Tag: genre

This Week’s Top Genre Picks: Romance

Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent romance books for your recommendation pleasure. Romance offers a look into the lives of couples, dealing with love and all the trials it offers. Let’s fall in love with the couples of these books and the worlds they create!


5. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal


A rug as the text of the image showcasing images of peacocks on a stylized image

Image via Amazon

Described as a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Unmarriageable tells the story of the Binat family, whose reputation have been destroyed by vicious rumors and scandals. Alys, a daughter of the Binat family, has found a happy life teaching English to teachers. She’s pulled back into the world of her family when a huge wedding comes to their small town and her mother arranges for her daughters to attend in order to catch the eye of eligible bachelors. At the party, Alys’s sister catches the eye of a man called Bungles, whose friend Valentine Darsee has a snobbish opinion of the family. Alys dismisses Valentine but as her sister makes arrangements to marry Bungles, she finds herself attracted to Darsee as she realizes he’s a different man that her opinion. This a charming update of the classic Jane Austen novel told with plenty of charm, wit, and lovely prose.


4. Meet Cute by Helena Hunting


Image Via Amazon

Meet Cute begins how it sounds: Kailyn Flowers literally crashes into her former crush, an actor called Daxton Hughes. What could be an embarrassment for them both brings them together and they start a relationship…until Daxton betrays Kailyn! After years apart, the two come together again and Daxton needs Kailyn’s help! This is a fun romance comedy filled with cringe and presents two interesting characters with a fractured relationship trying to make an awkward romance truly work.


3. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang


A young woman sits at a desk of papers as a plane flies in the background

Image via Amazon

A matchmaking tale, this novel tells the story of Khan, an autistic man who believes he has no feelings. His family wants to help and they fly him to Vietnam to help him find a bride. Another woman enters the picture, a girl called Esme who falls for Khan and Khan has to struggle in order to try to love her, overcoming his condition to show her that he loves her as much as she does him. This is a heartbreaking novel about an unlikely couple finding love and showcasing that conditions shouldn’t hold you back from happiness.


2. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston


Two well dressed young men stand side by side

Image Via Amazon

Red, White & Royal Blue tells the story of a young couple from either side of the Atlantic, the son of the President and the royal Prince. Alex Cameron-Diaz is the son of his mother, the current President and Prince Henry of Britain. During a public relations meeting, the two have a beef and went the tabloids get hold of it, disaster could be spelled for diplomacy. To simmer tensions, the two are arranged to be in a fake friendship that’s documented before the world. Soon, their friendship becomes real and deeper than either could have imagined. Alex begins a secret romance with Henry, trying to keep their relationship on the down low as he finds he truly loves the young prince. This same-sex romance chronicles an unlikely love between two young men is a must read for anyone, truly getting you invested on both sides of the secret romance.



1. Under the Table by Stephanie Evanovich 


A bag flopped on the table

Image Via Amazon

Under The Table tells of a sexy, steam romance, centering on a woman called Zoey who has escaped her failing marriage and finds a new challenge with a rich gentleman called Tristan Malloy. He’s a computer programmer but very shy and she decides to give him a makeover to fit her image. As she begins to work him over, she begins to find him irresistible and who follows is a romance for the ages. Funny and steamy, this romance is a great beach read.



Featured Image Via Amazon

Romance books

The Pros and Cons of Reading A LOT of Romance Novels

I’m totally guilty of reading too many romance novels, although I don’t like when people refer to them as a ‘guilty pleasure’, after all, it is one of the most popular genres for a reason. Romance novels are one of my favorites right up there with drama, autobiography, and realistic fiction. So why is it that romance seems like the one I enjoy so greatly, but am so ashamed to admit my love for? I think it has something to do with the reputation it’s acquired throughout the years.


Romance novels in the past have been seen as quite notable and some of the best stories in history. However, now it seems that if you read too many, it may not be the best thing. I have had a good share of them, re-reading ones with characters whose relationships I loved or were very relatable and felt just like me. And yes, at times I have wished I was in a novel like that, I will admit it. So is that so wrong? It can be. Here are the pros and cons to reading many romance novels.


1. Pro: It inspires you to feel a little more passionate


Whether it’s your relationship or little moments of your life, it can’t hurt to feel a little more romantic. It may be a bit cheesy since life is nowhere near like in the movies, but it sure can feel like it if you look for all the beautiful snippets in day to day life. A feeling of romance doesn’t necessarily have to do with a partner, you could have that starry-eyed even when you’re solo or with friends. 







Con: Sometimes you forget how seriously you have to take certain situations…


It’s very easy to get caught up in the feelings romance books provide, and soon enough, everyday life stops feeling living up to the world of literary romance. Nothing is planned to work out, we actually have to work to fix things. And if there’s a fissure in your relationship you can’t just give your partner a single grand line and expect it to be magic again. Romance can sometimes make you forget the difference between people and paper.


