Ok folks, you may recall when my dear blogging partner Haley kicked off our blog introductions by explaining five of her favorite sub-genres, some of which may have been made up, so that you know what we like to read. And now, you guessed it, I’m here to do the same thing! We got this idea from one of our favorite bookish podcasts, Reading Glasses. We definitely plan to do a full podcast post at some point in the future because we both really love them!
And now onto my picks — five sub-genres that get me every dang time and keep my TBR pile growing and growing and growing.
Anything with a BOTM Logo on the Spine
I realize that by now our love for Book of the Month is well documented and we might as well own our reputation as being a BOTM fan blog. BUT! That doesn’t make this less true. If I am at a Half Price Books scanning through used book selections, the moment I see a BOTM logo, I am at least going to pick it up to read the synopsis and more than likely buy it. I think BOTM books are so well curated and more often than not are really amazing books, so it’s a great tip that I’m going to love it.
Well-Researched Historical Fiction
Like a lot of folks, I started my historical fiction obsession with Phillipa Gregory novels, but soon developed an obsession with finding historical fiction that was as well-researched as it was well-written. I’m obsessed with Hilary Mantel, Sharon Kay Penman and Anya Seton. They way they write makes me even more interested in the real history behind the plot, and I devour anything that they put out. I have a few favorite books in this genre, but really recommend you start with The Sunne in Splendour, which is an amazing take on Richard III by Sharon Kay Penman.
Fairy Tale Retellings
Ok, so this might not be AS instabuy for me as it was maybe a couple years ago before the market got flooded, but I still love a good fairy tale retelling. There’s something really magical about a familiar tale redone in a new unfamiliar way. A great example of this is A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, which took the Beauty and the Beast tale and twisted it around to include a heroine with cerebral palsy and a Beast who we meet in Prince form first. I adored it and found it original, but still familiar enough to fall into. I also really adore The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell. This is a middle grade take on Twelve Dancing Princesses mixed with Beauty and the Beast, and honestly is a book I credit with getting me back into reading after a few slumpy years.
Books with Original Magic Systems
I love a good fantasy novel, but the ones that really develop and flesh out an original magic system will get me every single time. I love it when we get to really understand the laws behind the magic and it’s not just written off like — well, it’s magic, so no more to tell you here! I want to know how it works and what the limitations are because that makes it so much more interesting! The poster child for this kind of book is obviously the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, which starts with The Final Empire. The magic system was so intricate it was basically a plot point and I loved every minute of it.
Long Urban Fantasy Series
I adore a good urban fantasy series, the longer the better. When I’m in a reading slump, I always return to these novels and devour as many as I can. We’re talking Harry Dresden, Eve Dallas, Jane Yellowrock, Mercy Thompson, Kate Daniels, October Daye… the list really goes on and on. They are my book comfort food, with great characters that I love returning to time and time again. I know lots of people love series that have different POV characters each time, but for me, I love a long series with the same POV character every single time. Feels like coming home and I just adore it.
So What About You?
What is your favorite bookish comfort food? What words in a synopsis gets you to instabuy every single time. Any recommendations for me in my categories above? Can’t wait to chat with you all!