How to decide what to read

Here’s a series of questions to help you decide what to read:

1. What kind of characters do you like or find interesting? Do you prefer characters you can personally relate to?
a. Neville: I like complicated characters who are morally grey, but you can understand their psychology
b. Alex: I like characters who are not afraid to stand for what they believe is right because that’s the kind of person we need most in the world. They’re the ones that make the world move forward.

2. What genre do you usually like?
a. Neville: I tend to like fantasy and golden age sci-fiction, as well as mystery and noir. I like it when books mix genres.
b. Alex: I tend to like fiction based on real historical events, such as the holocaust, as well as LGBTQI+ fiction.

3. What do you think is a perfect world to escape to?
a. Alex: Feel-good stories, with an uplifting effect.
b. Neville: A world in which there is intrigue, mystery and adventure. Something exciting.

4. How do you like the way the story is told? First-person or 3rd person perspective?
a. We don’t have a preference either way, as long as the story is well told.
5. Do you like experimental storytelling, for example, the book uses snippets from emails, messages, voice mails?
. Examples of this sort of experimental fiction, are the Thursday Next series or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.

6. What do you feel like reading at the moment, do you feel like something familiar for comfort, or do you like to push your boundaries?
a. For example, would you read a book whose main character/narrator had diametrically opposed views to you about issues like sexual orientation and race?

We believe that reading such books from time to time helps to broaden your perspective, even if you don’t agree with the main character’s racism, it helps to get an inside look at the thought process of a character. It really allows us not to be so reactionary but be grounded in a choice to push back against such close-mindedness in the real world.

Other ideas to help you decide what to read:

• 4 stars or more on Good reads
• Someone you trust suggested it including influencers
• I know the author
• I recognise the book and know it’s a must-read because of its reputation
• Literary = considered canon or it won or was shortlisted to a prestigious prize like the Man Booker

Neville and I

2 thoughts on “How to decide what to read

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