This Is My Genre Tell Me Yours Tag

November 28, 2016


I was tagged by Drew@TheTattooedBookGeek to complete this tag. And let me tell you, I am completely honored! Not only did Drew create a brand new tag, but he tagged me as one of the first people to participate!! It’s like I’m a celebrity now.

Well, maybe not really. I don’t get tagged often. So to me, it matters. Like being picked for the pick-up kickball game in the park. It matters

Why do I love this tag? Drew created this tag because we don’t get to gush about the genres we love that often in tags. Most avid readers have a “go to” genre. It’s obvious when you’re reading certain blogs what genre (or reading level!) that blogger slants towards, but WHY?! This is also why I took my sweet time working on this. I wanted to make certain I had the time to really think about my favorite genre and why it matters.

Without further ado: Let’s find out my genre loves!

The Rules:

  • The ever amazing Drew@TheTattooedBookGeek created this tag.
    • You should check out his amazing fantasy book reviews! This guy knows a thing or two about fantasy.
    • He’s also snarky. I like that. You have been warned.
  • Answer the questions
  • Tag as many people as you want!

What is your favorite genre?


I bet that isn’t what you expected! I don’t have many magical realism books reviewed on this blog yet, sadly. But you can certainly expect to see more in the future.

Who is your favorite author from the genre?


ERIN MORGENSTERN!!! Yes, she has only published one book. But it was literally life changing for me and my reading experience. The Night Circus is one of the key inspirations for me to even start this blog.

carlos_ruiz_zafon                                             gabriel_garcia_marquez

She is immediately followed by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Gabriel Garica Marquez. The Latinx authors know a thing or two about magical realism, as they more-or-less created it. Oh, I also adore about a thousand other authors.

What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

The essence of magical realism is:

I adore that these stories feature ordinary people going about the humdrum activities of their daily lives– except that one or two elements go beyond the ordinary. These elements might be overt or covert, but what matters is that they celebrate the mundane elements of life.

Magical realism allows us to believe in magic in real life. There are some books where the magic is so subtle you don’t know if what you are reading is magic or not. There are others where the magic is known to many, but not to all. But no matter what form the magic takes it provides a glitter and shine to reality we might not have otherwise seen. Magical realism books always make me smile.

What is the book that started your love for your favorite genre?


Unconsciously, I think it was Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. My mother gave me a copy of this book to read on the airplane when I moved from my childhood home to Madison, WI. At the time, I couldn’t place what I loved about this book,  it was only after reading Like Water for Chocolate where I made the connection.


If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

The Shadow of the Wind

I would start with The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This book seems to defy genre a bit, so no matter what sort of books you like to read you will probably find something you like in the pages of this brilliant book.


If you are someone interested in romance, check out Garden Spells.


And if you are someone interested in classics, diversity, or historical fiction, I’d start with Beloved. All of these books are amazing.

Why do you read?

There are so many reasons why I read. I read to learn about new science, histories, cultures, religions and more. I read to expand my mind with different perspectives and world views. I read to escape from the drudgery and monotony of real life. I read to stimulate my mind. I read to reduce the stress of real life on my brain. I read to expand my sadly small vocabulary (thank you, eReaders!). I read to become more empathetic. I read to stimulate my brain and provide fodder for titillating conversation with my peers. I read because I breathe.

Because I cannot imagine NOT reading.

TAG! You’re it!

What do you think?

  • What is your favorite genre? Why?
  • Did you know magical realism was a genre before now?
  • Have you ever read any magical realism? What do you think of the genre?
  • What book featuring magical realism is your favorite?


  • Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek November 28, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Thanks for the awesome shout out!

    Ah, magical realism, not a genre I frequent and I believe it’s the first time I’m seeing it as the answer to the “what is your genre” question!

    Great answers, especially for the why do you read question. Escapism and stress relief are two of my main reasons for reading to and I think a lot of other people’s.

    Lol at small vocabulary, alas, with fantasy I tend to learn words and curses that aren’t real!

    • Jackie B November 28, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Ha-ha! I am original! Or, uh, something like that. 🙂 But really, I spent a long time considering my favorite genre. Believe it or not, this isn’t something I had pondered before! It also shows me that I need to read more of this, because while it might be a vein of fantasy it is really very different. Someone must spread the good word!

      While you might be learning a lot of non-English words it probably means you have one heck of a non-offensive swear vocabulary. What are some favorites?

      • Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek November 29, 2016 at 5:27 am

        Lol, nothing wrong with being original!

        Brass balls of the beast. Corespawn it. Hoods breath, Hoods hoary balls. Beru fend. Shroud cursed. There’s not many fantasy curses now I think about it, my swearing prowess normally revolves around the more standard and usual words that we all know, throw in some WWE (wrestling) catchphrases and sarcasm to and I’m well away! 🙂 Though Corespawn it is definitely my favourite fantasy curse that I use.

