Woman reading a book in the library. She is standing near the window.

Genre: A category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

There are many fiction genres available for every reader. Finding a genre you enjoy will enhance your reading pleasure.

Every artist has a genre. In writing, we call it ‘picking your lane.’ When you’ve made the decision to read more books this year, it’s important to pick a genre you enjoy. For me, it’s literary fiction or women’s fiction.

Here are some of the most popular fiction genres:

Amish fiction – Still popular after many years. Perhaps it’s the idea that a simple life is better than what we are experiencing today. This isn’t my favorite, but I can’t deny it’s fascination. Some of the authors in this genre I’ve enjoyed are Patrick E Craig, Murray Pura, and Beverly Lewis

Historical fiction – It’s obvious from the title what this entails. Historical fiction can be anywhere from medieval times to the 1800’s. There’s a couple of subgenres of historical fiction:

Biblical fiction – takes a real event or person and writes a fictional account using real places

Historical fantasy – Historical fantasy is a category of fantasy and that incorporates fantastic elements (such as magic) into a more “realistic” narrative. There is much crossover with other subgenres of fantasy; those classed as Arthurian, Celtic, or Dark Ages could just as easily be placed in historical fantasy. Stories fitting this classification generally take place prior to the 20th century.[1]

Literary fiction – This tends to be more character driven than plot driven; meaning you won’t find the action moving forward at a fast clip. This type of fiction usually involves characters moving from Point A to Point B with lots of drama and introspection

Women’s contemporary fiction – Books for women, about women with women main characters. This is my lane. I write stories about women facing difficult circumstances who learn and grow through the process.

Crime – Think John Grisham or James Scott Bell. Someone is murdered and someone is blamed, usually an innocent person. It’s up to the detective or the attorney to get them out of the mess.

Jane Daly and Author James Scott Bell
James Scott Bell and me!

Other popular genres

Fantasy – Made-up worlds and people are in this genre. Sometimes the people and places are historical, sometimes not. I don’t read a lot in this genre, but some of my favorite authors are

Romance – Hallmark movie, anyone? In this genre, a happily-ever-after ending is required. Harlequin Publishing has a line of Love Inspired romances and they are super popular.

Science Fiction – Who hasn’t heard of Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) or HG Wells (Ware of the Worlds). Current science fiction authors include Frank Peretti and Clifford T. Wellman, Jr.

Horror – Nope. Not even gonna go there. You’re probably familiar with Koontz and King, so I don’t need to go any further. I don’t read in this genre at all. Too scary.

[1] Wikipedia “Historical Fantasy”

New to reading?

If you’re new to this reading thing, I urge you to check out several different genres until you find the one that floats your boat. Statistics show that between 500,000 and one million books are published each year. So no excuses – you can find something to read.

What I’m Reading:

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Jane S. Daly is the author of Because of Grace (2015) and The Caregiving Season (2016), The Girl in the Cardboard Box (2021), Broken (2022), and Broken Silence (2023)

Jane is addicted to coffee, purple pens, and her husband, not necessarily in that order. A self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys the solitude of riding shotgun in Rigsby, her 37-foot motor home. But when they pull into a new campground, her favorite thing is to make new friends and find hangouts featuring local musicians. Her fantasy involves writing lyrics for country music songs and hearing them played on the radio. In the meantime, she’ll stick to writing novels. And seeing as much of the country as possible.