28 Books That Got You Hooked on a New Genre

Posted by Hayley on March 22, 2018
We all think there are genres that are just not for us. There mere presence of an aloof alien, grumpy private investigator, or lovelorn vampire in a book description will turn some of us away. But once in awhile, a story can come along and change our minds.

We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What book got you hooked on a new genre? We rounded up the top picks and organized them by genre. If you're feeling adventurous, expand your reading horizons and add a few to your Want to Read shelves.


Mystery and Thriller

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Fantasy

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Historical Fiction

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Science Fiction

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Young Adult

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Romance

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Horror

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Comments Showing 1-50 of 131 (131 new)


message 1: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia "Dead Wake" by Erik Larson.
For a long time I didn't have the patience for non-fiction books, preferring escapism to real life.
This was until I realized I could continue my childhood thirst for knowledge but with a more detailed, adult bent.
Now I read non-fiction (mostly historical) books a lot and really enjoy them!


message 2: by Christine (last edited Mar 22, 2018 07:59AM) (new)

Christine True crime: In Cold Blood
Silly/Satire Fiction: The Light Fantastic
Classics: Wuthering Heights
Weird/Horrific: Satan Burger or Geek Love
Fantasy Erotica: Dragon Bound (don't knock it til you've tried it.)

Also, I have always thoughtPhilippa Gregory's historical fiction is the most accessible. Virgin Earth was one of the first HF books I read as a young teen.


message 3: by Anthony (new)

Anthony That there is no Harry Potter on this list seems like an egregious exclusion.


message 4: by Renae (new)

Renae Ninneman Karen Lord: The Best Of All Possible Worlds-Afrofuturism
Cixin Liu: The Dark Forest-renewed my flagging interest in sci-fi


message 5: by mwana (new)

mwana Bared to You and Gone Girl? Seriously?


message 6: by Frances (new)

Frances Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation got me into reading historical non-fiction. I'd enjoyed historical fiction for a long time, but I'd always thought non-fiction would be boring, kind of like a textbook. But this book showed me that non-fiction can be just as fascinating as fiction if it's well-written. Since then I've read a lot of non-fiction that I've loved.

For YA, Wintergirls. When I was 16 or 17 I became really opposed to YA, deciding I'd grown out of it, and that it was immature and unsophisticated. I refused to read it at all for seven or eight years. This book changed my mind--I found it well well-written and relatable, despite the fact that I've never been anorexic. Hunger Games, as mentioned, helped, too--I have a weakness for revolution stories. Now, I no longer dismiss books out of hand just for being YA, and I've read several more books in that genre that I've liked.


message 7: by Mackay (new)

Mackay Anthony mentioned no Harry Potter, and I agree - Harry got lots of people to read, period, never mind genre.


message 8: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Anthony wrote: "That there is no Harry Potter on this list seems like an egregious exclusion."

I think they did a poll on Twitter. This may be based on the popular answers there.


message 9: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Vanessa wrote: "Anthony wrote: "That there is no Harry Potter on this list seems like an egregious exclusion."

I think they did a poll on Twitter. This may be based on the popular answers there."


Ah, I didnt see that. Still, I can't believe that a group of readers would overlook the greatest publishing phenomenon of our time.


message 10: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Mackay wrote: "Anthony mentioned no Harry Potter, and I agree - Harry got lots of people to read, period, never mind genre."
Right. Nearly an entire generation, really. Heck, a couple of generations!


message 11: by Veronika (new)

Veronika Vanessa wrote: "Anthony wrote: "That there is no Harry Potter on this list seems like an egregious exclusion."

I think they did a poll on Twitter. This may be based on the popular answers there."


i follow GR on twitter and scrolled through the whole feed on this post looking for inspiration. harry potter was mentioned a lot. and also brandon sanderson in sci-fi category, which i immediately added to my to-read list.


message 12: by Hope (new)

Hope Lewellen "Packing for Mars" by Mary Roach, which I did as an audible got me hooked on Science books and Mary Roach books.


message 13: by Satwik (new)

Satwik Srivastava For the fantasy genre, it was 'The Lord of The Rings: The fellowship of the ring' for me.
For thriller and mystery: 'A Study in Scarlet'
Science Fiction is : 'Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy'


message 14: by Patrisia (new)

Patrisia Sheremeta On the Beach for post-apocalyptic fiction.


message 15: by Anthony (last edited Mar 22, 2018 09:25AM) (new)

Anthony Apart from my offense at no Potter books, the first book I can think of that hooked me into reading adventure/fantasy was The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

The part where he makes a helmet out of half a ping-pong ball thrilled and delighted my young brain. Its all been downhill since.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph S. Mouse, #1) by Beverly Cleary


message 16: by Kelly (last edited Mar 22, 2018 10:01AM) (new)

Kelly Nancy Drew for mystery.
Christopher Pike/R.L. Stine for horror
Sweet Valley High for YA

And probably need to add Judy Blume because of all the freckle juice/fudge books. They just got me reading period.


message 17: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Kelly wrote: "Nancy Drew for mystery.
Christopher Pike/R.L. Stine for horror
Sweet Valley High for YA

And probably need to add Judy Blume because of all the freckle juice books. They just got me reading period."


