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Interesting Reading
May 2016
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We’ve been watching Game of Thrones recently. It’s not the type of television series that either my husband or I would usually watch. We are much more likely to watch cop shows like Law & Order Special Victims, Criminal Minds, and The Killing than something like Game of Thrones which defies genre labeling. Yet, we are hooked…by the characters…by the unraveling of the story…by the knowledge that no character is really safe from death or mayhem on Game of Thrones.

While I’ve been enjoying Game of Thrones on TV, I’ve been wondering if I would enjoy books written in a similar vein, and I’ve been wondering how long it will be before the popularity of the TV show started spilling over into the manuscripts I receive.

There definitely is a correlation between popular movies, popular TV, current events, and the manuscripts I receive. The first few years after September 11th I received lots of manuscripts with characters involved in foiling terrorist plots, mostly terrorist plots on American soil. After the popularity of Brokeback Mountain I received more manuscripts for male/male romance.

It’s clear that writers are inspired by current events, popular TV shows, and popular movies. But I wonder, do current events, popular television shows and popular movies impact what you want to read? If you like a particular movie do you look for books that explore the same or a similar theme? Does watching the popular series Grimm make you want to read more stories that take some aspect of that series and run with it? Does watching a documentary about prohibition make you more or less interested in books set in that time period?

How do current events, TV shows, and movies impact your reading choices?


9 Responses to Current Events, Popular TV Shows And Popular Movies – Do They Impact What You Want To Read?

  • Gabrielle says:

    We watch a lot of CSI and such but I don’t read those kind of books. I think that it may be the other way around for me. I love paranormal and fantasy books so I am drawn towards shows like paranormal and once upon a time and Grimm. I tend to watch a little of everything as well, from comedy to drama but even though I may watch some corresponding things they are pretty much two different things. Neither influences the other very much.

    • Laurie Sanders says:

      Interesting Gabrielle,

      In some ways what I like in TV and movies and in books is quite a bit different…though there is a big overlap in romantic suspense. I like both on TV or in movies. I don’t care for romance much on TV…it misses a lot of the internal emotion that I like in romance. But I love romance in books.

      There are things that I like in either TV or in movies or in books that I then think…hmm…I rather liked that setting…or that time period…and then I am more open to other things with the setting or time period.

  • Karen H in NC says:

    I tried watching Game of Thrones when the DVDs became available on Netflix and I just couldn’t get into it. I’m not much for fantasy stuff. I love the crime dramas like NCIS, L&O, Criminal Minds, CSI, Person of Interest, Blue Blood, Castle, Hawaii Five-O plus the good programming on USA and TNT. There are many more programs I love that I don’t list. But, my reading choices and TV/Movie choices are totally different. I love and read mainly historical romances (anything in the 19th century and early 20th century) plus a few, really good mystery/suspense/thrillers. I recently read ‘Depth of Deception (A Titanic Murder Mystery)’ by Alexander Galant. He’s new-to-me and I loved this book. It’s a paranormal mystery.

    • Laurie Sanders says:

      I wouldn’t have been much interested in Game of Thrones based on the first episode, but I’d read somewhere (Heroes & Heartbreakers maybe) that one really needed to give the show a couple of episodes…so I did give it some leeway and it did grow on me. Though it is still very violent and in some places like horror with blood spatter and heads flying off. I could do without the gruesome…but it’s there so I put up with it.

      Fantasy is usually not a genre that I am into either…but it seems every time I say that about a genre I find something that makes me rethink the stance. I guess because there are good and worthwhile pieces in every genre (movie genre or book genre).

      My favorite TV fare is a lot like yours…Criminal Minds is my favorite. I like crime dramas. Mostly we watch Criminal Minds and Law & Order. Then we’ll sometimes have a marathon watching our way through some TV series that we find on TV. We did that with Justified and have done it with other shows as well.

      Do you find that part of what differentiates your movie and reading choices is what’s available in different media? There is not a great deal of historical romance in TV and movies…certainly not enough series to keep an avid fan going…but there is a lot of it in the book world.

      • Karen H in NC says:

        I totally agree with your statement about not enough historical romantic dramas on TV. What’s there is excellent, but there are so few, it’s shameful. However, the the popularity of Downton Abbey, I see more historical books set in the early 20th century (also with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic) and I hope more TV programs will be developed set in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. I’d also like to see dramas of those eras set in the USA. That really is a rare duck!

        Another good period drama on DVD is The Duchess of Duke Street (parts 1 & 2). Excellent program and worth watching if you haven’t already seen it.

  • Laurie Sanders says:

    I’ve really enjoyed watching Game of Thrones so far. We blew through the first season within a few days. I expect you’d enjoy the series if you enjoyed the books, though I understand that there are some deviations from the books in the TV show. Those bother some people and not others. Doesn’t bother me because I am watching it with a clean slate, having not read the books at this point. Though it’s likely I will at some point…probably after the season ends.

    My husband particularly likes historical dramas on TV and as movies so we see a fair number of them. I like them once I start watching them, though they usually wouldn’t be my first choice…though it depends on what I am doing at the time.

    I tend to like modern dramas…particularly suspense and action in the visual world of movies and TV though the costuming in historical dramas is often breathtaking and I enjoy that as well.

  • Ilona F says:

    I’m not a big TV or movie watcher so it doesn’t really influence my reading in any way. Mostly my reading choice is based on my mood at the time of starting a new book.

    • Laurie Sanders says:

      :) Yes, I know what you mean. My choice of reading material is usually greatly influenced by my mood at the time I am looking for a new book. But then…lots can influence my mood. What I’ve just finished reading is often the biggest thing that influences my choice. Usually I go for something different than what I’ve just read.

      I think I am a bit more open to a long fantasy series because of Game of Thrones though. Maybe…

  • Mary Preston says:

    You MUST read GAME OF THRONES -indeed the entire series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. It is brilliant reading. I have not seen the television series yet, but I will.

    I tend to love period dramas on television. So when the BBC, for example, trot out a new Dickens production. I dive right in to reading Dickens. I am susceptible.

    ‘Modern’ dramas on television don’t have the same effect.

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