Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top 10 Things On My Reading Wish-List

Every week the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish host a fun list-making link-up. This week's prompt is the top 10 things on your reading wish-list, i.e. time period, type of plot, issue tackled. I think I went a little out-of-the-box with my answers, as they are all pretty broad... but oh well.

My list is by no means a must-have list, but rather things that I enjoy and appreciate in a story -- and that may make me more likely to pick up a book.

1. A happy ending.
I'm a sucker for happily-ever-afters -- the couple gets together, the bad guy is caught, all is well in the world. Of course not every book can have a happy ending, but I feel content and resolved closing the back cover on the ones that do.

2. A dog.
If you read my blog even once in a while, you know that my husband and I are just a wee bit obsessed with our boxer, Conan. And that's reflected in my reading. I will always pick up and read the jacket summary of a book with a dog on the cover.

Some of my favorite dog-related books are:
-"The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein
-"Dog On It" by Spencer Quinn
-"The Dogs of Christmas" by W. Bruce Cameron (my review)

3. Knitting.
I'm a knitter myself so, as with dog-themed books, I'll always give a book with yarn on the cover a second glance. Unfortunately, though, I haven't really read many good knitting books. I've been disappointed by the cozy knitting mysteries I've read, and while I read the whole series I didn't love the Friday Night Knitting Club books. I did come across "The Wishing Thread" on another blog and I'm excited to read that -- perhaps it will finally strike my knitting fancy.

4. A good, solid mystery that's not too predictable, but is actually solveable by the reader.
I love mysteries, but I hate when the culprit turns out to be someone we as readers were never introduced to or whom we were never given the proper clues to identify. It's fun to be fed a crumb trail of clues -- with some red herrings thrown in, of course -- and guess who the killer is before the big reveal. It stinks when you find out toward the end that the bad guy is some crazy ex-boyfriend we never even knew about. Conversely, it's annoying when the mystery is too easy and readers can easily solve it from the outset.

5. A likeable, relatable protagonist.
I have actually stopped reading books simply because I hated the main character. I can't stand protagonists who are naive, vain, snobby, overly weak or clueless.

6. Humor.
Books that make me laugh out loud always get extra points. Not all books are meant to be humorous, but I appreciate authors who can add a little levity to a serious story.

These books made me LOL:
-"Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson (review)
-most of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series
-"Mad About The Boy" by Helen Fielding (review)

7. Teach me something.
It's always nice to learn something under the guise of reading an engrossing tale. I haven't read a ton of non-fiction but the memoirs and biographies I've read seem to fit the bill. And I've read a ton of fiction that's based in fact and from which I've gained all kinds of knowledge that I wouldn't otherwise want to spend the time researching.

A few examples:
-"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand -- WWII (my review)
-"A Walk In The Woods" by Bill Bryson -- the Appalachian Trail (my review)
-the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books by Rick Riordan -- Greek and Roman mythology

8. Set in locations I have lived or want to visit.
Stories set in locales I dream about visiting are always appealing. I love books set in cities like New York, Seattle, London, Paris... And it's always fun to read tales that take place in familiar locations, like Colorado or Florida.

9. Food.
My husband and I love to eat, and thus I love to read about food. Books like "My Life in France" by Julia Child and "Paris in Love: A Memoir" by Eloisa James are full of mouthwatering descriptions. After reading James's book, I am now determined to get a hot chocolate in Paris.

10. Fosters a cozy ambiance.
Back in October I wrote a post called Books For a Blustery Day. Some books -- Gothic tales, historical fiction, mysteries, ghost stories -- just make you feel snug and warm and cozy. It's the "It was a dark and stormy night..." effect.

So we have 10 things that I enjoy -- or wish for -- in books. What makes up your literary wish-list?


  1. I had some of the same items on my wishlist! I agree with the dog one, too. I have a miniature dachshund and have always thought some main character somewhere really needs a doxie. :) By the way, have you read A Dog's Purpose (also by Cameron) - it's a great dog book.

    1. Funny you should mention "A Dog's Purpose." My mom actually gave me that book for Christmas maybe three years ago because it's obviously one I would enjoy... and it has been sitting on my bookshelf since then, waiting for its turn! One of my goals this year is to read more of the books I already own and fewer library books, and that book is at the top of the list! I'm glad you liked it. :)

  2. I agree that I love when you learn something from a book without fully realizing what is happening! And Unbroken was definitely a great book for that. I also like the idea of a complex but solvable mystery! I used to read these Clue books when I was younger (like based off the board game) and liked that sometimes (though not always) I could figure out who did it!

  3. Great list! Your number one is key for me. I have a tough time with books that don't end at least reasonably happily. Re your second wish, I'm more a cat person than a dog person, but I do enjoy stories with pets - well, dogs and cats anyway (and the occasional hedgehog). I can also relate to 3 and 4, as you know! Really, I think the only thing on your list that wouldn't particularly appeal to me is food, and it's not that I mind reading about food, just that I don't feel a strong attachment to food-themed books. Thanks for a good, varied list that made me think!


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