Different Book Genres and Portuguese Authors

I read books from a variety of genres. When it comes to books by Portuguese authors, however, I mostly only read literary fiction, poetry and classics. I don’t have a definite explanation why. It’s probably a consequence of various factors: the types of books published from some genres don’t usually have the specific characteristics I enjoy; the work of some authors is not well publicised, as there seems to be an unending prejudice against some genres; and the book genres that are easily available and sell the most are not the ones I like reading.

Although the majority of the books by the most celebrated Portuguese authors can be categorised as literary fiction, sometimes mixed with other genres, there are various authors writing books in other genres as well. I selected four book genres – historical fiction, crime fiction, fantasy and romance – and went on an online quest to find authors who have primarily written books from those categories.

 

Historical Fiction

Historical fiction is one of my favourite book genres. That doesn’t mean that I find all books from the genre appealing, though. I’m not usually interested in reading stories focusing on royal families, for example, since I much prefer when the characters and the stories are fictional (or them being real is mostly irrelevant, as in Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell), but the time period and the settings are real and believably portrayed. I’ve read various books by Portuguese authors that are a mix between historical and literary fiction. Their entire body of work just doesn’t fit neatly in the historical fiction genre. Continue reading

Favourite Book Genres

Books come in a variety of genres. Some may be more popular than others, but that doesn’t necessarily influence the quality of the story nor the prose. Many genres even intertwine. I read books from various genres – literary fiction, fantasy, dystopian, historical fiction, mysteries, horror and adventure. I also enjoy reading classics, but they don’t constitute a genre, being overall just an assortment of books that have stood the test of time. Usually, I just stay away from Young Adult and cheesy romances.

Which book genres are my favourites, though? There are four that stand out from the rest.

 

Historical fiction

Books from the historical fiction genre, as the designation implies, are set in the past from the perspective of their authors. The characters and the plot may be fictional, but the author needs to conduct extensive research in order to achieve a realistic and historically accurate setting. Successful historical fiction novels make readers travel in time. Some of my recent favourite books in this genre are, for example, The Miniaturist and The Muse by Jessie Burton and The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal. Continue reading

Dragons in Books

Many books in the fantasy genre feature dragons as real animals and not as mythical creatures no one has ever seen. They are serpentine beings that spew fire and have both reptilian and avian traits. Despite sharing these characteristics, the role they play in a specific story vary according to the world created by each author. In some books dragons can speak or have riders, while in others they are subject to scientific studies. I’ve read a few books which include dragons, all having different parts to play.

When we think about the Harry Potter series the first word that comes to mind is wizards. But the books in this beloved series also feature dragons, although they are not one of the major elements of the world created by J.K. Rowling. They were used as an obstacle to be overcome in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, for example. Dragons, in the world of the Harry Potter series, are generally considered impossible to either train or domesticate. They are seen as dangerous, since they can kill wizards. Nonetheless, there are people trained to work with them.

Dragons assume a more relevant and totally different role in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan. This is a fantasy and adventure series where the protagonist, Lady Trent, recalls how she became a famous and respected dragon naturalist. So far, I’ve only read the first two books – A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents. However, it is obvious from the very beginning that in this series dragons are not portrayed as magical or mythological creatures, but real wild animals that roam free in various parts of the world and are scientifically studied. Continue reading