Had Enough Grip-Lit? 20 New Book Genres To Make You Sound Cool

If I’ve heard it once in the last six months, I’ve heard it eleventy-seven bloody times: ‘It’s all about grip-lit like Gone Girl and Girl On The Train’. ‘Grip-lit, the term coined by Marian Keyes to describe psychological thrillers’. ‘Women reading and writing grip-lit are what it’s all about in bookselling right now’.

Had Enough Grip-Lit? 20 New Book Genres To Make You Sound Cool

No offence to the chick noir writers out there (despite the apparently derogatory gender stereotyping of the phrase, I prefer chick noir, probably because it was around first, and isn’t currently being done to death) but I have now reached the stage where I’m heartily sick of hearing about grip-lit.

I salute all the fine writers of it, particularly the ones I’m reading at the moment, but I’ve had enough of the lazy genre stereotyping, and could happily go the next six months without hearing the term grip-lit mentioned even once.

However, I know that’s impossible, so I’ve decided to attack from another angle: I’m going to suggest even more lazy genre stereotyping, in the hopes that it might dilute the deluge of grip-litting all over the bloody shop right now. Let’s treat all popular genres to a lazy moniker and call it contemporary and cool and like, totally right now happening, man. Who’s with me?

All you have to do is choose from the below list of 20 book genres, and just start shouting the bejeebus out of it all over the internet. WhatsApp it and Facebook it (they’re reading your phone anyway). Blog it. Pinterest it with a suitably lazily stereotyped book cover. Snapchat it in full knowledge that when it disappears, it’s actually recorded somewhere else and will go viral in no time. Instagram your choice painted in artichoke paste over a photo-shopped body part, I don’t care. Just get it out there.

20 New Book Genres Which Might Stop People Saying ‘Grip-Lit’

  1. Flit-Lit:   à la Douglas Kennedy. Main character gets into trouble and tries to disappear, but their old life invariably catches up with them.
  2. Snip-Lit:   Revenge plots with Lorena Bobbitt-loving heroines.
  3. Chip-Lit:   Unreliable fat narrator loses weight, but never admits how they did it.
  4. Trip-Lit:   Books about adorable Mary Sues who keep falling over all the time.
  5. Crick-Lit:   Horror stories so atmospheric that they give readers neck pain from constantly checking behind them.
  6. Hick-Lit:   Books set in isolated rural areas, written by urban city dwellers.
  7. Flip-Lit:   Think Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Like Flit-Lit, only with the main character having a meltdown instead of an escape plan.
  8. Stick-Lit:   I was going to make an EL James joke here, but you don’t want me to.
  9. Zip-Lit:   Books you love, but can’t tell anyone you’re reading for fear of embarrassing yourself.
  10. Click-Lit:   Only available in E-book format.
  11. Wick-Lit:   Historical Fiction. You had to ask?
  12. Mick-Lit:   books with Irish characters, written by authors who have never been to Ireland, or spoken to a real live Irish person.
  13. Whip-Lit:   I’m sure it’s already been used for EL James, so let’s switch this one to highbrow political thrillers (obvious sexual connotations included).
  14. Hipst-Lit:   I could tell you what this is, but by the time you find out, it’ll already be over.
  15. Bit-Lit or Quick-Lit:   Smartphone-friendly novellas of 10,000 words or fewer.
  16. Lip-Lit:   Get your minds out of the gutter! Audiobooks, right?
  17. Ship-Lit:   All of Joseph Conrad. Or thrillers set by the sea, or on cruise liners (This is already a thing, because I even have an example, so there.)
  18. Nick-Lit:   Epic heists in the grand old tradition. A bit of jewel thievery never hurt any plot.
  19. Drip-Lit:   A return to the good old days of serialisation, à la Charles Dickens. Get one new chapter of a thriller auto-delivered to your smart device every day.
  20. Kip-Lit:   Any book which makes you look intelligent, but never fails to send you to sleep.

You know, it’s amazing how many of these sound dirty when they first run through your head. Just sayin’.

Which one will you choose to champion?

