Have Your Cake and Read it, too!

Happy Monday, all. I hope this makes you smile.

I was going to write about vampires since it’s close to Halloween, but then my agent RT’d this gem by Nick Harkaway, “Genres and Cake.” Go read it. Go! In case you didn’t listen to me, in the blog post he takes a hypothetical novel plot involving cake and shows how it changes as the genre changes. It’s seriously brilliant.

When I first clicked on the link, I thought he was going to show how different genres are like different types of cake. Since that wasn’t his point, I decided to make it mine. (This is supposed to be both thoughtful and funny, so I hope it ends up that way.) In my mind, if the genres of fiction were cake, they would be:

Mainstream fiction: Regular vanilla or chocolate cake, you know, like American birthday cake. There are a million ways to dress it up or down and customize it to your own tastes, yet you pretty much know what you’re going to get. A solid bet when you’re not in the mood for anything adventurous. Devils-Food-Birthday-Cake
Christian/religious fiction: Angel food cake. It’s a nice play on words, plus it really is cake without the guilt, just as the genre is fiction without the darker parts of other writing. Angel_food_cake_with_strawberries_(4738859336)
Young adult: Ice cream cake. It’s different from its adult counterparts, loved by kids (and their parents) and may even be mistaken as frivolous, but watch out, it’s addicting! Culinique_Ice_Cream_Cake
Romance: Dobos cake. Made in Hungary, this is spongecake layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel slices. If that doesn’t make you fall in love, I don’t know what will! 128px-Dobos_cake_(Gerbeaud_Confectionery_Budapest_Hungary)
Erotica: While everyone probably has a different answer for this one, I’m going with the Latin Tres Leches cake. Three types of milk, plus a cake base equals sticky heaven. Make your own inappropriate jokes; I’m keeping mine to myself. 320px-Tres_leches_cake
Thriller: Opera cake. This French gateau, with it’s ganache, sponge cake and espresso syrup has an air of sophisticated mystery that will keep you wired long after you should have taken a break. Tartine_bakery_opera_cake_in_2007
Historical Fiction: Linzer torte. This Austrian pastry may look like a pie, but it’s supposedly the oldest existing cake recipe, dating to 1696. And as someone who grew up on the stuff, I can tell you there’s a yummy reason it has stood the test of time. linzer torte
Literary Fiction: Fruitcake. That’s not meant to be an insult. It’s something that takes a lot of skill and hard work to make palatable. Done well, it is an experience you won’t ever forget. Unfortunately, not everyone has the skill to make it correctly and it’s earned an undeserved bad reputation because of it. Fruechtebrot
Horror: Depression cake. Made without milk, butter, sugar, or eggs, it is my idea of a nightmare. Some people probably would say fruitcake here, too. depression cake
Mystery: Pineapple upside-down cake. Everything about this cake is a mystery. Why pineapples? Why is it upside down? Who thought of this and why? Fruit cake qualifies here as well. Pineapple-upside-down-cake
Fantasy: Black Forrest Cake. With it’s ties to Bavaria, fairy tales and the Brothers Grimm, there really is no other choice among mainstream cakes. But you can always make up your own – that’s what fantasy is for! 128px-Black_Forest_gateau
Science Fiction: Sakotis (Lithuanian). Look at this thing! It is not of this world! 166px-Šakotis_3799
Women’s fiction: Death by Chocolate or any other form of layered chocolately goodness. I know I’m being stereotypical here, but ladies, I think we can agree that most people associate us with chocolate – and for the most part with good reason. Chocolate_cake_-_be_Ehud_Kenan
Alternate History/Speculative Fiction: What if it really isn’t cake at all, but pie, or maybe even a scone?! No_calorie_French_tarts_(8437229351)

Man, now I’m hungry!

(FYI – All photos are from Wikimedia Commons, except for Depression Cake, which comes from Dinner at Christina’s)

So, what type of cake is your book (the one you’re reading or writing)? What did I miss on the cake list? Agree? Disagree? Anything you would add/change? What’s your favorite kind (book or cake)?


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