No work today thanks to last night’s blackout in San Diego! Here’s a rare chance to see downtown San Diego in the black:

Book Blogger Hop is a weekend meme hosted by Crazy for Books in an effort to spur on connections between book bloggers. This week’s prompt asks:

“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

I really don’t stick to one genre. In fact, I get sick of just one genre. I can only read one or two books of a certain genre in a row and then I have to change it up or I get bored.

According to Goodreads, this year, I mainly read Fantasy, Classics, Paranormal Romance (both adult and Young Adult), and Non-Fiction. In 2010, I mostly read Young Adult (of the Fantasy and Science Fiction persuasion). However, the subgenres of these vary widely.

I’m a mood reader, meaning I read whatever I’m in the mood for. I was supposed to start reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss this week, but I had just finished Outlander and was NOT in the mood for another epic novel. So, I picked up the lighter The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (see below for opening lines and my current take on the novel), a magical realism novel of 250+ pages. After that, who knows what I’ll be in the mood for. Luckily, I have fantasy, science fiction, classics, and horror to choose from.

Are you as eclectic of a reader as I am? A mood reader?

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted at A Few More Pages every Friday. Bloggers are to copy the first lines from the current book that they are reading and reflect upon it. I love the first lines of books, even having devoted a couple pages in my writing notebook to them. So, this is a meme for me!

It happened for the first time on a Tuesday afternoon, a warm spring day in the flatlands near Hollywood, a light breeze moving east into the ocean and stirring the black-eyed pansy petals newly planted in our flower boxes.

My mother was home, baking me a cake.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Bender begins her magical realism novel in media res. This book chronicles a girl’s unique ability to taste the emotions of a person through the food which that person has prepared. She first learns of this ability at nine, when her mother bakes her a lemon cake for her birthday. When the young girl tastes the cake, she is overwhelmed by the taste of her mother’s dissatisfaction with her life, her loneliness, frustration, and helplessness. Understandably, this is a bit too much for a kid to know about her mother. From then on, she tastes her older brother’s annoyance with her in his ham sandwich, the lunch lady’s sadness in her doughy pizza, and seeks solace in factory-made processed foods such as a bag of Doritos, which taste of nothing.

These opening lines neatly set up the tone and setting of the novel, and readers are immediately immersed in the main conflict. I’m about half-way through the novel, and so far it’s definitely interesting. This poor girl has to avoid food made by those she knows, unless she wants to be swept away by their emotions!  Basically, this book uses this unique ability to help tell the story of a young girl dealing with a dysfunctional family and how she struggles to keep the family together.

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