2. Pro: These stories can help us better understand ourselves and what we really want


Novels like these tend to dig deep into their protagonist; whether it’s a self-assured heroine or a strong minded mysterious hero, we get a good backstory. I tend to put myself in the character’s shoes so I may or may not agree with everything they do. If a certain scene is very poignant I will usually remember it and apply it to my own life. There have been moments where it takes a literary character to knock some knowledge into my own head. When it comes to relationships, you can use some parts from these novels to better understand what you may or may not want. Even if it is a little far-fetched, we all deserve a good love.




Con: Sometimes we just end up confusing our own feelings


After reading a lovey-dovey story that begins with a two people and hardship then ends in a sweet and magnificent finality, for me the feeling is hard to shake. I’ve been a little googly-eyed after finishing stories. With this can come some rash choices. Nothing is perfect, we know that, but we still tend to lean toward those flighty actions. With relationships: Do we stay with whoever catches our eyes first? Should we leave the second things seem shaky? If we meet someone we like, do we abandon everything we had just in case it’s something incredible? The danger is thinking there is always something better to come with acting on emotions.


3. Pro: They provide the perfect escape from reality

When the world is a little crazy and things have been stressful, my first choice is to read, and it will be almost always be a romance. It’s sweet, enjoyable, and almost always has a happy ending. We all need a little hope and a daydream now and then. It’s sweet and reminds us how good things can be, even if they are a little reaching. Sometimes after finishing a serious book I’ll counteract it by reading a romance after. Works every time.




Con: The escape can last for a little too long…


These mushy works of literature can screw with our head and our expectations if you let them. No one is perfect, so if you’re looking for a partner who will keep coming back even when you push them away to be poetic, dramatic, and damaged… Guess what? They won’t keep coming back. And if someone doesn’t have that smoldering look to them, that doesn’t mean they don’t have an interesting or deep past. Not all that glitters is gold, so if you have something good, hang onto it. We can all dream now and then. Just remember to enjoy the sweet moments and let the love story start with yourself first.




Featured Image Via Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen


6 Oddly-Specific Genre Bookstores From Around The World

Ever wanted to browse a bookstore filled with nothing but mystery novels? How about romance novels? Now you can! These six bookstores from around the world carry just one, sometimes very specific, genres. 


1. Sleuth of Baker Street – Toronto, Canada



via Giphy


Go-to bookstore for fans of mystery, Sleuth of Baker Street has been thriving since 1979. This store carries everything mystery from noir, spy and thriller novels, to Sherlockiana – a genre that is based within the Sherlock Holmes universe.



via Pinterest


2. The Ripped Bodice – Los Angeles, California



via Giphy 


This female-run Los Angeles bookstore prides itself on being the “only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States.” Started on Kickstarter, The Ripped Bodice boasts a vast and diverse selection of romance fiction, with their owners, Bea and Leah Koch being named Booksellers of the Year by the Romance Writers of America in 2017.



via Culture Honey


3. Transreal Fiction – Edinburgh, Scotland 



via Giphy


Opening in April of 1997, Transreal Fiction is a shop dedicated to science fiction and fantasy books. What sets them apart from other sci-fi and fantasy bookstores like them is their commitment to bring in books from authors not published in the UK. Transreal Fiction has the biggest range of imported science fiction and fantasy titles available in Scotland.



via Library Thing


4. La Liberia del Mare – Milan, Italy



via Giphy


Milan’s La Liberia del Mare is exactly what it sounds like – a library of sea. More specifically, sea books. All the books La Liberia del Mare stocks involve the sea with books ranging from boats and ships to fishing and various forms of sea life. Aside from the shop being stocked with sea-faring books, the shop itself is decorated from floor to ceiling in boat photos, nautical maps, and other aquatic decor. 



via Max Guide


5. Dark Delicacies – Burbank, California



via Giphy


If your horror section at your favorite bookstore consists only of Stephen King, Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California will surely exceed expectations. The shop stocks everything from classic horror like Dracula to non-fiction about horror writers and creators. Along with books, Dark Delicacies also carries magazines, posters, and other dark and twisty items. 



 via Stephen H. Provost


6. Persephone Books – London, UK 



via Giphy


This London bookshop reprints and stocks 128 fiction and non-fiction works by mid-twentieth century women writers including novels, short stories, memoirs, diaries, and cook books. All books cost £13 ($20 USD) and although a bit drab in the slate grey spines and covers, the books still add elegance and beauty to any shelf or table.



via Very English


Featured image via Pinterest.


5 Reasons Why Us Bookworms Feel Everything So Deeply

I don’t want to sound all biased, but I have to say that bookworms are some of the best people on earth. Yes that is a big statement, but I think we can all agree that it’s a fact. We’re intellectual, funny, kind, emotional, and we can blow through 700 pages in about four days. What’s not to love?


