I think everyone has a genre they turn to when they want comfort reading – for me that would be cozy mysteries. And if there’s a craft theme all the better. Mystery novels make me think of rainy afternoons eating buttery toast and tea by a roaring fireplace. But it’s really easy for me to get into a reading rut (hey, we’ve been here before, haven’t we?).
As a librarian I feel like reading widely helps me do my job better – after all, how can I recommend books in genres I’ve never read? One genre in particular that I steer clear of is chick lit. I figured it was time I step away from that cozy fireplace and pay a visit to the glittering boutiques of chick lit. I had heard good things about Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians so I decided to give it a try.
Well, it certainly was light and bright and sparkling (for those of you who don’t know, that’s a phrase Jane Austen used to describe Pride and Prejudice). And I remembered why I avoid this genre. Kwan is a talented writer and there are some great parts in this book, but there’s just so much (brand) name dropping, endless descriptions of opulent surroundings, and extravagance everywhere. It reminds me of macarons. Imagine seeing a huge plate piled high with macarons – it looks really pretty and delicious, and if you sat down to eat all those macarons the first few would be amazing. But after a while they lose their appeal, and if you forced yourself to eat the whole plate you probably wouldn’t want to see another one for a llooonnnggg time. Well, let’s just say I don’t want to read another chick lit novel for a while. (I just want to add that I’m not making judgements here, it’s just that this genre doesn’t hold my interest very long. There are probably lots of people who couldn’t stand cozy mysteries)
Before going back to my cozy fireplace I’d like to challenge myself. I was given the first two books of Amitav Gosh’s Ibis trilogy a while back (the third and final instalment hasn’t been published yet, and it kind of bugs me that if/when I get the third novel the cover probably wont match the first two. I know, I know, I’m being OCD). I’ve just started the first one and it promises to be a substantial read.