Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Makes Me Pick Up a Book


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!

This week's topic is: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

There are a lot of things that make me pick up a book, so only cherry-picking a few was difficult. Nonetheless, I went with some of the key phrases/words/descriptions that tend to make me excited about picking up a book. I think this was a topic a few years ago so I might have some repeats (?), but if I don't remember them, then I'm assuming no one else will, either. :)

1. An eye-catching cover

Vita NostraThe Bloody Chamber and Other StoriesThe Silent CompanionsIthaca: A Novel of Homer's Odyssey

Look, let's start out with some honesty here--who's going to pretend that they've never been drawn to or picked up a book because of the cover. We all know we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but why shouldn't we? Artists are hired to created gorgeous artwork so that we do find ourselves drawn to the cover. If the cover didn't matter, then why is such care taken in creating a cover? I'm not saying anyone should judge a book solely on its cover (I love some books with pretty awful covers!), but I am saying...it's reasonable. Never underestimate the power of a beautiful cover.

2. Non-western fantasy

The Wolf in the WhaleJade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)Master Assassins (The Fire Sacraments, #1)Rosewater

I love classic western European fantasy, of course, but what I've been really enjoying is the influx of non-western fantasy over the past few years. I would love if we could just have fantasy from all over the world, every country included. Obviously I know fantasy exists all over the world, but I'm also sure there's a lot from countries that have never been translated into English. I wish I could learn all the languages, but sadly I cannot. I've been particularly enjoying various Asian-inspired fantasy and can't wait to find more in the future. I also realized that I don't think I've ever read any fantasy from anywhere in South America (that I know of)--has anyone else?

3. "Inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Peter Pan"

The Child ThiefAlias HookHeartlessQueen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga, #1)

I am always going to look at these. Always. I might decide I'm not interested after reading as synopsis, but I will always look uop a book that has anything to do with these two books. They are my favorite because they can easily go fun and lighthearted or incredible dark in no time. There is endless inspiration to be taken from these.

4. Libraries


NightbooksInk and Bone (The Great Library, #1)The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1)The Thirteenth Tale

Give me all the libraries! Magical, not magical, overflowing, old, dusty (okay, maybe we can skip the dust? my allergies are bad), books in all formats, fiction, nonfiction--I want them all! If a library plays a central role or is featured on the cover, I'm in.

5. Anything "locked room"


And Then There Were NoneAdriftOne WayBalam, Spring

I love locked room-type stories. If you're not sure what that is, a locked-room mystery is essentially a story that usually takes place in one specific location with a specific group of people who are all stuck together--think Clue and And Then There Were None. I'm not entirely sure what it is, but these stories always make me ridiculously happy. Something about them feels cozy in a weird way and I love the opportunity to just sit with a specific group of people and watch them handle everything. That sounds little weird now that I type it out, but it's true. Also, has anyone seen the 1985 movie Clue? It's one of my all-time favorite movies.

6. Purple prose (okay, some)

The Queens of Innis LearIn the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1)The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)

So this one has some caveats, but in general I'm really drawn to authors that use exquisite, (00) prose, or what most people might refer to as "purple" prose. I wouldn't want all of my books to be like them, but reading great prose reminds me why I ever fell in love with the written word and how magical words can be all because they are strung together in a certain way. It's amazing how words can be arranged in such a way that it sounds lyrical and flowing, simply effortless.

7. Folklore/Fairy Tales--bonus points for inns!


The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1)Once Upon a RiverSpinning SilverThe Toymakers

It's not secret that I love anything related to folklore and fairy tales, whether it's an original story or a retelling or simply written with that influence. I also really love a good inn and since they tend to pop up in these sorts of stories, that combo is going to be a huge hit for me.

9. Wolves/animals in general.


The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1)The Wisdom of Wolves: Lessons from the Sawtooth PackThe Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World

Fiction, nonfiction, I don't care. Just give me animals! But if anything unnecessarily bad happens to these animals, I will riot. And cry. A lot.

9. Unique formats


The Wicker KingIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)S.House of Leaves

I'm always drawn to books that have some special formatting, such as with Illuminae, House of Leaves, S.. There's something extra creative about books that do this and it creates such a stronger and memorable experience for the reader that I love. Even if the story itself doesn't work out, I'm still appreciative of the effort to experiment and try something new.

10. Haruki Murakami


Killing CommendatoreDance Dance Dance (The Rat, #4)What I Talk About When I Talk About RunningColorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Okay, I sort of added this one as a joke, but it's also very true. I'll read anything Murakami writes. Diary entry? Absolutely. Grocery list? Damn right. A treatise on the state of paint drying? Still here for it. I want the cats, the food, the existential ramblings, the calm way in which he writes everything...I'm just always going to want to read it.

