Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Unexpected Treasures

Today's prompt for BBAW encourages us to share about a genre or book we only read due to the influence of other bloggers.

One of the better parts of book blogging for me has been the way it has introduced me to so many new genres, authors, and kinds of books. Before I was one of those readers I now roll my eyes at, the one who only knew the obvious recommendations to make. :)

Pinpointing one influence becomes much more difficult. I like to think of it as a big huge mish mash of someone saying something on Twitter here, and another person reviewing a book over there. Eventually the combination of enthusiasm pushes me over the edge into new book love.

I can say that rediscovering YA, or rather discovering what it is now, has been due to the influence of book blogs. Three years ago I found the notion, like many of you still might, of reading YA as an adult ridiculous. Then I finally caved and read one and OH WOW. I've been reading some of the bigger and/or more "literary" YA titles the past three years, but in the last month my appreciation for both Young Adult literature and Middle Grade fiction has deepened as it's been the only kind of book I've wanted to read. And every title has been enormously rewarding, delighting me, making me feel, allowing me to slip outside of my own skin and experience something other.

I saw someone say on Twitter that YA can't be taken seriously as literature since it's written for younger people (which, by the way, is NOT always true) and man did that annoy me. If you hang out here long enough, you'll soon learn things like, "what can be taken seriously as literature" is the kind of comment that drives me over the edge. In truth, I understand what s/he's getting at, but literary hierarchy is not my game and any story that moves someone, inspires them, impacts them, and makes them think can be taken seriously as literature. In other words, I believe in good readers even more than I believe in good books.

Now I've gone and gotten on my soap box all to say I love YA, I think some of the very best stuff being published today is YA and I'm so THANKFUL that book blogs were there to introduce me to this huge market of books!


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