This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is a pretty open-ended one: what qualities make us instantly want to pick up a book? (Or at least look it up to check reviews, or add it to my to-read list.) My list is pretty random, but below are 10 things that never fail to make me take a look at a book!
1. A pretty cover. Oh yeah, I'm a cover-judger. I'm a very visual person and a beautiful cover will always get me to pick up a book and read the blurb. I especially love covers with illustrations (as opposed to pictures of real people) and pops of bright colors.
2. Books about books/libraries/bookstores. What reader doesn't appreciate a good bookish book?! Books are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, and it's nice to read a book once in a while in which the main character is just as much of a bookworm as me. (Some favorites: "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" by Gabrielle Zevin, "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.)
3. Set in England, France, Ireland, Scotland or Russia. These are all places I desperately want to visit, and usually books set in these locales are imbued with a wonderful sense of atmosphere! (Some favorites: anything by Kate Morton and Tasha Alexander, "In the Woods" by Tana French, "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles, "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon, the list goes on and on.)
4. Set in Colorado or Hawaii. Because it's fun to read books set in places you're familiar with, and these are the two coolest places I've lived! (I've only come across a couple, so I'd love some recommendations!)
5. WWI/WWII. Despite my husband's military career I'm a bit of a pacifist, so I don't know what it is that draws me to war novels, but some of my all-time favorite books have been set during the world wars. Maybe it's that most of the stories feature themes of courage, strength and perseverance. (Some favorites: "All the Light You Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr, "I'll Be Seeing You" by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan, "Letters to the Lost" by Iona Grey.)
6. Dogs. I'm a dog mama, and books about dogs (or with a dog on the cover) will always catch my eye. (Some favorites: "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein, "Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him" by Luis Carlos Montalvan, anything by W. Bruce Cameron.)
7. Sci-fi/fantasy. It's funny, a few years ago I'd probably never picked up a book in one of those genres, but now they're quite possibly my favorites and I actively seek them out. Any well-recommended sci-fi or fantasy novel (especially if it has to do with something like magic or time travel) catches my interest. (Some favorites: "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown, "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline, "Uprooted" by Naomi Novik.)
8. Set in a cold place. This gets me every time! I love reading books that take place in locations like Alaska and Antarctica! I wouldn't actually want to be one of the book characters freezing my butt off in rugged remoteness, but I definitely enjoy living vicariously through them. (And I do totally want to visit Alaska and take an Antarctica cruise one day.) (Some favorites: "To the Bright Edge of the World" by Eowy Ivey, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple, "Burial Rites" by Hannah Kent.)
9. Recommended by a trusted fellow reader. I have a couple friends (plus my mom) and follow of a few bloggers who have pretty similar reading tastes to me. And if they love a book, I'm 100% going to check it out.
10. 4+ stars on Goodreads. If I type in the title of a book that intrigued me and it pops up with a rating of over 4 stars, it almost definitely goes on my to-read list. Of course I don't always agree with other readers, but generally a rating over 4 stars means it's going to be well-liked by almost every type of reader.