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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!

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Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Title Words That Always Catch My Eye

As book lovers, we spend hours feasting on deliciously-crafted sentences, but do we ever consider the individual morsels that make up a tasty word string? I do and I don't. I mean, I like words and wordplay, but I don't spend a lot of time contemplating things like which words are my favorites. Do you? If you do, you'll have no problem with today's TTT prompt: My Top Ten Favorite Words. As for me, I'm going to have to twist things up a bit. When it comes to the books I read, there are definitely words in a title or plot summary that always catch my eye. So, I decided to comb through my Goodreads TBR lists and see which ones show up most often in the 1331 titles there. I realize some of these may be more about title trends than my particular preferences, but it's still kind of interesting. Let's just go with it, shall we?

If you want to join in the TTT fun (and of course you do!), click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

My Top Ten Favorite Words to Find in a Book Title (According to My TBR Lists)  

1. Girl

This one shows up 139 times on my list. I think this one has more to do with title trends then anything else, but still, I do tend to read books with female protagonists.

2. Home/House

One hundred eighteen titles on my list have "home" or "house" in them. Makes sense as I love atmospheric Gothic novels, juicy domestic thrillers, and shivery ghost stories.

3. Mystery

This word mostly shows up in subtitles or the name of a series, but still, you all know that I love me a puzzling mystery. One hundred seven of the titles/subtitles on my list contain this word.

4. Book

Like a lot (maybe most) of you, I enjoy books about books. It's not exactly a shocker, then, that "book" shows up in 83 of the titles on my list. I'm actually surprised it's not more than that.

5. Life

Another word that's not exactly a head-scratcher. Most books deal with life in some way, right? It makes sense that "life" is part of 79 titles on my list. 

6. Murder

No detective is needed to figure out why "murder" appears 71 times on my lists. I'm a mystery lover after all.

7. Story

Like "life," "story" is what reading is all about. I don't care what genre it is, if a book tells a riveting story, I'm in! This word shows up 67 times on my TBR list.

8. Last

There's something mysterious about the word "last," isn't there? It calls to me. Fifty-one times, to be exact.

9. Dead

Again with the murder mysteries. "Dead" comes up 50 times on my list. That's it??

10. Night

"Night" is also a mystical sort of word. It's prominent in the mystery/suspense/thriller genres as well as in a lot of historical fiction. It appears 49 times on my lists.

Edited to add: I was in a hurry when I posted this list, so I forgot to add some of the other most common words I found among my TBR titles: 














There you go ten (ish) words that I dig in a book title. Which titular words always catch your eye? Do you have favorite words? I'd love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. Intriguing. I'm sure that "book" and "story" would be common words for me, too.

    1. I'd guess it would be so for most bookworms! We love books about books and anything that tells a great story.

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

  2. Oh wow, this is such an interesting idea! I know that murder and book would definitely come up pretty often in mine as well, but now I'm curious to see what else!

    1. I wish Goodreads had a function that would just search out the most frequently used words in my lists (although it would probably be "the" or "and"), but it doesn't, so I had to guess at what they would be and then search. Not very scientific, but oh well! It was fun.

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

  3. Book & Library are probably two common words on my lists. Along with murder and mystery.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!
    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    1. I have several murder mysteries on my list that take place in libraries :) Makes sense since all of the words you mentioned are buzzwords for me! It's even better when they're combined in one novel.

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

  4. Ooo! I love this twist! You should share it with TTT. We all need to do it. I love all your choices. Girl always catches my eye. So dies lie, lying, lies.

    1. Good idea! I'll submit it to Jana and see what she thinks :)

      Oooh, I didn't even think of lie(s). It's probably a popular one, too, since lots of mysteries center around a lie or two (or ten).

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

  5. I like how you did this! Yes Girl seems to show up a LOT. Mystery does too, at least in some older books (I've been looking at my old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys lately, so maybe that's why I'm seeing it a lot lol.

    Dead and Night seem pretty popular too, not sure what that says about my reading choices :)

    1. I've heard lots of complaints about the "girl" title trend and I get it, but I also understand that "girl" is snappier and more evocative than "woman" or "lady," especially in a mystery title.

      Ha ha. My tastes are a little dark, too, apparently :)

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

  6. Very fun how you did this one! I like your added in words: secret, woods, storm, dark. Those words in a title always draw my attention. :D

    1. They're very tantilizing title words! Even better when they're all combined into a gripping story :) My favorite kind of read for sure.

