Omnivore

When it comes to reading, I'd love more focus. Because when it comes down to it I'm an incorrigible omnivore.

I'll devour a prim romance written in 1930 followed by a dry article on how industrial vinyl is made followed by a book of sonnets followed by the back of the pasta box. Something can be happily lowbrow or hoity-toity or thoroughly utilitarian or lavishly maudlin and I'll consume it in equal measure and with equal appetite.

I probably favor short stories, comedic fantasy, magic realism, graphic novels, biographies, and travel books more than anything. I like talky books, like, A LOT. I love to read plays and I enjoy young adult, very much, of course.

For my twentieth birthday I got the complete "Monty Python's Flying Circus" transcripts, two hefty tomes I ate up over the course of a single weekend. Cooking and astronomy magazines, anything satiric, absolutely anything Austen, Poe, Vonnegut, Wodehouse, Shakespeare, and Douglas Adams are main staples of my diet. There is a big dollop of Lucy Maud Montgomery atop the whole tasty goulash, too.

And anyone who has the word "humorist" in his or her bio automatically wins my heart: Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, Fran Lebowitz, and a dozen more.

I'll reread things I adore, several times. Austen is always an issue here.

Three shelf fixtures: "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi, "A Room with a View" by E.M. Forster, "The Secret Miracle" by Jorge Luis Borges.

I like poetry. I'm wild for haiku. I like big ideas. And I like messages written in the sky by tiny, faraway planes.

What's your reading diet?

(I just reread this and find it highly self-focused, so apologies. I love this topic, though, and realize I hadn't yet introduced it on the blog. Now please tell me your star authors.)

17 comments:

Erika said...

I also will read anything. I have my preferences (one of the weirder ones is recipes) but if I am sitting somewhere and there is a book, magazine, pamphlet, or poster I'll read it. Subject doesn't deter me much. I like knowledge. Probably why I love bookstores and libraries so much; I feel like you get more selection than when you shop online. Or that more of a selection is readily available and easier to peruse.

Wilfair Book said...

Pamphlets! Yes. I've read whole pamphlets on how to dissemble a stereo, just because they happen to be sitting there.

Erika, how are you? Hope you're great. :)

Erika said...

I am doing very well. :) I have been wondering when to jump back in again.

How are you ? And the rest of the ladies reading this?

Wilfair Book said...

You may jump back in at any time and say anything you like.

You might put a "spoiler" ahead of anything you say, as I have just learned that we have visitors about who are opting not to ARC it up at the moment. :)

Amanda W said...

Hmmm...I'll admit I'm a genre nut. Mysteries, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction. I'm a card-carrying Anglophile, so British authors and settings will more than likely make their way to my book stack. I love beautiful writing, but it needs to have story or characters to go with it. I'm definitely a re-reader. I mostly like fiction, unless it's humor, or something I'm really interested in or it's non-fiction written like fiction. Or if it's short i.e., I'm not going to be the one reading an instruction manual unless I absolutely have to. (although I once applied for a job copy editing real estate licensing manuals. Hahaha! So glad I didn't get that).

I choose purses based on the ease at which I can at minimum fit a paperback or my e-reader.

Mashed potato authors (i.e., comfort food/reliably delicious) include (but are not limited to): Lucy Maud Montgomery, Jane Austen, Martha Grimes, Sarah Dessen, Malina Marchetta, Maggie Stiefvater, Brandon Sanderson.

Several of the authors you mentioned are on my "I need to check these out soon and why have I never done that before?" list.

Amanda W said...

Oh! And, Erika, I also love to read cookbooks/recipes! And knitting pattern books. And hiking and travel books. So I guess i do more non-fiction than I thought.

bess said...

I'll go through periods where I'll read tons of books in a specific genre British mysteries (my grandmother swore that no one wrote a mystery like a Brit), dystopian fiction, YA romance, presidential biographies, sciencey-nonfiction, coming-of-age stories, etc. But I switch it up quite often.

On the non-traditional side, I'm a fan of a good cookbook, catalog or menu. Where else would I learn that there is a greasy spoon restaurant in my neighborhood offering a sandwich called simply "cloak and dagger" with no other info?

Receipts are also good. I do a good bit of travel reimbursement at my job so I like making up stories for myself about people's trips based on their receipts.

Erika said...

Amanda W., I completely forgot to list travel books and knitting books! Genius! I tend to read knitting books and then knit yet another scarf. They intimidate me a little. Haha!

