I’ve been thinking about how picky of a reader I am. I can take forever trying to decide what books to add to my library. As you must know, I’m a witch, and it’s actually pretty difficult to find books on witchcraft that interest me enough. I don’t just read anything because then I’d probably give a lot of one-to-three full moon ratings, and who wants to read all negative reviews?
Finding relevant fiction isn’t much easier for me, but that has more to do with my specific tastes than the quality of such books. I tend to focus more on the positives of fiction because writing a novel takes so much work, and I respect that.
Without further ado, here is a list I’ve compiled of my likes and dislikes in fiction as well as nonfiction.
- Witches. It doesn’t matter what genre: fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, etc. If it has a witch, I’m very likely to pick that baby up. Especially if the genre is science fiction. Seriously, where are my science fiction witches at? I demand a story about a cyborg witch with a holographic familiar. Don’t make me write this. I don’t want to write, I want to BLOG so I may scream about it. (Okay, fine. I’ll have to write someday.)
- A significant Halloween presence. Need I say more?
- Magical libraries, books, and food. Again, need I say more?
- Technology-powered magic. I love magic systems that blur the line between magic and science. Nanobots that respond to voice commands and make Harry Potter spells a reality, for example. Man, that could be us someday.
- A quirky, whimsical plot with funny, relatable characters. Example: Wax by Gina Damico. I love that book so much and yes, I’m going to review it. It deserves a spot on this blog.
- Characters who enjoy being loners and don’t crave to be part of a family or friend circle. I mean, they don’t have to be antisocial or misanthropic (not fond of those types), but I’m a generally detached person who values her freedom and independence. It’s nice to find likewise characters in books.
- Kings, queens, princesses, and assassins. I’m sorry, but I cannot tell the difference between most high fantasy books. Yeah, I haven’t actually read many of them, but if the blurb doesn’t stand out to me, what can I say? There are rare exceptions, though, such as The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski—no, not because it has the word “witch” in it—and Spellwright by Blake Charlton.
- 99% of romance. I read the words “hot guy” on the back of a book once and just noped away. It didn’t even look like that kind of book, but I appreciated the warning. Yeah, I don’t care about relationships and their typical drama. I want a story that makes me think, but if two or more characters happen to fall in love, that’s okay. Just don’t sabotage the plot for the subplot.
- “Strong, independent” female characters who bash femininity and act as obnoxious as macho male characters. You can be strong and independent without being a stubborn asshole. It’s a no-brainer.
- Dystopian, especially if zombies are involved. There are a few miraculous exceptions, such as Afterdeath by Daniel Lee. Really looking forward to reading that book. It sounds amazing.
- No fluff or elitist attitude. I appreciate an author who includes everyone and knows what they’re talking about.
- Accessible, to-the-point writing. No purple prose or unnecessary jargon.
- Creative and progressive. I like an author who thinks outside the box.
- Magic involving the imagination (e.g., pop culture magic) and technopaganism. We especially need more up-to-date books on the latter.
- Fluff, elitism, and repackaging what plenty of other sources have said over a million times. This also includes half-assed research.
- Peddling the misconception that Wicca and witchcraft are the same. Also, the Threefold Law.
- “Witches connect with NATURE.” Eh. I’m happy just connecting with the Internet. And my own little world.
- Claiming that the natural world is the only real, pure source of magic and spirits.
- Claiming that magic/witchcraft is all placebo. My experiences, along with many other practitioners’, beg to differ.
What about you, fellow readers? What are the things you like and dislike in books?