Monday, May 14, 2012

Genres: Which One Catches Your Eye?

Is there more than one layer to your favorite genre?

Looking at a snowball bush last week, I was amazedbush_1272 to see it’s tri-colors - blue, pink and purple. While that may seem normal to some, this is the first time this bush has shown any color other than blue. Maybe it had something to do with the coffee grinds I poured around it this past winter.

What has a multi-colored snowball bush got to do with writing and books you ask. It got me to thinking how this one plant produced 3 different colors at one time. Somehow that caused my mind to jump to genres and how a book is labeled under one genre, but really has the elements of several others. Yet if you don’t look past the first, you never know about the others.

I appreciate that books are labeled under certain genres making it easier when searching for books in a bookstore. However, I think labeling books into genres also limits them. 

When books are placed in the mystery genre some people will never look further because they only read romance. Think of all the mysteries you’ve read that are filled with wonderful romance sub-plots. The same is true for die-hard mystery fans. Most will never pick up a romance book, yet many romance stories are filled with mystery and intrigue.

I know there are numerous sub-categories for genres and that helps. But I think as readers we owe it to ourselves to look past genre labels and give more books a try. Just think of all the interesting books you’re missing just because they are labeled for a genre you don’t read.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a mystery/suspense/thriller reader first and foremost. However, I’ve found some wonderful mystery plots woven into paranormal stories. Some of the most intriguing suspense stories I’ve read have been found in a romance book.

Talented author (and blogger) Margot Kinberg at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist… does a wonderful job with her posts showing that books can be so much more than what they are labeled under. Margot does a terrific job looking at crime fiction from various angles such as how money plays a part of the story or how opposites sometimes come together to solve a crime. If you look beyond the norm, you’ll find books branch out into many colors (directions).

Do you only stick with a certain genre no matter what? Have you tried books without knowing what genre they belonged to? If so, did you enjoy them and were you surprised to find what they were labeled under?

Books are like a bouquet of beautiful colorful flowers. Don’t settle for one color, try them all. While the new genres may not be to your liking, you may find you at least like parts of it.

Thanks for reading my rambling today. I hope I’ve inspired you to give a different genre a try. You never know, you might just enjoy it. Thanks so much for stopping by. Enjoy a book today.


  1. I'm a mystery/suspense/crime drama fan but I'm always disappointed if there isn't at least a hint of romance in there somewhere. It's like wanting cream and sugar in your coffee.

  2. Hi Mason .. I read around and since I've been blogging will definitely be reading books I'd have never have picked up before .. Sci-Fi being one .. so I agree here ..

    Trouble is - those flowers are hydrangeas and they're that colour naturally?! Sorry to put a spanner in the works, or a splat on the snowball bush, which probably is white - well to my knowledge it is. But those hydrangeas are definitely hydrangeas!!

    Have a great week .. cheers Hilary

  3. Mason - Thank you for the kind words :-) *blush* That means a lot to me.
    You're so right too that putting arbitrary labels on novels can mean that they don't get the audience they might otherwise get. There are some good reasons for labels; without them it would be much harder to find what we're looking for. It would also be harder for authors, publishers and so on. But labels can also be limiting.

  4. I used to only stick to a couple of genres but since gaining a lot of blogging writer friends and purchasing their books I've found myself loving all types of genres. I'm thankful for that. I do love crime fiction best but there are other wonderful books in so many different genres.

  5. I tend to stick to a couple general genres, but I understand how limiting a classification can be. (Especially when it came to my own books.)

  6. I will read almost anything--with the exception of one or two subgenres.

    Ref: hydrangeas
    I have never seen one bush with BOTH colors. That's wild.

    If I remember correctly, you need acid soil for blue blooms and create a higher PH soil for pink ones.

  7. The flowers are beautiful, I have never seen different colours on one bush before, very nice, you must do the coffee beans yearly now, lol

    I love suspense, thrillers and mysteries and enjoy when other genres are sprinkled in at times, some authors do it well and others it comes across more as a distraction.

  8. My neighbor has a huge snowball bush. All white. How cool to have all those colors.

    I love good books. I read a wide range from nonfiction to many different genres in fiction. Different categories can be limiting, which is sad. Some stores have an area where the employees have their favorites and that tends to be mix things up.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.