Genres are in accepted abundance these days. Gone are the days when crime, romance and fantasy were about all the classifications local librarians were willing to use. Today, not only are books cryptically catalogued, but classics are gaining new reclassifications too, as their historical significance becomes more apparent.
Existentialism they are branded, magic realism, post modern or meta fiction. A marketing technique or a contemporary realisation that genres, like personalities, are open to interpretation? Every where you look these days, personality types are springing up, perhaps as a way to explain our nuances, or to better understand ourselves. So should a book be any different? Can a slightly modified genre make the novel more genius or is it the same old thing, different wrapping?
At The FreeRange Bookclub we thrive on personality and genre types. And have done so for ten years. Yes! Ten years our nerdy friendships have converged. To celebrate this milestone, all past and present bookclubbers are coming back to where it all started in sunny Nelson for a bookclub reunion. A collection of diverse and delightful personalities required a couple of equally diverse and intriguing books to read and discuss – and we think we’ve found them in J M Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.
The rest of the year will see us take on a range of unique genres to expand our reading, so it seems only fitting that the first two books of the year are ones which are difficult to compartmentlise in a genre category. Do they cover many genres? Or have the authors created their own? Check back in to hear our thoughts.
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
The Childhood of Jesus – J M Coetzee
As The Earth Turns Silver – Alison Wong
Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino
Into The River – Ted Dawe
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Blindsight – Maurice Gee
East Of The West – Miroslav Penkov
Soul Print – Megan Miranda
Kafka On The Shore – Haruki Murakami
The Hut Builder – Laurence Fearnley