Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Eleven Words/Topics That Draw Me to a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly book blog meme hosted by the lovely girls over at The Broke and the Bookish.

While there are certainly far more than eleven things that make me immediately drawn to a book, these are the ones that I was able to presently think of. (And feel free to suggest any that fall into these categories... wink wink). 

I love dragons. I'm not sure what else to say about this one. It's all about dragons.

Examples: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, His Majesty's Dragons by Naomi Novik

A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1)The HobbitHis Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)

I don't really care how often these type of retellings are made, I will always be drawn to them. I may complain and scoff and say "geez, why won't they give us a break with all these retellings?", but we all know that I still love them.

Examples: Heartless by Marissa Meyer, Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell (I know this is a stretch but bear with me), Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge, Ragnarok by A. S. Byatt

HeartlessTiger LilyThrough the WoodsGilded Ashes (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1.5)

I have always always always loved this setting, and I'm not sure why. My guess is that I like situations where people are sort of 'stuck' with one another and are in familiar surroundings for most of the story. I'm not a big fan of change in life in general, so maybe this is some sort of manifestation of that? I don't know. I just like them, I'm not sure why I feel the need to justify it.

Examples: A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Stoner by John Williams (this also isn't quite what I usually mean when I say colleges, but this one is incredible, so yeah), Black Chalk by Christopher Yates, If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio

A Separate PeaceThe Secret HistoryBlack ChalkImage result for if we were villains

Who doesn't love some pirates? These are often witty, intelligent, morally grey characters and I say bring them on!

Examples: Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen (also this one works for retellings) (why am I blanking on other pirate books!?)
Alias Hook

Much as I asked in the previous topic: who doesn't like assassins? They're so clever and multidimensional and I need them.

Examples: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Image result for nevernightImage result for throne of glassImage result for red sister mark lawrence

Because what reader doesn't love books about their favorite hobby? It's just so magical and warm and cozy.

Examples: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Image result for shadow of the windImage result for invisible libraryImage result for The Thirteenth TaleImage result for Inkheart

This might seem odd, but I have a reason: one time I was perusing some of the most recent books I had read and realized that most of them seemed to have courtesans featured in one way or another and I realized, "hey, I really like these stories." And here we are. Give me the complex courtesan stories!

Examples: The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee (for a little bit), Courtesans and Fishcakes by James Davidson (nonfiction), Theodora by Stella Duffy

Image result for crimson petal and the white bookImage result for queen of the night bookImage result for courtesans and fishcakesTheodora: Actress, Empress, Whore (Empress Theodora, #1)

Whether the word "madman" is actually used in the title/synopsis or not, I love some stories with madmen. I like things a little crazy and unexplainable, and nothing portrays this notion better than off the wall characters that may or may not be doing morally questionable things.

Examples: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (if he's not a madman, who is?)
Image result for the madman's daughterImage result for dr jekyll mr hyde bookImage result for the turn of the screw book cover red i have seen

Castles are huge and often filled with endless hidden tunnels and secret rooms and secrets in general. And they're gorgeous. Have you seen a castle? Castles are awesome. (Mansions maybe be used as a substitute.)

Examples: Uprooted by Naomi Novik, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Image result for uprootedImage result for i capture the castleImage result for the turn of the screw book cover red i have seen

This seems vague, but Basically I love books that introduce me to a new culture of way of living. For instance, stories set in Asian settings introduce me to a variety of different Asian cultures, and I am simply fascinated. I want to know and understand as much as I possible can about the world around me.

Examples: The Favored Daughter by Fawzia Koofi, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, What is the What by Dave EggersThe Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee, Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai (why haven't more people read this one?)

Image result for the favored daughterImage result for the girl with seven namesImage result for what is the whatImage result for funny boy book

And because I can never seem to keep these lists to the designated number of ten, here is my final choice of epic fantasy. I love books of all genres and shapes and ideas, but I will always have some extra love for epic fantasy. I just love magical new worlds that are not my own.

Examples: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey, etc. etc..

Image result for the way of kingsImage result for the eye of the worldImage result for book the lord of the ringsImage result for kushiel's dart

Do you like any of these topics? What are some of your own "must-read" words?


  1. What a fun list! I especially love some of the books you've listed as examples - The Crimson Petal and the White, I Capture the Castle - I love those books and I don't normally see them around the blogosphere!

  2. I love boarding school stories as well, probably because of the "stuck with you" thing you mentioned. Pirates are always a fun topic. Have you read the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer? It's my favorite!

    Happy TTT!

  3. I love pirates and assassins. Great picks!

  4. Love this list! It totally mirrors my own - anything with dragons, courtesans, madmen or castles.... Those are the kind of books I need on my bookshelf!

  5. I liked Memoirs of A Geisha growing up, but now I really have issues with it. But reading outside your comfort zone is so important and I love reading about books set in Asia as well! It's such a vast place. I also enjoyed the Madman's Daughter, it was a lot slower than I expected, but I wasn't even mad!

  6. I absolutely love your list! I love books about dragons! Have you read Seraphina? I almost put boarding schools on my list too. Wonderful list!