Do you love books? Ever wondered how the world would be different if the U.S. had sided with Germany in World War I? Have you ever wondered what it was like to grow up in apartheid South Africa? Do you love Star Wars and can’t get enough Star Wars? Do you love killer clowns? Well have I got a day for you: National Book Lovers Day!
Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that a day has been set aside for bibliophiles. August 9 is National Book Lovers Day, a day set aside for you to clear your schedule, cozy up in your favorite spot and read! This day could also be a chance for you to check out a new author or even a new genre! What follows now are a few of my favorite genres and authors.
My all-time favorite genre and the one I find myself reading the most is Alternate History. Have you ever wondered how different the world or even this country would be if certain events had occurred differently? What if Abraham Lincoln hadn’t been assassinated? How about if the French had never helped America during the Revolutionary War? What if the South had won at Gettysburg? Or what if Germany never unified in 1871? These and many questions are constantly being explored in alternate history.
Some popular examples of alternate history include The Man in the High Castle which was adapted into a Amazon Prime Series, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter which was adapted into a movie , and 11/22/63 which was adapted into a Hulu series. By far the most popular and best alternate history author (in my humble opinion) has to be Harry Turtledove .
My favorite series of his is his Southern Victory Series which consists of 11 books published between 1997-2007. They tell the story of a timeline in which the South wins the Civil War and becomes its own independent nation, and both the North and South are constantly fighting throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. Eventually, however, the South is led by a Southern version of Hitler and adopts some of his more inhumane policies.
Another alternate history author I enjoy is Robert Conroy who unfortunately died in 2014, among my favorites of his are 1901 which deals with Imperial Germany invading the United States (This book was inspired by actual plans Imperial Germany had developed) and Himmler’s War which explores the idea that Hitler has died in an Allied bombing raid and now Heinrich Himmler is leading Nazi Germany. Can you tell I love history and asking what if questions?
One genre I love and is probably also loved by you the reader and everyone else are biographies. I have always loved reading about people who I have never met/learning about their lives and the times that they lived in and about the events that molded them. I especially enjoy biographies about presidents, military leaders, and the people who have shaped the world as we know it. A couple biographies that I have loved and have led me to read more books about these individuals or the events they were involved with include Grant by Ron Chernow, Chernow also happens to be the author of Alexander Hamilton which is what inspired the hit Broadway play Hamilton.
It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood was a fantastic read because I have always enjoyed Trevor Noah and so it was really interesting to get to know more of his background growing up during apartheid in South Africa.
Surprisingly, a genre that has piqued my interest lately has been Science-Fiction. As a kid I just never enjoyed science class so it was only natural that I hate science-fiction books by default, which is weird because I have always enjoyed science-fiction movies like Star Wars, Pacific Rim, and Interstellar . That all changed when quarantine started in 2020 and with so much free time, I decided I would give the genre another try especially because the times we were living in felt like science-fiction at times! One book I really enjoyed was Starship Troopers which was pretty revolutionary at the time it came out, it even popularized the idea of powered armor. Imagine Master Chief without his Mjolnir armor or Tony Stark without his Iron Man suit?
When it comes to Starship Troopers I would avoid the movie that was made in 1997 unless you enjoy movies that are so bad they’re good! I also really got into the Star Wars books because they allowed me to experience new characters and stories as well as expanding on some characters that didn’t get a lot of screen time in the movies or video games.
My final favorite genre is horror! As it starts to get closer to fall my wife and I bust out our horror movie collection and have countless movie marathons. I also like to bust out my horror book collection. Part of what draws me to the horror genre is that you are left to your own imagination when it comes to the creature or ghost whereas a movie shows you what the creature or ghost looks like, sometimes your own imagination is much more terrifying than Hollywood movies. Part of my love of the horror genre also has to come from all the R.L. Stine books I read as a kid.
Perhaps my favorite has to be It by Stephen King, while it is a long book and can get kind of weird at points, it’s still a classic horror book. I would especially recommend reading it if you loved the movies. Another Stephen King classic I enjoy is Carrie which is also King’s first book! The original Carrie movie from 1976 is also a classic that features a young John Travolta in only his third movie.
In the end though it doesn’t matter what your favorite genre of books is or who favorite author is! As long as you are loving the book that’s all that matters in the end!