There's more to genres than a label and readers should explore all of the elements that make each genre unique and appealing. We invite you to try a genre that is new to you. You might just find a new favorite!

Book Discovery Terms


Genres are one of the most recognizable entry points into reading. Genres help connect related books and help readers find their next great read. Genres often have subgenres which are smaller subcategories within the larger genre. Examples: romance, historical fiction, and mysteries


Appeals helps readers determine why they enjoy a book and whether a particular book will fit their style. Examples: storyline, setting, characters, pacing, tone, and writing style.


Themes are the (sometimes) hard-to-define elements of a book that hook a reader. They broadly summarize key plot points. Examples: coming-of-age or, in romance, friends-to-lovers

Genre Deep-Dives

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Don’t be scared of horror!

From vampires, and monsters, to haunted houses, to psychological mind-benders - horror has a wide variety of stories to choose from. Read about the basics of the genre, common themes, and recommended reading.

Library's in-house genre expert: Meghan Bouffard, Information Services Librarian

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Have a meet-cute with romance!

For a story to be a romance, it needs to be centered around a romantic relationship between characters, and the characters will have found true love, and have an emotionally satisfying happily-ever-after by the end of the book. Read about the basics of the genre, subgenres, tropes, and recommended reading.

Library's in-house genre expert: Peishan Bartley, Library Director

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Book Discovery Resources

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Free access to BookBrowse for patrons!

Find your next great read with this interactive magazine for booklovers.

BookBrowse offers:

  • Reviews, excerpts, recommendations and excerpts.
  • Browsing by genre, time period, geographical setting and theme.
  • Handpicked "If you like this, try these" recommendations for thousands of authors and books.
  • Resources for book clubs including recommended reads by theme, reading guides & online book club discussions.
  • One-click links to catalog to check availability.
  • Access from the library or from home, using your library card number.
Visit BookBrowse
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NoveList Plus

Great for browsing for books that evoke certain moods or are similar to other works.

NoveList Plus is a database made available to MA libraries by Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). You can find book reviews and other information of over 135,000 books. You can browse for books by reader's age group, subjects, genre, story and atmospheric elements, such as "Heartwarming and Quirky" or "Intensifying and Suspenseful", and Author Read-a-likes which suggests authors whose works are alike. There are also book discussion guides for parents or book clubs to spur deep discussions about a book.

NoveList is connected to C/W MARS catalog and users can search for the book in the library catalog directly from the database.

Visit NoveList Plus