My daughter, Janice Sperry, and I have different tastes in the books we read. She loves fantasy; she even writes fantasy, and so since I prefer the kind of books where problems are solved through intelligence, perseverance, and superior reasoning ability and she likes problems solved through magic, mysterious creatures, and strange potions, I asked her to guest blog for me.
There are a few things in life I've had to accept. First, my pre-baby body is never coming back. Second, the laundry will never be done. Third, my mom will never like fantasy. I like fantasy, particularly humorous YA. (My favorite fantasy is where I'm skinny again and there isn't any laundry to do.)
When my mom asked me to guest blog about why people like fantasy, I thought about it. I thought about it while writing my shopping list. I thought about it while grocery shopping (and that could be why I forgot to get carrots), and I thought about it while we ate dinner. And then I realized that I spend a lot of time with food and that brings me around to chicken.
Most people like chicken. My oldest child likes chicken as long as it is in nugget form. My daughter loves chicken enchiladas and my youngest likes chicken in any form as long as he is in the right mood and the stars are properly aligned. I like chicken with stuffing. My point is that we all like chicken but we like to do different stuff to it. We have different tastes.
Story lines are like the chicken. Take this one: Girl meets boy, they fall in love, disaster strikes, they part company, something amazing happens, they get back together. Sounds like a great story right? No way. It's boring. Now, add a gumpy frog, a magic sock, and a missing princess and I'm interested. My mom? She'd pass. But take that same original story and add a spunky cowgirl, a wild horse, and a fancy pistol. My mom would pick up the book (I wouldn't).
A few years ago I joined a book club in my neighborhood. I've read a lot of books that I never would have chosen for myself. I recently finished The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. It's a murder mystery but I liked it anyway. I've also read Jane Austin and didn't like it. (My mom and I agree on that one.)
So the next time you're at the library, pretend you're at a restaurant and pick something new from the menu. Your favorite genre will still be waiting for you if your experiment leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
And here's where we agree. There are all kinds of delightful surprises waiting for those who are willing to try something different.