This is my genre (to read), tell me yours

I just read this post by Jessica Rachow and now I’m in danger of going down the reader’s book tag rabbit-hole, but for today I’ll just do this one.

1. What is your favorite genre?

I keep meaning to take inventory of my books, but YA is probably my most-read genre, with YA fantasy my most-read subgenre.

2. Who is your favorite author from that genre?

I loooooooooove Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series, so I’m going to go with her.

3. What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

I love the inventiveness of fantasy worlds – Fairyland makes me feel like a crap writer by comparison, because Cat Valente has so many ideas I know I could never come up with. I love the magic, the escapism but the realism. Fantasy is so different from real life, yet you can always find something to relate to: friendship, family, people standing up for what they believe in, people trying to be part of something greater than themselves.

But I’ve never cared for adult fantasy. To be fair, I haven’t read much of it since a few aborted attempts in high school – I think it’s the style/voice that I couldn’t get into. A lot of it reads either dry or pretentious (or both). But I just finished V.E Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magicand I’ve got a Terry Pratchett book downstairs, just waiting for me to finally read it. So perhaps in the future I’ll find myself reading more adult fantasy.

4. What is the book that started your love for that genre?

Probably The Chronicles of Narnia, which my dad read aloud to me when I was very small. He and my mom also used to read us The Alligator and His Uncle Tooth on road trips, which isn’t precisely fantasy but the main characters are alligators, so I’m counting it. And then in second grade I started reading the Harry Potter series.

5. If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

The Fairyland series! At the risk of giving them fantasy overload on their first go. It’s adventuresome, funny, sad, ridiculously beautiful, so creative, and every book in the series is as good as the last.

The story starts when 12-year-old September, who lives in Nebraska during World War II, is swept away to Fairyland by the Green Wind. She hopes to have grand adventures like the children she’s read about in stories, but instead she finds herself pitted against the Marquess, a cruel dictator who took over Fairyland when kind Queen Mallow vanished. There are talking wyverns, herds of bicycles, cities made of fabric, nobility of coffee and tea, and merpeople who live outside time.

6. Why do you read?

Uhhhh??? I’ve always read. I don’t know, to be honest – all I know is that I love it. My parents read aloud to my sisters and me when we were small and all through our growing-up years, and all three of us read voraciously then and continue to do so now.

Which is in an educational way a good answer, because – as I learned in my many literature education classes – parent read-alouds and modeling really does foster a love of reading in children.

If I had to choose a “real” answer, I would say I love learning about the experiences of others. I love voices and characters that make me laugh or cry (or both). I love seeing things I can’t experience in any other way.

What’s your favorite genre?

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