Readers on Reading … Christina adds her thoughts

In my ongoing series of readers talking about reading we have Christina from Canada giving her perspective. Many thanks, Christina.

Please tell us a little about yourself: for example, background, age range, country, general book reading habits. Christina, 41, Canada. I try to read a novel a week.

In your opinion, what is the power of fiction? It can take you to a different time and place. It can make you feel like you know the characters and that you are part of a story. It pulls on your emotions.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of? I love historical fiction, thrillers and biographies. I also like a variety of fiction that are fun and humorous to add some variety to my reading.

What aspects of an author’s writing make you feel like you’re ‘immersed in the novel’s world’ and/or ‘transported in time and place’. The way people and places are described. When you can picture being there, being with the characters. When you fully get to know the characters. When you miss them after the story is done.

Which books read in the past year or so stand out for you and why? A Man Called Ove [by Fredrik Backman], Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine [by Gail Honeyman], Before We Were Yours [by Lisa Wingate] and I Liked My Life [by Abby Fabiaschi]. I felt like I knew the characters. That I was cheering for them, crying with them, that my heart ached for them at times.

How do you decide what books to buy? What influences your book purchases? I follow authors I like on Goodreads. I am part of the Bloom with Tall Poppy writers group on Facebook. I am a member of Audible. I also follow recommendations from Indigo. I also love a great cover. It can stop my in my tracks. I love real books. Physically holding a book. Turning the pages. I also follow many publishing companies on Instagram.

Is there anything about where you live or your particular background that influences your fiction choices? No. I don’t think so.

If there is anything else about reading fiction, the kind of books available today, or the way reading is changing that you’d like to comment on, please do so. I love physical books I hope we never get to a e-book only society. There is something about holding an actual book. I love telling people about books I love and getting them to read them so we can discuss how great they are!

Many thanks, Christina. A novel a week is quite the objective. I’ve checked out the books you mentioned and can see some great ideas for future reads. P.S. Delighted to hear you enjoy historical fiction!

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

Readers have their say …

Two readers, Bonnie and Carol, share their perspectives on reading. Bonnie has worked in eight states and two foreign countries and from data entry to retail management. She’s 78, lives in the US and reads mostly mysteries.  Carol is 49 years old and has a PhD in genetics, She also lives in the US and tries “to always have reading material with me in case I’m stuck in a line.”

What is the power of fiction? Bonnie says “one good aspect is expanded vocabulary” while Carol says “fiction takes you to a different time and/or place real or imaginary.”

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of?  Bonnie prefers “a good police procedural, legal or political mystery.” She doesn’t care for “dystopian, paranormal or sci-fi.” In contrast, Carol like stories that “take place in the Middle Ages, ones that integrate the King Arthur legend” and also Scandinavian noir. She doesn’t like those set in the old West or traditional mysteries.

What aspects of an author’s writing make you feel like you’re ‘immersed in the novel’s world’ and/or ‘transported in time and place’.  Bonnie says she’s “too busy getting to the next page” to have thought about this.

Which books read in the past year or so stand out for you and why? The Burning by Shannon Esposito stood out for Bonnie. She was “totally immersed in this book!!” Carol lists two novels: “I recently finished Beartown by Fredrik Bachman. The storytelling and characters were so wonderful. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. I loved the personal growth of the main character.”

How do you decide what books to buy? What influences your book purchases? Bonnie chooses based on “favorite authors or a fascinating storyline“. Carol is similar: “I usually buy books from authors I’ve read before. I can also be suckered in by the blurb on the back of the book.”

Is there anything about where you live or your particular background that influences your fiction choices? Bonnie’s reading is influenced by a father involved in politics, the jobs she had at two attorney’s offices, and by being married to a cop. Carol loves Scandinavia which draws her to Scandinavian noir.

Thanks to Bonnie and Carol for sharing their thoughts. I now have more books to add to my TBR pile.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION – OR READING IN GENERAL –  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.