This week in Fiction the best selling chart is showing that readers are appearing to focus even more minutely on three genres that have been popular before now, but not to this extent. The three genres are; Romance, Historical Novels, and books from the Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense genre.
Interestingly, there also seems to be a clear trend for book covers where the title and author name are surrounded by branches, or flowers, or leaves, or some sort of plant. This is surprisingly common and appears again and again on the covers on this week’s chart.
Romance has a particularly broad number of niches falling under it’s umbrella this week. There are numerous contemporary romance novels, often featuring a Billionaire, or Millionaire, plus one of the many other tropes and niches of the genre – such as Employer/Employee Relationships, Fake Relationships, Relationships of Convenience, and many others. There is also a lot of interest in Enemies to Lovers and Bully Romances, both of which frequently take place in a High School Setting or at a University or College.But as well as these familiar niches, there are also some which are a little less repetitive. There is a clear trend for Magical Realism/Fantasy books with a strong romance in the plot, and curses and hexes are a particular favourite of these books. Often Hidden or Mistaken Identities are also popular, as are Single Fathers, and Tragic Backstories.
Another popular niche this week is that of Historical Novels. These books are often accompanied with a Romantic or Mystery plot, however they are noticeably different to the other books in this week’s chart, as the time and place in which they are set is more than a bit of incidental fluff, it is of vital importance to the plot and the characterisation. For example, there are several stories which could only be written in a World War 2 setting, and any attempts to put them elsewhere would only result in a confused story and readers. America is a popular place for Historical novels to be set, often these books deal in some way with Civil Rights issues. In Europe set novels, the World Wars are commonly used as backdrops and as plot and character motivators. However, there is also an interest in Post War Europe, with a particular interest in places where the recovery was particularly difficult.
Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense novels are nearly all set, this week, in a vaguely contemporary setting usually in the US, but occasionally in the UK or Canada. Readers seem to prefer books where either the protagonist is a determined, and skilled, detective in the local police force or from the FBI, or where they are someone connected to the crimes who has to figure things out to save themselves, their loved ones and perhaps find some sort of answer or revenge for the actions taken against them. This is interesting, since it allows the reader to come at the mystery from either an outsider’s point of view where the reader must learn everything along with the investigator, or they are stuck in the midst of it from the beginning and while some things may be obscured they are much more informed of the social aspects of the afflicted community.
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