Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TTT: They Get Me Every Time ...


Oooh, I love today's TTT topic:  Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up a Book.  It's going to be a fun one.  Before I get started, though, you need to know that this fabulous bookish meme is hosted by the fine ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.  If you haven't done TTT before, hop on over to their blog, get all the details, and join in.  It's a good time, I promise!  Okay, so words/topics on books that pretty much guarantee I'll pick them up:

1.  Adoption—Even before my husband and I became adoptive parents, I loved stories about adoption.  They made me cry, they made me hope, they just made my mother's heart happy.  Now, especially, I always nab up books—particularly novels—about adoption.  Given my tender feelings toward the subject, it's difficult for me not to be touched by these kinds of stories.


2.  Racial Identity—Although I'm so white my skin burns just from glancing at the sun, my beautiful adopted daughter has the creamy, milk chocolate-colored skin that can only come from a racially-mixed heritage.  Because she's being raised in a white family who lives in a predominantly white community, I worry about how she'll come to view the fact that she's bi-racial.  I'm hoping she'll grow up loving every aspect of herself, including her mixed ethnicity.  Because I think about these issues a lot, I'm always interested in books that examine racial identity, particularly from the point of view of characters who are, like my daughter, both Caucasian and African-American.  Also, books about interracial relationships, African-American history, the Civil Rights movement, racism, etc.

(Favorites:  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; A Time to Kill by John GrishamFeathers by Jacqueline Woodson; Jericho Walls by Kristi Collier; The Help by Kathryn Stockett

3.  Books—This is probably an obvious one, but I'm always drawn in by books about books, reading, and the love of literature.


4.  Small Towns—Books set in small towns always seem to appeal to me.  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I was raised in a tiny hamlet, complete with its own cast of quirky characters.  I love the quaintness and comfort such places exude, especially when they're just a cover for something much more sinister (in fiction, anyway).

(Favorites:  The Big Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani; The Grace Valley and Virgin River series by Robyn Carr)  

5.  Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic—Either of these adjectives will do it for me every time.  I've been loving on this genre ever since I read Hunger Games and, even though it's lost some of its oomph, I still salivate over new dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels.    

(Favorites:  The Hunger Games trilogy [The Hunger Games; Catching Fire; Mockingjay] by Suzanne Collins; the Under the Never Sky [Under the Never Sky; Through the Ever Night] series by Veronica Rossi; Ashes series [Ashes; Shadows] by Ilsa J. Bick; Orleans by Sherri L. Smith; The Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi; The Shades of the Moon series [Life As We Knew It; The Dead and the Gone; This World We Live In] by Susan Beth Pfeffer, etc.) 

6.  "Psychological Thriller"—Those words always lure me in.  I'm a sucker for a good, mind-bending adventure.  


7.  NOLA—Closely tied to #1 and #2, are books about Louisiana in general, New Orleans in particular  My adopted daughter was born near The Crescent City and has Cajun roots.  So, yeah, I'm always looking for more information on the history, culture and lifestyle of people in this vibrant area of the country.  Many novels are set in and around The Big Easy, so I've got a wealth of them to explore.  


8.  "Atmospheric"—This word makes me seriously giddy.  I will forgive plot flaws, cardboard characters, static dialogue and really, just about anything for a vivid, engaging setting.  Places in books can be just as swoon-worthy as the people!

(Favorites:  The Grace Valley series by Robyn Carr; The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr; The Truth About Love & Lightning by Susan McBride; The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

9.  Family Saga—I like family sagas for the same reason I enjoy reading books in a series:  you get to know the characters really, really well.  And family relationships are always so interesting to me, both in fiction and in real life.  As long as the family saga in question has an overlying plot that keeps the story from getting to stale, I'm in!


10.  Family Secrets—Closely tied to #9 is this phrase.  Tons of these books are published every year and while some are better than others, it's pretty much a guarantee that I'll pick up a novel that promises a good yarn full of juicy family secrets.  


What about you?  Which words/phrases/topics make you snatch up a book?  And do you have any suggestions for good reads that fall under the categories I listed?  You know I'd love to hear them!

28 comments:

  1. Psychological thrillers always get me too!! I don't think I've read many Family Saga books, but now that you mention them that sounds cool!! I gotta find some of those :)

    Thanks for stopping by My TTT

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  2. LOVE small town in books! There's just something about them that make for a great plot. People knowing too much, always in each others' business, the history of the town... so many opportunities for the book! Great list!