        • Jackie B November 29, 2016 at 2:35 pm

          I really like that: Corespawn it. What series is that curse from? I certainly must read it now. 😀
          I’m certain there are tons of swears I have learned from reading as well, but you’re right– very few of them come across as unique or new. Interesting. I wonder if that’s because I just can’t remember them, or if they just weren’t that good?

          • Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek November 30, 2016 at 9:26 am

            Corespawn it is from Peter V Brett’s Demon Cycle Saga, yay for fantasy, it’s definitely the one I use the most, it just rolls of the tongue sort of like f#ck it does. 🙂

  • Jasmine November 28, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for the tag Jackie! I haven’t heard of your favorite genre that often. I’m glad to recognize one title out of your list of books. I have been wanting to read The Night Circus for awhile now. I’m glad it’s your favorite book. You are definitely an A lister because you got chosen first from the creator! Congrats!

    • Jackie B November 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      It feels good to be an A Lister. 🙂 I’m glad you’ve heard of at least one of the books. I didn’t identify a single YA magical realism book, I noticed, so I’ll have to do some digging on that. There must be some, even if I don’t know them!

      • Jasmine November 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm

        Yeah, let me know which book fall into that genre

  • Diana November 28, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Great post.Well that’s a unique genre.I do like Shadow of the Wind and Beloved although the later was quite complex.Garden of spells looks beautiful!

    • Jackie B November 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Thank you, Diana! It’s been years since I’ve read Beloved, almost a decade, actually… I really need to revisit it. I imagine there is a ton I missed the first time through.

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea November 28, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I love your choice of genre! And I immediately thought of Erin Morgenstern and The Night Circus! Perfect ❤ Super cool props to Drew as well

    • Jackie B November 28, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks! It feels good not to be the only one who thinks of and reads Magical Realism. 🙂 Are there any other books which come to mind I didn’t mention? I’m always looking for new recommendations.

      • Books, Vertigo and Tea November 28, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        Oh tough call on magical realism. It is a genre I don’t visit enough and a lot of titles are debatable. If something good comes to mind I will let you know ❤ I am thinking maybe look at some Neil Gaiman ☺

  • Shouni November 28, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I never thought of magical realism as a genre but more as an element of fiction though I am now rethinking my assumption. I LOVE magical realism but I’ve read very few books that contain it. I remember reading “Chronicles of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and loving it. My two favorite books with magical realism are “The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” (it was also my first experience with magical realism in YA) and my recent favorite “When the Moon was Ours”.

    I need to check our “Night Circus”, I hear so much about it! Great tag!

    • Jackie B November 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Yeah, I understand your thinking on that, Shouni. It could be considered a subgenre of Fantasy. But, there is so much rooted in reality that many argue this is its own genre. That said, one could argue all books are really a variation of fiction and non-fiction… We could easily get lost down a rabbit hole of defining genre.
      I haven’t even heard of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender– but after reading the synopsis it sounds awesome! I don’t know much in the way of YA magical realism, so I certainly should check it out. When the Moon Was Ours is on my TBR, and I am patiently waiting for it to come in from the library. 🙂

  • Cassiopeia's Moon November 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    This was such a wonderful tag! I have heard about magical realism but I am not sure if I have ever read a book from that genre. Somehow I’d like to put A Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler there but I’m not sure. I think that at least is the closest I’ve gotten to magical realism. I fell in love with that book and it was so different from anything else I had ever read before. But is it really is magical realism? That I will leave for more experienced readers of the genre to decide.

    • Jackie B November 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks! I haven’t read The Book of Speculation, but Goodreads includes a Magical Realism genre tag for it– so I’ll take it! I’ll have to read it now and let you know what I think. Plus, it sounds super interesting!

      • Cassiopeia's Moon November 28, 2016 at 11:54 pm

        I hope you’ll like it as much as I do. One of my best reads this year!

  • Birdie November 28, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I love Magical Realism too, though I haven’t read a lot of them.

    Thanks for the tag!

