Today, the guys in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group had a great topic: Gateway Books to My Favorite Genres!

Another great topic again this week.  One I can’t wait to get to, because who doesn’t like to introduce readers to your favorite genre and hope they love it as much as you do.  Since I read several genres, I’m going to try to include them all.


fatherlandFatherland by Robert Harris

This 1992 novel is set in an alternate history where ‘The Nazis won World War II?’. What sets Robert Harris’ story apart from so many others is his attention to details: 1964 Berlin a living, breathing city filled with passionate and realistic characters, who are engaged in stunningly normal lives until fate intervenes.  In other words, this is just a great novel which highlights all the great qualities about alternate history without getting too far afield with scif-fi or fantasy elements like other alt history books out there.  Definitely a favorite of mine.




the_stand_uncut-2The Stand by Stephen King

The best post apocalyptic novel ever?  It might be.  Equal parts realistic, creepy, fantastical, and horrifying, this is a genre defining story that all other apocalyptic novels are compared against.  At least, in my eyes.  And even if you don’t particularly love Stephen King’s writing style, you might enjoy this book, because many of the annoying elements of his later books aren’t as noticeable here.  So I can’t think of another book from this genre I’d suggest a new reader to start with.



A GAME OF THRONESA Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

While it hurts some part of me not to list J.R.R. Tolkien here, I can’t argue with the other part of me that insists that Martin’s fantasy masterpiece has become the gateway to the genre.  It is merely the truth, as much as it hurts me to admit.  This novel, in particular, is a great illustration on how amazing fantasy can be.  And for newbies, it will definitely sell them on why they should keep on reading all the classics of the present and past, including The Lord of the Rings.



prince of thornsPrince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

The pinnacle of grimdark literature in my eyes.  I know others might disagree with me, but Mark Lawrence’s tale of Jorg Ancrath showcases everything that a grimdark fantasy could and should be.  And whether you love or hate the main character, Jorg Ancrath, he is a fantasy character no one will ever forget for as long as the genre lasts.   What better place to descend into the dirty, bloody, and brutal world of grimdark?  I can’t think of any.



foundationFoundation by Isaac Asimov

Widely considered a masterpiece of the science-fiction genre, I really do not know what else to say about this work by one of the genre’s most famous authors other than to say his Foundation and Robot series were the gateway for me into the science fiction genre.  Up until reading this particular novel, I was pretty much a fantasy guy who read a few Star Wars novel occasionally.  So with that in mind I can’t think of anywhere else to start for a good, old-fashioned introduction to classic sci-fi other than Foundation.


Agree with me?  Disagree?  Have other books to nominate?  Tell me what you are thinking.

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  1. The Stand is indeed THE book about the apocalypse and its aftermath: sometimes I even feel like King wrote the… manual for the genre with this one! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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