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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

I recently decided that I’m a coward when it comes to reading. I’m not adventurous, or brave, or intrepid in any way at all. Instead, I often stick to the same genres, same authors, same series, etc. I am one of those people who read the same book over and over and over, but (to quote from You’ve Got Mail) do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?

In my book marketing class the other day, we were discussing the efficacy of book blurbs on the back cover…do we buy books based on the description? I answered yes, of course, but the truth is that I buy books based on whether I’ve heard of the author, read another book by that author or in that series, and whether I like the genre of that book.

I honestly don’t often venture into the Fiction section of the bookstore or the library. I stick to the areas I know: fantasy and science fiction, YA, cooking, mystery, etc. I like these sections, but I think it’s more because I am overwhelmed by the number of books and authors I don’t know in the fiction section. I’ve been reading the other books for so long that I’m familiar with many of them, and I feel comfortable there.

I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to venture forth from my tidy little hobbit hole of reading habits. One of my favorite things about the library is that I can bring a book home, read five pages, and then return the book if I dislike it. Part of it, I think, is that I started reading very young and read several books that I shouldn’t have read until I was older. I read The Color Purple, for example, when I was in fifth grade – way too young to be reading about the subjects covered in that book – and so now I have this fear of somehow reading something that will traumatize me.

Which is just silly for a grown woman. I read a fantasy book recently where the main character has a very vivid nightmare about being raped, and I stopped reading. Apparently I’m one of those people who cannot handle the harsh realities of literature. Fiction is too “real” for me.

But I’m going to try harder to venture out of my comfort zone, to try and read books by authors unknown on subjects as yet unexplored. I owe it to myself, and to the authors, and to the art of writing – books aren’t always meant to be cozy and happy. Sometimes we all need to read something unfamiliar and uncomfortable, and it’s those kinds of books that help us most to grow. I don’t remember a lot of the books I read in childhood, unless the plot disturbed me in some way, and I think I remember those books because they taught me something or made me think. Which isn’t a bad thing at all…so why have I been avoiding it?

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So I know there’s been a lot of talk about monsters and creepy fantasy creatures in publishing lately, but I’d like to give a nod to one of the best horror writers ever: H.P. Lovecraft.

H.P. Lovecraft, among other things, wrote the The Call of Cthulhu, which has been made into a movie. Cthulhu is a monster/god/elemental creature that has spurred many adaptations since the 1920s that I’m surprised there aren’t more movies, honestly. The movie can be seen on Netflix, and was made in 2005.

Cthulhu cupcakes I made for a friend's birthday!

Anyway, because I think Cthulhu and Lovecraft are awesome, I was happy to see a suggestion that the movie be packaged with the e-book. I think this is a great idea – especially since so many movies lately have been adapted from books, this is just one more way to get people reading great books when they might originally have only seen the movie (which is rarely as good). I hope this idea catches on, and I hope that Lovecraft is one of the first authors to be so packaged.

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