We’re just like everybody else, but there is one thing that sets us apart from the average human being. We feel everything on a deeper level. You know I’m right on this. We get below the surface and we fall hard into things, some could even say we crash into them. Whatever we feel passionate about, expect that it will set us ablaze. These five reasons may be just what makes bookworms feel everything SO deeply.


1. We take on the emotions of the characters in the books we read.



You know you do this one. When we have the time to sit and read for a while, the mood in the air sort of changes depending on how the story is going. If it’s a sad part, everything around you seems more gray, when it’s happy the day feels hopeful. Even something more sensual can change your mood for the whole day (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). When you finally have to reenter the real world and put your book down the feelings of your character linger. You’re in deep my friend.


2. In a way, we all feel like we’re in our very own novel.



I am guilty as charged! We read things we enjoy and can relate to and learn from, because that’s what we want in our own life. So when a book really clicks with you, there’s no doubt you’ll wish it was your life long after you put it down. We want to feel like the characters and go on the adventures that they do. Taking a walk or being in the city at night is more than just that. All books have possibilities and we begin to feel and think in exactly that way. Everything has a story.


3. Bookworms read between the lines. Duh.




Our eyes don’t just look over the pages. We’re not amateurs. We absorb things, break them down, turn them around, change the angle, and analyze them for all they’re worth. This goes for books and all life scenarios. I for one can’t help myself; my need to break things down and find underlying meanings is actually annoying. But hey, it’s who we are right?


4. Us folks are empathetic as hell.



We get people because we have to! How could we read through a whole book if we were close-minded about other people’s feelings and points of view? A bookworm wants to be the one to simplify and give depth to a situation at the very same time. They understand how you’re feeling better than you do sometimes. Expect to be enlightened because of us.


5. Book folks get invested. Quickly and easily.


It’s both a blessing and a curse. Even in something or someone we don’t completely care for we will still find something that we like. Some of us can be all or nothing or just fall hard. And that’s okay! Avid readers love to feel things they don’t usually get to feel, so when there’s a slight hint of something good, we go all in.


Maybe not everyone agrees on these, but I’ll say this much: I never met a bookworm I didn’t like.


Featured Image Via Unsplash Ali Morshediou

woman holding book

7 Strange Genres You’ve Definitely Never Heard Of

You’ve heard of the basic literary genres – fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, etc., but have you heard of Feghoot or furry sleuth? There are more to literary genres than the classics and here are some that you might’ve not known. 


1. Canadiana 


Sometimes known as CanLit or Canadiana, it’s exactly what you would expect it to be, Canadian literature. The sub genre is similar to Americana fiction, but with stories centered around Canada. The literature has been strongly influenced by international immigration with themes of the works surrounding ethnic minority, identity, duality, and cultural differences. 


via Giphy


2. Coterie or Cult Novel


Not what you know typically as a cult novel or film, coterie novels offer a specific intellectual and elitist appeal. These novels are no beach reads but instead offer the reader an intense, challenging, and thoughtful reading experience. Books in this genre include the works of James Joyce.  



Via Giphy


3. Dickensian


A little bit on the controversial side, but Dickensian fiction is any story said to resemble those if Charles Dickens. Most authors described under this genre haven’t been as successful as its namesake. One notable work that can be described as being a Dickensian novel is Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch


donna tartt

Image Via Writing Suzanne


4. Fake Memoir


Fake memoirs are exactly what they sound like. Fake memoirs can either be written and published as false to begin with or they can be exposed as partially or wholly false. An famous example of an exposed false memoir is James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces. Famously banished from Oprah’s Book Club, Oprah sent it to the New York Times bestseller list only to later reveal on national television that the book was highly embellished and mostly false. 



Via Giphy


5. Feghoot


A tiny yet distinct subgenera rooted in fan fiction, Feghoot fiction began as a series of science fiction pieces titled Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot. The pieces were usually only a few paragraphs long and always ended with a deliberately bad pun. 


6. Cozy Mystery


Another oddly specific genre with its own format, cozy mysteries like Joanne Fluke’s Raspberry Danish Murder and Kelly Lane’s Dipped to Death are typically set in a small town with a amateur female sleuth.  The crimes in these mysteries are typically murders but they aren’t done by psychopaths or serial killers but instead by some member of the community. The sleuth usually has connections to the police force by a spouse, friend, etc. and they hold jobs that bring them into constant contact with others in their community.



Via Giphy

7. Furry Sleuth 


Similar to the cozy mysteries, furry sleuth mysteries feature a cat or dog as a principal investigator, very rarely is the protagonist a bird or reptile. Similarly to cozy mysteries, they take place in smaller communities with a similar cast of characters. Furry sleuth novels have some of the best titles including The Fast and the Furriest and Claws for Concern


dog sleuth


Featured Image Via BookBub