Ranking the Fiction Genres

Everyone has favorite and least favorite genres. It’s part of life. My dad, for example, reads almost nothing except for Science Fiction. My husband, on the other hand, is hard to get interested in much other than fantasy. Many book bloggers prefer young adult novels the best. I find this super fascinating. SO!

Today I will be ranking the fiction genres!

This is my personal preference, so don’t you dare get offended if I don’t like something you do. I do what I want.

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12. Horror

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I do NOT like to be scared. I have no problems with a big adrenaline rush, and adventure sports and activities are something I could get super into. But scared? Nuh uh. Not for me, thanks.

11. Romance

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I LOVE a great love story, but romance novels are typically too much about the sex for me. I know there’s no cookie-cutter rules for the romance genre, but that’s just my experience. For me sex is something that’s very personal and private, and when I read about it I just feel uncomfortably invasive. Like I’m watching them have sex with a pair of binoculars from behind a curtain across the street. And yeah, I know they’re not real people, but they’re real to me, okay?

10. Western

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I like the idea of a western, but I’ve never actually read one. So I just put it here. *shrug*

9. Literary Fiction

41zqDXuSQEL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_So this isn’t technically a real genre, but as book bloggers and book discussers, this is definitely a category we talk about. Wikipedia defines it as “fiction that is regarded as having literary merit, as distinguished from most commercial or ‘genre’ fiction.”. AKA, fiction that literature snobs approve of. These books win awards.

Personally, while I appreciate an outstanding novel, I prefer books that are great fun. Also, I often feel as though these books are quite full of themselves. I don’t know why literature snobs have decided that these are the sort of books with the most merit, but I suppose it’s for much the same reason the vocal department at my university wouldn’t allow students to sing Broadway tunes.

8. Thriller

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Thrillers are very hit or miss with me. A lot of the time they have to do with murder, which I’m not crazy about, but I love a book that is exciting and hard to put down.

7. Mystery

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I’m still new to the mystery genre. I can probably count the number of mystery novels I’ve read on two hands. But, I don’t know, there’s something that seems so universal about a mystery! Not knowing what happened, but trying to figure it out. I guess it’s because we all watched Scooby Doo growing up, huh?

6. Realistic/Contemporary Fiction

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I didn’t know what to put here, because the phrase “contemporary” has VERY different meanings to different people. To me it seems that book bloggers use contemporary to specifically refer to lighter reads, but book critics talk about books that deal with contemporary issues. So let me clarify what I mean here: Books that take place in our world in our time and have been written recently. Whew.

This is another “genre” that’s very hit or miss with me. It usually all depends on the subject matter and whether I like the main character. Chick Lit is usually not a favorite of mine, but contemporary comedies are totally my jam. The non-romance romance novels are sometimes a big hit with me too.

5. Young Adult

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You are never too old to read a coming of age story, or a story about first love, and don’t you dare ever let someone tell you you are! This is a genre that has so much impact when done well. Unfortunately though, I feel that a lot of these books get very similar to each other, especially YA Fantasy. Because of that I get burnt out on YA fast.

4. Science Fiction

c594c5c76a09f74923511d22c9f955e1I wish I could say I was more well versed in SciFi, because this is a genre I adore! But I’m just a big ol’ SciFi failure. Am now accepting recommendations for your favorite SciFi books!

3. Historical Fiction

81THPjDmFnLAt this point in the list it started getting hard. I love all of these genres so much and they are quite different, so ranking them got difficult!

I think my favorite thing about historical fiction is the variety it offers. There are so many times and places to choose from! You can read romance or adventure. It can be a political intrigue or about an everyday regular Joe. Bonus, when done well I always feel like I’m learning something.

2. Classics

84979What makes something a classic? Does it have to do with when it was written, with its popularity, or with its ability to stand the test of time? I don’t know the answer, I just know that I love old books! Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Alexandre Dumas, Robert Lewis Stevenson, I can’t get enough! In college this was pretty much 95% of what I read, and my classics shelf if the fullest one in my library.

