Episode 3: What niche genre are you into?

Good Librations Ep 3 Website Tile.jpg

Food pun murder mysteries and the Bangsian afterlife

You may have heard of steampunk, or even cyberpunk ... but what about biopunk and splatterpunk? And how many punks is too many?

In this episode, explore genres you've never dreamt of, and prepare to be amazed at the level of commitment some authors have to puns involving murder and pastries.


Shelf-absorbed (books we reviewed)

Shelf-important (things we mentioned)


  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff




  • Ribofunk by Paul DiFilippo
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  • Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  • The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G. Wells


  • The Light at the End by John Skipp & Craig Spector
  • Depraved by Bryan Smith
  • Slither by Edward Lee

Cozy mysteries (with food pun titles): 

  • Donut Shop Mysteries by Jessica Beck
  • Penne Dreadful by Catherine Burns
  • Wonton Terror by Vivien Chen
  • Double Shot by Edward Lee
  • Crust No One by Winnie Archer


  • The Enchanted Typewriter by John Kendrick Bangs
  • Firstlife by Gena Showalter
  • The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson


Nordic Noir:

  • L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy
  • Drive by James Sallis
  • Queenpin by Megan Abbott


  • Clade by James Bradley
  • Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
  • Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Overstory by Richard Powers
  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Rogers


  • The Rouse-about by Rachel Treasure
  • The Sunburnt Country by Fiona Palmer
  • Blue Skies by Fleur McDonald
  • Rosalee Station by Mandy Magro
  • North Star by Karly Lane

Space opera: 

  • Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • Children of Time by Aaron Tchaikovsky
  • Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

Magical realism: 

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  • Big Fish by Daniel Wallace

Fractured fairytales: 

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • Beastly by Alex Flynne
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page


  • Serena by Ron Rash
  • Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
  • No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
  • True Grit by Charles Portis
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier


General mentions



  • Jeffrey Archer
  • John Grisham
  • Steig Larsson
  • Henning Mankell
  • Jo Nesbo
  • Camilla Lackberg

Movies/television shows:

  • Annihilation
  • Kill Bill


  • Dachshund through the Snow by David Rosenfelt
  • Six Cats a-Slayin’ by Miranda James
  • Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


  • Jojo Siwa
  • Gwar
  • Eurovision

I just can't help my-shelf (more please)

Better Book Titles blog created by Dan Wilbur

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


Shelf-obsessed (further reading)

An example in the collection of each niche genre


Bildungsroman: The Van Apfel Girls are Gone by Felicity McLean

Epistolary: On Earth we’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Biopunk: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Steampunk: Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Cyberpunk: The Ghost in the Shell by Jun’ichi Fujisaku

Cosy Mystery: Buttoned Up by Kylie Logan

Cosy Mystery with food pun title: Killer Cruller by Jessica Beck

Cosy Mystery with Christmas/Animal pun title: Six Cats A-Slaying by Miranda James

Bangsian: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Neo-Noir: The Luzern Photograph by William Bayer

Nordic Noir: Knife by Jo Nesbo

Cli-fi: Ghost Species by James Bradley

Chook-lit: The Farmer’s Wife by Rachael Treasure

Space opera: Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

Magical realism: A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire

Fractured fairytale: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Grit-lit: Watershed by Mark Barr