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Question of the "Trashy book recs" thread peeps

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justjul posted 8/31/2012 10:49 AM

I love(d?) romance as a genre. I love(d?) it so much, that I actually aspire to write romance, too, and was recently making huge strides in the endeavor. And then... DDay happened.

My DDay was not that long ago--Aug 6. And the writing and reading stopped. I'm still trying to take care of myself (I'm on the proverbial rollercoaster--I hate it so much), but one of the things I enjoy in life-- the things that gave ME joy and helped me cope with life--was reading/writing romance... and I haven't dared to turn to it, and I miss it oh-so-much.

I stopped because ... well, I don't know why I stopped. I think it was because I was afraid. I don't know how I'll react. I'm not even sure I can write yet -- I feel like such a fraud, now -- but I would really like to be able to read again. I'm just afraid it might trigger hurt and heartache.

So, since there seems to be a vibrant group of romance readers here, I was curious and I wanted to ask: were you able to read romance so close after DDay, or did you have to recover first?

I miss it so much. Opinions? Suggestions?

ETA: Whoops. The subject should be Question FOR the "Trashy Books rec" peeps.

[This message edited by justjul at 10:49 AM, August 31st (Friday)]

CallMeRed posted 8/31/2012 11:00 AM

Hi there

I'm a writer too but I don't write romance very often, but what I will say is there are some really good "women's fiction" books out there which are contemporary and funny and not too set on the romance path if that makes sense.

I have a Jojo Moyes book which I picked up and thought about reading a couple of weeks ago. But I put it down as I am definitely avoiding romance right now.

I haven't written anything apart from a very short story since my own dday, so I can understand your writing going out of the window. It will come back when you're ready.

Take care.

[This message edited by CallMeRed at 11:01 AM, August 31st (Friday)]

SouthernGal posted 8/31/2012 11:11 AM

I never stopped reading romance novels (or any other kind of book).

I read a lot of books that contain topics that are either opposed to my views on things or contain things that disturb me. I read a lot of books by Kathy Reichs and many of her scenarios deal with murder in ways that are very disturbing to me. But the world is full of things that are disturbing to me.

I decided that I cannot simply stop reading (which I love to do) because books contain things that bother me, upset me, offend me, or even trigger me.

Now if a particular book has something that triggers me too badly, I put that book aside and I pick up something else.

Maybe I'm just weird, but I determined early on that my XWH's actions and choices were not going to rule my life or strip from my life things that really matter to me. Reading is one of those things.

Everyone's healing is individual - but keep trying.

What specifically is it that triggers you? Is it romance itself? Sex? Infidelity?

There are genres of romance novels that don't include sex scenes or even infidelity (I'm thinking of some Christian fiction) that might be worth trying if the trigger is either sex or the possibility of dealing with infidelity.

justjul posted 8/31/2012 11:49 AM

CallMeRed, I didn't think to consider "women's fiction"! You're right--some of them might have a lot of the stuff I loved in romance, without the romance. Thanks for the suggestion!

(I hope the words return to the both of us soon, too.)

SouthernGal, I tip my hat to you for your decision! I think that's pretty self-empowering. I'm not sure whether or not reading romances will trigger me or not, so I don't know what specifically might trigger me (if it will at all)-- but I'm just afraid that it will, and I fear that association will hurt. In the sense of "something that once brought me joy is now hurting me". I know these days I'm look at everything with a new sort of sadness/cynicism--like I find myself looking at people with wedding rings and thinking morosely, "have YOU cheated?" or people holding hands and wondering how much of it is real. I sort of hate that.

CallMeRed posted 8/31/2012 14:12 PM

justjul I'll just have a look down my Goodreads list to see if there are any books I'd recommend.

These are the books I have tagged as my favourite reads for 2012 so far:

Blue Murder by Emma Jameson (crime but easy to read, and some relationship issues)

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

Lies Love Tells which is VERY funny - some action and in the style of blog posts and comments. That's by Gina Dickerson.

Gipsy Moth by Jean Bull which is a historical romance but more about the historical I think.

Flings and Arrows and Stockings and Cellulite by Debbie Viggiano. Both contemporary romance but also very funny.

You may not have heard of some of these authors as I tend to read books by authors I have got to know, and most of this are British, but they are on Amazon etc.

TrustedHer posted 8/31/2012 17:24 PM

I'm male, and not a romance reader but before D-Day I averaged at least one book a week in different genres.

That ground to a halt after D-day, and it took me a year or more to begin reading again.

I'm still way behind my old average, but part of that is because I'm seeking comfortable new material to read. I have a recent thread here about series fiction, so I may branch out soon based on the recommendations.

What I'm saying is that it comes back, but it may take time.

Crossbow posted 8/31/2012 22:56 PM

Also a male, also not a romance reader, but a lifelong voracious reader.

I had a terrible time concentrating enough to read for the first 6 months after DDay.

Let us know what you find and how it turns out!

justjul posted 9/2/2012 03:21 AM

Thanks, everyone, for your responses.

It sounds like it could be very normal to find it hard to read in these next few months... but at the same time, there's comfort in knowing it will come back again.

I'll keep trying. And CallMeRed, thank you for your recommendations! I have them written down so I can check them out. Thank you again.

shockandhurt posted 9/2/2012 09:06 AM

I love reading and before DDay was reading 2-3 books a week. After, I could not enjoy reading again until about a year and a half out. Just recently though, I have been back on a reading kick and finishing a book a week. I hope it stays. I really missed reading.

childofcheater posted 9/9/2012 17:23 PM

It has always been my escape and has continued to be so. I think I'd go nuts if I didn't.

wantmore posted 9/15/2012 12:17 PM

It took me over a year to enjoy reading again after d-day.

justjul posted 9/28/2012 23:55 PM

I read my first romance since DDay last night... I had to skim. I had to skim a lot. Not just the sex scenes but the scenes which showed 'love' too. Sighs.

I have been reading nonfiction, though, to get my fix. Mostly inspirational, self help. I guess that sort of makes me feel better.

Just thought I'd make an update.

Crossbow posted 10/3/2012 10:02 AM

justjul, great choice IMO. You can enjoy reading, get something out of it, and avoid "romance" triggers.

I think I would've vomited if I had read romance scenes of any kind too soon after DDay. Literally.

veritas posted 10/3/2012 15:45 PM

I was a habitual book-a-day reader, until I got my Firebaby. Thanks to all the neato things you can do on the fire, I have sadly let my reading go by the wayside. I am completely behind the times on what are good reads.

I used to read a lot of modern literature before D-Day... now, not so much. I'm much more likely to read light-hearted fare, usually funny modern whodunits. I found the series(es) by Donna Andrews and Elaine Viets to be funny and soothing in their everydayness (meaning, I could relate on a human level), Emma Halliday and Stephanie Bond just for the fun factors. Thanks to Pixel of Ink, what I once thought was impossible (me coming to see my printed books as superfluous) is now very possible, as I get a lot of new books for free on my Firebaby. Out of the very little reading that I have done lately outside of my schoolbooks, I do mostly enjoy the very large selection that they have AND I occasionally snag a DIY book, which I never really read before.

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