Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make Me Pick Up Or Buy A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make Me Pick Up Or Buy A Book.

I can't say that any of these topics are to me like a bell is to Pavlov's dog, but any of these words or topics will at least make me more likely to take a closer look:

10. Romanov - The story of Russia's last royal family is both fascinating and heartbreaking.  I enjoy reading both non-fiction and fiction titles about the girls especially (though the fiction titles can be hit-or-miss); The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller is the best fictionalized account I've read so far.

9. fairy tale retelling - Some of the best ones I've read (for young readers, anyway) have been by Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted, Fairest).  Sometimes fairy tale retellings just don't work for me (see Sarah Beth Durst's Ice or Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Crazy Beautiful).  But it seems that, with this genre anyway, I'm willing to try again.  There are some gems out there (Diana Wynne Jones's Fire and Hemlock, Robin McKinley's Beauty, Jane Yolen's Briar Rose, and Orson Scott Card's Enchantment all come to mind).

8. alternate history - I haven't read too much in this genre yet, but I would like to.  What I have read has ranged from the good (Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox) to the dismal (The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson).  I think I might like to read some steampunk... and that would definitely fall into this category!

7. doorway/portal to another world - I really like stories where the world of the fantastic intersects with our own world.  Books like 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson or The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly had plots that incorporated this idea.  Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favourites in this vein (and yes, there is an intersect... but it was left out of the movie so many people don't even know about it).

6. time travel - As long as they're not too heavy on the science-fiction, then I really like time-travel stories.  A book like Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife fits into this category.  So would a book like Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall.  No time machines, no crazy high-tech futures that usurp the plots.  Just interesting takes on the implications of living in a non-linear fashion.

5. alternating points of view - Sometimes it's fun to see the events from more than one point of view.  Bonus points if the author can actually make it seem like two or more different characters are narrating (it's obviously not as easy as it seems).  A fun example is Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey.

4. verse - I'm a sucker for young adult novels written in verse.  They're quick reads (but often with some of the most thought-provoking themes and plot twists).  Lisa Schroeder's books (I Heart You, You Haunt Me, Chasing Brooklyn, The Day Before) are some good examples of this genre done well.

3. island - There's something about the insular, restricted nature of an island that makes for some interesting plot possibilities.  Check out Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson for some good examples.

2. reincarnation - Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  But if the subject matter involves reincarnation at all, I'm usually intrigued enough to give it a try.  One of my favourite books in this vein is My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares (yes, the "traveling pants" author).

1. stand-alone - What can I say?  I'm tired of sequels for the sake of sequels, and series for the sake of selling more books.  I appreciate it when an author can make their point and tell a great story in just one book.  That's not to say that sequels don't have their place.  But sometimes I just want to read a story and get some resolution without having to spend a ton of money and time to do so.  Many of my 5-star reviews are stand-alone titles (or were stand-alone titles).  Among some of my favourite stand-alones: Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis and Room by Emma Donoghue.


  1. I love your list! Reincarnation is a really interesting subject to read about. Have you ever read incarnate by Jodi meadows? It's a fantasy book (with dragons!!!!) but he people are all reincarnated. It's pretty interesting!!!

  2. I agree with so many on your list. The stand alone in particular. I too am kind of sick of trilogies, particularly those that could have been wrapped up in one book. Also books in verse. The more I read them, the more I enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by my TTT.

    LisaILJ @ I’ll Tumble for YA

  3. Wow. You really put a lot of work into this list this week. I want to share that one of my favorite books of all time is The Book of Lost Things. I've never seen it on anyone else's list. Way to go!

  4. I love your list! I would say I'm a fan of almost all of your choices!

  5. Amazing Awesome list, New Follower. I totally forgot about verse, time travel, reincarnations, and stand alones. I loved Room, Time
    Travelers Wife, anything by Lisa Schroeder, and Miss Peregrine. Thanks for sharing and visiting my TTT. =]

  6. Time Travel - that's definitely one that I wish I put on my list. So many from your list I wish I had put on mine. Great list :)

  7. Fairy tale is on my list too, and I agree that Fire and Hemlock is a gem! I definitely need to read more alternate histories!