Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers!


April 30: Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book.

I chose more topics and sub-genres, because there aren’t a lot of single words that make me pick up a book. Any and all interesting/intriguing titles in a section of a bookstore I read (which is most of them) will earn a closer look.

1. Animals. Especially cats or dogs, but really anything where animals intersect humans. The books are often funny, touching, and/or inspiring.

A man afraid of snakes trying to find a record-breaking snake for prize money.

A man afraid of snakes trying to catch a record-breaking snake for prize money.

2. Books. Yes, I like to read books about books. (What avid reader doesn’t?) Book collections, book lovers, or how a book changed someone’s life will also merit another look.

Stealing is wrong, people.

Stealing is wrong, people.

3. Fairy tale twists. I love seeing someone rewrite an old story. How do they update it? What do they change? Keep? And there’s nothing wrong with a motorcycle riding, werewolf hunting Red, for example.

Saw this at a bookstore and thought of Red before I saw the cover.

Found at a bookstore. Doesn’t that title make you go ‘Hmm’?

4. Grim reapers. Especially when treated with humor, and told from the reaper’s point of view. It’s tough to be Death.

But someone's got to do it.

But someone’s got to do it.

5. Pride & Prejudice sequels/spin-offs. I’ve talked about my love of P & P enough, I think.

Look at this one! It makes me smile.

Look at this one! It makes me smile.

6. Sherlock Holmes. I’ve read and re-read much of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works. I can see why his fans threatened the poor man when he tried to stop writing about Holmes.

And here's a bunch of fans!

And here’s a bunch of fans!

7. Steampunk. I’ve read 50 of the 100 Best Steampunk Books list on Goodreads, I like it that much. Alternate realities are fun! As are goggles and dirigibles.

And so many of them have pretty covers!

And so many of them have pretty covers!

8. Unicorns. Less the standard kind, and more the ones with attitude. I read a book about a killer unicorn when I was young, and I suppose it warped me for life.

That horn isn't decorative.

That horn isn’t decorative.

9. Weird fiction. I was introduced to this genre by China Mieville, and much of what I’ve read is his books, but I’m gradually expanding that.

Embrace the weird.

Embrace the weird.

10. Zombies. Braaaiiinnns… I’ve found so many varieties of excellent zombie books out there, that I’m going to pick up any book about zombies. If it has an interesting variant, I’ll read it.

Grim but fascinating.

Grim but fascinating.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

5 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    Hi, Caitlin! I’m finally feeling well enough to catch up on my blog browsing again. Glad I picked Tuesday. Love your list, and will check out the link to The Broke & The Bookish, too. I plan to check the books you listed, as well. I already enjoy Christopher Moore, though I haven’t read this one. Hey, that’s a lot of Steampunk. Which would be your favorite five, say, of the ones you’ve read? I’ve only read Vampire Empire and a YA series that sniffs around the edges of Steampunkiness. But I’d like to read more.

    I read Angelfall, btw, and liked it well enough to want to read the next one, though I haven’t yet.

    Thanks for a fun post!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Good to hear!
      The B & B is definitely worth a look–they have some good reviews there.
      I’m almost finished with Angelfall–I’ve been almost finished for a while, I don’t quite want Penryn’s adventure to be over yet. The next one isn’t out ’til October!
      Hmm… Top Five. These will do:
      1. Soulless, Gail Carriger (there’s 5 books in the Parasol Protectorate series, which is complete. This series is a bit light and funny, with vampires and werewolves.)
      2. Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Clockwork Century series, more loosely related books. A bit darker–steampunk with zombies.)
      3. The Scar, China Mieville (This # 2 of 3 books, but they’re pretty stand alone. I like the pirates in this one. The first is Perdido Street Station, if you’re opposed to reading things out of order.)
      4. Clockwork Heart, Dru Pagliassotti. (What does a steampunk courier need? Metal wings!)
      5. Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin (descriptive, romantic, a touch of magical realism.)

      • Marcia says:

        I’ve seen the Parasol Protectorate series. In fact, I think I have Book 1 on my To Be Read list. I’m definitely going to check it out. Thaniks for the others, too. Writing them all down!

        Yeah, I’m kind of OCD about reading any series in order. But that’s no problem. I’ll just find Book 1 of the Mieville series, and start with it. Glad to have the recommendations.

        I’m still fuming about the ending of Death’s Rival. Tomorrow, I will have the next book in my hot little hand, and will have to decide if I want to jump right back in or not. I really, really enjoyed DR. Thought it was by far the best in the series. So I probably will read it pretty quickly.

        Off to write for myself today. I’ve had a two week break, and it’s hard to get back into the swing of it again.I’m down to my last 2 chapters, then an epilogue, then I can start the big rewrite/revise/edit work, where I turn my story into an actual BOOK. I hope.
        Also need to get back to writing a few more poems, as I really would like to self-publish a slim book of poetry first, to learn the ropes.

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