2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.
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I Know I Can Change Your Mind or Why You Should Give Fantasy/Supernatural Books a Shot

It’s not all about Team Jacob and Team Edward, you know.

Seriously. Fantasy and supernatural books have gotten a bad rap, I think, and I’ve decided to take it upon myself to try to fix that. I know a lot of people think this is light-hearted fluff land full of made-up creatures and words, or else the domain of angst-ridden tweens and goth youth swathed in black. Sure, some of it is. But then again so is some of the canonical literature. Hello – have you heard of Lewis Carroll? Edgar Allen Poe? There are plenty of “serious” literary authors who wrote what would today be considered fantasy or supernatural books.

And they are just the tip of the iceberg.

There are a lot of great classics that would be categorized in these genres, don’t get me wrong. But they’re not my focus today. My focus today is a batch of fantastic (no pun intended) contemporary authors (well, there is one classicist on my list, but I can’t help it – it’s one my favorite of his books).

I don’t know about you, but I read to escape. Sure, I enjoy non-fiction and I have made my way through more than one girl’s share of tear-jerkers, stories of pain and agony, tales of dark days of loss and grief. A number of these have made a powerful impact on me, and while I would find it difficult to say I had enjoyed them, given their subject-matter, they were books that I would recommend. But they are rarely the type of books I read again. That is because I am a reader who wants to get thoroughly engaged in every book I read. It doesn’t always happen – the chemistry between author and reader is a tricksy business – but I always hope it will. And it is hard to hope that about a story that I know will depress me or leave me feeling bad, sad, or mad (or some combination of the three).

That is a big reason why I enjoy fantasy/supernatural stories. Sure, they too work in tears, pain, and grief – but by doing it in a way that is so surreal as to be readily distinguishable from “real” life, I am able to separate myself from said tears, pain, and grief and focus only on the story. That, to me, is the real gift of these genres – they allow me to tread among the full range of human emotions and to let my imagination run wild, without the threat that I will spend the three days after I finish reading wallowing in a case of the blues, the mean reds, or the dingy yellows.

The books on this list fall solidly within the fantasy/supernatural categories (to my mind and tastes), yet they are oh-so-much more than those categories too. They are also very well-written tales of life and love, fears and dreams, heroism and folly.

They just happen to have made-up words, characters, and settings thrown in.

Don’t be put off by that though, please. Even if you cannot stand the sight of a werewolf or your stomach turns at the mere mention of vampires, these are books that are well worth your time. Sure, a few of them actually do feature vampires and werewolves – as well as gargoyles, witches, devils, pookahs, child-stealers, elves, demons, and even some man-made evil. And yes, there’s more than their fair share of darkness. But there’s also a surprising amount of light and even a translatable lesson or two for those of us stuck in the “real” world.

Trust me. I am a frequent traveler in these worlds – still fully human, thank you very much, and so far I have yet to encounter anything too fantastic anywhere other than between book covers. But I keep my eyes open a little wider than most people, just in case… 😉

Top 10 Fantasy/Supernatural Books for People Who Don’t Like Fantasy/Supernatural Books

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