BBAW: Unexpected Treasures – Reading, Guided by Bloggers

 BBAW 2010:  A Treasure Chest of Infinite Books and Infinite Blogs

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Wednesday—Unexpected Treasure
We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger.  What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?
If you’re a regular reader here, my response to this topic won’t be a surprise to you.
I give credit for my recent explorations into the category of young-adult fiction directly to book bloggers – adult ones, that is. I don’t read many of the teen and college-age bloggers who cover that category, but I was swayed by the enthusiasm of book bloggers who are closer to my own demographic and make no apologies about reading and enjoying books targeted to the YA audience. Some of these bloggers don’t even have kids as a cover/excuse for reading YA!
However, I think my resolve was truly weakened by a book and not a blog. Lizzie Skurnick’s Shelf Discovery is a reading memoir that includes many YA books that I read when I actually was part of the YA audience, and it reminded me of their high quality and enduring value – attributes that seemed to be shared by some of the recent young-adult lit that book-blogging adults were championing. I started to wonder if it was time to get over my prejudices. Not long after that, I read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and didn’t regret it for a minute.
I’ve been slowly adding YA-oriented books to my TBR collection ever since. When my friend Literary Feline – also an infrequent reader of YA – declared Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief to be the best book she read in 2009, I didn’t waste time picking up a copy. Target made Gayle Forman’s If I Stay a “Breakout Book” and shelved it right alongside the other selections for that month, all aimed at adult readers – I took that as a sign. And three bloggers share responsibility for leading me first to the blog, and then the books, of Beth Kephart: Amy, Melissa, and Anna Lefler. I’ve read four of Beth’s YA novels this year…and I hope their target audience properly appreciates their beautiful writing and emotional resonance.
I have no intention of limiting my reading diet to young-adult fiction, but I’ve glad I’ve added some of it to the menu, and I think I’ll keep it around. On the other hand, I don’t think my experiment on the other side of things – when I influenced someone else to read outside their usual range – will have any lasting effects. I’m pretty sure Mike won’t be reading any more “chick lit” (although he did venture into book reviewing again this week, which was his little contribution to BBAW)
How have bloggers led you out of your reading comfort zone, and how did it go when they did?

Please check out my daily BBAW Updates all week at She Writes

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