This time around BBAW wants to know about the genre we tried out in the past year and the book blog that encouraged us to give it a shot. For me, the genre I delved into this past year was romance.
I grew up in a house where the most plentiful titles were published by Harlequin. My mother and her sisters have voraciously read romance novels for as long as I can remember, trading them back and forth among themselves by the bagful. So, you can imagine my aversion to the genre both as a male and as a kid growing up surrounded by books that didn't tell stories about space aliens and superheroes. I grew up in a house that listened to country music almost exclusively, so guess how much country I voluntarily listen to nowadays. That's right--not much.
Well, around Christmas of last year I was doing my usual blogroll browsing when I noticed a link to a "Birthday Bash" book giveaway. Being a sucker for a book giveaway, I checked it out when I saw there were no less than thirty-five books to be won. The contest was hosted by Brande at Book Junkie and the majority of titles listed were romance. I had been looking for a book-related New Year's resolution and decided that if I won the giveaway I would make it a point to read romantic fiction finally as a way to further expand my reading habits. It's easy to get locked into a comfort zone when reading, and while my affinity rests with dark fiction, I always try to read a steady diet of books outside the horror genre.
Fast forward to New Year's and I won the contest. So all year I've been receiving books from Brande, and what I haven't read I've passed on to my mother and my aunts. Of the books I've received, I've personally read somewhere around a dozen of them. I haven't been swayed into becoming a fan of the genre, but quite a few of the titles were much more enjoyable than I originally anticipated. Of course, my favorites among the group have been the ones that have blended with the urban fantasy and sci-fi genres (most notably Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Peneiro and The Confessions of Max Tuvoli by Andrew Sean Greer).
So a thanks to Brande for spurring me into that New Year's resolution. I might not be a convert, but I'm certainly more open-minded to the genre than I was a year ago.