsessed with death, with criminology, with understanding about dying, murder and the science behind it. We are morbid, creatures of habit, who need to be told what horror can look like, so we can confirm that we are okay, that we have good and safe lives.

Crime-fiction will always be one of those genres that people read, want to read, hate to read, etc. It will always be talked about and discussed, it is reality turned into fiction and that speaks to us as humans on a ‘hits too close to home’ level, but isn’t that the entire point? To be scared, to be psychologically thrilled?

Crime-fiction, for me will always be a large part of my bookworm growth, it showed me that just because you love one author from one genre, doesn’t mean you will love them all. It also showed me that just because you are into a specific genre ‘now’, doesn’t mean you always will be. For me, Crime-Fiction was definitely a passing love.

How do you feel about Crime-Fiction? Passing love or lifetime commitment?

 

Julie

 

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Top 5: Childhood Fiction Favourites

I see everyone doing top-5 somethings, but a lot of them feel rather over-done, that being said, here I am doing a top-5 something, and I will probably do more 🙂

Childhood reading is truly something to behold, I find, I have stuck to the genres I enjoyed growing up, the authors I loved as a teenager are now my auto-buy authors and I find myself constantly going back and re-reading the books that I loved. So without further adieu, here are my Top 5, Childhood Fiction Favourites!

 

#1 – Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling – is this even a list without HP?

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I remember being around age 10 and having my mum read the first book to me, it was such a special part of my growing up, she loved the story as much as I did, and by the end of book 1, we were hooked. Book 2, we took turns reading to each other, and by this stage, I was more than able to fluently read out loud (thanks reading obsession from an early age). The rest I remember as getting two copies, so mum and I could read along together and compare notes, reading them to my younger cousin and bringing her into the magical world. Even today, I go back to Hogwarts and I still get those same feelings I got, when I heard it for the first time 16 years ago!

 

#2 – The Phantom Stallion Series by Terri Farley

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What 12 year old girl wasn’t obsessed with horses? I was definitely no exception, but what surprises me, is that this series is so unknown, and here in Australia, it was near on impossible to get my hands on, we had to order it in from America through big bookstores (Dymocks, here’s cheers to you!). This series was everything to me, I wrote my own fan-fiction, used to act it out in the paddocks at home, and I was still reading it when I turned 16, when I started to fall for Jake and have my first book crush. Through the books (all 24 of them), we follow a young girl, ‘Samantha’ through her life living on a ranch in America, we see her have family troubles, love troubles, bank troubles and most importantly horse troubles, with the wild horses living around the family ranch.  Thinking about it now, it sort of sounds like a younger version of ‘Heartland’…  This series is one that sits on the shelf, beckoning me to return to it, and maybe when I get my TBR under control, I’ll finally be able to!

 

#3 Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

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This series was my first real taste of dystopia and sci-fi all rolled into one. And boy, did I devour it. I was lost in this world where no one was happy with the way the looked and if you didn’t have some form of plastic surgery or tattoos you were considered ‘Bogus’ when really everyone wanted to be ‘Bubbly’. This series is all about self love and self realisation, it was perfect for me when I read it, and just like the Phantom Stallion series, it stares longingly at me, wanting to be re-read.                                                                              I remember being completely obsessed with the world that this series is set in, and the technologies that were available. The protagonist ‘Tally’ spends her days travelling by hover-board!?

 

#4 Anything written by Meg Cabot

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I found Meg Cabot when I was in high school, grade 8-ish I think, so around 15-17. These were funny, easy to read and promoted body positivity in a way that I really needed at that age. What made them more fun, was that my best friend at the time, was also reading them, so it felt like we had something special to share together, to talk about and compare to our world and society. Also, how can you go past titles like that? Especially today, when most of Australia’s population is a 12-14 dress size. It makes it easier to accept you for you, and to embrace who you are. That your dress size doesn’t define you, or who you are or who you are meant to be… I think this message is important, no matter how old or young you are.

 

#5 Horse Head Soup by Rory Barnes

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Now this one, is my favourite, from Primary School, it is about mad scientists travelling back in time and in this book, forward into the future, only to discover that they are exhibits in a Year 2000 theme park; they are living pieces of history! Now to a 8 year old, this was fascinating stuff, not to mention the funny title! I can’t remember exactly why this book has stuck with me since Primary School, I don’t have a copy of it, nor do I remember exactly what happens, but when I think about childhood favourites, this one is definitely up there!

 

So that wraps up my top 5 childhood fiction favourites! As I was saying at the top of the post, what I read in my teenage years, genre wise, is still very much, what I am into now, I read a lot of dystopian novels, a lot of sci-fi and sometimes for a change of pace, I’ll pick up a general or women’s (as they call it now) fiction novel.

Have you read any of these books? Other than Harry Potter of course!

 

Thanks

Julie

P.S Feel free to do your Top 5 Childhood Fiction Favourites and tag me using bookishintoxicationwrites so I can see your top 5 favourites!

 

 

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Judging a book by its cover…

Recently on my Bookstagram, I asked the question, How do you choose which books to buy? Is your decision influenced by the cover?

I think it is a question that readers are forced to feel guilty about. Yes, the point of a book, is about what is inside, the content. But why should we feel guilty for seeing something beautiful and wanting to pick it up?

As a reader, I am influenced highly by how I am feeling on any particular day. I choose books based on, thickness, if it is a paperback or hardcover, the author, if it has been overly present on social media, and of course, the cover or spine. And I have been made to feel guilty for it. Why does one persons personal choice need to be the right or wrong one? Isn’t that the beauty of reading, ten people may pick up the same book, but each have a completely different experience with it.

These days, covers are more reflective of the content they hold, or I think so anyway. One classic example of this is The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw.

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This cover is absolutely stunning, in both paperback and hardcover editions. The hardcover, however is the true masterpiece, with silvery glistening accents. The reason I am showing you this, is because the cover perfectly encapsulates what the book is about. The first vibe I get is…. Witchy. The second is, perhaps something to do with water? And both of those would be correct.

Which brings me back to, why is it so horrible to choose a book based on its cover, when more and more titles are using the cover to advertise the content within, in such clever and sometimes subtle ways?

Don’t let others make you feel guilty for your reading choices and preferences, everyone is different and have their own ways of discovering new books to read. The way you find books, or the way they find you, shouldn’t matter, what matters is that you are reading. That you are diving in to new books and enjoying the experience!

As George R R Martin says “A reader lives a thousand lives”.

Go forth and enjoy what you love, whether it be sourced through the lingering look at a pretty cover, or an auto-buy author. Enjoy reading!

 

Julie.