Book Talk

What’s in a Genre?

Alex on reading out of her comfort zone …

So, how does this work?

You have to pick one genre that you frequently read … and then, you can’t use any books from that genre while answering the questions below. Then, answer the questions, nominate a handful of friends, and then see what genres they love to hate.

Which, of course, is just plain mean but is the whole point of the exercise, finding more about genres we don’t like and or elements that make us squirm.

#1 A book that is an exception when it comes to genres or elements you don’t typically like.

I really don’t like to read contemporary or literary-style fiction. But, because people were reading and raving over A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman, I read it. I read it in a couple of days and, do you know what? I loved it. It made me stop and rethink my aversion to reading this genre, contemporary literary fiction.

#2 A book you enjoyed from a genre you previously held some stigma against.

Back in 2017 I picked up THE THICKET by Joe R. Lansdale based on another online friend’s recommendation. Basically, this is a turn of the century western. I would never have thought to read a western in a million years. Though, when younger, I loved to watch western TV shows and movies. Go figure. It’s another book I read in a couple of sittings and thoroughly enjoyed. This one was so unexpected and yet, great fun.

#3 A book you didn’t know was out of your comfort zone until you started reading it.

I guess this would have to be DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD, which I picked up to read because of enjoying the movies so much. So yeah, I read a contemporary novel without stopping to think about or care what genre it was. And again, thoroughly enjoyed the read.

#4 Pick a friend who motivates you to pick up books you might not normally be interested in—is there a book they convinced you to give a try?

Wow, that’s just about everyone I follow at the moment. Of course there is Jonetta, but also Meggy, Inge, and Sophie. All of who have read, reviewed, and recommended any number of books to me, again, like A MAN CALLED OVE. And, again, because of another bloggers insistence, I also read THE CITY OF BRASS though I don’t normally read fantasy.

#5 A book that is out of your comfort zone, but you would like to read.

Again, because of Norrie from Reading Under the Blankie, I have BEAR TOWN by Fredrik Backman on my shelf. So I guess I’ll be straying down the contemporary novel route again, soon!

#6 A book or genre so outside of your comfort zone that you’ll probably never give a chance.

Anything from the horror genre. Never. Gonna. Happen!

Okay, so now I’m going to nominate Jonetta, Inge, Meggy and Sophie to see what genres they don’t often read… and, if you want, you can do this one too.

6 comments on “What’s in a Genre?

  1. Avatar

    What a great post! Of course, I’ve read all of the books you listed (except The Thicket) that are out of your comfort zone

    I’m an eclectic reader so there’s very little out of my comfort zone in genres but there are tropes that give me trouble. But, like you, I steer clear of the horror genre…generally.

    • Alex

      I know you read a wide variety of genre, and it’s thanks to you, and book bloggers like you, that I too now read a lot more variety. It’s because I’ve found trusted sources of reviews to find a better range of reading material, Jonetta. And thanks to you, I’ve even read stuff with a bit more romance in it!! Ha! Ha!

  2. Avatar

    Aww thank you so much for the mention, I love that you appreciate my recommendations so much that you’d read a book you’d normally wouldn’t have picked up! I still need to read A Man Called Ove. I do read contemporary books but the ‘grumpy old guy vibe’ scares me off.. I’ll just need to get over that idea and give it a chance now… if you loved it then I have a fair chance too!

    • Alex

      As you know, I love your reviews and trust them, as I do Jonetta, and Sophie, and those I have met since starting a book blog. I know I can trust you to be honest about your reads, and then gauge whether a book will be to my style. But also, I’ve taken more chances too with books I’ve bought, like A Man Called Ove, thanks to Norrie. And yeah, I wasn’t sure I’d like something about a grumpy old man either but, you know, it touched me because it’s so much more than that.

      I do hope you give it a go … one day!

  3. Avatar

    Ok give me some time…and I’ll do it.

    • Alex

      Ah, you are, as always, a Sweetheart, Sophie. And I know you love a good meme too. And, of course, I can’t wait to read your answers, especially as I know you read quite a variety of genre already. 😀

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