This is My Genre, Now Tell Me Yours (Book Tag)

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I was tagged by the wonderful Sara Letourneau over at her official blog, and it’s taken me for-ever- to get to it. Truth be told, I’ve been working every night on art commissions for the past two weeks and many more to come, so I haven’t been making much progress on the writing (or reading!) front. It’s… discouraging the writer inside of me.

I digress.

It’s probably pretty obvious what my favorites genres are, so let’s get to this fun tag!

Question #1: What’s your favorite genre?

If I had to choose a favorite, I suppose fantasy takes a close second to classic literature. How could I come to such a decision, you say? Fantasy is fun, it’s the bees knees to being whisked away into another dimension, it’s the ultimate manifestation of creativity, the master of allegory to the real world. The fantasy genre is colorful, beautiful, thoughtful, and deep.

Down to brass tacks, however, classic literature gets the higher candle. It’s real, it’s history, it’s the dealings of human weaknesses in real situations and relationships. Classic literature, if anything, shows us that though the times and setting may change, we are all one and the same human race, with the same needs and desires, the same letdowns and failures. And most of us don’t live a valiant life of espionage and utilizing magical devices.

Classic literature, while sometimes idealized (every book, from children’s fiction to scientific nonfiction, ought to be taken with a grain of salt), is like stepping back into time and realizing that we are not so different. It makes me marvel as to how far we’ve come. I enjoy imagining the author writing this book a hundred or more years ago, what it must have been like, the hurdles he had to cross, the lives he had to have seen (or not seen) in order to be able to write such a story.

Perhaps it’s because classic literature has been time-tested that I have yet to be disappointed by it. Sure, there are some books that weren’t my cup of tea as far as the story goes, but I can’t expect every book to be. Undoubtedly, I’ve found many more duds in the fantasy genre than the classic literature genre.

Question #2: Who’s your favorite author from this genre?

Dostoevsky hands down. It was he that made me fall in love with classic literature (Crime and Punishment), and it was he whose stories have never let me down. As of now, I have ullstein_high_01067157-468read the majority of his work except some of his short stories, and his Summer and Winter Notes I’m saving for when life slows down. I love when an author keeps a journal! Dostoevsky resonates with me because of the realism of his writing. He isn’t afraid to show you the depravity or misery of humankind. He was a fighter, a speaker against the oncoming reign of the Bolsheviks. The majority of his themes are about nihilism and materialism, and the way he personifies these traits captivated me from the start.

A close second would be Hugo (mostly because he wrote my favorite story of all time, Les Miserables), and not far behind him is Gogol.

Question #3: What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

As with any genre, the amount of books in the genre are temptation enough. There are still many authors yet to be read, and there hasn’t been a more meaningful “so little time” lament as fitting as for this! While many are one-hit-wonders, if I find a good author, I will attempt to read most of their books. This makes the reading list longer. The books that have had the largest impact on me have been Les Miserables, Brothers Karamazov, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Great Expectations.

Question #4: What’s the book that started your love for this genre?

While Crime and Punishment sealed the deal, technically, Jane Eyre was the first book I read in the genre. I had read other classic literature during high school, but back then, I loathed it. I was too busy reading King, Crichton, and Weis & Hickman to be interested in Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm in my youth. I appreciate Animal Farm now, of course, but back in the day, I had no interest.96a1a2a91d788f3f74aeac720fbfcebb

There’s a certain magic to Russian literature that has pulled me in from the start of my journey in reading. It’s hard to put it into words at the moment, but Russian lit will always have a special place in my heart.

Question #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(s) would you choose and why51t7kfmwil-_sx327_bo1204203200_?

I think a common misconception about classic literature is that it’s dull, tedious, and outdated. How wrong that misconception is! Granted, there are certainly some classic literature (Proust comes to mind) that is exactly that, but much of it is not. What book I recommend would depend on what genre catches your interest. If romance is your thing, then undoubtedly, start with Jane Austen. Sense and Sensibility was my first Austen, and it remains my favorite. But if you’re looking for a good adventure that isn’t too deep, I recommend the Three Musketeers. For something more intriguing, Tale of Two Cities (or any Dickens book for that matter) would be a good choice.

