Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Topics that Instantly Make Me Take Interest in a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the people over at The Broke and the Bookish and today's topic is "Top Ten Words/Topics that Instantly Make Me Want to Buy/Pick Up a Book".
I haven't participated in TOP 10 meme for a while, but this week's topic caught my interest.
Without further ado:
1.  Time folding - Mixed up timeline - One book, different times - Multiple POVs
Basically, the messier the better :p I have huge attraction to narratives that are non-linear, cut, mutilated, folded, and then put back together.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, The Hours by Michael Cunningham (TBR), Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (currently reading)
2.  Epistolary novels
Stories presented in form of letters, notes, e-mails, telegrams, newspaper accounts, text messages, diary entries, transcriptions, et cetera. I find that intriguing.
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Dracula by Bram Stoker (TBR)
3.  Stories set in a mental institutions - Mentally challenged characters
Not sure what that says about me... :p
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (multiple POVs with one of the narrators being a mentally challgened young man), Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
4.  (Later) Soviet Era - Concentration camps
It probably has something to do with the fact that I hail from a post-Soviet country.
Stalin's Cows by Sofi Oksanen, Gulag by Anne Applebaum (non-fiction), Sakhalin Island by Anton Chekhov, a bunch of books in Estonian that I'm not even going to list
5. Genies - Jinn
This is a new discovery, but the jinn I have encountered in books so far are hilarious. Snarky, patronising, with chill-out attitude and in general, very very funny. Books with some jinn definitely pique my interest (I might even have to search for some!)
The Bartimaeus books by Jonathan Stroud, Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
6.  Androgyny - Mixed up genders
Since I prefer taking people as persons instead of dividing them into men and women, I think that is why such books interest me.
The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (TBR)
7.  Snowy, icy, cold environments
As is appropriate for the child of the North. And suitably, I am not very attracted to books set in very warm places (deserts and such).
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg, A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin
8.  A Touch of Magic
So, these are not necessarily classic fantasy, and not even full-on magic realism books, but those that kind of look like your average next door contemporary/fiction story but with a little hint of magic.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, almost anything by Haruki Murakami, The Magus by John Fowles, Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (TBR so I assume it's one of those books), Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (TBR)
9.  Highly disturbing possible scenarios for future
Basically what I mean here are classic dystopias (not young adult ones, which I know are hugely popular, but I haven't read them).
1984 by George Orwell, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
10.  Odd/non-conventional/funny family dynamics featuring over-the-top quirky characters
Really nothing to add, hilarious families like those we have seen in TV (like Wes Anderson films, Arrested Development).
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (I want to re-read that one NOW!), The Amber Chronicles by Roger Zelazny, Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, Franny and Zooey (and the whole Glass family) by J. D. Salinger


  1. Hmmm... haven't read many books set in mental institutions - does 'Rachel's Holiday' by Marion Keyes count?!

    1. I haven't read any Marian Keyes so I have no idea :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. If you love mental institutions, you should look into The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. [If you haven't] I absolutely loved it! Great list
    <3! New follower
    Beth | The Reading Vixens
    Vixen's Top Ten!

    1. Thank you for the recommendation! I left a comment to your list too. :)

  3. I like epistolary novels too! As long as they're done well, they can be such a great and different reading experience.

    1. Yep. Interesting thing, I couldn't really come up with many of them, although I am fairly certain I have read plenty.

  4. It's a little weird, but I also like books set in mental institutions and concentration camps. I think it's because they feature such INTENSE life/death struggles that it's hard to look away. I'm glad I'm not alone in this :)

    1. You are absolutely right. They also give us a chance to take a quite good look into human mind, with all its positive as well as negative aspects.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, I checked out yours too :)

  6. Love that you listed Genies/Djinn - Bartimaeus - those books are so good I plan to re-read them. I've had Alif the Unseen on my list to read and plan to bump it up the list now.

    Time twists are on my list too but I love the way you describe it - loving complicated books! Not familiar with those books but I plan to check them out.

    Here's my top ten list

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment. I also feel like re-reading Bartimaeus books. I enjoyed Alif the Unseen immensely, but am yet to write a review about it.

  7. I just picked up the new book 'The Golem and the Jinni' and can't wait to read it -- might be a good one for your list!

    1. Coincidentally I just learned after I finished by TOP10 about "The Golem and the Jinni" and have already my eye on it :) Cool that you will read it too.

  8. I also enjoy numbers 6 and 10, very interesting list!

  9. I definitely agree with numbers 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. I wish I'd thought of the snow one myself, because that's definitely something that draws me in! And I love that our reading tastes are so similar! I've read and enjoyed a number of books you mentioned (Life After Life; Cloud Atlas; Where'd You Go, Bernadette; The Night Circus; The Handmaid's Tale; Franny & Zooey). And knowing that, I'm excited to look up some of the other titles you included!

    1. High-five for similar tastes :) I did try to add books to this list that I looove, although I haven't read The Night Circus yet (it's on my shelf - maybe I'll add it to Bout of Books readathon week, I suspect it is a fairly fast read).


Leave a comment if you feel like it - it warms my little bookish heart. :)