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11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: They Get Me Every Time

Do you ever find yourself reading the same genre with the same premise/themes over and over and over again?  Do you ever wonder why you like what you like?  I do, too, which is why today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is so fascinating to me:  Top Ten Things That Make Me Immediately Want to Read a Book.  Besides wanting to read new books by favorite authors, there are certain fictional topics and themes that get me every time.  I've actually done this topic a couple times over the years so you can check out this April 2013 post and this one from April 2017 if you're interested in seeing how little my reading preferences have changed!

I'll spill those particular beans in a minute, but first, if you want to join in the Top Ten Tuesday fun (and you really do), click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl.  Read some simple instructions, make your own list, then have a grand ole time visiting other blogs.  It's a great way to find new blogs to love, add good reads to your TBR list, and spread the book blogging love.  Plus, it's FUN.

Okay, here we go with the Top Ten Things That Make Me Immediately Want to Read a Book:

1.  Family Secrets—I'm always intrigued by the tantalizing secrets lurking in the closets of families, especially in those that seem perfect from the outside.  Note:  I enjoy this topic in fiction.  In real life, you can keep your dirty laundry to yourself.  I really don't want to know.  In novels, though, bring it on!

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  Anything by Kate Morton or Joshilyn Jackson

2.  Creepy Old Houses—There's just something about a big, mysterious abode that sets my imagination of fire.  Especially if it's perched atop a rugged cliff near the sea.  The possibilities with this theme are literally endless.  Think hidden passageways, ghosts, secret rooms, forgotten bones, concealed treasures, etc.  Show me a creepy old house on a book's cover or anywhere in its plot summary, and I'll read it.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  Anything by Kate Morton or Carol Goodman

3.  Homesteading/Pioneers—On the flip side, I also enjoy books about pioneers who leave their creepy old houses to go West in search of land, freedom, and new starts of all kinds.  Something about a character battling inclement weather, poverty, opposing forces, etc. in order to eke out a life in a wild land appeals to me.  Must be my Mormon pioneer heritage that draws me to these kinds of stories.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, and Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

4.  World War II—I love historical fiction and this event/time period is one I just can't stop reading about.  No matter how many WWII novels I read, I always want to pick up more.  It's an endlessly fascinating topic and time period.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, The Diary of Anne Frank, Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

5.  Adoption—Adopting my daughter has been an incredible, life-altering experience.  I'll never not want to read about adoption, whether it's non-fiction guides on various aspects of the process or novels about adoptees searching for their birth families, this topic always reels me in.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

6.  Amnesia/Traumatic Brain Injury—For some reason, I also find this topic irresistible.  From psychological thrillers to murder mysteries to domestic dramas, I love me an amnesia/TBI novel.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

7.  Survival Novels, Especially in Severe Environments of In the Wake of Some Kind of Disaster—As big a wimp as I am, it's kind of surprising that I enjoy these types of books so much, but I do.  Whether they're memoirs or novels, I dig a riveting survival story.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf, Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer

8.  Virus/Disease Outbreaks—Again, I'm not sure why this topic intrigues me so, but it does.  I find outbreak books (both fiction and non-) both horrifying and hard to put down.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier and Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

9.  Hoarding—Having books stashed and stacked in every corner of your house doesn't count as hoarding, right?  Asking for a friend ... I'm always engrossed by books about this condition.  It's fascinating to read about the psychology behind the disease and how people cope with it.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omolulu

10.  Small Towns—Cue Bruce Springsteen.  I was born and raised in a beautiful little town that's not nearly as exciting as most fictional villages.  Still, I love me a small town setting, especially if it's filled with quirky characters, loving (if nosy) neighbors, and some simmering secrets that are about to be uncovered ... Be it quaint, hardscrabble, mysterious, or somewhere in between, a small town setting is always going to get me.

Favorite book(s) in the genre:  the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny, the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr, and the Big Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani

So there you have it, ten themes/genres that I just can't resist.  How about you?  What topics/settings/genres pull you right in?  If you've read any great books that fit into my favorite categories, let me know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor.

Happy TTT!       


  1. Creepy old houses and homesteading both made my list, too. As did survival novels. But I love that you included a favorite book for each genre. Wish I'd thought of that. :D

    1. True confessions: I read your TTT post before I even realized it was Tuesday! Some of your topics definitely inspired my own. That's why I love your blog so much -- we have similar reading tastes, but you also recommend books I never would have picked up otherwise.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

  2. I love books about creepy, old houses, too.

    My <a href="“>post</a>.

