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Books - information on different book genres, plus a UK buyer's guide

Amazon UK
- Buy books and other items from one of the best known online bookstores. UK based, worldwide delivery.

Books - Types and Genres

Thousands of books are published every year in the UK and worldwide. They are available in many different genres which are categorised below.

Non Fiction

Non fiction books contain factual information about real items or events. An encyclopaedia is an example of a non fiction book. Other examples of non fiction books are language courses, history books, textbooks, The Guinness Book of Records and other broadly informational books. Of course, not all the information provided in non fiction books is correct, although it is supposed to be. It may currently be outdated if the book is old, or the article may have been inadequately researched initially, or subject to political bias.


A biography is an account of a person life written by someone else. An autobiography is a biography of a person written by themselves. I have not included biographies in the non fiction category, because it is evident that many supposedly factual biographies sometimes stray from the truth.


Fiction books contain stories or ideas that have not actually happened, although they may be based on actual events. Fictional books can be subdivided into the following categories:

  • Classics
    pride and prejudice, jane austenA "Classic" is a book that is still in publication long after it was first written. Examples of early classics include books by the Bronte sisters (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights), Louisa M Alcott (Little Women), Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility) and Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and many more). Modern day classics include the Harry Potter books, as they will probably stay popular with generations of children to come.
  • Historical Fiction
    These are stories set in a period of time, which are generally true to the period in which they are written, eg stories of life during World War 2, stories set in Victorian England etc. Catherine Cookson is famous for her novels set in 19th century North East England.
  • Romantic Fiction
    Made popular by Barbara Cartland, these stories follow a formula such as boy meets girl, they have problems along the way, then boy marries girl.
  • Crime and Mystery
    These books contain a problem that must be solved. This genre can also include Political Thrillers such as those written by John Le Carré and Who Dunnits such as Inspector Poirot and Miss Marple, written by Agatha Christie.
  • Science Fiction
    Science Fiction novels contain details of events that could not happen with today's technology. However, many science fiction novels have their science based on today's facts, so they could concievably be an indication of life in the future. Well known science fiction novels include George Orwell's 1984 (Big Brother is now a fact of life, at least on Channel 4).
  • Fantasy
    terry pratchett discworldFantasy novels are about things that could not possibly happen. A good example of fantasy novels would be the Discworld Novels written by Terry Pratchett. Whilst he may indeed bring the Discworld to life with his unique story telling style, there is little chance of a human, a dwarf and a werewolf all relaxing over a drink in my local pub anytime soon.
  • Children's
    This category encompasses many different types of books, including picture books made from card for young children, with "peek-a-boo" flaps to entertain them. Many of the titles for younger children even make noises (such as cows mooing) or have flashing lights. Books for Children are a club with great opening offers and 40% reductions on the prices of subsequent purchases, although you do have to buy a minimum number of titles in your first year of membership.
- Over 4 million titles in stock at discounted prices with same-day shipping, cheap postage and worldwide delivery.
Books Direct
- The largest book club in the UK. Choose any 5 books from 50p each (from over 1500 titles) to start your membership.
Alternative therapy and complementary healing eBooks
- eBooks covering subjects including aromatherapy and essential oils, crystals, gems, healing herbs and trees and vitamins and minerals.
- Over one millions books in stock to buy online, with up to 40% discount on new releases. Current offers include 3 for 2 on lonely planet, 40% off college books and 40% off books that were originally banned.
Audible Audio Books
- Over 700 audio books to download in MP3 format, and get a free Ipod.
Dorling Kindersley
- A wide range of high quality illustrated titles for all ages. Free p&p on orders over £50.
Penguin UK
- Features Penguin's fiction and non-fiction titles, including the Rough Guides, plus children's books including Puffin, Ladybird and Flower Fairy.

The Magazine Group
- Discounted UK magazine subscriptions - buy your favourite magazines and save up to 80% on the shop price.

- All the latest UK and international magazines, at cheap subscription online prices. Magazines ordered will often arrive before hitting the shelves and look out for "subscriber only" special offers.
Alternative Guide To Marriage & Parenting
- An amusing irreverent guide about marriage and parenting which can be bought directly from the author, who will personally sign it on request.
Gigabyte Books
- For computer and business with 20% discount.
eBook Impressions
Thousands of fiction and none fiction titles can be downloaded instantly to your computer.
Specialists in books for professional, academic, and personal success, although any book currently in print can be ordered.
Mary Ward
- An independent online bookseller specialising in second hand and out of print titles. They have new stock every week and are happy to search for requested titles.