In Fiction this week there seems to be a definite preference for books featuring Mystery, Suspense, or Thriller plots. But there is also plenty of interest in Romance books, with a smaller thread of Fantasy and Science Fiction proving popular. There are also a lot of books featuring Historical settings, both Romantic and Non-Romantic books, but here too there are a lot of Thriller and Suspense novels. 

Mystery this week is very focused on individual heroes, the Detective or Private Eye who saves the day, and usually does so in dozens of books. Thrillers too are leaning towards the actions and heroics of a single person, or occasionally a romantically linked pair. Serial Killers are still popular, but large shadowy organisations are also a popular trope for readers. There is also a lot of interest in books where an individual goes back to search out secrets from their own life, or the lives of their family or neighbours. Often there is a dual plot line that follows the current and past plots, with the threats occasionally interweaving as people fight and murder to keep their secrets.

Romance is very focused on the contemporary setting at the moment. There are a lot of books set in an approximation of the real world, often in familiar settings like offices, or high schools. There are also some holiday romances, but these are not as popular. Europe is one of the most frequent settings for holiday romances, the Mediterranean coast in particular. In contrast, romances that take place “at home” tend to be set in the US. Power imbalances are still a popular relationship dynamic, with accidental marriages, and bully romances all drawing in readers. Enemies to Lovers is also a popular trend this week, with a clear trend for some books with a lot of angst and Dark Romance elements popping up.

The Fantasy and Science Fiction genres have made a bit of impact on the chart this week, and for once it is not kept to those books thought of as classics! While of course Rowling and Tolkien are both included on the chart, there are other books doing well. One book is an anthology collected by Neil Clarke, called Galactic Empires. This shows that readers are quite happy to read based on a theme, as well as following the bibliographies of authors. There are also several books from the Magical Academy niche, this trend does not appear to be disappearing.

The Historical novel category is proving something of an umbrella category, one where there are a multitude of genres and niches sheltering beneath it. There are the books which follow a time period, giving the reader an idea of what it was like to live in this time, the difficulties and the triumphs that were a part of every day life. These ones tend to stick closer to historical fact, though they can lack a world wide view or an awareness of cross cultural nuances. Meanwhile there is a definite trend for books which set a thriller or suspense plot in an historical setting, these tend to vary between being quite relaxed on realism or being incredibly focused on achieving every level of it. There are also, of course, the Historical Romance novels. Many of these are not precisely historical, as much as they are set in a faux-Historical setting. Usually they are set in a period which is well known and familiar, and this allows the reader to fill in any of the gaps the writer leaves with their own knowledge.

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