Sunday Book Club: Favorite Genres

June 12, 2016 Sunday Book Club 45


sunday book club


Hi friends!

Welcome to another edition of the Sunday Book Club! I so enjoy these chats each week!! I hope you do too ๐Ÿ™‚

Earlier this week, I made a list of ten reasons I love Christian fiction. I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about Christian fiction, and I wanted to dispel some of those as well as champion this marketย that has such a special place in my heart. I didn’t really focus on a specific genre within the CBA – just Christian fiction as a whole. In fact, if I *had* to pick a favorite genre, I would go into apoplexy. I guess I could say my favorite genre is romance – contemporary, historical, fairy tale, romantic suspense. (I’m sure this surprises no one.)

But now I want to hear from YOU. What is YOUR favorite genre? And why do you love it?


45 Responses to “Sunday Book Club: Favorite Genres”

  1. Andrea Stephens

    When it comes to reading, I think I’m very much like you Carrie. I read many genres and like them all, well maybe not “all.” If I were tied down and made to say my favorite genre I would have to say Romance, not the smutty kind. I don’t mind love scenes, or kissing scenes, I just don’t need the exact details spelled out for me. I have an imagination and like to use it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Annie JC

    O girl…I’m like you. Do I HAVE to choose one?! I read so many different genres. Just depends on what strikes me at the time. Christian Fiction is definitely on top there.

  3. Melony Teague

    I have always read historical fiction and have only recently discovered Christian Contemporary Fiction..( I know, that is hard to believe)..but now that I have, I am hooked. I do however have a weakness for Young Adult Dystopian but find I have to be careful which ones I pick to read. I do also like romantic suspense and am thrilled to have discovered some “new to me” authors that are really doing a great job with that genre. I have on occasion read one or two Amish stories, but they are not really my “go to” books, I prefer “Southern” stories. I am quite happy to pick my fave genres but I can’t pick my fave authors, the list is just way too long. 20 years ago, this would not have been the case….like you, I love the growth in Christian Fiction and the diversity available.

    • Carrie

      Yes! Absolutely! So many great authors & diversity within the CF umbrella!

  4. Melony Teague

    Ok, let me clarify on the Young Adult Dysopian thing, some of them are not necessarily Christian, but are written by Christian authors. Those I like. YA that are not Christian books are hit and miss.

  5. Rebecca Maney

    I typically love romantic suspense. I read to “escape and enjoy”, so a story that grabs my attention quickly and keeps me involved until the very end is a winner!

  6. Camille Eide

    Great question, Carrie. I’ll be the oddball. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am a closet romantic. (Ha!) The genre I’ve enjoyed most in Christian Fiction is one I’d call Romantic Women’s Fiction. I found out from experience that it’s not an official genre, sadly, and caused me some frustration when I first began writing novels. I felt my stories were equal part romance and issue/relational drama driven or women’s fiction, and I didn’t want to swing more to one side than the other.

    Influenced a great deal by Jane Austen, I always like a strong romance thread (written by someone who gets the need for the “feels” ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I also like the “meat” of relational drama and/or issues that make one think. And I like to be challenged to examine my faith in Christ in a way that makes me grow in some way. So that’s what, in my naivete, I began to write. When my agent said I needed to pick one or the other, I whined, why? She told me to name a few titles for my Comparative Titles list. The closest I could come up with was Susan Meissner (I had just read Blue Heart Blessed), Karen Kingsbury (but more romance please, heehee) and Deb Raney. I wrote to Susan and Deb and asked What is your genre?? They both had the same dilemma. The agent and publisher want a clearly defined shelf for our books, so even though they both considered their work at that time Romantic Women’s Fiction (what’s so hard about making one more label for those bookstore shelves? Huh?), they had to pick one or the other. Women’s Fiction it was.

    The problem with one or the other for me was that I believe romantics, closet or not, are looking for the Love Story, so perhaps “Women’s Fiction” won’t appeal to those and they will miss that strong romance thread in mine. And to me, the problem with saying “Romance” is that there are category romances with a clearly predefined, not to be deviated from formula that readers of drama/issue driven/women’s fiction usually aren’t interested in. Sigh.

    I finally just wrote the story my heart nudged me to write, gave my agent a pitch that labeled the book(s) Romantic Women’s Fiction, and waited for the houses to come back with an ultimatum. Long story short, the publisher I contracted with ended up listing my books as “Christian Romance.” I’m fine with that, since Faith in Christ and a strong Love Story are key elements in my books. I just hope that those readers looking for a bit more depth will give them a chance. ๐Ÿ™‚

    If anyone has a favorite Christian author that you would consider equal parts Romance and Women’s Fic or Relational Drama, I’d love to hear about them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Carrie

      Such great insight, Camille!! Your category is a bit of a sorting dilemma. Jennifer Slattery & Varina Denman are both kinda in that in-between category too. Varina’s have a bit more romance than Jen’s, probably closest to your style of the two. Whatever the category, I love what y’all write! Keep going! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Beckie B.

    Give me a mystery! Not sure if it’s the early influence of Nancy Drew, but I love putting the clues together and solving the case!

    • Carrie

      Mysteries come in a very very close second as my fave genre!

  8. Carolyn Astfalk

    I’m going to go with contemporary inspirational romance that leans a little gritty/edgy rather than super sweet. I could ramble a little about that and other genres, but I’m just going to stop at that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Carrie

      Haha! I am loving that there are more & more authors lately going a little edgier in contemp Inspy romance!

  9. Sarah

    I read non-fiction almost exclusively. My areas of interest are mostly Anglo-Saxon England, Roman Britain, Vikings, the Plantagenets, the Tudors, biblical archaeology, and some US history. I also like reading about gilded age/robber baron types – Rockefellers, Astors, Vanderbilts, etc., sports memoirs, and anything about or by Shakespeare.

