- General Fiction
In the categories above, I included the best fiction books or series based on Goodreads user ratings (see more on this process). Note that in fiction, I included either first of series or bundled the series books together as an average score (whichever resulted in the higher score). My intent for this is to introduce readers only to the books they can readily jump into, and not to list the many high scoring books that are in the middle of a series but are not books that a newcomer to the series can read. Also, if a book series is longer than 3 books, I typically only include the first 3 books in these lists (there are some exceptions however – especially for series that I personally am in the middle of reading).
Also, in the categories listed here, my main consideration is setting. So, if the main setting is a different world than our own I considered it fantasy, however if there was magic but the story is still based in our own world, I considered it Modern Day. For example, (most people will think I’m crazy for this method, but..) Harry Potter is not in the Fantasy category, but rather in the Modern Day category. Also, for historical fiction my main concern is setting, so if there is a completely fictional story, based on completely fictional characters, yet it is based in 1700 England, I still categorized it as historical fiction – even though the characters are entirely fictional. My Modern Day category takes any book that the setting is current day back to about 50 years ago, so books from about the 70s to the present are considered modern day, and books with a setting of the 60s and older are historical fiction. In general if the lines of genre are blurry between a Sci-fi novel and a Fantasy novel, I have leaned in on the Sci-fi because typically the setting in such novels is more futuristic than classic fantasy.