Hello and happy Top Ten Tuesday, everyone! This week’s theme is ‘things that will make me instantly want to read a book’. Now, I’ve been superbly busy these past few weeks but I’m really glad to be able to bring to you my ultimate list of bookish green flags — and of course, if you think of anything that you want to recommend to me, go right ahead. 💚
1) A beautiful cover.
I realise this is super vague, but I promise you I’ve totally added books to my TBR without even really knowing their genre because they have a beautiful cover. Hats off to you, cover designers.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: I have yet to finish this book but my goodness, Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer has one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. 😍
This is one of those things that I hope I won’t have to put on a list several years into the future — like, it’ll just be so commonplace (i.e. think saying “I want to read books that have words”) it doesn’t even have to be mentioned anymore. But for now, on this list it goes.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: Hmm, I think I might go with Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star. That book has flaws but the two main characters are POC and gasp, it’s an interracial relationship.
3) Relatable experiences.
I’m not really a reader that needs books or characters to be relatable, but it’s always a bonus when they are! For example, if the characters are from a similar type of family and culture as I am, I’m very likely to pick up the book just in case I get the chance to relive my experiences.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I mean, I’ve never been in the EXACT same situation, but it’s really got the ‘Asian culture feel’ right. 🙆
4) Non-prose formatting.
This is probably case-by-case because I haven’t read Illuminae, a book touted to have such unique formatting, but I love it when authors try using a different format than the general prose. Letters, text messages, blog posts, video transcripts… I don’t really have any particular preference, just as long as the book succeeds in telling the story that it wants to tell.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson comes to mind for this one. It’s one of my favourite fandom books, and while there were things that could’ve been better, I still think the format, at least, tells the story very well.
5) Inventive magic systems.
I’m a sucker for those magic systems that got you all, “OH MY GOD. I would never have thought of this in a million years.” Many books just go for the usual Chosen One trope or elemental magic, but books that go beyond those typical magic systems? I’m there.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. In his world, people swallow metals and “burn” them to do various things. It’s the friggin’ coolest. 🙌
6) Fake relationships.
Hello, one of my favourite tropes of all time! I still think it’s very much underused (or when it’s used, it’s not done the way I like it), so every time I discover a book that has this trope, into my TBR it goes.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Cute, fluffy, and a generally ship-worthy romance.
7) Protagonists with unique hobbies.
I know, I know — protagonists who are bookworms like us immediately make them more relatable, but I can’t deny how much I love having protagonists whose hobbies and interests greatly differ from mine. I feel like I could learn from these protagonists and even maybe pick up their hobby or interest too.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate. A capella, you guys! 🎶
8) Adult relationships.
It’s honestly kind of sad how little the number of romance books with this is. Like, in my decade-plus years of reading, I’ve probably only read a few romance novels that actually get this part right: where the characters act, talk, and solve problems like regular adults.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: Lucy Parker’s Pretty Face comes to mind immediately — it’s also one of my favourite books ever, so I highly recommend it!
9) Social relevance.
A book that explores an issue relevant to our society today is always right up my alley, no matter if that issue is something I’ve experienced personally or not. I love reading books that teach me things, and usually, it’s these books that do.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan Elizabeth McClelland, a YA non-fiction memoir about Lee’s life under the North Korean regime. 🙏
10) A fandom-related theme.
Growing up, apart from games and books, fandom was my other great love. I devoted probably 50% of my free time to reading and writing fanfiction, scouring Tumblr and LiveJournal, and generally just being a fan. Any book that centres on fandom is generally a book that I’d love to check out, at the very least.
RECOMMENDED BOOK: How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J. C. Lillis. The main characters are male fandom vloggers who go on a road trip to visit a con and fall in love.
What’s on your TTT this week? Leave me a link or let me know in the comments! 🤗