What I’m Reading — Genre Variety

13 Jan

In an effort to stay away from social media, but still engage in bookish conversations, I am kicking off a What I’m Reading post that I hope will become a regular thing here at By The Book. Today I am talking genres.

I am a very eclectic reader, loving a wide variety of genres and subjects. I do seem to read a preponderance of mystery/suspense, but find myself designating other genres as my yearly favorites. (See my best of the best of 2020 HERE.) As per my reading resolutions, I want to expand my reading horizons this year, especially getting back to my TBR and checking out international and classic literature.

This week I stepped out of the box and read a YA mystery/thriller. I have been reluctant to read YA, because, well, I am a woman of a certain age and not sure I can relate. But because a FB group I am in is reading The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens this month, I downloaded the audiobook and dove in. I’m not going to review the book here — you’ll have to come back later for that 😉 — but I am going to say that Stevens’ opened up a new genre for me. Yes, the book has a definite YA vibe, but with a complex plot and format and thought-provoking themes, this book was a 5-star!


Do you read outside your comfort zone?

The June Boys really took me away from my regular reading. It is intense and in some places made me cringe and force myself to continue. But I appreciate the stretching this book did to my attitude and thinking. And I need stretching. I never want to quit learning about the world and myself.


As I said mystery/suspense is my regular go to, but I do enjoy historical fiction as well. I love learning how people of the past lived, especially how they lived without the conveniences a modern world offers. This week I am also reading Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz. I discovered Frantz in 2020. The Lacemaker and An Uncommon Woman were two great books I read last year. Set in the 1630s in the Virginia colony, this novel has already given me information and insight into a world I thought I knew pretty well.

When reading historical fiction, I keep an eye out for social and cultural differences. A woman’s place is one of the things that Frantz explored. Main character, Selah, is a very independent woman, as defined by the 17th century. I think that helps the modern reader identify with her story.


Do you find new things to love in your favorite genres?





Now it’s your turn.

What are you reading?

What’s your go-to genre?

And do you have any plans to stretch your bookish horizons?

Let’s talk!

12 Responses to “What I’m Reading — Genre Variety”

  1. Paula Shreckhise January 13, 2021 at 8:29 am #

    I’m reading The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman a new series from Barbour DOORS TO THE PAST.
    My favorite genre is historical Christian Fiction with a close second being Suspense/mystery.
    I have no plans to go outside my favorites. I occasionally read women’s fiction such as Nicole Deese and Contemporary like Bethany Turner. I am tired of Amish and speculative and fantasy hold no interest right now. Although I might do sci fi if it’s like time travel. I do enjoy dual time.

    • rbclibrary January 13, 2021 at 8:42 am #

      I’m a big proponent of find what you like and read it! My daughter was a reluctant reader in school. She could not connect with fiction I suggested or school required. As an adult, she is an active reader, but she chooses memoir/biography. She wants to read about real events and people.

      What do you like about historical fiction? Btw, I have Pittman’s novel on my TBR list.

      • Paula Shreckhise January 13, 2021 at 10:17 am #

        I like the settings and I grew up in a house built in 1836. My mother was an Antique Dealer and collector. When we went to visit my father’s family near Gettysburg, my mother would plan trips to Historical sites.
        I like learning about historical things, background etc. some of my favorite authors are Roseanna White, Sarah Sundin andLaura Frantz, Elizabeth Camden and AmandaDykes, Jocelyn Green etc, Their Writing is spot on with such great research. etc.

      • rbclibrary January 13, 2021 at 10:29 am #

        That is so cool about your home! My parents were collectors and had a lot of historical “stuff” — inkwells, arrowheads, pottery, coins, glassware, a few pieces of furniture. I have some of that still. My father was an avid reader, mostly of histories and historical fiction, so I grew up with an interest in the past. You have a list of fantastic authors. I read my first book by Roseanna White last summer. It was wonderful! I will definitely be reading more.

  2. susiesellnergmailcom January 13, 2021 at 8:38 am #

    I’m currently reading Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin. I’m fascinated by the Appalachian Packhorse Librarians during the 1930’s under Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. This is the third novel I have read on that topic, and each has a slightly different slant and different characters, of course. Historical fiction books are my favorite; however, I also enjoy contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, Southern fiction, (mild) mysteries (nothing gruesome), Biblical fiction, etc. This past summer I participated in Revell’s reading challenge and enjoyed some genres I would not normally select.

    • rbclibrary January 13, 2021 at 10:18 am #

      I read Wonderland Creek at the end of last year and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek to start 2021. I am interested in more on that subject. What book(s) did you read that I have not? My daughter is getting married this April and the venue is the old CCC camp that was used when they built Vogel State Park. Another CCC novel would be great too. I read Karen Barnett’s book Ever Faithful a while back. The main character is part of the CCC.

      • susiesellnergmailcom January 13, 2021 at 4:20 pm #

        Jo Jo Moyes’ book The Giver of Stars is also about the Packhorse Librarians. A new book coming out about a floating library on the Columbia River during WW II is Books Afloat by Delores Topliff, I’m looking forward to reading that one too.

      • rbclibrary January 13, 2021 at 5:06 pm #

        I did not know that about Moyes’ book. Good to know. And the floating library — so cool!

    • Jana T January 13, 2021 at 1:31 pm #

      I find the packhorse librarians fascinating, too! I read a few books about them last year, and have wanted to find more since. Thanks for mentioning Wonderland Creek! Historical fiction is usually my go-to, also.

  3. Barbara Harper January 13, 2021 at 10:35 am #

    My favorite genre is contemporary Christian fiction, along the lines of the Mitford books. But I read a variety of genres–biography/memoir, historical fiction, mystery/suspense. I’d likely not read horror at all. I don’t care for Amish fiction or westerns, though I’ve read a few. Probably the biggest challenge to me reading is in the Back to the Classics challenge. Since we follow the host’s categories, I’ve read some that I wouldn’t otherwise. It’s good to stretch our horizons sometimes.

    • rbclibrary January 13, 2021 at 10:57 am #

      I want to read more classics too. I’ve done a few List Challenges on FB, and have found out my reading is woefully lacking. LOL! I received a copy of To Read Or Not To Read literary journal from Ink&Willow. It has some great lists in the back that I need to check out. I began strong with the Mitford series, but never finished it — I have 3 books on the TBR shelf. I need to get to them too. But when I was waiting for each successive book to be published, I read some other Mitford-esque books. Charlene Baumbich’s Dearest Dorothy series is a favorite. Have you ever read the Miss Read series? I read a couple of those as well.

      • Barbara Harper January 13, 2021 at 1:02 pm #

        I’ve heard of Miss Read, but haven’t read her yet so far. I need to!

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