Bonus: Long Journeys & Dark Academia!
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)To the Bright Edge of the World
The Secret HistoryBlack ChalkIf We Were Villains

I didn't include these in the rest of my list because 1) I ran out of numbers, and 2) I feel like my love for journeys and dark academia might already be known (or not, in which case, now you know!). I want all the dark academia and if you ever have any recommendations for them, I implore you to let me know so I can read them. The Secret History is one of my all-time favorites. I also love a good, long journey, so I'm always picking up fantasies with that premise.

What things make you immediately pick up a book?

25 comments:

  1. Great list! I haven't jumped onto the dark academia bandwagon yet but I feel like I need to, because I think I'd love it. I love non-western fantasies, too, and locked room stories are so compelling!

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    1. You should definitely check it out, I promise your world will never be the same (in a good way!). I read locked room stories so quickly because of how compelling they are, I love it. :)

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  2. I've been loving non-Western fantasy books as well lately!

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    1. Awesome! So many people love them, which I think means we need more!

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  3. One of my favorite lists I've seen today so far. YES to animals, fantasy, libraries and covers. And like you, if an animal dies a horrific and senseless death, I've been known to dock a star in the rating. My heart just can't take it!

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    1. Oh I'm so glad! And seriously in regards to the animals--that's the only reason I am occasionally hesitant to read them, haha. I am way too sensitive of a person.

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  4. I love locked room stories as well, especially if they take place in space or in an old house. If you haven't read Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty, that's a top notch space thrilleršŸ˜

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    1. Locked rooms set in space are some of my favorite, I will absolutely be looking up Six Wakes now! Thanks for the rec!

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  5. I like purple prose, too.

    My <a href="http://www.lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-things-that-make-me-pick-up-a-book/“>post</a>.

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  6. I love a book with a unique format! Years ago, I read a book called Holly's Inbox which was told completely through email exchanges. Mixed Media is also a draw for me. Recently, I read Every You, Every Me by David Levithan and it has pictures as part of the storyline. Really different and interesting.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

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    1. Those both sound really neat, I'll have to look into them! It's so fun when authors try out new things.

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  7. Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber'!! I commend your exceedingly good taste :)
    Great list. So many books to explore. I particularly like no.3, and no.7 is dear to my heart. Same here with animals, 'The Wisdom of Wolves' is on my to-buy list. Have you read Barry Lopez's 'Of Wolves and Men'? Some parts are difficult to read, man's relentless cruelty to these beautiful creatures. But its a well-written, well-researched book.
    My TTT: http://bit.ly/T10Tues

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    1. Haha, thanks! I haven't read Of Wolves and Men, I'll have to look into it. I really enjoy reading about wolves, so that one sounds really interesting to me. It's so disheartening how so many people treat wolves, but it's important to have information on everything.

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  8. This real life librarian thanks you for including LIBRARIES as a must! I love many such books as well. Nice post!

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    1. Thank you for being a librarian, you guys are the real heroes! I couldn't live without my library. :) Thanks!

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  9. Clue is awesome! Ha ha I love that movie. I need more locked room stories. also libraries of any shape or variety. Cozy ones in an old estate or magical ones are even better.

    There's something about a long fantasy journey as well!

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    1. Yes, someone else has seen it! I swear so many people I meet have no idea it exists. Your comment makes me consider that we might need a locked mystery set inside some sort of library, that would be a neat book! Magical ones are the best.

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    2. Ooh that's a great idea. Maybe a library cut off from the rest of the world, and they have a time limit to find the murderer. Ha ha! Or anything really as long as libraries. :)

      And yes I may need to do a Clue re- watch now!

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  10. I like locked room mysteries, too - it always fascinates me when I KNOW the killer has to be one of those people, and yet I can still never figure it out.

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    1. Same here! I always think it has to somehow be obvious at some point, but it rarely ever is.

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  11. Haha, I've never read anything by Haruki Marukami, but I know what you mean about how there are some authors you'd read anything they wrote.

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    1. There's just something about certain authors that make it necessary to read everything they write, haha. Michel Faber is another one of those for me.

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  12. Yesss to unique formatting! I'm always looking for more books like that, so I'll be checking out your recs. (also animals -- I'm surprised I haven't seen that one more. They've been my favorite subject since I learned to read.)

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  13. Great choices! Vita Nostra looks like it's going to be fantastic.

    Check out my TTT and my current giveaway

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