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

  7. OOh nice choices! I think Dead would appear a lot in my inventory list! Possibly a few Nights too! Lol!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

    1. It seems that those words are popular among most genres. I find them in both of my favorite genres—historical fiction and mystery/thriller—but they're also common in sci-fi, fantasy, PNR, etc. Lots of us find them irresistible :)

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

  8. Very interesting twist. It makes me curious what words are most common in the titles of the books I have on my TBR or that I've read...

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. It was a fun exercise, although there weren't too many surprises in the mix. I guess I know myself pretty well :)

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

  9. I love that you pulled words from book titles - so cool!

    1. I enjoyed the topic, so I'm glad others have too :)

      Thanks for popping in, Laura!

  10. Neat twist on this week's topic, Susan. Secret and sisters would make my list, but probably murder and mystery would make it the most often.

    Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today.

    1. I hear you! I'm always up for a good murder mystery too.

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

  11. Now I want to see what words I would find in my books. I think I'd see Sisters, Love and Home quite a bit.

    1. That wouldn't surprise me since we seem to like similar books, although I don't read much romance. I do have a few love titles in my lists, though.

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

  12. This was a really great way to tackle the prompt this week! It's really interesting to see which words seem to hit the title trends. I think I probably have an awful lot of 'girl's too!

    1. "Girl" seems to be very common in titles these days, especially in mysteries, thrillers, and historicals. Interesting.

      Thanks for stopping in, Louise!

  13. A great list! It is interesting to see what words catch our attention. I have to admit that I don't often think about favourite words, but I did enjoy making my list!

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    1. Even though I couldn't think of any of my own favorite words, I enjoyed reading other people's lists this week. And I agreed with so many of them!

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

  14. Great twist, Susan. I am guessing if I did this, I would find many similar words as I love books about books, bookstores or libraries. Mysteries are a favourite genre for me as well. I read a lot of books about families, secrets and sisters, so I think our lists would be similar.

    1. I think they would be, too. We seem to like a lot of the same books. That's one of the reasons I love visiting your blog so much :) You always have great recommendations!

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

  15. I love how you chose to tackle this week's favourite words, I never thought of using my TBR pile! :D

    1. I'm glad the idea came to me because NOTHING was coming to my mind for favorite words. I mean, I love words, but I've never really thought about which are my favorites, you know? It was fun to see everyone else's lists. I learned some great new words and was reminded of many that I already love.

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

  16. Great way to do the challenge, Susan. The main word is, of course, book, we are all drawn to that, right?

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week which is about my favourite names of places, locations that sound like a dream.

    1. I've yet to meet a bookworm who doesn't like books about books. They're just so relatable for us!

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

    2. Me either. Would be weird, right?

  17. The trend that sticks out most to me in your words is relationship. So many of them have to do with family, which doesn't surprise me one bit.

    1. Yes! I noticed that, too, and it does make sense as relationships are super important to me. I think certain titles appeal to me simply because I am a daughter, sister, mother, and wife, and I know how complicated and valuable all those relationships can be.

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

  18. I am loving your list and am drawn to many of these same words in titles.

    1. I think they're all pretty common title words that appeal to lots of people. That's why they're used so often, I guess!

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

  19. I love the twist on this topic!! A lot of these words get a lot of us. :)

    1. True! I wonder if publishers do studies on which titles sell best and why...I would be interested to know.

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

  20. Love this twist!! And I am guessing at least half of these words (easily) will be on a similar list for me too.. I am going to go check it out for myself now.. My TTT is here

    1. Did you try it on your lists? Which words did you find? It's an interesting exercise, isn't it?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lady in Read!

  21. Interesting! It's never occurred to me to check my TBR, but I suspect Bookstore would be a top word on my list 😁.

    1. I can't resist books about bookstores, libraries, bookmobiles, pack librarians, etc. They're so relatable. I love reading about my favorite hobby!

      Thanks for popping by, Lucy!

  22. Love this! I think dead is definitely a word that draws me in as well.

    1. Right? And it's popular in most genres, I would think. Maybe not contemporary romance, but I don't read much of that anyway. Ha!

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

  23. Great idea! I think any word related to murder would be high on my list and I think house would as well because I love anything involving houses - haunted, renovating, decorating, inheriting, etc.

  24. I found you and I agree that we have similar tastes. I don't have a rating system, but I do warn readers about books that have inappropriate language or graphic sex or violence. I would want to be warned! I don't do any of the many challenges, but I always follow Carla's adventures and enjoy seeing how she is faring with the challenges. I look forward to reading your reviews.


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