Ideally, friends, this will be the first in a longish series of blog posts in which I read books that my friend Johanna Parkhurst recommends to me, her goal being to get me to positively review books that I would ordinarily never read on my own. Books from genres that make me cringe, make me feel embarrassment on the author's behalf, and books that generally I have a crappy and even childish attitude about. Because I'm not going to lie to you. I'm kind of a dick about some things (and also we may as well get it out there that I curse like a sailor; if you are a visitor from Johanna's website, I apologize in advance and promise to try to keep such shenanigans to a minimum). Be warned as we move forward that I hate romance as a literary genre, along with other genres, and I'm bluntly judgmental about people who like them. This is not something I'm proud of, but it is an accurate picture of how I *can* be.
So here we are. I messaged Johanna that I would be willing to slum it with genres I find gross if she is herself willing to come to her senses and read some genres I know to be amazing. Which is to say, she recommends a book to me, I recommend one to her, and we both read and review the recommendations with an open mind. Johanna, being who she is, was down to try it. Below, you can see how our personal literary tastes compare. And if I stop playing and trash-talking for a minute, I have to go on the record and say that what makes this challenge so cool is that we are both into genres that are not usually respected by literary elites (I match her love of romance with my own geekdom over sci-fi and weird), and in this sense we both know what it's like to have the things we love and make be maligned as "low-brow", "pulp", or "trash".
So, welcome to our little challenge, and read on to see how we fared on the first leg, in which Johanna reads 14 by Peter Clines upon my recommendation, and I reluctantly dive into A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by MacKenzi Lee, the book Johanna decided to lob my way.