My husband is a homebrewer. At least once a year, the linen closet smells of glorious malt as the carboy bubbles away in the dark. Sometimes he brews stouts, sometimes rich browns, sometimes chocolatey porters or a spicy holiday ale. The point is in the variety. Sure, we have our favorites (I tend to favor porters–he likes the browns) but there is more fun to be had in trying something new.
A recent post at http://www.booksandsuch.biz/blog got me wondering if writers (and readers) are as eager for diversity. I realize a writer’s work (and the writer themselves) in today’s market–or maybe in any day’s market–benefits from being “branded.” There is comfort in understanding the “product” of a writer, knowing from one book to the next that you will find consistency and familiarity in topics/characters/prose. How often has a favored musician taken a risk in an album only to find his or her core fan base predominantly disappointed?
In our house, there is a running joke when my husband and I want to watch a movie. He grins and asks, “What are you in the mood for?” And then he’ll say, “Let me guess; something escapist?”
But can’t we can all benefit from stepping outside of the taste box? For example, if I had known how brutal some of the passages in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi were then admittedly I might never have opened it. But, wow, am I glad I did. That brilliant book has stuck with me longer than most, and remains one of the ones that can still give me chills years later just THINKING about it.
Now it’s your turn…
Do you find yourself in a taste rut when it comes to reading (or writing)?
If so, what book pulled you, or maybe even catapulted you, out of your usual preference zone/box and made you glad you’d made the leap?
(I’ll be anxiously awaiting your thoughts, sipping a Nut Brown…)