I am thrilled that over 70 readers have signed up for the Eclectic Reader Challenge so far this year, and several already have already gotten started and shared reviews. Sign ups are open until December 1st 2014. The challenge asks participants to read 12 books over the year, each from a variety of different categories. These are:
- Award Winning
- True Crime (Non Fiction)
- Romantic Comedy
- Alternate History Fiction
- Graphic Novel
- Cosy Mystery Fiction
- Gothic Fiction
- War/Military Fiction
- Medical Thriller Fiction
- Travel (Non Fiction)
- Published in 2014
One of the things I have noticed in several sign up posts is a request for reading suggestions. I encourage participants to look for recommendations from other bloggers who they read and follow or browse Goodreads Listopia , I thought I might offer a few of my own gleaned from my own browsing. I’m going to cover the first six today, and the next six early next month.
You don’t have to read a Pulitzer Prize or Man Booker winner for this category, you could read a book that was awarded a Hugo or a Ned Kelly or a Newberry. For this category I am considering Burial Rites by Hannah Kent which won the Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award, Neil Gamain’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which won amongst other awards the Specsavers Book of the Year or Past the Shallows by Favel Parret, a winner of the ABIA award.
I’ve already met this requirement, reading The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber though I had planned to read Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink or perhaps Orange is The New Black by Piper Kerman . I used to read a lot of True Crime when I was younger but have read very little for a long while. In True Blood by Truman Capote is a classic example of this genre as is Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry and Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon, but if you prefer something lighter then The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales might work for you. Popular true crime authors include Ann Rule, Joseph Wambaugh and John E Douglas and it is worth browsing their work.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending The Rosie Project by Graeme Stinston or any of the three Bridget Jones books by Helen Fielding for this category which I have read, but there is plenty of choice available. Contempory romance authors like Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Kristan Higgins are popular. If you prefer YA try Meg Cabot or Louise Rennison or if you like a a paranormal twist try Molly Harper or MaryJanice Davidson. There are few men who write romantic comedies but you could try Nick Hornby, Tony Parsons, or Mike Gayle.
This category is a challenge for me so I have been browsing extensively. The most recommended seem to be 1984 by George Orwell, Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and The Stand or 11/22/63 by Stephen King all of which I have read. The Fatherland by Robert Harris is also popular but it doesn’t interest me but I am curious about Jonathon Strange and & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke and World War Z is an option (I haven’t seen the movie yet). I did stumble on a website devoted to Alternate History fiction and if you still aren’t sure what you want to read then Uchronia is worth browsing.
I read my very first Graphic novel for this challenge – Cemetery Girl by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden and was pleasantly surprised by it. I know very little about the genre though I have learnt you can even get non fiction graphic novels like the true crime story about the Green River Killer by Jeff Jensen and Jonathon Case. Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and Len Wein seems to be popular, as do The Walking Dead volumes by , , and
Cosy Mystery Fiction
One of my favourite comfort genres I nevertheless rarely get a chance to read any. The genre just isn’t published here in Australia at all but it is huge in the US and UK. The thing I love about cosy’s is there practically something for everyone – if you love pets then try Rita Mae Browns Mrs Murphy series , if you are a foodie then try Diane Mott Davidson’s Culinary Mystery Series or the Hannah Swenson Series. If you like scrapbooking then Laura Child’s series might be for you or if you hunt for antiques on the weekend try the Trash and Treasure series by Max Allan Collins under the alias Barbara Allan. There are also cosy’s that take place in almost every time period , and amateur sleuths who hold all manner of occupations. Lets not forget the classics either which include Agatha Christie’s volumes. I suggest you browse Cosy-Mystery Unlimited for a comprehensive representation of the genre.
What is your favourite book in any of the categories above, what would you recommend?