Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I don’t consistently participate in these, but the prompt for last Tuesday was too good to miss. So here is my top ten. Better late than never.
- A Beautiful Cover: No matter what the old adage says, covers are important, because as another saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Personally, I’m a sucker for covers with gold accents. Some examples include Circe by Madeline Miller, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor and The Binding by Brigid Collins.
- Representation: I want to read books that offer different perspectives to my own. Sure, I like to read about people that are like me sometimes, but the world is full of so many different people with different experiences. I like to read stories where different ethnicities, cultures, religions, sexualities, genders, abilities & disabilities exist. Especially when they are normalised, so the book isn’t just about those intersectionalities. Some great examples are Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore, and Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant.
- Cool magic systems: I love good, solid worldbuilding, and my favourite thing is an interesting magic system. I love exploring worlds based on cool magic. A couple great examples are Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone and An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard.
- Multiple Points of View: I like reading the events of a story from more than one point of view. I don’t mind whether it’s first or third person narration, but I like being able to witness events I would otherwise miss if I was only following one character. Some good examples are An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
- Buzzwords in the synopsis or title: There are certain words that almost guarantee I’ll pick up a book. Some of these are: necromancy, plague, alchemy, assassins, gods, witches, and cats. Some books that had me hooked with a single word were The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, Circe by Madeline Miller and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
- Non European settings: There have been plenty of fantasy novels set in generic European settings, and I want to travel the world when I read (because I’m not going anywhere in real life anytime soon). Some of my favourites are The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco and The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi.
- Retellings: I love retellings. Picking up a familiar story is like putting on a really comfy pair of worn in shoes. I know what to expect, and I can be pretty sure that I’m going to have a good experience. Some great examples are Stain by A.G. Howard and To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo.
- Standalone: I’m more likely to pick up a book if it’s a standalone, rather than a series. A great example is The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes.
- Antiheroes/Villains/Morally Grey Characters: Look, I love a hero, but often antiheroes, villains and morally grey characters are much more interesting to read about. There’s so much more angst behind every decision when the road isn’t clear cut. Plus their arcs have so many more possibilities than a hero. A couple examples of this are Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and Vicious by V. E. Schwab.
- Good Reviews: Even if something doesn’t sound like it’s going to be my cup of tea, I’ll give it a try if I’ve seen good reviews, especially if there are plenty of them. Some books I’ve picked up because of good reviews include Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
What are some things that influence whether you pick up a book? Are any of them the same as mine? Let me know in the comments below!