I have always liked books about romance. I'm not such a fan of Harlequin romances, but throw in a good murder mystery and I'm happy to see the girl get the guy. They can be classics, contemporary or something in between... everything from Jane Austin to Stephanie Meyer, women's lit was my mainstay for a long time.
I don't really remember what set it off, but I started to get sick of the old routine: Innocent woman, bad boy... they hate each other, and then the love each other and live happily ever after. So, last summer I tried something new, a mystery. I liked it, and so I read more by the same author. I liked it too. Then I read a different genre and I loved it too. A few more books after that, and a light bulb went off: there are whole lotta great books out there that don't involve finding your one true love.
That's when I started an experiment. I didn't ask anybody to suggest a book to me, but every time somebody told me about a book they liked, I added it to a list and made a point of reading it. When I read all my friends' recommendations, I started taking strangers' advice. If I read a recommendation from an article or blog, I added it to the list. When Amazon made suggestions to me, based on my wishlist or purchasing history, I looked at them long and hard.
There was a while there when Amazon was sending me a package every week, and over time, I've read them all. Surprisingly, I only found two books that I actively disliked. Most were pretty good. There were a few books that I had to take a few attempts at, but ultimately ended up to be good reads. And there were a few books, which I normally never would have read, that I absolutely loved.
The only problem is, I'm out of books and out of suggestions. I stopped buying books in January when I decided to get my finances under control, and I no longer have a stockpile of books waiting to be read. It's making me a little crazy, so it's time to put in an order.
I'm looking for some good reads. I've tapped out my local friends and family, and even Amazon's suggestion software seems to be stuck in a rut (I think I confused it by reading such a wide variation).
All that's to say that if you've got any recommendations, I'd be happy if you'd throw them my way.