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Shifting Palates

…or when my reading cravings throw me a curve ball, and I rec ALL the books by accident (No really – reread this after I wrote it, and I’ve mentioned at least 8 books/authors? I regret nothing!).

So, as you can probably tell from my Never Enough Bookshelves series, I like to read. I like to read a whole, whole bunch honestly. Usually it’s in the sci-fi or fantasy realms, and young adult gets a lot of my attention, too. But, on occasion, that changes. Drastically.

I’ve noticed I tend to go through phases with those shiftings of my readerly tastes and cravings.

There are months where I read nothing but Nora Roberts, and preferably books I’ve already finished in the past. Those days, I want something familiar – something I know I’ll enjoy, but won’t kill my sleep schedule staying up all night to reach the end, because I already know what happens. It’s stress free reading for me – the equivalent to binge watching Firefly or The Mummy movies. They’re comfort food: not necessarily good for me or the kind of book that will “teach me something,” but I can still read them all day.

After that, I may find myself only wanting but historicals for a while, specifically regencies, though sometimes Victorians slip in, too. Sometimes, those still may have a bit of genre to them (Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer is a great one, as is A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan), but even true historicals can draw me in. Lately I’ve found myself reading remakes and unofficial sequels to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – I get to curl up with the familiar characters while still enjoying new details from the surrounding time period and setting. So far I think Return to Longburn by Shannon Winslow has been my recent favorite, though I’ve loved many others in the past, as well!

Another month I may stumble onto a new writer and proceed to read everything they’ve ever written because all of it is so incredible (See my Sarah Addison Allen addiction that hit early 2015 LOL). I’m craving the way that author crafts their stories. The books’ plots almost become inconsequential when compared to the author’s voice. I just bury myself in their world building and word play for a while. Finding a new author may trigger a genre binge – I definitely read all the magical realism I stumbled across after discovering Sarah Addison Allen. So far, she’s still at the top of my list, but I’ve enjoyed my other MR reads, too J

Then when I come up for air, I may find myself craving something completely different from my norm. Lately, it’s been spookier stories. I’m normally a coward when it comes to scary stuff (a horror movie is the only one I’ve legitimately walked out at of at the theater in years), but I’m completely devouring Simone St. James’ collection of ghost stories with a side of romance, and other books in a similar vein are definitely on my To Be Read mountain. Another creepy tale I can’t wait to read is Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young – a haunted hotel would normally be on my list of “I’m going to panic before I finish this,” but man does it sound fantastic to me right now.

I never know what phase I’m going to slide into next, just that as long as I’m reading, it’s guaranteed to be a phase I’ll enjoy.

What about y’all? Have y’all binged or temporarily changed reading tastes recently? Let me know on Twitter @C_L_McCollum

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