Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Restless Reader

So here I am. I love to read. Mostly fiction, but I'll read almost anything, and have recently found I enjoy non-fiction more than I would have thought (strange but true for a former English teacher). But truly, my favorite is a good fiction story with strong characters, a strong plot, and a logical, but not predictable conclusion. I'm not asking for too much, am I?

I recently picked up a couple of books at the book store, and one had SUCH potential. But half way through, the language and R-rated scenes were a little much for me, that I had to put it down. I mean I've got a lot that I should be doing around here, and I have a hard enough time taking time out to read, but when it's garbage, I just can't do it, no matter how compelling the character.  And in my book, compelling characters lose that label when their clothes come off whenever the author can't think of any other way to develop a relationship between characters, be it familial or friendly, if you get my drift!

I think of all the books I read when I was a kid (from about 8 to about 16) and there were all kinds of books that fit that bill: Mrs. Mike, Tisha, Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Black Stallion, and those are just the ones off the top of my head. Not to mention the classics: Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, even The Bard could tell quite a story while the characters had their clothes on, if not their morality.... but at least he left it to suggestion. Whatever happened to the power of suggestion? Has it been over taken by obvious overtures?

I've tried all matter of "Christian" fiction... and I've found a couple of authors who can scratch the itch... Charles Martin and Lisa Samson are a couple that I've recently read that are authors who can develop good stories with great characters, while being stories about real people, not the "shiny, happy people" that I have found a little too sickly sweet for my taste.

My good friend The Farmer's Wife gave me a whole bagful of new books to try today, and she has pretty good taste in books for the most part (except that one C.S. Lewis books... what was that?????). So maybe I'll find somebody new that I like. My husband told me that maybe I needed to find another hobby. I hate to think that I'll have to give up one of my oldest and dearest interests.

If there's anyone out there who knows of some good, wholesome fiction, I'm all eyes!!!


Pohney said...

Jan Karon-Christian writer. Love her books. She has written the Mitford series...which I loved. She has started a new series...the Father Tim series...riveting.

The Farmer's Wife said...

"Til We Have Faces" is overlooked by many, and underappreciated by most....*sigh* :)

I'm so proud of you for diving into non-fiction! Even though you HAD to, since it was our bookclub genre last year....

Memoirs are starting to be one of my favorite kinds of books. Actually, I haven't found any kind that aren't my favorite, so I'll just have to put that disclaimer in.

Hope you enjoy a couple of those books! (I'll continue to research novels in pursuit of those worthy to be read by you. I'm only trying to help.)

Heather said...

I've been reading Karen Kinsbury and most recently the series she coloborated on with Gary Smalley. Pretty good. I think the relationships are true to life- some are good, some are heartbreaking. Plus she uses bible verses that actually come from the bible. I'm still partial to Francine Rivers but Karen's are pretty good.

Rosie O'Grady said...

I am with you on the R rated junk--books or movies. I just got done with Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses, and I liked them both. It is just amazing the strange hold an alcoholic can have on some people--Glass Castle told it all. I am interestd in the Christian authors that you mentioned, because most of the books I have tried are just too...wimpy???? or something.

Kristin said...

Have you read the Horse Whisperer? Nicholas Evans is usually way too sappy for me, but I really, really liked the HW. I don't think that there are any raunchy parts in least none that stand out as "I'm not sure what else to write about, so I'll have my characters get naked on the kitchen table/ hay loft/ neighbor's front porch and describe it all in minute detail."