The other day a friend dropped off a book for me to read and then informed me that it was also made into a movie. I know that I often am disappointed when I watch the show after I have envisioned other characters in my mind while I am enchanted by the pages I read. When I have asked others if they prefer the book to the movie, the majority of them answer with “the book”.
They come in all sizes, different covers, diversity of authors and topics. They are on-line, in large print and soft and hard copies. They can take us to worlds beyond or tug at the heartstrings of our hearts. The words cascade like waterfalls through our minds or lull us to sleep. Books are treasures.
Years ago, when I ventured to Portland, Oregon, a friend and I wandered mesmerized by the volumes of books in Powell’s City of Books, which is the world’s largest independent book store. I wasn’t sure where to start looking and was trying to recall the various genres and titles I loved. There are many genres that cross over into each other, but these seem to be the categories some of the bookstores use:
- Action and Adventure – These books are often page turners as we wonder what will happen to the protagonist or main character and his or her pursuits. A few of my favorites are The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas or any of David Baldacci’s novels or Jack London’s Call of the Wild.
- Classics – These stories have been around for many years, but continue to be popular and for some, a challenge to read. There is always a Charles Dicken’s novel, Little Women and To Kill a Mockingbird and of course, George Orwell’s 1984.
- Graphic Novels – This genre may be new to some, but if you ever read Archie Comics as a kid, you will love these amazing stories. My favorite from years ago is Blankets by Craig Thompson.
- Mystery/ Detective/Suspense – Always something to solve, these novels have plots that keep us guessing. If you ever grew up with Nancy Drew or the Hardy boys, you will enjoy Louise Penny’s novels with Chief Inspector Gamache or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
- Fantasy – Whether it’s magic, supernatural or mythical, these novels transport the reader to other worlds. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S Lewis or The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien are always favorites and it’s interesting comparing the movie versions of these.
- Historical Fiction – Based on historical events and characters, these books transport us back into history. My favorites are A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and Ken Follet’s trilogies or Colleen McCullough’s Thornbirds.
- Horror – Stephen King’s books epitomize the fear, discomfort and morbid in many of his books, although Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson rank in this genre.
- Romance – Love stories have always touched our hearts. For those who enjoy those warm stories, Jo Jo Moyes has a number of them and Judy Blume’s The Silent Wife or Janette Oak’s When Calls the Heart are for you.
- Sci-Fi – These stories are often based on dystopian, technology or future events. Margaret Atwood’s famous The Hand Maid’s Tale or Night’s Dawn trilogy by Peter Hamilton are for you.
- Biography/Autobiography/Memoirs – These books offer the details of a person’s life. Recent books have been written by Elton John, Michelle Obama but as historical as Anne Frank.
All in all, the beauty of reading a book, is that one can put it down and pick it up where one left off, like an old friendship. What are your favorite books?