Reading Patterns

Reading Patterns

I read a lot. Not like I've got a super famous BookTok feed or anything like that, but last year I read about ninety books.

I loved Mexican Gothic. Historic, etherial horror involving a female protagonist, a weird mansion and sentient fungi, I mean what's not to like? (I can picture my husband reading this sentence and cringing so hard his eyes roll back.)

But ever since reading Mexican Gothic, all those years ago, I have been on a quest to find similar books. I have never found another Mexican Gothic, but I have discovered that there are two kinds of books which publishers blurb like Mexican Gothic, but which are nothing like it.

First, are the witch books. That's right. I think I'm going to be reading a slightly unsettling horror and BAM I end up reading about a woman having a personal crisis while at the same time discovering she might be, dare I say it, a witch. And often the 'reveal' of such books is that she just thought she was a witch, but the books end with the reader wondering, was she a witch? Are witches real?

I can't tell you how many witch books I've been duped into reading. And the thing is, it often takes a while for me to discover that I am not reading a book about sentient fungi, but I am reading a book about a woman having a mental breakdown.

AND by the time I get that far, I am so annoyed by how much time I've sunk into the book, I force myself to finish it. Here my husband would interject with a statement about the sunk cost fallacy, but if what I'm trying to do is read about about evil mushrooms and instead I'm battling with a book about witches, I don't want to hear anyone's rational explanation about economic theories.

I know though that I am not the only person to get duped by witch books. I was talking to a mentor of mine, who writes horror, and he too admitted to getting bamboozled by witch books disguised as horror.

But there is another kind of book which I often find myself accidentally reading. Again these are books which I think could maybe be like Mexican Gothic but instead are books focusing on lesbian protagonists who are distant relatives of Victor Frankenstein and are trying to be female scientists at a time when women weren't allowed to be scientists. This is apparently a thing, as I have read several books with this premise.

When I brought this up to a different mentor, he immediately told me not to see Poor Things, which makes me realize this isn't some accidental genre, but it is a thing people want. Or, maybe it is accidental, and this is how this genre got so popular. Really, people are just trying to read books about mushrooms and in fact, they are reading about Victorian era, lesbian scientists who are reanimating the dead rats of England.

Maybe if I knew more about economics, I could find a theory that explains that, switching the desired product for something else, but still reaping the cash from the sale. I'd ask my husband about it, but I'll probably just start another audiobook which this time I am sure isn't going to be about Frankenstein's nieces or witches.

At some point the odds have to be in my favor. They can't not be, right?