1. Fantasy

51r6XIPWmoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_What is it about magic and other worlds? I think I love fantasy because it captures my imagination. Fantasy allows for so much more, for unlimited possibilities! In fantasies nobody has mundane problems like being late for work. Everything is an adventure. I love the creatures, I love magic, I love reading about imagined cultures. Most of my favorite novels are fantasies, and I especially love the whimsical or beautiful ones. Though you can’t go wrong with a little monster slaying either!

What is your favorite genre? Let me know in the comments!

29 thoughts on “Ranking the Fiction Genres

  1. I am right there with you about the horror and romance! Classics are probably at the top of my list, but I’m honestly not entirely sure why…maybe because they tend to showcase characters and plots that are deeply troubled which can be cathartic to read? But your post has really given me something to think about!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My favorite is fantasy, though I’m open to just about anything genre. Except romance.

    For science fiction recommendations, there’s Dune by Frank Herbert (the style is strange to first time readers, but if you can get through that, it’s captivating). Ursula K LeGuin wrote the Hainish Cycle, though The Left Hand of Darkness is the most famous of them. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Virkosigan Saga is fantastic! It spans 16 books, but because they were mostly written out of order, there are no cliffhangers or anything, so you don’t have to read the whole series to find out what happens. Each book is a complete story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! Dune is on my list for next summer, too long to tackle during a busy school year. Left Hand of Darkness is also already on my list. But I’ll definitely have to look into the Vorosigan Saga, I’m not familiar with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post! I Fantasy, science fiction, classics and just YA in general are definitely at the top of my list! As an English major I actually tend to avoid literary fiction if only out of spite. Why does everyone feel the need to merit those books above all others. What makes them so great! I’d much rather be reading fantasy!

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  4. Everything in this list is well placed I think. As for sci/fi I would recommend “A Fire Upon the Deep” by Vernon Vinge. It’s not the easiest read but the ideas in it are so unique and imaginative that it still captivated me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello! This post was enjoyable to read, and I appreciate you sharing it! “These books win awards.” Lol! Delightfully put!

    I’d say I like everything but horror, because I’m a chicken that prefers to sleep well at night. But if I must pick a favorite it would be Fantasy. Hands down, I adore dragons and magic. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Fantasy and SciFi, and Western probably will end up last in my list. I never acually read them and don’t interested to!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I never thought I liked westerns either, but then I read one, The Homesman, and loved it! And then I read another one, Doc, and loved that one too!! Now I’m thinking I need to try Lonesome Dove and see if I really am a fan of westerns, or if I just got lucky with the two that I’ve read. Both The Homesman and Doc feel more like historical fiction in a western setting, so maybe that’s why I liked them so much.
    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hmm. I think you would like my books. I thought they were historical fiction or perhaps alternate history like Harry Turtledove, but then I discovered the Thoughts on Fantasy blog and realized that genre was a lot broader than I’d known and that my books are probably fantasy.

    They include a dragon or two, but not magical and not as main characters.

    Here are some random thoughts on your list:
    Horror: I always think I want to read a horror book, but then change my mind when it gets – usually – too sad. Sometimes too scary as well. My stomach has gotten stronger as I’ve aged.
    Westerns: I haven’t read many, but I do like stories set in Anasazi country. I read a great one like that by Louis L’Amour, and I love Tony Hillerman’s books, in which the main characters are Navajo. I guess this goes back to my fascination with ancient mysteries.
    Literary Fiction: Still confused about what puts a book in this category. But I believe Station Eleven was called literary fiction, and I really enjoyed that.
    Mystery: Hoo boy, are you in for a treat as you explore this genre! May I recommend the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters. They are mysteries, but also historical fiction set near the Welsh border in the 1100s.
    Sci-Fi: I really liked Six Wakes.

    Liked by 2 people

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