Top Ten Words That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blogging prompt hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I don’t participate every week, but I join in when I find the prompt interesting. This week’s topic is words or topics that instantly make you pick up a book. Now, I’m not gonna lie. I’m a very eclectic reader, so these might seem a little wacky when I put them all out there. You’ve been warned.

  • Proper names in the title. I don’t know why I instantly feel more connected to a book if I know the protagonist’s first and last name without reading the jacket copy. Especially if the name is a bit funny or odd, I’m going to be intrigued. Recent examples include The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand (my review) and The Miseducation of Cameron Post (my review)
  • Stars. There’s just something about a night sky full of twinkling balls of gas light-years away that captures my interest. I was sold on For Darkness Shows the Stars (my review) before I realized it was a futuristic retelling of Persuasion. I was already in love with Karou in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but Days of Blood and Starlight (my review) is pretty much my favorite title ever—it just sounds so EPIC.
  • Music. Right now I have Beautiful Music for Ugly Children and A Little Wanting Song checked out from the library. I dig queer lit and I loved Cath Crowley’s Graffiti Moon (my review), but I would have been interested in those titles regardless because I dig books that have some connection to music.
  • Tragedy. I love me some tragedy. Every once in a while I’m in the mood for something fluffy and fun, but I always come back to darker stories with bittersweet endings.
  • Teen dating violence, sexual assault, rape. Like I said, I’m not normally in the mood for light reads. I’m slowly making my way through my list of books on the topic and always have my eyes out for more. I think books on these topics are extremely important to create dialogue about consent and positive, healthy relationships for teens. I also think it’s extremely easy to mishandle these topics, so I like to investigate for myself. If a book focuses on this subject, I’m going to read it eventually.
  • Vampires. These may not be en vogue any more, but I liked vampires before they were cool and I always will. I may not read every book that features these paranormal creatures, but I’ll pick it up and consider it, especially if it’s a new spin on the mythology behind their existence. I’m still looking for something as fun and engrossing as Dead Until Dark.
  • Feminism. I regularly browse through new titles on this subject, whether they’re something like Gaga Feminism or something more serious, I’ll at least pick it up and read the summary.
  • Gritty. If the book is described as chocked full of grit, I’m usually game to give it a try. Sometimes I like light and fluffy and fun, but more often I gravitate towards darker fiction.
  •  Queer. Dude, I will almost automatically pick up a queer YA title. My favorites from last year were The Miseducation of Cameron Post (yes I mention it as often as possible) and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (my review).
  • Epic Fantasy. A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have said this, but I’ve luckily discovered how amazing and engrossing epic fantasy can be. Though I end up enjoying some more than others–Graceling (my review), Finnikin of the Rock (my review), and Vessel (my review) are favorites–I am going to consider anything labelled as epic fantasy.

What words or topics make you automatically pick up a book? 

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Words That Make Me Pick Up a Book

  1. Really interesting list, Molly! I think the only one I’d automatically agree with is epic fantasy, although as I read through your list I realized that I liked/wanted to read a lot of the books you mentioned! I do prefer darker books over lighter, but I’m not sure about gritty. That implies a whole other level to me. I definitely want to read more feminist and queer books (I have The Miseducation of Cameron Post on my Kindle and plan on reading it very soon!).

  2. Music and Epic Fantasy are two big ones for me too! (Although, I forgot to put fantasy on my actual list. Ah well.) Your list is exceptional. I really like the proper names in titles. I’ve never thought of that but I do pick up books like that often.

    My Top Ten
    Alex @ The Book Banner

  3. I love your list. All of these reasons would make me pick up a book, except perhaps the first. I hadn’t heard of that one on anyone else’s list, so it’s definitely very unique :) It doesn’t turn me off to a book, it just doesn’t make me grab it right away. But it must do that for some people, or else they wouldn’t do it.

    I’d say what I’d add is probably Macabre & Horror to the list.

  4. You’re the second person I’ve seen mention the full, proper name thing. I never thought about it, but there is something appealing about those kinds of titles, isn’t there? Maybe that it promises you’ll get to know a character really deeply or something? Not sure. I do find them intriguing, though!


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