Question #6: Why do you read?

I read for inspiration, but mainly, I read to step into an alternate dimension. I don’t read nearly half as much as I’d like to, but when I do step into a good story, well, I’ll spend every free waking moment in it.

I love the art of words, the subtle manipulation of plot, the music that it makes in your mind, and the visual stimulation of words. It is the ultimate personal art form that covers all creativity into one. And of course, the craft of a good story is what made me pursue writing.

Thank you for reading! And I tag everyone who takes an interest in doing this! I hope to give you all an update sometime again soon. I’ve been lagging on both my blogs, so for this, many many apologies. I’m still chugging along! Hope you all are doing well, and I love hearing from you all!

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18 responses to “This is My Genre, Now Tell Me Yours (Book Tag)

    • Right? Oh my gosh I lived for those books when I was young! Raistlin was just so amazing to me. And then I found the Forgotten Realms books, and poor Raistlin fell to the wayside. My only wish is that one day, at least one of my kids will fall in love with those series as I did. It’s like a reader’s prerequisite :3

      Liked by 1 person

      • Raistlin was my favorite character! When my cat had kittens back then, I named them all after the characters. People thought I was crazy when I told them their names, hahaha. Oh man, now I want to dig them up and re-read them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • What a perfect name for a cat!! That’s genius! I’ve thought to reread them as well, but so many books. And then I got dismayed because I picked up the Forgotten Realms again last year and… was very sad to realize that the stories and style are kinda sorta lacking in depth. But for its time, it definitely did the trick, which is the perfect memory for them. Kind of like buying something you had such high hopes for, and it’s a total dud. Maturation = more critical? Dragonlance will always have a special place in my heart though!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. How interesting. We share a first place genre in the classics. I like Dostoevsky–a lot, but I’m more into the Brit Victorians: Trollope, Eliot and Dickens. Flaubert is a great fav of mine…oh and Conrad…Gaaaa. It’s hard to limit the number! :-). I like Sci Fi. but probably more of a mystery/thriller/dectective fan. Have you read anything by Higashino? Japanese detective writer…pretty good. His novel The Devotion of Suspect X is perfect!

    Really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Middlemarch is on the list for this year, I’m hopeful to get to it soon. Are there more Russian authors you’re fond of?

      I believe you recommended Trollope (The Way we Live Now) to me before! It’s on the TBR pile (it’s quite the tome). I can’t say I’ve heard of Higashino, I will certainly look for his work. Your recommendation is coincidental as I’ve just recently rekindled my interest into mystery. I just picked up The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey, and I’m hoping to get into some Agatha Christie this year as well. The PBS series of Poirot is a favorite of mine, so it’s imperative that I read his books.

      And thank you always for your thoughtful comments!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! You’ll love Middlemarch.

        Trollope’s The Way we Live Now is a classic…and the good news is that it moves fast! If you want a shorter one and one that is hilarious, read Barchester Towers. My absolute favorite Trollope though is Framley Parsonage. I’ve read it several times and will probably read it again!

        Other Russian authors: hmmm, Chekhov’s short novels and stories are way up on my list! I read Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons last year and what a wonderful “short” Russian novel that is. One other Russian novel you might enjoy is Oblomov by Ivan Gonchrov. It’s about a man who goes to bed and decides to stay there!

        And J. Tey for mystery is a terrific choice. And if you can get a hold of Higashino’s The Devotion of Suspect X, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a page turner…and a good one!

        Well, again thanks for the wonderful response and happy reading! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This reminds me that I haven’t done a post for the Mystery Blogger Award you nominated me for a while back. I’ll get there… eventually. My heart and mind haven’t been in with blogging lately, but I’m trying to stick with it.

    I love how you describe your enthusiasm of fantasy, so I was surprised that you picked a different genre to focus on. But you voiced your love for classics just as beautifully. I don’t read from that genre very often, mostly because the style of writing in some cases doesn’t appeal to me or is difficult to grasp. But I also love Jane Eyre, and some of my other favorite classics are Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally understandable! I’ve been pretty absent from the blog as well. I browse my Reader a couple times a week, but other than that, ehh. I think the winter is taking its toll on us. I just want to stay home and work on my artwork or read.

