Discussion Posts

My Top 5 Genres & Their Books

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Admit it: everyone has their favourite genres. When you enter a bookshop, don’t you always find yourself walking towards that same aisle? I know I do! 

Today, I’m going to give you a brief list of my top 5 genres (starting from the bottom up like on TV :p) and I’m going to show you my favourite book in each of those genres.

So, LET’S START THE COUNTDOWN!!!

#5: Spy Thriller

I know that Spy Thriller is more of a sub-genre of the Thriller genre, but I like to be specific, so deal with it :p

Why do I love Spy Thriller? Well, I love crime and mystery novels (ups, I kinda gave you a hint about the next genre in my countdown) and Spy Thriller books are great because they have the usual suspense and intriguing plot of a normal mystery story, but they also add a tinge of danger and high stakes. They are really action-packed and sometimes I enjoy a book that keeps me at the edge of my seat.

My favourite book in the Spy Thriller genre? It’s gotta be “Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin” by Anthony Horowitz.

Here is the synopsis according to Goodreads:

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Alex Rider is actually the end of the story.   Yassen Gregorovich was the beginning.  Alex Rider’s life changed forever with one bullet and the pull of a trigger.Alex Rider’s life changed forever with the silent pull of a trigger.When Ian Rider died at the hands of the assassin Yassen Gregorovich, Alex, ready or not, was thrust into the world of international espionage—the world’s only teenage spy. Alex vowed revenge against Yassen and the two have battled ever since. Yet, years ago, it was none other than Alex’s own father who trained and mentored Yassen, turning him into the killer he would eventually become.What makes us choose evil? Why did one boy choose to kill while another chose to risk his life to save others? In some ways, Alex Rider and Yassen Gregorovich are mirror images of each other. Yet the paths they traveled turned them into mortal enemies.This is Yassen’s story. A journey down a darkened path.

Sounds great doesn’t it? The Alex Rider series consists of ten books – “Russian Roulette” being the last. All the books follow Alex’s missions except the last one which is about Yassen Gregorovich, who had appeared in previous books and was actually my favourite character – yes, I liked him even more than Alex Rider. To prove how much I love him, I read the first nine books on kindle, but I own the last book on Hardcover – trust me, that means a lot! 

#4: Mystery

Yup, I kinda spoiled this one but yes, I love Mystery and Crime novels! Why? Because they make me think. I like to gather all the pieces of information the book provides and try to figure out who the killer (or burglar because not all mystery novels involve murders, although most do) is before it is revealed by the detective. The truth is that I not always succeed and that is why I’m not applying to the police force, YET. I not only devour mystery novels, but also TV shows like Sherlock Holmes (the old one, not the one with Benedict Cumberbatch), Poirot, Miss Marple, Endeavour, Lewis, Midsomer Murders, Inspector Gently, Inspector Morse… Yup, I’ve seen them all so you can picture my obsession already :p

Don’t get me wrong –  I love Agatha Christie’s classical crime novels and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, but my favourite book in the mystery genre is “The House of Silk” by Anthony Horowitz (yes, I know – another book my Anthony Horowitz – but what can I say? The man can write!).

Here is the synopsis according to Goodreads:

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London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.
THE HOUSE OF SILK bring Sherlock Holmes back with all the nuance, pacing, and almost superhuman powers of analysis and deduction that made him the world’s greatest detective, in a case depicting events too shocking, too monstrous to ever appear in print.

The House of Silk” is a pastiche of Doyle’s works and it contains the same characters of the Sherlock Holmes series, including the detective itself, Watson and even Moriarty. The greatness of this book is that it remains loyal to Doyle’s writing styleand his characters – which are incredibly well depicted – and the story is as action-packed and bloody as Horowitz’s other books usually are. A great read!

#3: Historical Fiction

There are many types of Historical Fiction and no, I’m not talking of those historical romances in settings similar to Downtown Abbey. What I really love are WW2 fiction stories like “All The Light We Cannot See”, “The Book Thief” and “The Auschwitz Librarian” (this books does not exist in English – I read it in Portuguese and translated the title myself).

There are many types of Historical Fiction and no, I’m not talking of those historical romances in settings similar to Downtown Abbey. What I really love are WW2 fiction stories like “All The Light We Cannot See”, “The Book Thief” and “The Auschwitz Librarian” (this books does not exist in English – I read it in Portuguese and translated the title myself).

