Trying something new…let’s hope it doesn’t end in tears

144px-The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy,_english.svgMy recent post about author burn out got me thinking. I want to shake up my m/m reading a bit.

My current reading rotation involves reading 4 books of different genres at any given time. Surprisingly this isn’t confusing or frustrating since they are all very different genres and books that I read at different times. I used to never do this but I’m pretty pleased with how it’s been working out.

I keep an audiobook in the car for my commute to and from work and any time I’m driving. These are exclusively non-fiction books that tend to be biographies, memoirs, and event retellings. Here I’ll read just about anything that has a good narrator. I recently finished an epic book about FDR. While I’m not extremely interested in the subject matter the narrator was good and the author kept the biography moving.

Next I keep an audiobook on my phone for running. I’ve experimented with several different books, genres, lengths, and narrators to find something that really works. I’ve listened to Justin Cronin (The Twelve – ugh), War and Peace (I only got through a third), Mortal Instruments (again ugh), Riyira Chronicles (great books but tough to run to) among many, many others and found what works best right now are the Harry Potter books and The Dresden File series. Both are similar, easy to listen to without needing to concentrate too hard and you won’t really miss much if you do happen to stop listening for a time.

I also keep a physical book from the library for lunch time reading and when I get spare time at night (ha). These are almost exclusively urban fantasy, YA, dystopian, sci-fi books. I find them really easy to read and I like that reading them in their physical form helps differentiate the books from the other ways I read.

Finally I read m/m books on ebook, usually on the computer or e-reader. For almost all the books I read I generally pick books out of the hat at random. I like the covers or the subject and give very little thought. I also have more luck finding a decent book than I have bad luck. Of course there are always duds but I found picking at random based on a blurb or subject matter to be pretty successful on the whole.

tumblr_m6msxx1v9X1qct7rjo1_500Yet for my m/m books I pick exclusively by author. I didn’t really realize how narrow my reading had become until I wrote about having author fatigue. It got to the point a while ago that I was so frustrated with the m/m genre that I only wanted to pick books I knew had a chance of success. This meant staying within established authors that I knew were good writers. I no longer trust publishers – though some are better than others – and I haven’t tried a new author in months, if not years.

So as a way to step out of my m/m fatigue, I’m going to read all new authors in m/m for the next month. I think I’m also going to try to pick publishers I don’t normally read either, though this scares me to be honest. There are usually good reasons why I don’t read Ellora’s Cave or Silver Publishing, but who knows, there could be a gem in there I’m missing. Part of this goal is that I’m not going to read any reviews of the book ahead of time. I’m going in blind and hopeful, picking books based on an intriguing blurb and most likely pretty cover pictures. This is how I choose almost all my other books so I’m going to try to use the same, usually successful, criteria to my m/m books.

This could end badly and bloody for all involved, but I’m going in hopeful and not just trying to find books to trash. That’s like shooting fish in the barrel in this genre. Instead I’m really hoping I find all new authors that excite me and inspire me to read more. After all, every author I cling to now was once an unknown author to me that I picked at random.

Suggestions and recommendations are welcome!

 

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16 thoughts on “Trying something new…let’s hope it doesn’t end in tears

  1. Oh I wanna help! But I don’t know what you’ve read so far, so I’m gonna throw out a few titles and hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
    A Midwinter Prince by Harper Fox
    The Epic Love Story of Doug and Stephen (no sex) by Valerie Z. Lewis
    Line and Orbit (sci-fi m/m) by Lisa Soem
    Bonds of Earth by G N Chevalier
    Freedom (sci-fi m/m no sex) by Jay Kirkpatrick
    Good luck!!

    • Thanks for the suggestions!

      I’m iffy on Harper Fox. I liked one of hers and couldn’t finish another so she may just not be for me. Either way I know her so I can’t use that one.

      However all the others are new! Thank you and I’ll be definitely getting into them. Especially the sci-fi ones. I’m feeling that.

  2. Tam says:

    Good luck! LOL I read tons of new authors, that was the past tense of read since my life is so insane I can barely read anything these weeks, but I am being a bit more picky and checking GR reviews to see if there is something in there that likely means it won’t work for me. But yeah, sometimes it’s works, sometimes? Not so much. Ah, life is a crapshoot. 🙂

    • Yea I did that mostly for a long time. Then I got lazy and just stuck with authors I knew. Sometimes I can tell from the reviews (even the 5 star ones) that I’ll hate it. Other times there aren’t any reviews and just ratings which are a crapshoot.

      I hope this doesn’t make me hate the entire genre. It’s possible!

  3. Oh, my! Good luck, you! I wish I had time for more reading. I’m usually just reading books in-house, so to speak. Always something to be proofing or editing. I haven’t tried a new author in ages, so I hope you find some gems and recommend them. I’d love to squeeze a few more good books onto my e-reader for my before-bed reading. 😀 Definitely keep us all updated! I hope you find some good ones!

    • Thanks! I’m hopeful *fingers crossed* I’ll find some to really recommend. I’m kind of sure the law of averages mean I’ll find some real “gems” to entertain with. You know me, can’t keep my mouth shut when I hate something. Either way, fun for all?

  4. Amanda says:

    This sounds like at great idea, after your last post I realized how different I read m/m from when I first began reading the genre. I use to read everything but, like you, its now its mainly only authors I know. Can’t wait to see how this goes for you.

  5. Good luck!

    There are some books I think are no good for audio, because with audio it’s hard to skim bits. I read War and Peace a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it – but there were definitely bits I skimmed. Same with Tom Jones.

    • Yea it’s really really tough to find good audio. Some books I’ve really loved in print just don’t translate well. Plus the narrator is always an unknown quality. I tend to gravitate to biographies a lot or mystery. Both seem to be interesting but you can miss bits too.

  6. Ummmmm… without spending ages on GRs figuring out what you’ve read already, here are a few ideas:

    King Perry by Edmond Manning
    Wacky Wednesday by JA Rock
    Lesson Learned by Lillian Francis
    The Violet and the Tom by Eve Ocotillo
    The Usual Apocalypse by Christine Price (you don’t need to read the first book first – this is more approachable than the first book, actually)
    Lullaby for a Stolen Child by Anna Mayle
    Knight Errant by KD Sarge
    The Morning Star by M Chandler

    • OOOh! Thank you! I’ve read some of those (JA Rock, M Chandler) but the rest are entirely new. So many choices!
      Thanks for the note about Price, I actually was curious about that one so I’ll pick up the sequel and not worry.

  7. Good luck to you on this one. I’m with you – sometimes the new authors work and sometimes they don’t. I’m sure you’ll find some m/m that you’ll love. When you do, share with us! 🙂

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