Alternatively, have you any suggestions of your own? Because I discarded a good 15 of these before finalising this list, so I know you have it in you. Additions to the list in the comments please. And no grumbling. You don’t get nuttin’ for free round here.

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  73 comments for “Had Enough Grip-Lit? 20 New Book Genres To Make You Sound Cool

  1. June 9, 2016 at 7:46 am

    What about Shit-lit? Cos there’s an awful lot of it out there.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. June 9, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Damn, couldn’t you alphabetize this list—I had to keep re-reading it to find out if you had Quip-Lit, which is full of quotable quotes and Hip-Lit-like coolness, except it’s RIGHT NOW, and often has its own vocabulary, and therefore so banal and not. I love people who talk about “mindfulness” for example, as though it were a BRAND NEW CONCEPT. Example: “I keep my mindfulness high and my expectations low so that at the end of the day, I’m mindful of having done nothing, which is really a cool concept, when you think of it, but in a general sense, I try to be mindful and yet not so hyper-vigilant as to seem like a weirdo, which if I were, would be OK.”

    Quip-Lit: Stay mindful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 9, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Well, I did have Hipst-Lit, TT. I couldn’t make the list alphabetical because I don’t believe in being nice! I love your mindful hipster. They wouldn’t last long in a pub in Ireland, anyway. Although they could be kept in a cage. For the entertainment, like. Great opportunities for mindfulness in a cage, I hear.

      Like

  3. June 9, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Crick Lit is the one that grabs me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. June 9, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Excellent.

    One for the pile..

    Keep her Lit: Sub-genre for the Irish market. Boy meets girl. Boy tries to impress girl with fine set of alloy wheels and twin cam engine. The rest is his story…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. June 9, 2016 at 9:23 am

    What about Zip-Lit – where the hunky hero keeps getting his pecker out?

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 9, 2016 at 9:52 am

      That could be yet another explanation for Zip-Lit, Colin, that’s true, but I did make a heroic effort not to go for the salacious option in every case! Having said that, nobody’s congratulated me on that yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. June 9, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Hick-lit! Finally something I can use! Time to edit my twitter profile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 9, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Now that’s what I call really getting the word out, Janet. You’re my hero 😀

      Like

  7. June 9, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Hipst-Lit has to be my fav! How about Mis-Lit? Those dark and depressing novels that make you want to stick a fork in your eye and win all the major literary awards :(((((

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 9, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Oh, yes. Mis-lit. Definitely, Evie. And due a resurgence, too – any time there’s economic growth the populace heads straight for the misery lit, it’s a sad fact.

      Like

      • June 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm

        What I don’t get is that every lit agent & publisher warns against jumping on any band-wagons, claiming that the trend will be over before you’ve had time to write your acknowledgements (cos they come first, right?) And yet there are a plethora of first-time authors still being published in this genre (not bitter) so I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon before it’s too late with my genre ‘straddling’ Girl On A Tractor. What she’s seen in that top field doesn’t bear thinking about!! Chick/Hick/Mick/Grip Lit 🙂 I think I’ve thought too much about this….

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 9, 2016 at 5:38 pm

          Nobody ever thinks enough about genre, Evie, don’t say that! I suppose the debut authors coming out now would’ve been signed over a year ago. I have high hopes for your Girl On a Tractor. I had a screenplay I was trying to flog once that I described as Strictly Ballroom with tractors. Maybe I should dust it off 😜

          Liked by 1 person

  8. June 9, 2016 at 10:01 am

    How about Bic-Lit for Americans who still write with cheap pens and no taste?

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 9, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Do they have to have no taste? I like the idea of a genre for cheap pens alone!

