If you’re a regular reader you’ll be very familiar with the classic literacy genres of mystery, romance, fantasy, horror, and so on, but there are many more types of books and sub-categories out there for you to explore. You might not realise how many other book genres actually exist so we’re going to tell you seven new book genres we’ve recently come across. As time goes on, we face a new array of literature genres that reflect our twenty-first-century culture and society norms.
Everyone has a favourite book genre and we can often get stuck in the same pattern, even when we don’t like to admit it. Have you ever thought about the book genres you’re missing out on? Well, it’s time to turn the tables and think about the book genres you might not have heard of. There is more to literary genres than the original classics, so here are some unique genres that you can read next.
Coming in at the number one unique genre is Bizzarro Fiction. When it comes to bizarro fiction, nothing is too strange or disturbing to be transformed into a story. This genre incorporates high amounts of sarcasm and can be extremely grotesque. While it’s not for the faint of heart, this genre is a bold exploration of the strange and vulgar, making a very interesting reading experience. Once you get into it, you’ll either be begging for more or fleeing for the safety in well-known genres. If you’re interested in getting down and dirty with this genre, you can give these popular books a read; ‘A collapse of Horses’ by Brian Evenson or ‘The Loop’ by Jeremy Robert Johnson.
2. Flash Fiction
At number two we have Flash Fiction. As the name implies, Flash Fiction is a collection of very brief stories. But how short is short? Flash Fiction includes stories of around six words – that’s right, it’s hard to believe it’s a ‘book genre’. As an extremely minimal word count may define this genre, other features such as a comprehensive narrative and an unpredictable ending are also popular characteristics. Flash fiction is unique in the way it frequently leaves readers wondering about the broader plot, a different ending or what could have been. The suggested Flash Fiction reads are ‘AM/PM: A Book’ by Amelia Morgan Gray and ‘The Lottery and Other Stories’ by Shirley Jackson.
Ranking at number three is Epistolary, a type of genre that you’ve probably read before without even knowing it. The genre includes novels that are only told through a sequence of documents, such as letters, journal entries or newspaper clippings. Epistolary books do not have all-knowing narrators as the nature of the documents in which the story is told. However, the genre does offer a personal and subjective perspective from the document writers, allowing you to interpret events with a sense of immediacy without intervention from the book’s author. If you’re interested in reading this genre, here are some book suggestions ‘Dear Committee Members’ by Julie Schumacher and ‘A Tale for the Time Being’ by Ruth Ozeki.
At number four we have the book genre of Twitterature, a term coined from combining literature and Twitter. This new genre is growing as writers continue to take to Twitter and produce short stories in just a single tweet of 280 characters. Similar to flash fiction, the genre is defined by its length, however, social media trends such as hashtags or emojis are also popularly used in the genre. If interested in better understanding this genre, you have a look at the Twitter account and website Nanoism, where weekly stories are posted obliging to the character limit.
5. Cashier Memoirs
Sitting at number five is Cashier Memoirs a genre established in the telling of cashiers and other overlooked service workers memoirs. Told from the perspective of individuals whose services are frequently overlooked, this type of genre explores the frustration, disrespect, and cruelty that most cashiers deal with on daily basis. The genre follows honest, sarcastic, humorous, and personal writing styles providing readers with a sense of the harsh reality that some workers experience. Are you interested in the Cashier Memoirs genre? Relevant books include ‘Checkout’ by Anna Sam, ‘Memoir of a Cashier’ by Carol Park, and ‘Letters From Your Friendly Cashier’ by Carrie Evans
Nearing the end at number six is Cli-Fi. Coined by Dan Bloom, the term “cli-fi” is used to describe a genre of fictional work that deals with topics surrounding climate change. In fact, cli-fi literature is all-inclusive as the genre addresses climate change, global warming, ecological calamities, and other related occurrences. Many cli-fi novels take place before, during, or after a natural disaster induced by climate change, such as a flood or tsunami. However, not all cli-fi books deal with current events and sometimes go even as far as imagining and creating a new reality of what the world could be like as climate change progresses. Modern cli-fi reads include Margaret Atwood’s ‘Oryx and Crake’ and Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Flight Behavior’.
Finishing off with number seven is Biopunk. This genre typically includes stories or novels of genetic studies gone bad, with a focus on situations of a person or animal’s DNA is altered, which often results in violence. For instance, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is an example of the Biopunk genre. Interestingly, because biopunk frequently incorporates cyberpunk themes like virtual reality and artificial intelligence, is considered a subgenre of cyberpunk. Two really interesting biopunk reads are ‘Dawn’ by Octavia Butler and ‘Blood Music’ by Greg Bear.
It is hard diving into a typical literary genre one after another, only to find that once you’ve read one book. It’s time for the unconventional book genres. With more time for reading thanks to COVID-19, it’s exciting to have extra time to explore a new book genre, because who knows, you might just find a new favourite book genre. If you’re game enough to try one of these book genres listed above, let us know what you think and let’s talk about it together on Carry A Book.