Are Genres Becoming Less Divided?

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Are Genres Becoming Less Divided?

It’s always great when you see young readers listening to your favorite authors like John Grisham, James Patterson, or even Candace Bushnell. If you’re asking yourself why kids would be listening to these adult writers, the answer is simple. This year we have seen many adult writers expanding their readership by writing stories for a younger age group. Now, everyone has the opportunity to discover these great authors.

British author Philippa Gregory, known for The Other Boleyn Girl, just announced that she will be writing four new young-adult historical romance novels. I couldn’t be more thrilled about this as I enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl.

John Grisham, Candace Bushnell and James Patterson have also joined in on readership expansion by writing YA best sellers. Grisham’s two Theodore Boone novels are both about a young lawyer who looks to be about 12 years old. Bushnell, known for writing Sex and the City, has published two audio books in her young-adult series, The Carrie Diaries and Summer and the City which are narrated by a younger Carrie. Patterson has also written Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life which was released this past summer.

It’s becoming clear that no matter what the genre is, everyone is on the hunt for a great story. I believe it’s important that a younger generation is able to grow up into reading or listening to great stories from great authors. The genre is slowly becoming less prominent. This is evident with the Twilight series, where women and men of all ages are reading a series intended for teens. The genre itself, “teen fiction” no longer holds the same weight as it used to. A great story is a great story, whether it’s intended for a younger or older audience!

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The Art of Racing in the Rain – A Hidden Gem

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The Art of Racing in the Rain – A Hidden Gem

As an avid reader, I’m always scanning through staff picks, bestseller lists and book blogs for my next read. After seeing this book on a number of lists I figured it was time to give The Art of Racing in the Rain a try. I hadn’t heard any reviews, and didn’t know anyone who had read it, but it just kept popping up so I wanted to hear what all the fuss was about for myself.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is narrated by Enzo, the beloved family dog, on the day of his death. Enzo knows that he is different from other dogs, almost human, and he explains how he knows this and how he desperately hopes to come back to life as a human.

Throughout the story, Enzo is reliving his life as a dog and tells the tale of Denny, his race car driving best friend and human owner, Denny’s wife Eve and their daughter Zoe. There are many hardships faced by the family as well as many wonderful heart-warming events.

This audio book is brilliantly narrated and will take you on a wild ride of emotions. It is a wonderful pick for any fiction lover, and particularly great for those who love their canine companions.

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Girls Have “Chick-Lit” Novels, But What Do Boys Have?

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Girls Have “Chick-Lit” Novels, But What Do Boys Have?

It’s funny; I came across an article today that made me think about something I have never really thought about, but probably should have. Let me ask you, have you thought about why boys/men don’t have “man lit” novels but we have “chick lit” novels? And I’m not talking about John Grisham or James Patterson novels who are open for anyone to read. Sure, lots of guys like them, but so do some women! Women that read these novels by Grisham, Patterson, and even Stephen King etc. are not subjected to being labeled any less of a woman. But a man reading a “chick lit” novel, that’s a whole other story.

I bet if I looked hard enough I could probably find a series of “boy books”, or maybe better yet, find a man to attempt to write them! But why aren’t they easily accessible. There are lots of stories directed at men but the difference is they can also be read by women, not like a “chick lit” novel. I know as a girl, I could easily find hundreds of “girly” books in minutes…but “man” books, I’m not so sure.

I would assume that a “man lit” novel, as I have cleverly named this new genre, would involve nonstop action, the occasional illustration, topics about gross food and music. Maybe they don’t exist because conventional wisdom states that boys don’t like to read a lot , especially romance, primarily what chick lit novels are based on. But even so, why not just have a book about characters in love with sports instead of a girl, falling for a car instead of falling head over heels for his girlfriend etc.

I guess the question is would boys find these topics appealing to read? I do find it troubling though to even suggest we reinforce stereotypes in these books, but that’s exactly what I find chick lit novels doing! They are stories that most women could probably relate to. So what books do men relate to? I mean by calling the genre “chick lit” we are already cutting off boys from reading any of these types of books. But girls aren’t really cut off from anything or at least nothing I can think of.

So, I ask you audio book fans, what would you call a genre strictly created for boys/men? Do you think they exist already in the same fashion as a chick lit novel?

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Need A Break From Life? Listen to Marley & Me

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Need A Break From Life? Listen to Marley & Me

The other night I was cleaning my new house, continuing to purge old things, vacuuming, dusting, all the typical household chores. Everything was going fine, until the 15 pound dog that belongs to our tenant came scurrying into the living room with a big stick in his mouth after I had just mopped. Needless to say, there were wood shavings everywhere on my nicely cleaned floor. Although, it upset me, what came next was icing on the cake. I had gone to find our tenant to take the dog outside, but when we returned, the dog had left us a little present, with a not so pleasing aroma.

I put my hands to my face and replicated the Home Alone scream. As I went dashing upstairs to find some more cleaner for this particular mess, I realized it reminded me of an audio book I had heard a few years back, Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog. Marley may have been a cute wriggle yellow furball of a puppy, but life is never what it seems. And Daisy, the dog I’m referring to, reminded me of Marley.

Marley & Me by John Grogan was going to be the perfect antidote. So I downloaded the audio book, laid down on the couch, ignored the barking going on around me, and fell deep into the world of John and Jenny and their dog Marley. I reevaluated my environment and thought if Marley was a symbol of devotion, this entire story was based on one concept, unconditional love. It made me realize how lucky I am to have a dog as loyal as Daisy in my life even if she does drive me crazy. I also needed a good laugh. So, if anyone needs a break, Marley & Me is the perfect audio book to listen to when everything around you is quite literally out of control.

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