New words – 3 October 2022

a young woman in a red and navy striped shirt is reading a book, set against a plain, sky-blue background
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stealth help noun [U]
/ˌstelθ ˈhelp/
a type of book that uses a story or an account of someone’s experience to inspire its readers to achieve goals and overcome problems

In the aftermath of the pandemic, publishers have said that writers are leaning towards feelgood and optimistic works. One such genre is “stealth help”, which describes books that still serve to inspire readers without being as overtly remedial as traditional self-help books. Similar to memoir, the genre often deals with inspirational stories that readers can take heart from.
[, 20 August 2022]

sibling novel noun [C]
UK /ˈsɪb.lɪŋ ˌnɒv.ᵊl/ US /ˈsɪb.lɪŋ ˌnɑː.vᵊl/
a novel that features some of the same characters as another novel by the same author, but is not a sequel or part of a series

In her typically inventive fashion, Jennifer Egan calls The Candy House, the follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize winner A Visit from the Goon Squad (2011), a “sibling novel”. According to Egan, The Candy House follows a number of [A Visit from the Goon Squad’s] peripheral characters into their own futures and pasts to create an independent work with a new set of preoccupations and center of gravity, but equal affinity for technology, humor, and structural freedom.
[, 26 April 2022]

romantasy noun [U]
UK /rəʊmˈæn.tə.si/ US /roʊmˈæn.tə.si/
a type of book that is part romance and part fantasy

Rosie is a distinctively talented author, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime acquisition. Sixteen Souls is a swoony romantasy where Rosie has intricately plotted a stunning mystery with a fantastically diverse cast of characters. With Rosie’s TikTok platform and job as a bookseller, she has a masterful understanding of the YA market and is uniquely placed to reach a strikingly engaged readership.
[, 22 August 2022]

About new words

8 thoughts on “New words – 3 October 2022

  1. When authors have a multiverse; it’s quite natural that sibling characters come to stay with one another and mix in each other’s lives.

    And as for books which are part-romance-part-fantasy – it’s good to have ONE word for them.

    What do you think the difference between stealth help and a memoir is?

    All three literary/commercial fiction words are interesting.

    I expect to see them in blurbs and newsletters and other marketing material.

  2. Michelle Green

    I know that the dictionary is a lexicon of words widely used, but some of these need to be added because they are what I call ‘juicy words’ that are intriguing and will grow in popularity over time. I would like to vote for them to be included even though I have not heard them widely used.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      let me know if you see these words more around any reading and writing communities you happen to be in.

      Juicy words are indeed a great way to describe them.

      They’re easy to consume and they add vitamins and minerals.

      Also, they’re sweet!

    1. TEL U:

      Well, what’s been going on in the world we have needed lots of feelgood and optimistic works.

      When the times are going well there seem to be more pessimistic and dystopian works.

      What do you think?

      And a lot of stealth-help would fall into the optimistic category – hoping it won’t beat you over the head.

    1. Parham:

      The Cambridge Learners’ Dictionary is indeed a great one.

      I have also appreciated Collins; Merriam-Webster; Lexico [Oxford] and the Macquarie dictionary.

      And when I was a little girl – the Larousse and the Robert!

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