10 Things That Make Me Want to Read a Book
Happy Tuesday, Readers! This week those who are participating in Top Ten Tuesday are ready to share what makes them excited to pick up a book. A lot of these also serve as an insight as to what is likely to be a five star read for me. Let's dive in, and let me know if any of these are items that similarly inspire you to dive into a story.
1. An Instabuy Author
Most people have one. At this point in my life I have many, but when I was in college, and when I was just out of college and flat broke most of the time, I still bought the newest Stephen King hardcover whenever one came out. While I was always more than happy to have the public library support my reading habit, there is a certain kinship as a reader with some authors that just their name on the cover is enough to make you want a copy for yourself.
2. A Fully-Developed, Plucky Heroine
I can’t say that simply having a lady steering the narrative is enough to make want to devour a book. While I have no issue with romance being a large part of our leading lady’s life, I’m not a big fan of that being the only thing she has going on for her (sorry romance novels). Anytime I come across a book where it seems like we have substance, moxie, motivations outside of just romantic relationships, or a unique set of skills, I’m in. That’s why I keep coming back for more Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, and Flavia de Luce.
Secondary girl boss characters also get my praise so here’s looking at you Hermione Granger, Julia Wicker, and Inej Ghafa.
3. Awesome World Building
Promise me a fully formed brand new world and I’m going to want to jump in feet first, ready to explore all the author can deliver. Notable world builders include Sarah J Maas, J.K. Rowling, Pierce Brown, Lev Grossman, Daniel Price, Erika Johansen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Garth Nix, and Laini Taylor. All of these wordsmiths dropped me into a book with vivid settings, deep background work and rules that make sense.
4. Dystopian Societies
My first introduction to dystopian fiction was Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World, soon followed by 1984. And man, was I equal parts fascinated and horrified by exploring these “what if” adventures down into the worst-case scenario rabbit hole. Later I was dazzled by The Hunger Games trilogy and really enjoyed the first two books of the Divergent series, the Uglies series, and the Delirium Trilogy (what is it about later ya books that it all falls apart?) I read my way through the Matched trilogy and The Selection trilogy with mixed results, but overall it’s the kind of book I always get excited to pick up.
I have a family member who never liked the Harry Potter books because the content was “so silly and hard to believe.” I am here to tell you that in defiance of my logical mind, I believe in my heart of hearts in the world of Harry Potter and The Night Circus. It’s only a matter of time before I get the chance to go visit.
I love reading about well-crafted magic and in settings that dazzle and tickle all of your senses. I love when words alone conjure the scent of butterbeer or the texture of a fabric, like in Caraval. I love the difficult and cerebral magic of The Magicians Trilogy and the dream magic of The Raven Cycle. Give me a book full of well thought out magic, and I’m yours for the taking.
Next to YA, (which ecompasses a wide variety of genres within that broad genre) the genre that is most common of my shelves is mystery. I get an equal thrill from trying to solve the mystery before the main character does, as I do from letting the mystery roll along, happy to watch everything unfold without knowing what exactly the solution or reveal will be. That being said, I truly love dark, twisty mysteries that have the power to fool me. B.A. Paris, Clare Mackintosh, and Sarah Pinborough delivering some of my most recent favorites. But cozier mystery vibes are welcome too, with all of Alan Bradley’s Flavia books on my shelves, and the entire Her Royal Spyness series in my Audible collection.
7. A Dazzling Cover
It’s painful to admit but if the book has a great cover design I am that much more likely to pick it up. Over the course of reading hundreds, if not thousands of books, I understand that there is no correlation between a great cover and a great book. In fact, I’ve been duped more than a few times in the past year by a well designed book that didn’t deliver and equally remarkable story, and some boring covers hide the most exciting tales. But I am a sucker for pretty things.
Some great designs that did deliver are The Female of the Species, Dark Matter, and Exit, Pursued by a Bear.
8. Funny Females Telling Their Stories
Like most people, I’m a big fan of the well-known ladies of comedic television, I mean, what’s not to like? But what makes me even more interested in what writer/actors like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling have to share is that once upon a time I thought I would be an improv star. After getting my BFA in Theatre I moved to Chicago intending to work my way up through Second City. After a single semester I realized it wasn’t the life for me, but I still love walking the path of other women who did it, especially through the pages of a book. I have Amy Schumer’s book on my TBR pile and am hoping to hear from more ladies in the field.
9. Body Positive Books
It should come as no surprise that the lady who hosts a body positive book club might be interested in books with body positive content. I loved the bold and terrifying world of Dietland, the heartache of Holding up the Universe, and the triumph of Dumplin’. I appreciate and internalize the voices of Lindy West and Jessamyn Stanley, and I can’t wait for Roxane Gay’s Hunger.
10. Books About Writing (Especially from Favorite Authors)
As a writer I’m always curious about how other people do their work, specifically I’m the most curious about how the write their novels. I love my job with the newspaper, I love blogging here on my own blog and occasionally contributing to other outlets, but my biggest writing goal is complete a novel. Over the past few years books like On Writing, Bird by Bird, and Story Genius have all had an impact on how I go about attempting whatever my latest novel in progress is. Surpsingly, Lauren Graham’s memoir has been the most helpful, in introducing me to the kitchen timer method.