I've been reading books since I learned how and I've never quit!


message 18: by Rahul (new)

Rahul Lall Anastasia wrote: ""Dead Wake" by Erik Larson.
For a long time I didn't have the patience for non-fiction books, preferring escapism to real life.
This was until I realized I could continue my childhood thirst for kn..."


Devil in the White City for me :)


message 19: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Fitzgerald I have to go back to childhood for my "hook" books. Science fiction for me was Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key. Fantasy-The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Historical fiction-Little House in the Big Woods (this one was tough; it's been my favorite genre for a long time)! Mystery- The Silver Crown by Robert O'Brien. Must confess: Haven't ever read a horror book and probably won't; too many other books to read!🙈😊


message 20: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Stranger in a Strange Land -- what a horrible choice! I love Science Fiction, but if I were tasked with recommending a title to someone in an attempt to get them "hooked" on Sci-Fi, it would NOT be Stranger in a Strange Land.

The only reason to read this book is so you can use the term "grok" as one of the fully-initiated.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Naomi Novik's Uprooted started a fantasy binge for me.


message 22: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Moore Anthony: This is a list of books that got you hooked on a genre. I’m curious - did the Harry Potter series start you in a new genre? If so, I would like to hear what it led you to that you loved. The Harry Potter books didn’t make me want to read anything else but Harry Potter. Over and over again. For me, if this were a list of books that you keep going back to, Harry Potter would fit.


message 23: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Nancy wrote: "Anthony: This is a list of books that got you hooked on a genre. I’m curious - did the Harry Potter series start you in a new genre? If so, I would like to hear what it led you to that you loved. T..."

I personally read the books too late to credit them for anything like that, but my kids and wife are being sucked into fantasy by the enormous gravity well of these books.

Also, a lot of industry people credit the Potter books with starting the YA juggernaut we see today. So I'd say Young Adult fiction.


message 24: by Candy (new)

Candy Kerrelyn Spark's How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire introduced me to humorous paranormal romance.


message 25: by C. J. (new)

C. J. Scurria Let's see....

Not to go cliché or what people might expect, Christie got me into Mystery, John Grisham got me into courtroom thriller, The Chronicles of Narnia got me into fantasy (even before Tolkien), S. E. Hinton got me reading a lot of Young Adult novels as a teen, and Michael Crichton got me into Science Fiction!


message 26: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 22, 2018 11:16AM) (new)

Kelly wrote: "Nancy Drew for mystery.
Christopher Pike/R.L. Stine for horror
Sweet Valley High for YA


That's my answer right there. Nancy Drew got me hooked on reading in general and then came Sweet Valley and R.L. Stine.



message 27: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Fitzgerald Oh, yeah, I forgot! The Outsiders by Susie Hinton was my "hook" Y.A. novel.😄


message 28: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Trixie Belden mysteries [1st book: Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion|1059035]


message 29: by Celia (new)

Celia Austen... categorized with trashy romance novels? Really? She was a genius of literature on par with Shakespeare. You guys put her on the shelf with smut. Rrrrude.


message 30: by Emily (new)

Emily Carter-Dunn Lynda La Plante - Above Suspicion was the first adult crime book I read. Sucked me in!


message 31: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Jolie wrote: "Vanessa wrote: "Anthony wrote: "That there is no Harry Potter on this list seems like an egregious exclusion."

I think they did a poll on Twitter. This may be based on the popular answers there."
..."


Oh, I didn't say it wasn't mentioned, but the question was genre-specific. Harry Potter made people general readers. Because of Harry Potter I initially did not branch out from my "comfort zone" genres, namely fantasy. They may have wanted to include the roads less traveled?


message 32: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Birk Jeff Shaara's (and his father's) books on the Revolutionary War and the Civil War got me into the historical fiction genre.


message 33: by S. Umar (new)

S. Umar Surprised to see Fangirl up here. honestly.


message 34: by Teri (new)

Teri Mc Historical Fiction: war stories
Jeff Shaara’s “Rise to Rebellion” led me down the rabbit hole from American Revolution, Civil War, up to WWII. NEVER thought I would be interested in war history!!!


message 35: by J (new)