      Like

    • June 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Or who smoke heavily! Or, and I’m guilty of this, have their character light a cigarette anytime they need a pause in the dialogue.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. June 9, 2016 at 10:49 am

    As a writer of children’s fiction set in Ireland I was all set to proclaim myself king of micklet-lit until I saw the stipulation about not living in Ireland. Instead I’ll have to work on Plan B, working title Gong Girl With The Train Tattoo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 9, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Nothing stopping you calling it Micklet-Lit wherever you’re based, Nige. Micklet, after all, can be a genre all on its own. Or you could move. Whichever you think is easier. Best of luck with Plan B (although I think that time is over – my advice would be to look out for the next gravy train instead)

      Like

  10. June 9, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Love Chip-Lit – nothing drives me madder than someone who has shed 10 stone and is suddenly everyone’s hero and expert in all things fitness and losing weight. Bury them under a patio someone pleaseeeee

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      I’d sort you out, Lorna, only I’ve no patio, nor a garden to lay one in, sadly. I might know a guy, though. Leave it with me.

      Like

  11. June 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    Have builders around with a road drill today so am re-blogging until I can hear myself think of some additional howlers 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 9, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      I’m waiting, Jan. Just…………waiting………….. 😀

      Like

  12. June 9, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    So all this time I’ve been writing Nick-Lit! (The Goddaughter series) F-ing Brilliant, and I’m stealing it for sure

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      There should have been a (sic) after that comment, but this program didn’t like the brackets I chose, dammit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm

        It nicked your brackets! It’s like the most unexciting theft ever! Thank Blog the program isn’t writing heist fiction, Melodie, or we’d all be asleep.

        Like

  13. June 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Very funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. myrddinsheir
    June 9, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    There’s a great deal of titbitfitlit out there: chosen moments from the exhausting lives of those with ludicrously honed bodies (portrayed on SO many of the covers).

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Oh yes. Those. Ugh. They should be in the restricted section of the library. Restricted for the sort of people who never go to libraries.

      Like

  15. June 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Obit-Lit: Stories narrated by a character who is already dead and is telling us how he/she got that way.
    [sic]-Lit: Stories in dire need of proofreading. Alternatively, novels written using made-up languages (A Clockwork Orange), nonstandard punctuation (anything Cormac McCarthy), or other convention that, at first blush, makes it look like the story is full of errors.
    Ham-Lit: Bad, obvious attempts to rewrite one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays in a modern setting.
    Vick-Lit: Stories about dog fighting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 9, 2016 at 11:48 pm

      You’re killing us, Andy. In the best way. I’m not going to ruin your ingenious comment with an unnecessary reply. Oops.

      Like

  16. June 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Can we include Stig of the Dump in the corporation tip-lit genre?

    I liked trip-lit, but I won’t say why. And crick-lit is something I aspire to,

    I suppose novels with unreliable narrators might be git-lit, and those with annoying authors get-on-my-wick-lit.

    And if I mention novels about bingo callers (a very very niche market), it has to be clickety-click-lit. I’ll go now, but this would make a great parlour game.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 9, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      This is most excellent. You, Chris, and Andy above you, and a few others, deserve to be lauded in the first line of this post. Unfortunately, I am a horrible person who won’t do such a thing. But you knew that already. Hate me at your leisure.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. June 9, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    There are a lot of wonderful suggestions for alternative genres Tara. Bookstores should begin changing their signage immediately. Having said that, there were some uncomfortable moments. I crossed my legs involuntarily at number two and kept them that way to the very end of the post just to be on the safe side.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. June 10, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Sick lit (which is pretty self explanatory). Grit lit, also known as Grim Lit (‘edgy’, devoid of adjectives and dialogue, written by self conscious and competitive usually male writers), Mad (as in ‘isn’t she effing mad altogether’) lit, smart (alecky) lit (because some of us can’t help ourselves) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 10, 2016 at 11:31 am

      I love Grim-Lit, Mary. Certainly takes the harm out of the genre. Inasmuch as calling something by another name can take the harm out of anything 😉

      Like

  19. June 10, 2016 at 5:06 am

    I’ve never heard the term Grip-Lit. I live in a cave, Tara. Great list.
    Bit-Lit is for the deluge of vampire and zombie books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 10, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Can I visit your cave then Diana?! And that’s the perfect explanation for Bit-Lit – if only we’d had it 5 years ago at the height of the madness!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. June 10, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Dim-wit-lit / Nit-wit-lit: low brow reads with short words.

    Hit-lit: for boxing fans

    Lit-lit: literature literature, not that fake stuff.