      If fantasy is life, classic literature is the soul 😉 Have you tried reading any Austen? She writes such engaging stories, and appeals so much to the femininity in all of us. And I’m not big on romance/relationship stories, but I make the exception for her… and that’s saying a lot. Jane Eyre was such a good book, and I adored Mr Rochester! I ought to reread that book again for old time’s sake.

      I’d tell you to try some more classics, but with so many amazing fantasy books out there, I wouldn’t blame you if you can’t get around to it anytime soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’ve tried Austen. She’s one of the authors I can’t seem to get into, no matter what. :/ But I have a copy of Sense and Sensibility for sentimental reasons. It was one of the books we found in my paternal grandparents’ house after they had both passed away. My dad and his siblings were getting the house ready to put on the market, and they offered certain trinkets or belongings to the grandkids. S&S was one of mine.

        I do have a few classics in my TBR pile. Or, well, I don’t know if they’re classics in the sense we’ve been talking about. But I got James Clavell’s Shogun for Christmas, and I’ve been meaning to read David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have to say I’m really surprised that you couldn’t get into Austen! Alas, that’s okay, everyone is different 🙂 I wouldn’t force books on anyone, and at least you’ve given it a go. I suppose I enjoy the slower pace of the classics (I’m boring lol) but then again, I have to be in the mood for reading a classic. I’m not sure if Shogun is considered a classic? What makes a book a classic, anyway? The death of the author, perhaps? I looked on google really quick and it looks like I’ve just opened a can of worms, lol!

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think it was the language and style of writing of Austen’s work. I found it very difficult to follow and understand when I was younger. Maybe it’s worth another read now that I’m older… But… Jessica, ALL THE BOOOOOKS. XD :S

          I don’t think Shogun has been around long enough to be considered a classic, either. But it was the first thing that came to mind. *lol*

          Liked by 1 person

  3. “though the times and setting may change, we are all one and the same human race, with the same needs and desires, the same letdowns and failures.” –You said it perfectly right there! The more I learn about history, the more obvious it becomes how the human race makes the same mistakes over and over again.
    I love Charles Dickens stories, including Great Expectations! I haven’t read the books, but I’ve watched the many TV and movie versions. His tales are eye-opening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh, the books are so amazing! For whatever reason, when I was growing up, Dickens always gave me the impression of being depressing and droll. How wrong I was! His writing is really engaging and the story is deep, I know you’ll enjoy them if/when you get around to his books!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m write with you about the favorite genres! Classic lit first, fantasy a close second.

    Glad to hear that Les Mis had a big impact on you as well! Sometimes I think that people assume a book must be dry just because it is pushing 2,000 pages. Les Mis is quite the opposite; by the end, I was convinced that Hugo might have been the most emotionally intelligent person who has ever lived. Did you read Hunchback of Notre Dame as well? I fell in love with Esmeralda!

    I haven’t read Dostoevsky yet. I’m still working my way through Tolstoy, but if he is a good representative of Russian lit, then I can’t wait to read other Russian authors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments!

      I’m right with you on the opinion of Les Mis. I think a lot of folks liken classic lit with Proust (now there’s a classic author that can drone on and on), and I’ll be the first to admit there are some rather dull works in the genre… but I can say the same more contemporary books as well. It’s all a matter of personal taste! I did read Hunchback of Notre Dame. I was reticent at first because I didn’t like the Disney movie, but the book was… outrageously amazing. It was my precursor to Les Mis. and I immediately fell in love with Hugo. He is still on par with the most exciting books of today… but with much more depth of character.

      Honestly, I’m not too crazy about Tolstoy. I’ve read a few of his short stories and Karenina and I couldn’t ‘feel’ his characters. I’m going to give War and Peace a try — have you read it? Try Gogol’s Dead Souls if you get a chance. He is on part with Dostoevsky.

      Like

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