    • Jackie B November 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Of course! You read such a diverse collection of books, I am interested to see what you pick as your top genre. 🙂

  • morethangeekylove November 28, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Aww love this genre too! Although I haven’t read any of the authors you have mentioned I am more than willing to check them out! I have heard great things about Like Water Of Chocolate so this is one more reason to check it out!
    Thank you for sharing! :))

    • Jackie B November 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks, Lin! The more I explore the genre, the more I love it. Perhaps we can discover some awesome new authors together? 🙂

      • morethangeekylove November 30, 2016 at 7:54 pm

        That’d be great!! 🙂 I’ve never read the same book with reading group or a reading buddy so this would be really awesome if we have the chance to do so and explore some new author in this genre 🙂

        • Jackie B December 5, 2016 at 4:50 pm

          Yes! We should totally do a buddy read. I’ll do some digging and see what sort of books we could read. 🙂

  • Laila@BigReadingLife November 29, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks for the tag! I need a good kick in the butt to get back in the blogging groove! 🙂 I admit I’ve never read The Night Circus. I think I’m the only one left who hasn’t. I don’t even know why I haven’t read it, since it sounds like something I’d probably like. I definitely enjoy magical realism – you’ve listed some terrific books!

    • Jackie B November 29, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Hey, anything I can do to help. 🙂 It’s easy to fall off the horse, particularly around the holidays! Don’t beat yourself up over it, though. We’re still hear to read your posts when you get back into the swing of things.
      Oh, man. I recommend The Night Circus for sure. It’s a great book– but you have to be willing to be a part of the illusion to appreciate it. As long as you know you’re in for magical realism, I feel like you’ll enjoy it. I adore it. I look forward to your eventual review! 😉

  • Resh Susan @ The Book Satchel November 29, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    That is a great tag. Guess what? Magical realism is my fav genre too. And like you I have not read many books in it. You should try out Isabel Allende. I read Eva Luna and it was great. Garden spells has been heavily recommended to me. I still have not read it. I enjoy Garcia too

    • Jackie B December 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Yay! I’m glad I am not alone. I feel like most people I’ve spoken to look at me funny: Magical realism? Huh. Weird. It’s nice to find like-minded readers.
      I haven’t read anything by Isabel Allende, but I will definitely check our her works. Realizing I hadn’t read much in this genre, I plan on making an attempt next year to read more of it. Then I can recommend more books!

  • Read Diverse Books December 1, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Magical realism is such a wonderful genre! I really should be reading more of it. One of the first books of magical realism I read was Like Water For Chocolate and it’s still one of my fondest reading experiences. One of these days, I will finally have to try Shadow of the Wind. Knowing that it has magical realism elements makes it an even more enticing read.

    • Jackie B December 2, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      I loved reading Like Water for Chocolate. I knew food would be magic innately from the opening descriptions. In fact, I remember when Tita is described “flowing into the world on a flood of tears” realizing that this is what magical realism is. A strange combination of the figurative and the literal. It’s beautiful.
      You really should try The Shadow of the Wind! The language is gorgeous even in the translated English– I wonder if it’s more beautiful in the original Spanish? I look forward to your thoughts.

  • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom December 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    “It’s like I’m a celebrity now. Well, maybe not really. I don’t get tagged often. So to me, it matters. Like being picked for the pick-up kickball game in the park. It matters.”

    I loved reading your answers to this Tag Jackie! I am actually planning on reading The Night Circus this month, and I am super curious about this book you hold to such high standards! I read my first Carlos Ruiz Zafon book this year (The Shadow of the Wind actually), and was blown away! I definitely agree this book would appeal to a wide range of people. Can’t wait to read more of his work.

    • Jackie B December 2, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Oh man. I can’t wait to see what you think of The Night Circus! It’s one of those books that I adore *so much* I’m almost afraid to recommend it to people. I don’t want to accidentally over hype it and then ruin it for them (as many books have been ruined in that way for me). I really hope you find it an enjoyable read.

      • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom December 4, 2016 at 7:56 am

        I know what you mean. I try to go into books without expectations. I think you are safe with this one though lol I have yet to hear anything bad about it!

      • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom December 4, 2016 at 7:57 am

        I think you are pretty safe with this recommendation Jackie, I have yet to read anything negative about it!

        • Jackie B December 8, 2016 at 1:11 pm

          Whew! I’m glad that is the case. I hope you enjoy it!!

  • Lost In A Good Book December 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Very interesting! I’ve not read a lot of magical realism. I think some of Isabel Allende is about it. I’m definitely putting a few of these on my TBR list.

    • Jackie B December 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      I think magical realism is a sneaky genre (or sub-genre, depending on how you think of it)– sometimes the magic is so covert you don’t realize you’re reading it. Or the magic is so overt you think it’s fantasy. This is a tricky genre to pin down.
      I haven’t read any Allende yet, but it sounds like The House of the Spirits is fascinating! I’ll have to check her out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Kat Impossible February 18, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Erin Morgenstern is such a good choice! I wish she had written more though, because I am craving more stories like the Night Circus.

    • Jackie B February 19, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      Me too!! The rumors say she is writing another novel, but only time will tell. I can’t wait. 🙂

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