    Pit-lit: tearjerkers.

    Sit-lit: for really loooong books.

    Wit-lit: self-explanatory.

    You know, though, I’ve wondered if you-know-what-lit was plagerized from these little gems: http://www.mikanet.com/museum/images/chiclets.jpg

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 10, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Brilliant. I love the idea of people having a smug conversation about Lit-Lit. “You know, Lit-Lit. It’s like, really important. Do you not know it? You mean you haven’t read Crankshaft in latin by C. Pompous Overbore?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 10, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        Brick-lit:: for the construction trades.

        Trick-lit: magicians

        Prick-lit: books about employers, nosy neighbors, road ragers, internet trolls and certain presidential candidates.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. June 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Some good genres there and hilarious how many people probably walked around trying to rhyme words as a result;) Have two posts written, one about how much I adore ‘grip lit’ (uh oh!) and how I hope it continues as a genre- I don’t mind calling it chick noir noir anything else, is just that I love how the thriller genre is becoming available to people who don’t necessarily want either the full horror experience nor something as intricate as Ruth Rendell or the like (I adore those types of books and was always proud of the amount of Inspector Wexford, Poirot, Morse I had read so it’s not against them, it’s just that these are easier to read, possibly due to the female voice, I don’t know). The other one is based on a book I read which was fluffy chick lit, based around the death of a sororities member in a creepy university in America. Was this chick lit or grip lit? It had the cover of grip lit, content of chick lit albeit with a murder investigation going on. Then there’s the question are they going to do the same as they did with chick lit ie call every thriller by a female grip lit? So Louise Philips? Angela Marsden(paranormal suspense writer)? I heard someone ask was Jodie Picoult a chick lit writer the other day.I mean come on!! I think this is the point of your post. Well done:)(Heads off to lie down).

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Absolutely. I’m with you. It’s not the genre I have a problem with, it’s the naming of it and the tendency to shoehorn everything into it in perpetuity afterwards. There are so many female authors in particular who get harmed by this. I know there’s no alternative to snappy nicknames, so we may as well have some fun with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. June 11, 2016 at 7:34 am

    No one has mentioned piss lit – so many sub genres to this one:

    Taking the Piss Lit – Jane Austen has this covered
    Taking a Piss Lit – people read while powdering their euphemisms so…
    Piece of Piss Lit – too easy
    Pissed Lit – writing under the influence
    Pissed Off Lit – a form of self-help
    Pissing into the Wind Lit – where nobody reads what you write and nobody ever will

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 11, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Oooh, sub-genres! Ingenious. Perfect for Amazon, Kathy. Imagine being the #1 bestseller in Pissed Lit. There should be a plaque for that.

      Like

  23. June 15, 2016 at 7:22 am

    I must be living in a cave as well (oh, apparently the missus thinks I do), because I hadn’t heard of grip-lit either. Now I’m aware of all the possibilities, I’ll still stick to Flick-Lit – because I want all my books to be made into films (that’s where the real money is).

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Oh yes. Flick-Lit is definite where the money is, Graeme. But what you really want is Crossover YA fiction made into a movie – quadruples your audience. Make your protagonist a criminal who falls in love, and you hit paydirt. I dunno what that’d be, though. Kid-crim-kiss-flick-lit maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

  24. solsdottir
    June 15, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Drip-Lit. Defintely. (Download tomorrow for the next part of this comment…)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. June 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Lorena Bobbitt! I’d forgotten about her! What about Dick-lit? Books centred on revenge, and in particular severing manhoods of cheating husbands/boyfriends?

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 28, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Absolutely. Although, I fear by calling it Dick-lit, you might attract an audience expecting an altogether different experience 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  26. June 28, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Trip-lit – like it. Could it be that adorable Mary Sue has taken too many drugs?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. July 5, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Knit (a Mitt) Lit. “Knit Lit is the cosy mystery sub-genre that’ll have you in cross-stitches. Free sampler of this yarn on request.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Utterly puntastic, Mel. Although the Knitterati might object to the embroidered cross-cross-stitching reference 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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