Tag Archives: Bookish Chatter

Chatter about books, reading and anything related to either one.

Fancy That! Genres Through the Ages

This is my first, official Fancy That! post.

Anyway, I was thinking about the types of books that I used to read when I was younger. When I was in junior high/high school, I read a lot of thrillers. Stephen King was, well…KING. I stayed up all night reading his books. When I ran out of King books, I turned to Dean Koontz. Someone asked me to read Watchers and I loved it. I think I went out and got all of his books after reading that one.

Sometime after that, I turned to historical romance. Yes! Me! Real bodice rippers too. I loved Johanna Lindsey. A friend of mine was a bit older than me and one summer she found herself hooked on them. She’d give me her copies but I also got quite a few of them from the library. I didn’t need sex education in school because these books told me all I needed to know and tossed in some historical stuff as well. Can teens check these types of books out from the library now? They have ratings for movies but not for books. Just wondering. I mean, would a librarian stop a young girl from checking out a book that might be too mature for her?

In college, I was exposed to a lot of different genres. Much of it was required reading but I didn’t care. I loved all of it. At that time, I fell in love with the classics but the genre that I really favored, was dystopian fiction and to this day, this is the genre that I really covet yet I have the hardest time admitting. Why do I have a hard time admitting it? Well, because for many, dystopian = fail. Meaning, that society has crumbled or fallen in upon itself and lots of people see that as depressing. I don’t see it that way at all though.

For me, I love to pick it apart. To see where society failed or better yet, to try to predict when it will fail. Orwell’s 1984 still resonates with readers today because the concept of Big Brother is more relevant now than it was when the book was first written (1949). BUT, when I read it back in college I could see all of that happening. It didn’t seem so far off to me and that’s how it is when I read dystopian fiction today. Volcanoes erupting, pandemics making themselves known, earthquakes…so many earthquakes. I’ve read all this in books, but have you taken a look around lately?

So my question to you is this, do you still love the genres of your youth? I can’t say that I love thrillers anymore even though I do read them every now and then and historical romance hasn’t had my attention since I put it down in the mid-eighties. I guess you could say that I outgrew those genres. What about you? Is there a genre that you used to love that you cannot read now?

Book Shout-Out: The Queen of Palmyra

The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

In the turbulent southern summer of 1963, Millwood’s white population steers clear of “Shake Rag,” the black section of town. Young Florence Forrest is one of the few who crosses the line. The daughter of a burial insurance salesman with dark secrets and the town’s “cake lady,” whose backcountry bootleg runs lead further and further away from a brutal marriage, Florence attaches herself to her grandparents’ longtime maid, Zenie Johnson. Named for Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, Zenie treats the unwanted girl as just another chore, while telling her stories of the legendary queen’s courage and cunning.

The more time Florence spends in Shake Rag, the more she recognizes how completely race divides her town, and her story, far from ordinary, bears witness to the truth and brutality of her times—a truth brought to a shattering conclusion when Zenie’s vibrant college-student niece, Eva Greene, arrives that fateful Mississippi summer.

Minrose Gwin’s The Queen of Palmyra is an unforgettable evocation of a time and a place in America—a nuanced, gripping story of race and identity.

I plan to review this one closer to its release date (April 27, 2010) but I just finished it and I just had to post something about it…right now. A lot of you have heard about this book already but if you haven’t, I wanted to make sure you knew something about it because you’ll want to run out and get a copy of it as soon as it comes out.

I am enjoying Spring Break with my family and have spent the week with some wonderful books, this being one of them. I love it when a book leaves you with a good feeling inside. Anyway, I’ll post the review in a couple of weeks but for now, put it on your list. Yes, the list that is about a mile long already.