Hello readers! Are you ready for my favorite TTT yet? This is the one where I talk about my favorite genres and why exactly I love them. The actual topic is “Reasons Why I Love…” and at first I wanted to do Fantasy, then I expanded onto Speculative Fiction, and then I erased it all away and said heck, this is hard! So I’m taking a different route and listing top 10 genres I love and I’ll explain to you why, and give an example book I love for each genre. TTT is a weekly meme by That Artsy Reader Girl, and every Tuesday there is a different themed post of top 10 things.
If you know me, you know I’m addicted to fantasy, and it’s been my favorite genre since 2001. It’s the perfect escapist genre, offering a break from the harsh reality, and it has some of the best characters, like mermaids, wizards, secret assassins and Fae! It’s interesting, imaginative, and a portal to any world of your choosing. I am currently hopping between 3 worlds in Philip Pullman’s Subtle Knife, so my recommendation is His Dark Materials.
There’s supernatural horror with ghosts and ghouls and there’s real one with human monsters, and I love it all the same. The darker the better! I think I love the feeling of being scared, or the adrenalin surge. Which is weird because I’m afraid of everything, and I get a heart attack when I see a bug. Oh well. My recommendation for today is Pet Sematary by Stephen King.
I’ve read somewhere that a great thriller is the one that makes the bigger fool out of you, and it’s true. I love all the impossible twists and turns and the harder they are to predict the better is the book. The mystery of it is half the enjoyment and the speed is the other: a good thriller doesn’t drag on, and if you’re trying to read it for the seventh day in a row – there’s something wrong with your book. My recommendation is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
4. Whodunnit Mystery
I’ve loved puzzles and board games since I was a child, and a Mystery is as close as it gets in literature. I love wracking my brain over clues, eliminating suspects, and thinking up theories. I often write things down too. I’ve started my mystery solving career with Cluedo, Nancy Drew, Poirot and Columbo, and today I recommend you The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
5. Historical Fiction
It’s basically travel through time and space without ever leaving your room, plus you usually get a great set of characters and events. Historical fiction often mixes with other genres like mystery, romance or even sci-fi, which change the overall flavor of the story. I love exploring the world through pages, witnessing times long gone by. My recommendation is one of my favorite series, Outlander.
6. True Crime
I guess this is my guilty pleasure, because a lot of people are still grossed out or scared of the subject, but the only thing that differentiates this genre from horror is that it happened. And it intrigues me quite a lot. I am fascinated by the way human mind works, and one of the most popular aberrations of it are psychopaths. It’s like Dexter but for real. (There was an actual Dexter copycat killer, look it up.) My recommendation here is the amazing and soul-crushing I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.
7. Magical Realism
This sweet genre is as close as I get to contemporary fiction. I always need at least a hint of magic in my novels, and magical realism provides, without being all dragons and witches. It’s about the everyday magic of love, family, friendship, loss, little things. It gives off vibes of endless summer and sorrow and I like that vibe. I recommend everything by Alice Hoffman, for example The Rules of Magic.
I love retellings because I adore Fairy Tales, and because the art of writing those is lost, so now we get to read twists upon twists on our favorite childhood stories. My favorite varieties are the dark ones, of course, which is basically going back to the root of it all, making a full circle. Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast have been done trillion times, so I tend to seek out the less familiar ones. Tender Morsels is a dark twist on Snow-White and Rose-Red (Not to be confused with the Snow White and the seven dwarves.).
9. Gothic Fiction
The combination of beautiful and macabre has piqued my interest since I first read Edgar Allan Poe. Beautiful heroines facing monsters in haunting castles – what’s not to love? There’s beauty in death and few authors have managed to put it quite like Poe, but a Gothic novel seems to be having a revival, through some amazing authors. One of them is Laura Purcell, and I loved her debut, The Silent Companions.
10. Short stories
This one is obviously not a genre, but a form, one that’s being quite neglected these days. Not every short story is good of course, because not everyone knows how to write one, but a well-written short story can deliver a compelling narrative without all the unnecessary redundancies of the novels. There are bunch of good stories of various genres on Tor.com available for free, online.
Thank you for reading! Do you love any of these genres, and is it for the same reasons, or do you have your own? I used to read only horror, then only fantasy, for a long time, and only recently I learned to expand my horizons and let all kind of stories entertain me. It’s done wonders on my reading slumps and I recommend variety to everyone! Talk to me in the comments and have a great week!