Last week, I was eagerly anticipating the arrival in my mailbox of the new Guy Gavriel Kay book, Under Heaven. In it, Kay tackles Chinese history in what is sure to be a fantastical way.
As I eagerly waited for this book to arrive, I was faced with the quandary of deciding what to read in the meantime. I didn't want to pick up a really big book that I would feel compelled to drop as soon as Under Heaven came to the door. So there went all the doorstoppers patiently waiting for me to actually get the guts to pick them up. I finally settled on a Lindsey Davis mystery and when I finished that, I went for a slim volume of essays on Jane Austen.
I realized that quite often, when I am in this "waiting" state in my reading, or when I just don't know what I want to read, I fall back to Lindsey Davis or Georgette Heyer. I usually only read these authors at these moments because I know I'll be satisfied and happily settled into a world that makes me comfortable. I also won't feel stressed out because the stories aren't overly long and aren't super-complicated. They're light and fun and can almost always get me out of a reading slump. And if I'm not in a slump, they're perfect for that "in-between" read while I anticipate another book coming to me.
What about you? Do you have a fallback genre or author? Ones that you can settle in with pretty quickly and know you'll enjoy when you're in between books or in a reading slump? If so, what do you read? If not, how do you pick an "in-between" book?