I hate giving bad reviews. It's not any fun for me and I have to be very careful with my wording not to offend, and even then I sometimes go too far. I've found after a few months of reviewing paranormal YA fantasy, the tropes that used to amuse me now make me cringe. I'm pretty sure some of the books I've read in the last few weeks would have been better reviewed had I not listened to Twilight in September*. That's why I've decided that November is a month of palate cleansing reads for me. While I have a stack of books to read and review, I'm giving myself a break from deadlines. No blog tours this month after tomorrow. No previously scheduled reviews. I've given myself three rules:
- No more "plucky" female protagonists unless it's a continuation of a series I already enjoy
- If there's going to be an obvious stereotypical love triangle going in, put it back
- No independent or small press published books (sorry, but those have been burning me most lately)
With those rules in place, I've also decided now is the time to read some of the books I so desperately want to read yet, for one reason or another, they've been collecting dust on my shelf. With all those boundaries in place, I believe my November reading life will be full of steampunk goodness, a number of post-apocalyptic scenarios, creepy houses and perhaps even - gasp! - a literary fiction title or two. Here are the books I have on my radar for now.
- Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
- The Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann (it's time to stop staring at its gorgeousness and actually read it)
- Fables Volumes 5 & 6: The Mean Seasons & Homelands
- The Taker by Alma Katsu
- The Sandman Volume 3: Dream Country
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
- The Native Star by MK Hobson
- Feed by Mira Grant
- Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
- Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
- Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Will I probably get through all these books? Probably not, but I think this will at least get me away from the paranormal romance genre long enough to perhaps like it once again. The comics alone should be enough of a change to make me feel better.
I want to get through the month without giving a single book a C+ or below. Think I can do it?
When you're in a rut, what do you do? Is there a particular genre you find always manages to clear away all the recently read bad things? Any suggestions on things I should read or stay far away from?
* When all else fails, blame Twilight.