Not sure what to read next? Looking to try a new genre? Here you will find basic information for each genre, including classic titles and authors, as well as websites, magazines, and awards which can help you find your next great read.
In Romances the plot revolves around the love relationship and the inevitable happy ending. The genre encompasses a wide range of books — from historical to contemporary and futuristic, from gentle to racy, from paranormal to realistic — but no matter what the setting, all else is secondary to the love story. Authors draw readers in and allow them to participate in the process, from that first kiss through myriad difficulties and disputes to the ultimate resolution.
Primarily set in the Western United States from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the 20th Century, Westerns feature the exploits of cowboys, scouts, Indians, gunslingers, and lawmen. The mythic feel of the West and those times, as well as the struggle to survive against myriad dangers, takes precedence over historical accuracy.
Horror tales produce fear in readers. Horror features nightmares come to life, complete with the monsters — human, inhuman and psychological — which inhabit our worst fears. As in nightmares, surprise is a key element. We never know when these monsters will invade our lives, and unease and foreboding drive the story as we await the unexpected. The key to horror is that although the evil may be beaten down, it is never destroyed completely. It lurks just beneath the surface, waiting to emerge again.
Themes and authors overlap with other genres, especially Fantasy, making Science Fiction difficult to define. Science Fiction posits future worlds and technologies which could exist. Science, rather than magic, drives the stories.
Mysteries are puzzles. The author provides clues to the solution but attempts to obscure some information so that the puzzle cannot be solved too easily. Along with the detective, readers are drawn into that puzzle in an attempt to solve it.
These are novels set in the past, before the author's lifetime and experience. Through its serious respect for historical accuracy and details of time, place, and character, Historical Fiction enhances a reader's knowledge of past events, lives, and customs. The goal of Historical Fiction is to bring history to life in novel form.
Inspirational Fiction books, often called Christian Fiction are those which deliberately promote a religious worldview. Some Inspirational Fiction books explicitly encourage a belief in Jesus and Christian values, while others are more allegorical. All books seek to be inspirational and offer moral solutions to the characters dilemmas.
Urban Lit — formally known as Urban Literature, sometimes called Hip-Hop Lit — is a relatively young genre, but it is extraordinarily popular, thanks to page-turning storylines, contemporary urban settings, realistic characters (usually African-Americans), and straightforward prose styles.