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broodings from the burrow

April 2, 2019

top ten tuesday: must-read traits
posted by soe 1:08 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us about the things that automatically make us want to read a book. I rarely will buy a book based just on these things (with a couple exceptions), but mostly these are things that will get them added to my TBR list or maybe my library request queue:

  1. Written by favorite authors: Pretty much if J.K. Rowling, Barbara Kingsolver, Jasper Fforde, or Rainbow Rowell write a book, I will buy it with no further recommendation needed.
  2. Heists. I love heists on the screen and on the page.
  3. Set in places I’ve lived or places I’ve visited. With the latter, it’s because being able to picture a place intimately is a huge plus. With the former, it’s both because I love to see these couple places represented well and also a little bit because I want to catch an author out in what they’ve gotten wrong. I’ve put down books set in my D.C. neighborhood because they described the Dupont Circle fountain incorrectly or because they referred to M Street in Georgetown as being townhouses. (Rudi and I have mulled whether I could generously give this one to the author, and I have not given up the idea of returning to it, particularly as I bought my copy of the book and had it inscribed by the author.)
  4. Epistolary novels. I love me some letter writers.
  5. Found families. I love it when a disparate group of individuals comes together to take care of each other.
  6. A personal recommendation from someone whose book opinions I tend to agree with: My folks are usually pretty good with what they recommend to me. My best friend, Karen, although we’ve both had some notable misses. My friend Amani, who early in our friendship let me tag along with her to a bookstore only to remark later that I was the first person who didn’t make her feel rushed in her favorite sections. Raidergirl3, because I think we value a lot of the same things in the books we like.
  7. Feminism. I like strong women, or women who become strong through the course of the story.
  8. Retellings — of fairy tales or classic stories. Updated takes. A change in point of view. Sherlock Holmes stories tend to particularly suck me in. And Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series falls a bit into this through the Bookworld bits.
  9. Children’s stories in translation. They sometimes take me a while and oh my god I hated Bronze and Sunflower, but I always like to give them a shot.
  10. Authors as main characters. Either featuring fictional authors, or fictionalizing real authors (such as Stephanie Barron’s series of mysteries with Jane Austen as the protagonist).

How about you? What automatically makes you want to read a book?

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