    1. They're the best, aren't they? There are just so many possibilities lurking in those creepy corridors :)

      Thanks for coming by, Lydia!

  3. Oh I enjoy a lot of these too! Family secrets, small towns and amnesia always make me want to pick up a book!

    1. I know amnesia books are totally overdone, but I don't care. I love them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by!

  4. I'm not surprised we have some similar favorite topics! I can never resist Family Secrets or creepy old houses! I like amnesia and hoarding books too though I don't think I've read enough of them to realize it! I'm adding the books you recommended to my list!

    1. Ha ha. Me neither! Great minds and all that :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks! I could have added a whole bunch more to the list, but I restrained myself :)

      Thanks for coming by!

  6. My husband loves WW2 :)

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT to say hi!

    1. It's a difficult subject to read about in so many ways, but it's also one I find completely fascinating. Glad I'm not the only one :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I'm prone to family secrets as well, and virus/ disease outbreaks- ooh that's a good one. I need more of those! I never seem to get enough amnesia stories either lol.

    I'd love to read more homesteading/ pioneer type stories.

    1. I've been on the lookout for more homesteading/pioneer/western stories. If you read any good ones, let me know. I did just check LONESOME DOVE out of the library. I've read it before -- and loved it -- but it's been a super long time, so I figured it was time for a re-read.

      Thanks for coming by, Greg!

  8. I’m a sucker apocalypse and post-apocalypse novels (especially not YA) like the Road or the Last Policeman. On a related theme, I love zombie themed books. I’m also drawn to unreliable narrators (Challenger Deep or Home) or even unusual narration styles/narrators (Book Thief or the 5th Season). Always a sucker for dark and lyrical (Neil Gaiman). And probably should include alternative history &/or steampunk. Oh yeah, fractured/twisted fairytales,too. (I’m too lazy to even think of examples here)

    1. I actually haven't read THE ROAD or THE LAST POLICEMAN, although I've seen the movie version of the former. I'm also a zombie fan, most of the time. I'm not surprised by your other likes, although I would have thought you were into more sci fi/fantasy books ...

  9. I may have spent my early years (0 - 13) in Brooklyn, NY, but my teens/college years were spent in a one-square mile town. So, I have a soft spot for small towns.

    1. It's funny -- when I lived in my hometown, I just wanted to leave it. Now, I'd love to live there!

      Thanks for stopping by, Samantha.

  10. I'm a sucker for books with maps or compasses on the covers. Actually, I think most books ought to have maps inside, but an exploration theme attracts me every time. I don't go looking for WWII books, but I've recently enjoyed Beneath a Scarlet Sky and Dear Mrs. Bird. And Lovely War is exquisite.

    1. Oooh, there definitely is something intriguing about a map and the promise of something being explored and discovered. I totally agree.

      I haven't read any of the WWII books you mention, although LOVELY WAR is one I want to get to soon.

      Thanks for coming by!

    2. I don't read all historicals but I do gravitate to WW II era historical novels. The Nightingale being a favorite. I can't handle survival stories... they stress me out! LOL

    3. THE NIGHTINGALE is so good, isn't it? I've read tons of WWII novels and it's one that definitely stands out.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Oh, yes! I love WWI & II books as well as small-town settings and outbreaks/dystopian type books. Great list! Thanks for stopping by as well. :)

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

    1. For some reason, I'm not as enamored of WWI stories as I am of WWII. Not sure why. Maybe I just haven't read enough of them. I should remedy that.

      Thanks for coming by!

  12. I love your adoption gategory. I am adopted and those books always interest me too. Did you read Far from The Tree by Robin Benway? So wonderful!

    1. I didn't actually love FAR FROM THE TREE, although I did like the premise. My daughter has a number of bio half-siblings out in the world, so the book definitely made me think of her :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  13. I love your top ten. I was thinking more generic, so I like that yours is more topic oriented. I didn't get to mine yesterday, but hope to do one today.

    1. I've done this TTT topic a few times, so I was trying to think of different categories than I've used in the past. Glad you enjoyed them :)

      Thanks for coming by!

  14. Creepy old houses - sign me up!

    1. Right? I can't get enough of 'em! In fiction anyway. In real life, I probably wouldn't be so eager. LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Great list! I can relate to a number of ideas that you listed, but I'll add the book's cover. I'll admit a good cover can get me to pick up a book and a bad one can make me skip it.

    1. Agreed. I love me a beautiful book cover. And, you're right, a terrible one can make me skip a book altogether. Book covers are definitely important.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  16. Great list! I love books about creepy old houses, it's the perfect setting for a good horror/thriller story.


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