Our Favorite Non-Romance Books and Authors

black and white books education facts
Photo by Pixabay

Our team at Sweet Savage Flame reads other kinds of books besides romance novels. We have a wide variety of tastes. Consequently, we’ll be asking our reviewers about their reading preferences. In this post, Introvert Reader talks about some of her favorite books, series, and authors outside of the romance genre.

Introvert Reader’s Favorite Books

Genres I Like to Read

Just as I’m a fan of old-school romance, I enjoy classic science fiction. Most of them are were published from about 1950 to the 1980s. Space Operas and weird slipstream sci-fi are my favorites. In addition, I enjoy potboilers, pulp, and trashy reads. Plus, I’m a big history buff. The Medieval period and anything about Spanish history are my preferred eras. Therefore, books that combine the two are my siren song. I also read humorous non-fiction, true-crime novels, philosophy, and, occasionally, a self-help book.

I have another blog dedicated to reviewing all types of books and romances published after 2000. So some of what I list here are reviewed on my IntrovertReader site.

Favorite Books

  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (This is a tragic, beautiful tale about a woman who yearned for joy and love.)
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Flaubert is a master wordsmith. Madame Bovary is perhaps the most perfect novel ever written.)
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (This is THE Great American novel.)
  • Darth Plagueis by James Luceno (Not only is this the best Star Wars novel I’ve read, but it’s also the best Science Fiction book I’ve come upon.)
  • Valis by Philp K. Dick (It opened my eyes to many esoteric concepts and set me on a spiritual path.)
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis (You don’t need to be a Christian to be enthralled by this book about two of Lucifer’s minions plotting to capture human souls.)
  • The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card (I have no words. So good.)

Favorite Book Characters

  • Hercule Poirot, the Belgian, egg-headed, mustachioed, impeccably-dressed detective from Agatha Christie’s long-running mystery series
  • Palpatine/ Darth Sidious from Star Wars novels & comics

Series I’ve Enjoyed

  • Poirot mysteries by Agatha Christie
  • The Star Wars Prequels Novelizations: The Phanom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith (by Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore & Matthew Stover)
  • Star Wars Darth Bane Trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn
  • The Dune Series by Frank Herbert (Just the first 4 books)
  • Marvel’s Darth Vader comics
  • Lucky Santangelo series by Jackie Collins

Most Read or Favorite Authors

  • Jackie Collins (The trash queen! And I loved her for it.)
  • Sidney Sheldon (He was the master of storytelling.)
  • Kurt Vonnegut (Funny and insightful.)
  • Philip K. Dick (There are dazzling concepts in his work. He’s not a spectacular writer, but creates amazing visions.)
  • Clive Barker (No modern writer creates horror as visceral as Barker has.)
  • Agatha Christie (Forget about Arthur Conan Doyle. Christie is the apex of mystery.)
  • Frank Yerby (Pulp, swashbuckling, action, and romance. What’s not to love? Plus, his writing is sublime perfection.)

Books That Pleasantly Surprised Me or Surpassed Expectations

  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (I never watched the TV series, and have no desire to finish the rest of the books. Still, this book wowed me with its world-building and characters.)
  • Shane by Jack Schaeffer (A rare highlight from middle school class assignments.)
  • Ali & Nino by Kurban Said (The best book I read in college. It’s written like a beautiful dream.)

Childhood Favorites

  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • The Sleepover Friends series by Susan Saunders
  • Babar the Elephant series by Jean de Brunhoff
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • The Trojan War by Bernard Evslin (Actually, I adored everything by Evslin!)
  • Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume
  • Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Books I’d Recommend to Anyone

  • The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker & Ethan Becker (I didn’t know how to cook when I first was married. This became my cooking Bible)
  • Gone Girl by Gillan Flynn (Sharp, taut satire wrapped up in a murder mystery. So much better than the movie. All of Flynn’s books, this one, Sharp Objects & Dark Places are stellar.)
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science by Michael S. Schneider (I was an ok math student, but I hated the subject. This book helped me learn to love numbers.)
  • Based on a True Story: Not A Memoir by Norm Mac Donald (It’s poignant, touching, intelligent, and brutally funny.)
  • Mist by Miguel de Unamuno (I love books where the author and character meet.)
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (If you must read one classic work of literature in your life, make it this one.)

Best Non-Romance Read of 2021

  • Peter The Cruel: The Life of the Notorious Don Pedro of Castile, together with an Account of His Relations with the Famous Maria de Padilla by Edward Storer (A gripping historical account about the medieval Castilian king and his tragic reign.)

How about your favorite reads outside of the romance genre? Old or new, books, comics, or manga, what do you like to read for fun? Or do you just enjoy romance? Please drop a comment, and let’s talk about books. 🙂

This entry was posted in Discussion and tagged , , , , on by .

About Jacqueline Diaz

Old-School, retro, and vintage romance reads are my jam, baby! The good, the bad, the cheesy, and the sleazy! I have no shame about it; I love ’em! An auto-didact, amateur historian, and reader of romance novels since 1990, I hope to offer a unique perspective on the genre. As a blogger, you may know me by several names; here, I’m Jacqueline Diaz. I’m also the aspiring author of two works-in-progress, historical romances, The Savage Noble and What She Says with Her Eyes, which hopefully will be released in 2023.

3 thoughts on “Our Favorite Non-Romance Books and Authors

  1. neilgordon50

    WOW! I have very similar tastes in books, love your open mindedness, your a great writer and thinker, so refreshing to see open minded people these days!This is one of my fave blogs of yours! thanks1

  2. Kes O'Rear

    I definitely agree that Agatha Christie is a true queen of crime. Not only are her mysteries fairer than Doyle’s but the fact that she’s pulled off just about every twist ever is amazing.

    Other genres I like:
    -historical fiction( especially historical epics
    -some YA

    1. jacquelinediaz

      Hello there, Kes!

      So true about Agatha Christie. Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None, and The Murder of Roger Akroyd all had fanastic twist endings.

      When it comes to her detectives, I adore Poirot, but was not a big fan of Miss Marple. Poirot had a panache that’s so appealing.

      Happy Reading!


Please Drop a Comment and Let's Talk Romance!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.