This post by Sherry at Semicolon made absolute sense to me. I find too many things fascinating, but it was fun to write down my list of fascinating elements in fiction and memoirs.
1. Community. This is what I like about Wendell Berry’s fiction. What draws and holds people together?
2. Island/Insular/Isolated life. The rules seem different in closed communities and I find this fascinating.
3. Loss of mother. Since I lost mine at age ten, I’m always curious how other families fare when mom is gone.
4. Homesteading and pioneer stories. Moving to a piece of land previously uninhabited, and actually living on it.
5. Clerical life. Trollope, Pym, Chesterton, Karon. Put a Father in the title and I’m engaged.
6. Travel to different cultures. Colin Thubron is my current guide; the observations of an outsider looking in.
7. Scotland. If it’s not Sca-ish… (Stevenson, O. Douglas, Buchan, Scott, Gunn); I can sniff phony Scotticisms.
8. England: Victorian, Edwardian, Regency, Elizabethan. Austen, Trollope, Gaskell, Dickens, P.D. James, Miss Read.
9. Conversions. When one changes his/her fundamental paradigms, I’m intrigued. Why? When? How? My interest is in all directions: Protestant » Catholic or Orthodoxy, Islam » atheist, agnostic » Mormon, Armenian » Calvinist…
10. Specific references to literature, art, music. I look them up. Google and I are good friends.
11. Kitchen life: the preparation and consumption of food. Specifics are special.
12. Names: allegorical, patronyms, eponyms, clues in names. (e.g. Malfoy means Bad Faith) Dickens, Trollope, and Bunyan are particularly fun.
I’m interested in what you find fascinating in fiction. Care to play? 😉