Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top Ten Things That Will Instantly Make Me Want to Read a Book


It's been a long time since I participated in a Top Ten Tuesday! I can't think why I've waited so long, since I adore making lists (I sometimes make lists just so I can cross things off. Does anyone else do this?)

Anyway, this week's Top Ten topic is a good one: top ten things that will instantly make me want to read a book. Here are a ten of the literary keywords and topics that will normally pique my interest:

1. The Victorian time period. I love the Victorian period -- books written in the Victorian period, nonfiction about the Victorian period, and often, recent fiction set in the period. I'm incredibly glad I didn't live in that time -- I like modern medicine, sanitation, and women's rights, thanks very much! But I do love reading about it.

2.  The war at home. I love the WWII era, though not so much the actual battles -- I'm far more interested in how the war affected people and their everyday lives. I've mostly read books set in Great Britain but other countries are fascinating as well.

3.  Between the wars. I love reading about the 1920s and 1930s, again, mostly British, but American books are fun too. There are so many great stories set in great country houses, kind of the last gasp before that lifestyle began to fade. 

4.  Country houses.  British or American, mysteries or dramas, I love when groups of people are together in the country. Stories tend to be about the upper classes but I love reading about the whole upstairs/downstairs dynamic.

5. Books set on trains. I love, love, love train travel, and I love the idea of disparate people thrown together. Books set on long sea voyages and hotels also fit this category.

6. Books set on boats. I haven't done much sailing or cruising but I love the romance of boats and the sea. I'd love to go on a long sailing voyage someday, though I have no idea whether I'd be seasick or not! 

7. Books set in Scandinavia. I've developed a fascination with Scandinavian TV dramas and it's made me really intrigued with Scandinavian books as well. I read the first volume of Kristin Lavransdatter earlier this year and just loved it. I've read some crime fiction but I'm interested in literary fiction as well, either in translation or just set there. 

8.  Books with food. I have a culinary background and worked in some professional kitchens, mostly baking, so I always love when books have a lot of food descriptions in them. 

9.  Middlebrow women's fiction. Not highbrow but not trashy enough to be lowbrow, middlebrow are the often forgotten books that fall in the middle. Frequently the authors' works are out of print, but some are being rediscovered -- if you've ever read Persephone and Virago books, that's middlebrow. Now there's even new imprint from Dean Street press called Furrowed Middlebrow, curated by the blogger of the same name. For a great list of 100 great Middlebrow Books, see here. 

10. Small town life. I grew up in a pretty boring suburb, then spent years in a large city, so I've never really experienced life in a small town. I love stories about communities where everyone knows everyone -- I'd probably hate it in real life, but it's fun to read about.

Bloggers, what keywords immediately pique your interest in a book? And do you have any suggestions for me from this list? 

15 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever read a book set in Scandinavia. I've visited (And fallen in love with Norway, but am yet to pick up a book set in the region.

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    1. I'd LOVE to go to Norway! (preferably in summer). There are a lot of very popular Scandi crime novels but some of them are very dark. I do like the Icelandic crime series by Arnaldur Indridason.

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  2. Books with food are my weakness too. I run a monthly link up for reviews about them too.

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    1. I'll have to explore your link-up -- I love books that have lots of food descriptions and food memoirs.

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  3. I could pretty much copy and paste this list to come up with my own. Don't think I've read enough books set in Scandinavia to make it a category... yet. ;-)

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    1. I've really been into Scandinavia the past couple of years, a co-worker got me hooked on a Scandi mystery series called Bron/Broen which was made into an American series called The Bridge and a British/French series called The Tunnel. This led me to Borgen and a bunch of other Scandi dramas, they're really good. I'm really hoping to visit Scandinavia in the next couple of years.

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  4. These are also favorites of mine! Trains are so romantic. At least oldtimey ones. http://mwgerard.com/top-ten-tuesday-things-that-make-me-want-to-read-a-book/

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    1. I loved your list! I need to read more Gothics and books with time slips.

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  5. I completely agree with #2! I'm not interested in the battles, either, but the rest is fascinating. What are some of your favorites about that time period? I really love The Distant Hours and Winter Garden.
    Also, YES to books with food!! I love making, eating, talking about, and thinking about food, but I don't get to read about it nearly enough, haha.
    My TTT

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    1. The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton is really good, and I also loved the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard -- there are five books in the series but it actually starts before the war and continues through the aftermath. I also loved Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.

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  6. I'm trying to think if I've ever read a book set on a boat or train that wasn't a mystery ... hmm ...

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    1. That's true, I think my love of books set on trains and boats must have started with Agatha Christie and Murder on the Orient Express! Traveling on the Orient Express is on my personal bucket list.

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  7. I completely agree on numbers 1-5 and 9. I see you recommended The Slaves of Solitude. I just read a review of it and decided it was a book I must read. It is in my online cart right now.

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  8. Good list. Middlebrow literary fiction is brilliant and due for a huge revival.

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