As an avid reader, I find myself falling into period ruts. Where each book I read may be good, but it doesn’t excite me. It doesn’t make me run to Twitter and abuse the caps lock. And, well, it makes me watch more TV than is necessary.
And then you hit that one book that revitalizes your reading habit. Sometimes it’s a twist on a new genre, or a step out of your comfort zone or in the best cases a book that feels entirely fresh.
Sometimes I just need a refresher read. If you do, too, here are a handful of books that have reinvigorated my love of reading and reminded me why genre fiction is so damn fun.
Hounded by Kevin Hearne, the first in his Iron Druid Chronicles, reminded me that urban fantasy can be fun. I read darker urban fantasy frequently. And I love it. I do. But sometimes you need a good laugh alongside your ass kicking. Hearne does that well, while flaunting all the things we traditionally love about the genre. Also, I don’t often read male protagonists, but hero Atticus reminded me I can enjoy them just the same.
That said, sometimes I just need darkness done differently. Alma Katsu’s The Taker is at times both lush and visceral. Her prose is beautiful. Her literary fiction with a supernatural twist had me likening the book to Interview with the Vampire, but sans vampires. It’s full of bad people doing bad things, but written cleverly enough to cause you to feel pity for these twisted immortals. If you want to try something lighter on the paranormal, but heavy on the creeps, give it a go.
If you need something to make you swoon, pick up Body of Sin by Eve Silver. The world-building is top notch, but better yet the romance is her undeniable best. It may be the fourth book in a series, you’ll be sucked in reading it as a stand alone, too. This isn’t just a rekindling of lost love, but the realization that love slipped through their fingers when it seems too late. And just what two parents will do to find love together and protect the little girl most precious to them. You may cry. But it’s worth it.
Have you been on a YA dystopian bender? (It’s OK, we’ve all been there.) Ready for the grown-up version of a post-apocalyptic event book? Pick up Mira Grant’s Feed. She makes zombie apocalypse via vaccines feel way too real, but that’s not the best part of the book. It isn’t about zombies, but about the people who manage to survive and still make human connections within a world where anyone could turn into a zombie at any moment. No romance, but lots of heart.
What are your refresher reads? Do you go back to favorites like Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost or Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward to get your reading groove back, or have you found new books that thrill you? Share your flail-worthy favorites in the comments, and we’ll all expand our to-read lists.
While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. (Her husband often reminds her that she’s taken.) Bother her on Twitter - @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.