Diving Back Into Fiction

Once upon a time, I used to swim in fiction. I was constantly sinking in tales of love, sex, lies and drama by authors such as E. Lynn Harris and Eric Jerome Dickey. Then, I hit a wall. Fiction wasn't appealing to the person I was growing into and I sent all of my stories to the local thrift store. I bought up dozens of biographies, non-fiction and reference books to replace what I thought to be a cheesy collection. This cleansing went beyond my bookshelf and extended to my CD collection. All the trashy rap music I once enjoyed was given away promptly.

For years, I've avoided buying fiction books by the pound as I used to. Of course, I enjoy the occasional short story. I've also indulged in classic, African American literature and literary fiction. However, for the most part, my shelves have been deprived of contemporary fiction authors, a league that I hope to join someday.

Noticing my hypocritical trend, I asked myself:

Ain, as much you you enjoy smut TV, how could you not be getting your story fix from a good, well-written book by an author you'd happily consider your counterpart?

I'm correcting my crazy, and I officially started today by heading to Goodwill and buying five new books that I can't wait to dive into. I'm looking forward to the characters, the unexpected twists, the complicated plots, the witty dialogue, and everything else that accompanies a good book.

My new finds are: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, Puerto Vallarta Squeeze by Robert James Waller, The Changeling Garden by Winifred Elze, Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman and A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler.

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Publius said...

I didn't read a single fiction book (unless it was for a class) freshmen through junior year in college for for similar reasons. However, re-reading James Baldwin's "Go Tell It On The Mountain" and Aldous Huxley's "Time Must Have A Stop" opened me back up to fiction. There's much to be learn from the works of great fiction writers.

NaturallyAlise said...

I am a huge fiction reader, but also very snobbish and particular about my choices, so I never did get down with the E. Lynn Harrises and Eric Jerome Dickeys of the literature world, but some fiction authors I have discovered that I love (contemporary) are Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Gloria Naylor, Wally Lamb, Alice Sebold, Tayari Jones... just to name a few... :) ... Let us know how the new books you scooped turn out...

Ain HD said...

Yum! Thank you for dropping the names, Alise. I've already added new books to my Amazon Wish List ;-)

I've finished Something Borrowed two days ago. It's very chicklit in nature but I found myself engulfed in the story... a feeling that I hadn't had in quite sometime. Can't say that there was anything particularly literary about the writing, but a good story nonetheless.

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