Today’s prompt for Book Blogger Apprecation Week asks us to share “a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger“. Well, the book I’ve selected is Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith- it wasn’t suggested by any one particular blogger, but by most of the ones that I read! Not only did Ana of things mean a lot, queen of all things Victorian, love and adore it, but so did Teresa over at Shelf Love, who initially had written off Sarah Waters as a writer of erotic Victorian fiction. I finally read it over the past summer, and I loved it. Woe betide anyone that spoils this wonderful book for anyone else.
The prompt goes on to ask “What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?” I don’t think of picking up Fingersmith as caving–I’m sure if I’d heard of it through other venues, I might have picked it up, as the story sounds interesting and I’m always up for queer romance, especially when it’s historical. My friends know that I hate it when, in a historical fiction book about a young man, one of his chaps turns out to be a girl in disguise to provide an easy and suitable love interest. It can be done well, like anything, but it’s usually weak and doesn’t do any service to either boy or girl, much less their development as characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as two people whose opinion I trusted had absolutely loved it–I felt secure in the knowledge that it, at the very least, it had some merit that would make reading the whole thing worthwhile. When it comes to fanfiction, most fans will cheerfully admit that ninety percent of it is utter crap–but it’s the ten percent that’s beautiful, enriching, and dazzling that’s worth fighting for. I feel that argument applies quite well to books and book bloggers. With all the crap that’s out there, book bloggers sift through it in order to find the ten percent worth fighting for and sharing it with each other. While recommendations don’t always work (and most book bloggers readily admit this), they usually do, and it’s great to read books recommended in glowing terms by other book bloggers whose taste and opinions you trust.