Rarely read genres – suggestions please…

read-1342499_1920I often say I never read romance novels, or historical fiction, or sci-fi, but none off these are completely true…well, maybe other than romance novels as I am not much of a hearts and flowers type of girl, even in real life.  I’ve also never read a graphic novel.

Looking back over my list of reads for the past year or so, I have definitely read books that would fall into the sci-fi category (though likely only just…none have been set in space, which probably shows my ignorance of what makes a sci-fi book sci-fi) and a few were set in the past, which means they classify as historical fiction (I think?).

My perception of what falls into these genres is part of my problem – so thinking sci-fi books should be set in space for example or my initial reaction each time someone uses the term historical fiction to think of Philippa Gregory and her Tudor set novels.

Are you the same – do you have genres you stay away from (which ones and why?) or perceptions about what you might be reading if you pick up a book from a particularly type?

As I try to stretch my reading chops, I have decided that reading genres I say I don’t read would be a good way to go.  And, rather than floundering about and picking books which end up just confirming my perceptions because they aren’t the best of their ilk, I thought I would ask my fellow bloggers out there for suggestions.

So, if you love romance (pun intended), sci-fi or historical fiction, what should I read – new or old – what will convince me that I do like these genres after all?

I thank you kindly in advance for your suggestions.

Emma x


Note: image courtesy of Pixabay










  1. I tend to stay away books with vampires, for one; would those qualify as urban fantasy? I don’t care for Sci-Fi, either, although I’m sure that sometimes the dystopian books might qualify as such.

    I don’t care for straight romance, but I’ve been known to tiptoe into that territory if there are family/relationship issues involved….or suspense.

    Mostly I like thrillers, women’s fiction that is more about family drama than romance, and memoirs about authors and/or celebrities.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I do too with vampires – thought I love them on TV. I think I compare everything to Dracula which scared me to death when I first read it and nothing every compares. My sci-fi has mainly been dystopian and young adult, nothing really full-on sci-fi. I have to say I get cautious when any book says it’s romance but then, like you, I might read something like a Diane Chamberlain that has romance in it as part of the story. That I don’t mind.

  2. Oops, “stay away from.”

  3. I don’t read sci-fi though I have read some with some light sci-fi elements but nothing that would be labeled as die-hard sci-fi as that is really not my thing. I am not a real fan of military or historical fiction. I like historical romances or mysteries but not just straight up fiction.

    1. Sounds like me with the sci-fi – it’s definitely light and seems to have all fallen in the YA category. I like fiction set in the period of WWI / II but I haven’t read much further back than that. I have read very few historical mysteries, though those I have I have enjoyed. I think I just feel a bit lost as there are so many and they feel like a whole other world to me.

  4. If you like the Tudor era, then I’d definitely check out Alison Weir’s work.

    For a more general historical fiction genre, I highly recommend Gill Paul!

    I don’t read romance/erotica, basically anything with a half naked guy on the cover. 😄. Or anything to do with vampires and zombies. I’m quite content to stick to crime fiction, psychological thrillers and historical fiction. I don’t mind women’s fiction either but more of the drama variety, not the romance kind.

    1. I have read quite a bit of Weir’s non-fiction but none of her fiction. I’ll check out Gill Paul. Anyone semi-naked immediately puts me off I must admit – I just flash back to my nana’s mills and boons books I must admit. Women’s fiction I don’t mind as long as it doesn’t try and make me cry – I am not one for tearjerkers either. Also, despite loving to watch shows with zombies and vampires, I rarely read books with them in….other than my annual reading of Dracula.

  5. I avoid dystopian, scifi, zombies and vampires. I love historical fiction. Two of my favorites in historical fiction are Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. and The King’s General by Daphne DuMaurier. I can name many more. Do you have a time period you find interesting? Let me know!

    1. I read dystopian occasionally and love vampires and zombies on TV though not in books strangely. I will add your recommendations to my list. Books I’ve read and enjoyed have been set in the not too distant past, so world war I and II and also the Spanish civil war. I haven’t gone much further back than that successfully.

      1. Have a look at my Tuesday review then of The General’s Women!

        1. Will do x

  6. I know you like the occasional murder mystery, so do give C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake series a whirl – he is a hunchback lawyer operating in Henry VIII’s London. Dissolution is the first book. And as for science fiction/fantasy read – try Among Others by Jo Walton. It is an amazing book and she is an amazing writer. It ‘s a standalone, too.

    1. Someone else has suggested shardlake recently too so I will definitely look for. And Jo Walton. I feel a buying spree coming on!

      1. She has written an amazing book about dragons with Victorian sensibilities, based on Anthony Trollop’s Barchester Chronicles, called Tooth and Claw. It shouldn’t work – but it does…

        1. Just that description scares me!

  7. […] Thursday, I wrote about genres I rarely read and asked for suggestions to help me give them a fair shake and broaden my […]

  8. If you want to do a historical fiction / science fiction in one go: read Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.

    1. Thanks. I will add to the list. 😀

  9. […] recently writing about how I don’t read either historical fiction or romance novels and asking for suggestions, The Ballroom turned up in my mailbox as part of a reading round robin I […]

  10. Interestingly I don’t read sci fi or fantasy but love watching it on TV. (Well not Star Trek or GOT, but The 100, Firefly, Stranger Things etc). Though I do read JD Robb’s ‘In Death’ series which is set in the future.

    I avoid historical but don’t dislike novels (like those by Kate Morton) set in dual timeframes – then and now – particularly if there’s a mystery to be solved etc..

    1. I’m the same with TV – give me something vampires, demons or robots – though even there I watch a lot of crime dramas….I am a creature of habit!

  11. […] Rarely read genres – suggestions please… […]

  12. I loooooove sci-fi! I would love to recommend something.
    Sci-fi lite for people who are more into YA, adventure and fast pace, suspense, action: Illuminate
    Sci-fi that is mostly character driven, also not for the typical sci-fi reader: A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet
    Really smart, scientific, dark and strong sci-fi, one of the best series ever: Three Body Problem. Do not read if you disliked physics in school.
    If you like adventurous speculative fiction about the future, I do suggest The Punch Escrow. It’s… still sci-fi, but Kore speculative, not set in space, and it packs a punch.
    Hopefully this will help you pick 🙂

    1. Thank you thank you thank you. I feel,like I’m missing out with how excited people are around sci-fi especially.

  13. I just listened to the audiobook edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was a favorite of mine as a teenager. You can check out my review on my blog if you’re interested! 🙂

    1. I will head over. I remember the TV show from the 80s but have never read it.

  14. Ooo I have suggestions! Okay so for the sci-fic genre I think everyone and their mother should read A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. It’s amazing. ((I can see I’m not the only one to suggest this book!)) Another sci-fic book that I personally really enjoyed was Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord but it was an imperfect novel ((totally worth reading though!)).

    1. Thank you. I have a lovely list going now. I plan on setting myself a mini challenge to read a book in each genre soon x

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