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 Grisham; Feathers 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.
(Favorites: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; The Hollow City by Dan Wells; Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson)
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.
(Favorites: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys; The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little; Orleans by Sherri L. Smith)
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!
(Favorites: Adriana Trigiani's adult books; anything by Maeve Binchy; The Truth About Love & Lightning and Little Black Dress by Susan McBride)
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.
(Favorites: Tomorrow River by Lesley Kagen; The Memory of Water by Karen White; The Truth About Love & Lightning by Susan McBride)
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!