I should say up front that I don’t object to reading new writers. If I can find something I like.
The reason I make that statement is that I find myself revisiting “old friends” more than I find myself making new ones — literariwise (and if you’re going to tell me that’s not a word — well, it’s a question of which is to be master, that’s all. (see illustration 🙂 ))
In the past few months, I’ve gone through Sayers, Doyle, Ellery Queen (rather grudgingly, I admit), and am reading Cadfael, L. M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, etc. If they have Dune, I’ll read that too (although I’m not holding my breath, since they don’t appear to have Tolkien or Lewis or many other science fiction friends).
I suppose part of it is that my faith as a Christian means a lot of books are off limits, either because I know the subject matter is off limits to me, or because they just don’t click with me. Also, I tend to avoid people trying to rewrite something that was popular in the hopes of making money. (Haven’t read / won’t read “50 Shades”, “Twilight”, “Divergent”, etc. — although certainly with “Twilight” I hope that’s because I have better taste than to indulge in them.) I borrowed Stephen King’s “Revival” and took it back to the library, unopened. I just didn’t want to read it. Partly, because I distrusted King’s likely assault on Christianity, and two, because since his accident (IMHO), King’s books work best when he goes somewhere he’s never been before. I STILL haven’t read more than a couple of chapters of “Under the Dome” because my reaction was — “Oh, I’ve been here before, I’ve seen these characters in other books — Regulators, Cell, etc. and I don’t want to rehash old ground.” On the other hand, I thought that even though he brought us up to date on Danny Torrance, he did it in a way that wasn’t “same-old, same-old” and I liked the book a lot. Same with “Wind Through the Keyhole” and “11/22/63”. (And speaking of “old friends”, I reread “Rose Madder” and “The Long Walk” recently …)
My personal standard for a book is to take it off the shelf and give it four pages. If you can’t hook me by then, you go back on the shelf. Writers who have recently made it past the limit include Peter Mayle, Stephen Clarke and Adam Gopnik — they have something in common, which may be the reason I read their books. (Pas de points pour comprendre qu’est-que cette chose.) Also Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall) and Nicole Galland (I, Iago).
So. Any recommendations for new books or authors I might enjoy?