Curiously enough, my favourite Historical Fiction book is not directly connected with the Holocaust. I’m talking about “The Orphan Train” which does mention war, but it is in no way a central focus to that book.

Here is the synopsis according to Goodreads:

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The author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be delivers her most ambitious and powerful novel to date: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.
Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from “aging out” of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.
Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.
Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are. 

I loved the contrast between the contemporary and the historical, not only when it comes to setting, but also to characters, and how present and past found a way to connect with each other. There were several references to “Anne of Green Gables” – which I adore – and I could see that some parts of Vivian’s life were inspired in the classic series. There was always something going on in this book and Vivian’s story was so inspiring and heart-breaking at the same time that I just couldn’t help but love her. I really enjoyed the way Molly and Vivian gave each other the happiness the other needed and how they found out that, despite the age-gap, they weren’t so different after all. I definitely recommend this book.

#2: Contemporary romance

Ohhh, we’re getting close to the end. So, my second-favourite Genre is Contemporary Romance, mainly because they are usually short and a quick, entertaining read but also because my heart needs a bit of fluffiness now-and-then.

I have read great books in this genre and, although I really liked “Me Before You” (you can check my review here), “The Notebook” remains my heart’s favourite. Confession: I saw the movie first. Could this have affected my opinion towards this book? Well, as I read I kept imagining Noah as Ryan Gosling, but how could that have made me love the book even more? :p

Indeed, “The Notebook” is a mixture of Historical and Contemporary Romance so it is like the best of both worlds!

Here is the synopsis according to Goodreads:

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Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.
Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever.

Nicholas Sparks is a great romance writer. His books are fairly short, with a simple language that flows so easily –  how can you not enjoy it? Yes, some of his books I didn’t like (I have to admit that I hate “A Walk to Remember”) but “The Notebook” was simply perfect. Although I didn’t shed a tear during the movie, I couldn’t stop as I read the book. It has one of those beautiful bitter-sweet endingsthat makes you so happy but sad at the same time. It was beautiful and I struggle to find the right words to express its exquisite beauty. JUST READ IT!

#1: Fantasy

And here we are! My favourite genre, as you probably expected, is Fantasy. Why? Because sometimes I just need to escape reality and there is no better place than a great fantasy world – even a dystopian one.

Actually, “His Dark Materials” trilogy is my favourite book series in the fantasy genre but, since I have to choose just one book, I’d choose “The Amber Spyglass” which is the last one in the trilogy.

Here is the synopsis according to Goodreads:

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In the astonishing finale to the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra and Will are in unspeakable danger. With help from Iorek Byrnison the armored bear and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must journey to a dank and gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone. All the while, Dr. Mary Malone builds a magnificent Amber Spyglass. An assassin hunts her down, and Lord Asriel, with a troop of shining angels, fights his mighty rebellion, in a battle of strange allies—and shocking sacrifice.
As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—finally comes to depend on two children and the simple truth of one simple story.

This trilogy is absolutely amazing. For those who don’t know, the movie “The Golden Compass” was inspired in the first book but don’t let the failure of that movie keep you from reading the books. “His Dark Materials” is so much more than children with animal souls and bad guys trying to separate them. These books have amazing, rich settingsawesomely complex characters and an incredibly rich plot. Sorry about all those adjectives and adverbs but I really have to emphasise how much I love it. There are so many strong opinions in these books, both political and religious – it goes much further than simple fantasy and that is what makes it a great YA book.

Why is “The Amber Spyglass” better than the other two? Because it has an epic ending! And a heart-breaking one too. I thing that I never read such a sad ending. I kind of feel like crying every time I think of that book – even as I’m writing this – and, despite the fact that I love happy endings, as most people do, the sad endings are definitely the ones that stay with us longer.

I could spoil you the whole thing, but I shall restrain myself. You have to read it for yourself (pun intended) and I’m sure that you’ll share my opinion. THESE BOOKS ARE SO EPIC!!!!


So, here are my top 5 genres and their books. What are your favourite genres?Maybe we even share the same tastes!!!!
Share your thoughts don’t below and watch your step, or you may fall down the reading hole!

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