Monday Musing on Discovering New Genres

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

This week I’m thinking about the fact that I’m still discovering new genres and genres I’m surprised I like, despite having always been an avid reader. Here are a few genres that I’ve recently fallen in love with…

magical realism – I was surprised to find I liked the genre of magical realism because

  1. I don’t really like fiction books that are realistic and
  2. what does magical realism even mean?!

For those of you who don’t know, it includes books that are very close to something that could actually happen but with some small element of magic. The books I’ve read in the genre overlap highly with the category of books I would call “literary”. And by literary, I don’t mean high-brow literature everyone should read. I mean it’s weird (because I’m just classy like that). And by weird I mean that the author often uses the work to address larger themes, like questions of human nature, by using the magical elements to do mind-bendy things with the plot. I’ve really enjoyed how much they make me think.

narrative non-fiction – narrative fiction was not a genre I was surprised to like, but surprised (and thrilled!) to learn existed. I was enjoying non-fiction before I found this genre, but I love it even more now. Basically, the genre blends the best story-telling style of fiction with the extra bit of interest because it’s all true!

microhistories – I don’t love and adore mcirohistories the way I do narrative fiction and magical realism. However, it’s definitely a genre that deserves a nod for saving me from reading boring books during my progress through the dewey decimal system. Many sections would otherwise have books only likely to be of interest to specialists and nothing else if it weren’t for microhistories written for the outsider. The best of these even relate the topic to a broader context for bonus awesomeness.

This may just be me, but I’m curious – have any of you ever been surprised to discover the existence of a particular genre? Or surprised to discover you like a genre you thought wasn’t for you?

17 Comments

Filed under Monday Musings

17 responses to “Monday Musing on Discovering New Genres

  1. I tell myself I should try other genres, that I might like them..but I tend to go back to my mysteries and thrillers and suspense.

    • I’ve actually been doing the opposite lately and trying new things at the expense of my original favorite genres – sci fi and fantasy. I’m really enjoying everything I’m reading, but would like to throw in a few more of my old standbys 🙂

  2. I always find it interesting to discover a new genre, although there seem to be so many now that it can be hard to keep up!

    • It’s true! Maybe just because more books are being written and so it’s possible to subdivide further? Whatever the reason, I am surprised that I’m still discovering genres and even more surprised that they’re still being invented (or at least discovered by the reading community at large).

  3. I’ve also recently discovered the genre of magical realism, especially Sarah Addison Allen. I love how there can be plot twists in that genre that just wouldn’t happen in regular fiction!

    • I’m always on the look out for more in the genre, so I’ll have to look her up 🙂 I like the plot twists too! A lot of books feel predictable (especially YA) and it’s nice to have a book that can surprise you.

  4. I am surprised there is a genre called microhistories. And yeah. Discovered a genre called Hard Fantasy a few months back.

    • I have never heard of Hard Fantasy, so I’m going to have to go look it up 🙂 It really is astonishing the number of sub-genres there are if you look for them!

      Actually, just looked it up and it sounds awesome! I love fantasy and sci fi that have believable and self-consistent rules, as well as good world building. It sounds like this good be a great genre for all of those things.

  5. Magical realism are interesting and most of the time mind boggling. I’ve just recently found this genre as well and I’ve been loving it ever since!

    Andrea K. @ Books and Bindings
    Musing Mondays

  6. wow, I didn’t know those genre – microhistories? thanks for sharing those info, it helps me a lot 🙂

    • Glad to help! I love microhistories. It’s so fun to learn interesting new things about topics so small you wouldn’t even have guessed there could be a book about them 🙂

  7. Even as we settle into genres we like, they come up with new ones, like New Adult!

  8. my high school friend was the one who introduced me to historical romance and at first i thought i wouldn’t like it but right now it’s one of my most favorite genres :)) micro histories and magical realism sounds really interesting though
    here’s my MM http://wp.me/p3v5T1-7Q

    • It’s always wonderful when you’re pleasantly surprised by a genre! Actually, I wasn’t sure I’d like adult romances at all, but I’ve only had good experiences the few times I’ve given them a try.

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