Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weekend Wondering: Genres and General Fiction

First up the winner from last week's Romance Weekend Wondering is:

Heather Y

Please email me at crystalfulcher(at) and let me know which two books you would like.  The selection can be found here.  If I do not hear from you by Wednesday I will draw another name.  Thanks for all the entries - I enjoyed reading your comments.

I also never heard from the winner of my first weekend wondering so I am redrawing the winner and that winner is:
Anita Yancey
You can email me at crystalfulcher(at) and let me know what book you would like from the selection posted here.

I will also be sending emails to the winners later today.

Now onto today's Weekend Wondering:

Genres are something I use in my anal-retentive spreadsheet I keep of what I read each year. I like to categorize and know what kind of books I'm reading. Sometimes it's easy to categorize. Nora Roberts is usually romance or romantic suspense, non-fiction is evident (most of the time), John Grisham mainly writes thrillers, but then there are authors that write what I can general fiction.  What is general fiction?  Truly I'm not sure, but to me it is anything that's not obviously another genre.  Kristin Hannah is one, her books have relationships, family, sometimes some suspense and some romance, but I consider them general fiction.  I guess they could be women's fiction because I am sure they appeal more to women than men.  Anita Shreve books also come to mind, but then again are they fiction or suspense, because there is usually a suspenseful plot in her books, but it doesn't drive the books. 

Ah - so there's a thought - books are categorized by what drives the book. But still that is sometimes subjective.  I am sure I would think that suspense drives a certain book, but  another reader might think it's the relationships.  That's the fun of reading - we all see and read different things into a book.  We bring what we know and have to it and mold what the writer intends around ourselves.

Next up is suspense/thriller versus literary suspense.  Some would argue that James Patterson is definitely not literary suspense, but suspense thriller - does that make him less of a writer.  If bestsellers tell the tale, definitely not - his books thrill, they sometimes disappoint, but that is all authors if they have a long career.  So is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a literary suspense novel?  I took that for granted when I saw it on more blogs that read more literary fiction.  What makes it literary suspense?

These are all good questions and I being young in the blogging world (but not the reading world) am still tyring to figure the nuances out.  Does it really matter in the end if I enjoy the book?  No, absolutely not.  But it matters for my spreadsheet :)

Have a wonderful Saturday.  Feel free to discuss points in this blog or anything else on your mind in the comments for a chance to win your choice of books in my "have to leave the house" basket (that implies nothing toward the books - I've read them and I need space for new books so I want them to go to good homes).  Giveaway goes through next Friday, my birthday 2/26 and I'll draw the winners in the next Weekend Wondering.  Extra entries for tweeting, following, etc.

I have to hear from my latest winners to see what they want, and then I will update the selection with what is left from previous weeks.  But some of the books/ARCs (some are coming up for review this week) you will be eligible to win are:

The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and LaughterThe Things That Keep Us Here Abigail: A Novel (The Wives of King David) Anything but Normal: A NovelThe Courteous Cad (Miss Pickworth)The PostmistressEvermore: The ImmortalsPower PlayNurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

Nurture Shock is an audiobook (unabridged), the rest are books/ARCs.  After the winners choose their books, there will be 12 more to choose from too.