My best genre books

For my 9th #Blogmas post, I’m setting myself a real challenge.
It’s reasonably straightforward listing the top ten books, but I thought I’d have a go at listing my favourite book or book series from every genre. As some genres, such as sci-fi and fantasy, can be considered more as a setting for the underlying genre (sci-fi horror, fantasy thriller, etc.) expect to see some books sitting in one genre that could also sit in another.
This is my personal list, if there’s a book you think should be here and it isn’t I’ve either not yet had the pleasure of reading that book, or I simply prefer the book I have chosen.

Here goes:


If you want your story’s full of mindless action set-pieces and wall-to-wall gun fights, explosions and vehicle chases, Matthew Reilly does this and then some. The first of the Shane Schofield series gets things going with a big bang and the series has exploded magnificently ever since.


The Wilde Chase series by Andy McDermott are high-octane Indiana Jones style archaeological adventures with James Bond levels of action and ridiculousness. I love ’em. The Hunt For Atlantis is the book the kicked tho whole thing off.


Not read many in this genre. Had to read this one though.


I haven’t read a huge amount of crime, but from what I have read, the four books from the Tom Thorne series by Mark Billingham have really stood out as something special. The first book was even dramatised with David Morrissey in the leading role (didn’t get to see it though).


The entire Discworld series by Sir Terry Pratchett. This 50+ book series was kicked off with The Colour of Magic and took a satirical look at the human condition. As the series covers most of the genres on this list, it can be read again and again.


A genre I don’t really go for. I’ve read some James Herbert, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, but this gem by Tim Lebbon about a plague of voracious flying beasts that hunt by sound hit just the right level of suspense.


About as non-PC as you can get, this outrageous farce written during Apartheid about Apartheid pulls no punches with its satire and loud disapproval about that appalling regime. Oh, and it’s really, really funny.


This has taken the idea of Scooby Doo and asks the question: What if the Scooby Gang ever grows up? This is not a Scooby Do story, but it might as well be.


Not a genre I really go for, this is ostensibly a crime story, but there’s also a good wodge of romance thrown in there too which is mostly not annoying.


This very witty and clever book deconstructs the obsession regarding food and weight. Rob Grant deals with issues regarding living as an obese man, the self-justifications while struggling with anorexia and a theoretical government-run fat camp. What’s worrying, is that as the years grow between this book getting published and now, the issues are just as pertinent.


The Expanse is a phenomenal series set in a slightly near future when mankind has has some success colonising the rest of the solar system. Filled with mysteries, conspiracies, politics and some fantastic characters, this is the series that sets the bar for how a series should be. The ninth and final book comes out next year and the 4th series of The Expanse airs next week (possibly the best TV series ever made).


The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz is pretty much the only spy books I have read to date. So they automatically win this spot. It is worth mentioning it is a really good series though.

Steam Punk
Tale of the Ketty Jay Series.

This is the answer to the question: What if Firefly was Steampunk? Four fabulous stories following the hapless crew of the Ketty Jay as they move from one self-imposed disaster to the next.


The book I’ve read the most times (I stopped counting after 10). A dinosaur park. The dinosaurs get loose. It’s superb. Apparently they even made it into a movie…

Urban Fantasy

I’ve only read the first InCryptid novel by Seanan McGuire so far, but it was so much fun I had to include this sub-genre just to mention this book.

There you go. This is the list as it stands at the moment. If there is a genre that’s glaringly absent, leave a comment and I’ll come back and add it in – if I have read anything in that genre. I’ve not read ANY Western, for example.
If you want to have a crack at this list, by all means give it a go. It was a lot of fun, even if it was surprisingly difficult to do.

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