Mashed Potato Authors! Love the name! Mine include a whole lot of people including Austen and Mz. Painter :D but I have to give a shout out to your Dessen name drop. I am so excited about her upcoming book! Do you have a favorite?

Erika said...

Bess, I want a cloak and dagger. I don't even care what is in it but I am intrigued so if you ever should find out let me know!

Also receipts! I'm going to have to do that with the receipts my family leave around the house it probably won't be as exciting but it sounds like a great exercise in creativity!

Wilfair Book said...

Ha ha, mashed potato authors! I was going to say the exact same thing about that, Erika. I was in line waiting for my car at the mechanic when I read that and laughed out loud, Amanda W. (There's a little secret of mine; if a comment on this blog pops up on my phone I will only read it if I'm in a stressful situation where I need a smile. The mechanic qualifies. Otherwise I generally wait to get home so I can concentrate and think about the comment.)

I like the purse idea, too, Amanda W. I've carried the same (very) distressed leather backpack since 1997 because it is very good for holding books and magazines. I sometimes'll swap in another smaller purse but I always return to my old trusty pack. It's a beast.

Erika: Yes, love the perusing factor. I always hit the magazine and book shelves in thrift stores, too. I like mid-century home decorating magazines, that show you how to crochet covers for your tissue box. VERY important stuff!

bess: I love love love menus. Everyone in my hotel-restaurant family does. In fact, I gifted my dad and brother, hotel managers both, this book a few years back. It is gorgeous:

http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/popculture/all/06785/facts.menu_design_in_america_18501985.htm

Wilfair Book said...

Erika, WHAT. Thank you, that was so sweet. Awww. Did you know I was having a mechanic kind of day?

Chiara said...

Absolute favorites are Margaret Atwood and Margaret Laurence, I got a thing for Canadian Margarets apparently. Love them. Harry Mulisch is an awesome Dutch writer that I've loved since high school. He's translated in English, definitely worth checking out!

Other than that I'm more a favorite books kind of person though and a genre person. Mostly modern and contemporary stuff, which is what my interests went into during my studies but also for fun reading, it's contemporary or dystopian, YA, NA, sometimes chick lit and oh! Books about dogs like The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Dog's Journey. When it comes to non fiction, I like cookbooks as well, especially those that have information that goes beyond the actual recipes. And yes travel books to dream about destinations I want to visit.

Wilfair Book said...

Oh, Chiara! Yes. Margaret Atwood.

Her "Variation on the Word Sleep" is probably in my top five favorite poems of all time. Always will be. The final line quietly floors me each time.

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16221

Nice reading about everything else you like to read!

wealhtheow said...

Poetry? Gary Snyder, for sure. LOVE me some Snyder. Adrienne Rich, Li Young Lee, Gerald Stern, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John Donne, Basho, Issa, Dante, and others.

Prose? Austen, of course. Anne Bronte and her sisters. Annie Dillard. Patricia McKillip. Tolkein. Kafka. Virginia Woolf. I feel like I'm missing someone crucial here. But those are the ones that spring to mind.

Wilfair Book said...

wealhtheow, you have given me some excellent suggestions here! Love me some Dickinson and Donne, but there are a few poets I need to look into there. Thanks!

Also, Kafka. <3

Also, Virginia Woolf. Do you like "The Waves"? I know that book divides people, but I LOVE it.

Chiara said...

I'm all kinds of late here but that Atwood poem is wonderful. Her poetry (and prose as well) is so powerful, I love how she can tackle rather ordinary things and make the words do something to you. On the other hand, I'm also a fan of the more crude poems like "You Fit Into Me":

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/you-fit-into-me/

I'm also fond of "Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer" because it describes the power of nature so beautifully:

http://theswisslounge.blogspot.nl/2007/11/margaret-atwood.html

Which then in turn reminds me of the short story "The Painted Door" by Sinclair Ross, which I found quite haunting when I first read it.

Anyway, I'm getting carried away here. And while on the topic of poetry, I also like E.E. Cummings, who I mostly love for his play with syntax, punctuation etc.

Wilfair Book said...

ohhh, e.e. cummings! Yep yep yep. Same. I'm not sure I feel exactly close to anything he writes, but I am full of admiration.

I just went and found "You Fit Into Me." Wow. So spare, so brief, and so completely complete. Thanks for sharing, Chiara.

 
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