J I wouldn't say it got my 'hooked' on the genre, but The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell was the first sci-fi I've ever read that blew me away.
I find the genre to be predictable and really action/plot-led, rather than focusing on deep character development like I enjoy. The Only Ones was so different. Absolutely refreshing and super outstanding. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!


message 36: by SℓιM (new)

SℓιM I own the book Bare to You, just haven't gotten around to it. I would love to read Carrie, and I did read Dracula. Would like to read Maybe Someday.


message 37: by Helen (last edited Mar 22, 2018 10:42PM) (new)

Helen A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle for spiritual fantasy books.
Run Away, Little Girl for adult medical books.
Best Science Fiction Short Stories of (year) for sci-fi short stories.
Nancy Drew series for mystery.
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (SBS) for child medical books.
Le Mort D'Arthur and Don Quixote adapted for children for classics.
Imaginacion y Fantasia for Spanish-language books.
Cherry Ames series for child nursing books.
Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky for social-justice books.
Ender's Game for trilogies.
The Collected Works of Rudyard Kipling (short stories) for collected works.
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling for international books.
One Little Boy for psychotherapy books.
I Heard the Owl Call My Name and Seven Arrows for U.S. cultural diversity books.
the poems of e e cummings for poetry books
America and the New Global Economy by Timothy Taylor for Great Courses books.


message 38: by Aurora (new)

Aurora Harry potter series made me foray into fantasy
Fear street sagas and dear america as well as american girl into historical fiction
The woman in the window suspensw and thriller


message 39: by Derek (new)

Derek Walker A long, long time ago, when the world was still young and I was in my early teens, I was hooked on Marvel comics. I also read the many private detective novels that were popular then. One day I was in the local bookshop looking for something new when I spotted this thick book and remembered that someone had said it was good. This book was all three books of The Lord of the Rings in one. My life changed that day. I devoured the book in an incredibly short time, then read it again. I carried this book around with me for months, and bought a new copy when it fell apart.
I am now on my 8th copy and still read it again when the urge takes me, and am constantly on the lookout for something similar.
Over the decades I have found and enjoyed many fantasy books, but none have taken the place of Tolkien's masterpiece.


message 40: by Yajnaseni (new)

Yajnaseni Roy Seeing Voices by Oliver Sacks. Catapulted me to the world of medical non-fiction.


message 41: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Mwanamali wrote: "Bared to You and Gone Girl? Seriously?"

I haven't heard of the first one you mentioned, but yes, I definitely agree about the second book.


message 42: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Ana wrote: "Kelly wrote: "Nancy Drew for mystery.
Christopher Pike/R.L. Stine for horror
Sweet Valley High for YA


That's my answer right there. Nancy Drew got me hooked on reading in general and then came S..."


Same here.


message 43: by Darren (new)

Darren Dylan wrote: "Stranger in a Strange Land -- what a horrible choice! I love Science Fiction, but if I were tasked with recommending a title to someone in an attempt to get them "hooked" on Sci-Fi, it would NOT be..."

what Dylan said - SIASL is more likely to put someone OFF Sci-Fi for life!

Dune is a good shout though
although if you want something a bit shorter/less daunting there's always Le Guin (e.g. The Dispossessed) and PKD (e.g. A Scanner Darkly)


message 44: by Keith (new)

Keith Mency I want to attempt "A Time to Kill" this holiday.


message 45: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Birk Teri wrote: "Historical Fiction: war stories
Jeff Shaara’s “Rise to Rebellion” led me down the rabbit hole from American Revolution, Civil War, up to WWII. NEVER thought I would be interested in war history!!!"


Amen!


message 46: by Patrisia (new)

Patrisia Sheremeta The Sunne in Splendour got me hooked on quality Historical Fiction.


message 47: by Emily (new)

Emily Carter-Dunn Christopher Pike! I completely forgot about him! I read every single one of his books as a teenager - including the adult ones.


Jen from Quebec :0) The 1990's book Red Mars Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1) by Kim Stanley Robinson by Kim Stanley Robinson really got me into sci-fi legitimately....only to reach the end and discover that it is/was the 1st in a TRILOGY! To this day I have still not been able to get/read the next 2 books (Blue Mars and Green Mars). --Jen from Quebec :0)


message 49: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine I'm just not into fantasy or science fiction, and funnily enough, I have read two of the fantasy books listed here, and two of the science fictions books listed, and nope, I just don't like these genres. Out of the four books listed that I have read (I have read a few other sci-fi or fantasy books), the only one I enjoyed was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (Although I don't put that into the "fantasy" category, but "children's books" category.)


message 50: by Kristin (new)

Kristin Kirsten wrote: "Trixie Belden mysteries [1st book: Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion|1059035]"

Yay! A fellow Trixie Belden lover. I liked them a lot more than Nancy Drew! I bet I owned 20 or 30 at one time!


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