I have always loved dark, twisted books and TV. But there seems to be something happening to my tastes, they are changing quite considerably. I’ve written before about how I can’t watch Game of Thrones, and this same thing is affecting all the TV I watch and even the books I read.
I don’t want to read things which are unsettling, or have a nasty edge. I have always loved Neil Gaiman’s books, adored the dark twisted currents running through them. This week I settled down to re-read Neverwhere, one of my favourite books. I found it deeply unsettling and I wasn’t enjoying it at all. So I stopped.
My to be read pile is massive, so I don’t normally have any qualms about abandoning books which I’m not enjoying, but this gave me pause. Especially as the book I had just stopped reading before I started Neverwhere, David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks was put aside for the same reason – the characters were nasty and it was making me very uncomfortable.
As is my want, I worried and thought about this for a few days. Am I losing my edge? Am I losing myself? I talked to my husband about this and explained the situation. He said that it was natural for this to be the case. I am investing a lot of time and energy into living a more joyful life, even when my natural happiness level seems to be below most people’s and depression is always lurking around the corner. My brain was probably rejecting these books – why would it want more negative things when I am changing my focus?
Oh my husband is a wise man.
It makes complete sense when you think of it like that. But, so much literature is based on seriousness and pain, there’s a whole genre called misery lit. A new book award has been launched which specifically excludes books which includes violence against women. To be completely honest I have always rather looked down on happier books, not least because of the rather derogatory term ‘chick lit’. I think it is time to trust myself and let me read books which make it easier to live a happier, more positive life, rather than encouraging the depression.
Do you have any fiction book recommendations?