Has your taste in reading changed?

Mine has.

Over the last six months I’ve found myself less and less able to enjoy fiction of any kind, and have gravitated toward biographies, true stories, and what could be loosely called self-help, or motivational books.

I suppose this is a product of our new reality.

With even the most minute day to day decisions bearing life or death consequences, I found I had no patience for silly characters overly concerned with trivial or unimportant issues, and put down four books in a row before I decided it was me, not them.

Then, I found myself rereading the entire JD Robb, In Death series, followed by a reread of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series,,,for comic relief.

But after that I was at loose ends, seeking strong, confident female voices, and finding them in non-fiction books that spoke to me. Cue a reading/listening frenzy.

Here are my current favorites–good books written by gutsy, resilient women, and all but the last two are narrated by the author.

Also, a dear friend recommended SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL, by Patricia MacLachlan, as a lovely read capable of taking one away from the chaos for long enough to allow a soul to settle. I picked up the audio version–beautifully read by Glen Close–and settled in to enjoy. It was a delightful listen which did indeed take me away, and I look forward to listening to the rest of the series “as needed,” in the coming weeks and months.

To the authors of the books listed above, I was captivated, emotionally invested, and in some cases unable to look away. For that I thank you! Also, I shall hear your voices in my head whenever I see one of the projects I was painting while listening to your stories.

To everyone else, has your taste in reading material changed? Do you find yourself seeking simple distraction? Or perhaps deep connection?

Kathryn Jane, author, artist, and feral cat advocate.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. jenanita01 says:

    I am having trouble reading, period! Maybe I should try listening for a change…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kathryn Jane says:

      I’m finding listening much easier than reading these days 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      1. jenanita01 says:

        I will have a go… but what do you do with your hands?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kathryn Jane says:

        I paint, play solitaire, crochet, or clean and tidy my house while listening to books 🙂


  2. Vicki Batman says:

    I have had on my TBR shelf the Mitford series. I have fallen in love. The books are inspirational and the characters are well-defined. I liked them so much, I ordered ones I didn’t have.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey, Kathryn. I agree my taste has definitely changed in reading material. I used to like to read sexy thrillers. In the last week I’ve put down three of those, and not because they weren’t written well but because my taste has changed. I’ve read more what I call “real” books as in non-fiction and biographies. I’ve even changed the feel of my own stories over the years. Yes, these are hard times, but reading (or listening that some of you do :)) in any form has always offered a distraction, a salve, and an inspiration. Grateful for that. I shared. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kathryn Jane says:

      I’m glad you’ve found other things to read and help distract you from our wild reality.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pat Amsden says:

    Some of your selections on your list have been read, listened to or watched by me. I listened to On Becoming by Michelle O’Bama which was inspirational to anyone. I suspect it could be life changing to a black (I’m thinking black is OK because I think it’s being used by other coloured people than me) girl anywhere in America or possibly the world. Particularly if she doesn’t have the same positive role models in her own family, that Michelle had. It’s not a ‘heavy read’ making me feel eternally guilty or horrible. And as a blue eyed blonde I’m never going to convince anyone that I’m an other.

    I’ve also listened to the Bob universe in science fiction. We are Legion, we are Bob. I had to . My son is a Bob though he goes by Rob. Anyone interested should check it out through Audible and I think the sample size will give you an idea of whether you’ll like it or not. The US election has me watching and going back to a Master class in negotiations from someone who’s been a hostage negotiator and still may be in the US. He goes through several scenarios with another person and many are ones we learned in a course (mandatory) for hospital clerks. Now chances are you will only briefly glimpse a clerk as Covid continues but I digress. So, not light, but I suspect these skills could be useful for anyone right now. If nothing else there’s a scenario where someone is negotiating for a raise. It sounds a lot like what my son has done at times. (Successfully).

    The science fiction have been good for when my neck is bad and I’m stuck in bed all day with muscle relaxants. My meds have been changed though so not happening as much! That may also give me more time to go down rabbit holes like hostage negotiations. In general though, lighter is better this year. The list you have given contains some interesting and lovely looking books.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kathryn Jane says:

      I’ve never been a fan of science fiction, but I just listened to the sample of the first Bob book and it really drew me in, so I’ve added it to my wish list. Thanks! The master class sounds very interesting, and not unlike the Bulletproof book which was written by a woman who was secret service, and also an interrogation expert.


  5. Your list looks inspirational, Kathryn. I’ve turned away from a lot of the suspense reading I used to love and moved into genres like fantasy (love, love D. Wallace Peach!), women’s fiction authors such as Kristan Higgins, and YA novels like Emma Scott who delves into deep issues such as conversion therapy and addiction.
    Things are different now, which makes it all the more important to find balance in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pat Amsden says:

    I’d think the training for an interrogation expert would overlap with training for hostage negotiator. Although it seems a bit much for an Admitting clerk.😉The right postal code is soo important.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    Becoming is a fabulous read! I can’t seem to get it back because so many friends have been borrowing it. As a former elementary teacher, I would recommend Sarah, Plain, and Tall for children.

    Liked by 3 people

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