    • Carrie

      If I had more time, I would very much enjoy reading all of those areas of interest in non-fiction too. I love history and those were always my favorite classes in HS and university!

      • Sarah

        Mine too. I’d like to get a second masters degree in history in one of those areas to be able to teach at the university level.

  10. Marylin Furumasu

    I love ALL types of Christian fiction except …. thrillers. I truly LOVE when an author shares the Gospel in the story and the characters deepen their faith. It makes me grow in my walk sometimes.
    But as for one type, I really can’t narrow it down. I have sooooo many authors who I love it’s fun. When a friend asks for a new author I get excited because I get to introduce them to many they can choose from.
    Yet I must say, …. put a little romance in it and I’m good to go!

    • Carrie

      Isn’t it awesome to have so many great authors we can recommend?!?

      • Marylin Furumasu

        Yes! Thank you for ALL the recommendations! As of this Weds. I’ll be able to read more!!

  11. Hulah

    Historical are my favorite; particularly early American, revolutionary, Civil War, Native American history, but I do from time to time read Amish fiction and other time periods. I always read the back of the book where the author tells about the research they did for the book and what parts are “real” and what was fiction. So often it inspires me to research on my own to learn more.

    • Carrie

      Me too! That’s one of my favorite parts of reading historical fiction!!

  12. Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders

    I’ve done several posts over the years about how romance is my most favorite genre. Ultimately, you know what the ending will be, you just don’t know what journey the characters are going to go on to get there. I am also a sucker for love. I always will be. What is more beautiful in life than love?

    I also enjoy historical fiction a great deal. I’ve always been a history buff and someone to keep up with trivial knowledge. I enjoy time period settings and locations different than my own. I enjoy learning new things from my books.

    Mystery is also one high up on my list. I never read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys books growing up, but I read Harriet the Spy and Goosebumps and Caroline B. Cooney and Agatha Christie. I now have found a niche in cozy mysteries!

    • Carrie

      I didn’t discover cozy mysteries until just this past year and I have a lot of catching up to do – but I LOVE them!!

  13. DeAnna Dodson

    I have to admit I’m not much of one for contemporary romance (though I just read and very much enjoyed Isaac’s “Close to You). Make it historical romance or mystery though (or both), and I am SO there. Anything that gets me away from the crazy that is our current world. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. carylkane

    CARRIE, I enjoy several genres of Christian fiction. Mystery/suspense was my go-to for several years until last year when I ventured beyond my comfort zone….;) I don’t read Amish or paranormal.

    • Carrie

      I didn’t used to read much Amish fiction but have several authors lately that I enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚ Pretty much a “no” on the paranormal for me too – although I occasionally enjoy a good ghost story.

  15. Brittany

    Very nice discussion post! I have to admit that I’m a bit of an eclectic reader. Not only that, but I go through book “phases,” where I’ll focus more on one genre until I ultimately get sick of it and move to another. Probably not the most healthy way to read, but hey – I’m reading, right?

    I was a HUGE fan of Christian Fiction in high school. I read Karen Kingsbury like there was no tomorrow – and even was able to meet her a couple times at book signings! I also have a particular love for Amish fiction, too. A few years ago, that seemed like all I was reading.

    I think the biggest misconceptions with Christian Fiction is that people believe you’ll be “preached to” the entire time you read the book. While some books can certainly fit that description, the vast majority of the CF books I read didn’t “preach” it. They were more uplifting reads than anything else.

    I read more YA now, given that is the “thing” in my age bracket now, but I still love a good CF book. In between the urban fantasy, steamy romance, thrillers, and childrens’ lit.

    When it comes to books, I don’t discriminate. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You have a lovely blog! I’ve followed you via BL. ^-^

    Brittany @ Space Between the Spines

    • Carrie

      thank you Brittany!! CF has gotten a lot less preachy without sacrificing the depth of the message – which I LOVE! And I know alllllll about being a bit of an eclectic reader – I will pretty much read anything that’s got words. Though I just don’t have any interest in vampires or werewolves (except for Remus Lupin, of course) … steamy is ok but I don’t care for needless smut. And thrillers are excellent, but I steer away from horror. My imagination is too vivid LOL. I’m not a fan of science fiction but if it’s well done I won’t count it out. And – of course – children’s lit is awesome. YA is a genre I want to read more of but I NEED MORE TIME haha!

  16. Lacey Bullard

    Will read almost anything. The almost being romance. Don’t like it. Everything else…YES! Young Adult Dystopia and Mysteries are the tops. They keep the mind active.

    • Carrie

      i haven’t branched out into YA Dystopian yet, with a couple of exceptions (most notably Curio by Evangeline Denmark) but I do love a good mystery!

  17. Rachel Dixon

    Given the way we met…ya…no surprise you like romance books hehe! I don’t think I could pick either…I used to say Regency Fiction…Christian of course because I like clean reads…but now…I LOVE medieval, western, Gilded Age, fairy tales getting into comtepmoprary, and so many more…there doesn’t have to be a ton of romance…I do enjoy a good mystery. And over all I would say Historical Fiction is my favorite…Don’t make me pick my favorite subgenre…I will faint!

    • Carrie

      LOL!!! Medieval and western fiction are two genres I didn’t think I liked until I found authors that changed my mind!!

  18. Michelle

    I love mysteries, suspense, and enjoy women’s fiction and romance. I don’t read Amish/bonnet fiction anymore…got burned out, too much of it there for a while.

    • Carrie

      it’s easy to get burned out on a genre – fortunately there are so many fantastic options to choose from that it’s also easy to find another one when you need a break! ๐Ÿ™‚