January 30, 2023

Save the Net Books

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Book genres that don’t exist, but we wish they existed

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Anyone who works with books – or has a deep love for them – will tell you how difficult it can be to categorize them. Recommending books based solely on genre is sometimes impossible since stories that fit into similar categories can be so different.

When I read, I often find it difficult to name my books and often wish there were more genres to choose from. So I asked around and found out about book genres that don’t exist, but some book lovers wish they had.

Of course, you could argue that the genres I’m talking about below, even if included in a book catalog, would be categories or tags and not genres – and you’re not wrong. But for a bit of humor – and a nicer title – let’s call all these new genres. Let’s imagine a world where we can walk into a bookstore in dire need of a book with a completely insane plot and find shelves of it in a special Bananapants section. A dream!

No plot, just vibes

Most of the time when I’m looking for a recording that falls under dark science, for example, I’m less concerned with the plot and more concerned with experiencing a certain atmosphere.

I want to read a book with exactly the vibes I’m in the mood for, no matter how interesting the plot might be.

In fact, on more than one occasion I really couldn’t get interested in a complicated plot; Just give me a story that requires little concentration but gives a certain atmosphere and I’m hooked.

In this category: housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.

new adult

This isn’t so much a category I made up as a conversation that’s been going around in literary circles for a while.

While there may be valid reasons why New Adult is not yet an officially recognized category of publishers, it still baffles me that we continue to cram books about the mid-teens and books about people in their early 20s together.

I think it’s true to say that we all have personal connections to New Adult and adult literature, so for several readers it would be of great help to have the actual label to work with when we’re looking for one or the other .

In this category: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams.

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Bad people are punished

I’m not good at dealing with injustice, and if there’s one thing a book can break for me it’s when the big villains don’t get what they deserve.

There’s a deep satisfaction in seeing characters reap exactly what they sewed, and I wish there was a category that focused on that very thing. When it comes to small revenge, all the better.

In this category: Drive your plow over the bones of the dead by Olga Tokarczuk.

bananas

Do you ever read a book and think WTF did I just read it?

I personally love these because they always surprise me in the best possible way. Reading them is like a fever dream, and for a while I was so keen on finding books like this that I even put together a little list for Book Riot (and there are many more out there).

These books are always amusing; sometimes they’re annoying, sometimes they’re just absolutely… banana pants.

In this category: My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones.

nobody falls in love

Have you ever read a book that has a romance in it and found that you would have liked it better without the romance?

I’m as much a fan of romance as anyone out there, but in some tales the friendships and found family tropes are so well done that romance just seems like an unnecessary addition.

Also, there aren’t enough romance books out there, and it would be super nice to walk into a book knowing beforehand that it’s all about the platonic.

In this category: On Fragile Waves by E. Lily Yu.

Cozy Apocalypse

I know what you’re thinking: how can the literal apocalypse be cozy? let me finish

Let’s imagine a best-case scenario: the world is crumbling around a group of people just enjoying their final days as peacefully and quietly as possible.

Not running or fighting, but helping each other in community, hearing each other’s stories, what drives them and knowing that when the time comes, they will face up as they must.

Doesn’t that sound nice to you? I would even go so far as to call it hopeful, an optimistic view that very often in the worst of times we also see the best of people.

In this category: Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou by Hitoshi Ashinano.

side trip

I don’t think I need to explain why Road Trip deserves its own category: young people, middle-aged people, old people who get in a car, grab some snacks and a good playlist, and embark on an unexpected adventure into the unknown embark – to find more of the world or of oneself.

In this category: Paper Towns by John Green and Onion Skin by Edgar Camacho.

tea dragon

When I was younger I watched several anime series: Pokémon, Naruto, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Dragon Ball to name a few.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the series, I’ve always enjoyed the so-called filler episodes the most, those that have no real connection to the plot development and where the characters just frolic.

The truth is, I’ve never been very interested in the fights; All I was interested in was getting to know the characters and seeing them relax and enjoy themselves without all the stress of the battles.

Tea Dragon would be a Studio Ghibli meets Pokémon category: no fighting, just traveling the world, befriending fluffy creatures, eating great food, and sightseeing.

In this category: Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill.

mother anger

The more I hear personal stories of moms and what they go through in parenting, from the physical toll to systemic failure, the angrier I get.

Given that, it’s actually surprising that there aren’t more books that make moms (rightly) piss their pants. And that’s why books that depict this should have their own category.

In this category: Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder.

found family

We are all trying to find our place in the world in one way or another, and sometimes the blood family can’t follow in the footsteps that we possess.

Found Family isn’t a genre, but with so many people trying to find a group of people who understand and accept them, it’s a very sought after category and should probably be a genre in its own right.

In this category: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender.

Hasn’t happened…yet

This is a category that goes beyond the dystopian – which in fact often depicts situations that are actually already a reality for marginalized communities – and into the field of “I imagine this could very easily become the norm”.

It’s an exaggeration based on very real human behavior.

In this category: Tender Is The Flesh by Augustina Bazterrica.

Happy queer

So many queer stories are about struggle and hurt, and sometimes we want to read about queer people in a world that accepts them as queer.

That doesn’t mean there’s no suffering in this world: it just hasn’t directly to do with queerness, because while we want to see ourselves and our struggles on the side, sometimes we just want queer people to be uncompromising and totally happy .

This is also known as the queer norm.

In this category: The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.

cry Me A River

There is nothing I love more than a book that completely and utterly destroys me. The sadder the better and that sometimes makes it hard for me to do my job as a bookseller because people will ask me for happy reviews and my hands will be empty.

If someone tells me they read a book and it made them cry a lot, I will most likely pick it up too.

A bunch of books in this category would probably break my wallet, but I would devour it every time.

In this category: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

sad funny

Some books manage to hide a very thin layer of sadness beneath a hilarious narrative, and that sweet and sour taste that lingers between the pages always manages to get me emotional.

I’ll cry through the tears and it’s one of the best feelings ever. For that alone it should be a genre in itself.

In this category: Nothing to see here by Kevin Wilson.

What genres/categories would you add to the list?

Are you looking for more? Here’s a guide to book genres and 10 new book genres and subgenres.