Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed post hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week features a different theme/prompt for which you come up with a list of 10 books/ideas. This week’s theme is top ten things that instantly make you want to read a book. This can be pretty much anything: words in a title, topics, recommendations from certain people, etc. There are quite a few things that draw me into books, so this should be a pretty easy topic for me!
I’m such a sucker for time travel. Not even just with books – I love anything that incorporates time travel into it. There are so many possibilities for what can happen and where and I’m endlessly amused by people from current times traveling into a different time period and having to hide the fact that they have no idea how to live in that society.
This was something I didn’t even realize I was into until I read A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. But wow, I loved it. I think this is kind of similar to time travel, but it has the added possibility that the main characters will run into other versions of themselves which is really cool to me. Now if I know a book has inter-dimensional travel, it pretty much immediately goes on my TBR.
I’ll admit it: I totally judge books by their covers. That’s why they get all decorated, right? So we can judge them? I don’t necessarily refuse to read a book if it doesn’t have a nice cover, but I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that I’ll sometimes pick up a book or add it to my TBR based on the cover alone, without having any idea of what the book is actually about.
Those of you who have followed me for awhile know that dystopian books are some of my favorites to read. So if a book has dystopian themes, even if it isn’t the book’s main focus, it pretty much immediately gets added to my list. I will forever be entertained by books with corrupt and/or overbearing governments, especially when said governments are brought down by teenage girls.
I find it really interesting to imagine how different our world could be if one historical event ended differently than it did in reality. The tricky part about alternate history is that, as an author, you have to make sure you handle the topic well and don’t sensationalize/glamorize horrible historical events. But if it’s done well, these stories are amazing reads.
Ever since I was in middle school I’ve loved reading books that have LGBTQIAP characters in them. At the time, YA was mostly only gay white boys, but now the genre is a lot more inclusive of other sexualities and gender identities (although there’s still a lot of work to be done). I think my fascination with these characters comes from a lack of understanding of my own sexuality, honestly. It can be really comforting to read about other people figuring out their sexualities when you’re still unsure of how to precisely define your own.
Books that are really popular almost always end up on my TBR. I might not actually read them for a ridiculously long time, but I still want to read them. Sometimes this results in me adding books to my TBR that I was not the least bit interested in when I first heard about them, but this has ended surprisingly well for me. I’ve actually found some favorites this way, including Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde.
Discussion of “Tough” Topics
I really, really love reading books that deal with really tough topics, as long as the book handles it well. This is another interest of mine that goes back to middle school. I’ve always loved reading books that talk about things like mental illness, drug abuse, sexual assault, etc. I admit that some of my original favorites would probably make me cringe with how poorly they handle the topic, as I’m definitely more aware of that now than I was 10 years ago. Regardless, I love reading books that explore these kinds of issues.
Setting I’m Familiar With
I can 100% admit that there are books on my TBR that I would not care about at all if they weren’t set in my home state of Connecticut. I love reading books that have settings that are familiar to me, even if they aren’t actually real places (for example, The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati was set in a fictional town in CT). Just the fact that the book is set somewhere that’s modeled after a place I actually know makes the book a lot more fun for me.
This kind of ties into the whole “tough topics” theme, although I’ve read very few books that actually deal with anxiety. There are way more YA books that talk about depression, at least in my experience. But ever since I read Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde and saw social anxiety represented (and represented so well), this has become another thing that, once mentioned, gets a book added to my TBR immediately. I’ve dealt with social anxiety for about a decade so it’s really comforting to me to read about characters who are dealing with the same type of problems, even if their anxiety isn’t only social.