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  3. I have similar reasons to being attracted to books about racial identity as my children are biracial. My hubby is white and I am not. To Kill A Mockingbird is an amazing story.

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  4. Ohh small towns and family secrets great choices. Put them together and even better! Haha :) Thanks for stopping by my TTT.

    Sheri @ Perks of Being a Bookworm

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  5. Family secrets is a good one. I love books about books, too. And small towns. Great list!
    Here's my TTT

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  6. Wow great least! Definitely going to look in to some of your favourite books.

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  7. I knew I had to comment when you didn't list Tana French under psychological thrillers. Plus you listed Gone Girl instead. I can't say I liked that one, even though Flynn did an amazing job. It just left me with such a bad feeling. And I didn't like the ending, while still feeling like it totally fit the book.

    How about the Mitford series for small towns? And have you ever read More Than You Know, by Beth Gutcheon? Is very atmospheric.

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    1. Gah! How did I forget Tana French? I liked GONE GIRL mostly because it just totally played with my mind and I didn't see any of it coming. But, yeah, it's dark and very R-rated. As far as Mitford, I've read a few of them, it's just been a very, very long time. I haven't read anything by Gutcheon -- I think I better remedy that.

      Thanks for the recommendations! Can't wait to breakfast with you and R next week :)

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  8. Psychological thrillers are among my favourite kind of books too. I don't understand how there are people out there who don't like them!

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  9. Gah, everyone seems to love this topic, but I took one look at it and blanked! I can think of about three things that make me want a book and they are super vague (fantasy, dystopian, retelling). Ah well, I will enjoy others' posts!

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  10. Great list. Adoption and small towns are topics I wish I had thought to add to my list.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  11. oh I love 9 and 10 and 7 I never really thought of but it would be a a trigger word for me too. I also enjoyed how you tied in your daughter or reasons why you pick certain topics.

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  12. ooh, Maeve Binchy is my favorite author! amazing stories! i also like anything about new orleans as I'm from louisiana. and small towns, too, because the characters are always so much fun. ~daphne

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  13. I love it when books are really atmospheric! :) My TTT list: http://aliceinreaderland.com/2013/04/29/topicsword/

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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  14. Excellent list, and I love how you included titles for each one. Two of my favorite books this year fit into your racial identity category - Mudbound by Hilary Jordan and Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. Both were excellent.

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  15. I don't think I've actually read "Around the World in Eighty Days," but similar books reach out and grab me. I enjoyed "Around the World in 100 Days" and "MVP." I just picked up "Eighty Days," about a historical race between female journalists. I also have frequent dreams about hurrying to catch a plane. Maybe I want to read about people who succeed in their travelling adventures.

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  16. Great list. It's so different from others I've read. I really like the eclecticism of it. And, I like how it helps in your every day life too, like the ones about adoption and your daughter.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  17. Oh I never would have thought to include books about books but I should have. That is awesome. Thanks for stopping by my TTt.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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  18. Way to add examples! You go girl! I love your list. It's perfect.

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  19. I forgot books! So obvious, good point. Also very nice post, it seems you spent you time to give people great examples.

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  20. I LOVE so very many things on this book, but I think adoption stories always get me in particular. I definitely don't have the same background with that as you do, but those stories are (usually) so meaningful and I love.

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  21. I love that you've added favourites for each one! I adore books about books too.

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  22. I love your list! When you commented on my TTT and said that you adopt, I was so excited because I love when people adopt. And I'm with you there on racial identity. It would be great if the main character was something else than white one of these days. Great list!

    New follower :)

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  23. I love the examples that you've given for each category. I love books about New Orleans - I've never been there and it's not somewhere I'll be going in the near future (it's just a bit too far away from Australia). But I love the atmosphere that the locals bring in the books I've read set there.

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  24. Beautiful, it's SO nice to hear about your adopted daughter!! So nice. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog earlier!

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  25. I love your Top Ten. Dystopians always get my attention, and although I didn't think of Family sagas, I tend to love books that surround families.

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  26. I never really thought about it before but seeing "small towns" on your list made me realize that I like books featuring small towns, as well. Like you said, the quirky characters! They always add so much to a story :)

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  27. I love books about books, and for some reason, I'm drawn to books about small towns too (probably because I live in the suburbs). Anything that's a psychologically thriller that will mess with my brain is something I will HAVE to pick up (those are my favorite types of films too), and I fall for books with atmospheric, gorgeous settings as well.

    Great list!

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