Where have all the good men, ahem, books gone?

…in which I lament my taste in books.

I finally found a book I absolutely loved last year. It was THEFT OF SWORDS by Michael J Sullivan. I blasted through it and then snatched up the next two in the series and literally cried at the end for having such a wonderful experience. Okay, the tears might have been a little insane, but it has been so long since a book/series has swept me away. I have recommended this book to a close friend and my daughter, and turns out they have felt the same way. In fact, my daughter told me she hasn’t been able to read another book since because she’s afraid it just won’t live up to the experience. I know what she’s talking about. I have since read a book I enjoyed enough to follow up on the series, but not with the same enthusiasm. But the series has to wait until I finish reading some required reading. And I’m not enjoying these books at all.

My Harry Potter Shelf--books in German and English
My Harry Potter Shelf–books in German and English

Yes, they are fiction, and they are in a genre I supposedly love, but they are nothing books. Nothing about them makes them stand out. One was readable; one was riddled with errors a good editor could have easily fixed (other than the weak protagonist); the others have been, well, nothing books. Nothing about the stories was original. If one subscribes to the theory that no plots are original, then nothing about the books was fresh. It’s not that they were bad; they were all forgettable.

It must be my taste. It seems like every book I read in this particular genre these days are the same. Not the plot; just, forgettable. I don’t know who’s to blame. Is it the editors in charge of buying books and who are afraid to take a chance on something different because something unproven is risky? Is it the readers who glom these tepid books because they’re comfortable? Is it the authors who are writing to what they think the audience wants (and apparently the audience for such books is huge because they are selling)? As I said, it must be me.

HARRY POTTER blew me away. READY PLAYER ONE blew me away. BEWITCHING blew me away. THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAM blew me away. I, ROBOT; DANDELION WINE; THE MARTIAN; TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD; these all blew me away.

Then there are the next level books that I enjoy enough to be glad I found, and if they’re series I will continue with them. Heck I even re-read some of them. But for the most part, I end up with forgettable books.  Nothing books. My taste. Then again, what do I know. It isn’t as if I have “best-seller” after my name. In the meantime I search for the next book that will blow me away.

Because being blown away is absolutely the best experience in the world.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron

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