Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Bookish Buzzwords or Favourite Qualities in a Book

Hey everyone! It seems now I've dipped my toe back into the blogosphere I just can't stay away, so here's another post (only two days after the last one!? *cue general astonishment*). As you can see from the title, this will be a Top Ten Tuesday post (a weekly meme hosted, as always, by The Broke and the Bookish), and this week we have a free choice of topic.

I've seen a few BookTube videos lately called 'Bookish Buzzwords', in which people talk about the words used to describe books that make them immediately want to read them. (Sorry if that's a confusing way of putting it... I blame revision for my lack of eloquence! :P) Since I can't think of that many words that do that for me, I've also decided to include my favourite qualities in a book, that will normally make me enjoy a book more.

So yes, waffly introductions aside, let's get to it!

1. Time travel

This is probably the biggest buzzword for me. If a book or film has time travel in it, it automatically makes me want to read it that little bit more (or a lot more). This also works for films and TV shows. I just think it's really cool and I love how different authors tackle the subject in different ways. Some take it really seriously and are really careful about the consequences of the characters' actions, while some just have them do whatever the heck they want (I'm looking at you Back to the Future)! 

2. Food

This is a pretty big one too! The first book I remember reading where I the setting and descriptions really came alive for me was The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson, and that was 99.9% because there were so many descriptions of cakes. Seriously, delicious food descriptions are a winner for me every time. I'm currently reading the Song of Ice and Fire series, and though lots of the food in those books is a little weird, I often find myself drooling over it anyway. 

3. Talking animals/animal friends

This one probably applies more to past-me's tastes, but it's still up there with my top bookish tropes. Think the daemons from His Dark Materials, think Hedwig from Harry Potter, think the direwolves from ASOIAF... Pre-teen me (and adult me!) would eat that stuff up!

4. Books that make me cry

Paradoxically, I tend to try and avoid books I think will make me sad, but if a book has the power to make me well up then it normally sticks in my memory. I guess this is kind of the opposite of a bookish buzzword, as books described as tear-jerkers don't tend to appeal to me before I read them... But they're the ones I end up remembering the longest.

5. Flawed characters

I don't necessarily mean characters I don't like (though sometimes it does!), but if a character is just too perfect it doesn't feel real. To me, a character who is totally perfect and has their life together is so much less interesting than a character who struggles with their flaws.

6. Mystery

While I really like straight-up murder mysteries as a genre, I also love when books in other genres have mystery elements too. It doesn't have to be a murder! Any kind of puzzle-solving, slow-revealing-of-clues scenario is really interesting to me, and if the reveal is done well it can make a book stick in my head for years to come.

7. Magical realism

Particularly if it's done well, this can be a really fascinating!

8. Something sinister

It's difficult to put my finger on exactly what I mean by this, and it's another thing that I don't necessarily seek out from my books, but books just tend to make a stronger impression on me if they have a dark and sinister undertone to them. One of my favourite childhood books The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett is a perfect example of this. It's for young readers so it's not gory or graphic, and yet it still has this sinister atmosphere of threat that makes the book really powerful.

9. Inventiveness

Of course, all creative writing is inventive, and some genres lend themselves more readily to inventiveness than others. But there is just something so amazing about reading a book full of ideas that feel completely new. 

10. Humour done right

Making me laugh is a sure way for a book to make me re-read it again and again. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Three Men in a Boat and anything by P.G. Wodehouse are winners for me.

So there you have it! My Top Ten Tuesday list for this week :) Let me know what your bookish buzzwords/favourite book qualities are in the comments below. And be sure to link to your TTT post if you did one :) Thanks for reading!


  1. Time Travel is one of my big ones too for books, movies, or tv!

    Check out my TTT.

    1. Yay! Glad to find another time-travel nerd! I didn't even realise I had a thing for it until recently..Big lightbulb moment for me :P

  2. Time travel gets me too!

    1. It's so great isn't it!? :D Thanks so much for reading!

  3. Humour is a big one for me. Some of my favourite reads have been sad books, but I don't find that I always feel sad at books that are meant to make me cry, that one is kind of hit and miss. Of course I like inventiveness in a book, the more new the ideas seem, the more I'm likely to like the book. Flawed characters are the best! No one wants to read about a perfect character! I love talking animals/animal friends too!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/top-ten-tuesdays-5/

    1. I agree about not always finding the supposed-to-be-sad books all that sad.. I was pretty non-plussed at the The Fault in Our Stars for example, and I only gave it a try because everyone was saying how powerful and emotional it was. Oh well! Glad you agree with so many of my suggestions ;) I'll be sure to check out your list :) Thanks for commenting!

  4. Time travel and mystery put together make any book a must-read!

    1. I agree! Time-travelling detective would be the best combo ever <3


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