Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week a new theme is posted and this time it’s all about those little things that make you instantly want to read a book.
I’m a creature of annoyingly predictable habits. I swear I try not to be; I push myself to try new things all the time and I love it when this yields surprisingly pleasant results. But I can’t help the embarrassing fact that sometimes nothing feels quite as good as the comfort zone. Here’s what mine looks like:
- India, France or Russia. I suspect this is for no deeper or more meaningful reason than the fact that some of my favourite books are set in these three countries. Books by Indian, French and Russian authors are fairly highly represented on my shelves.
Suggestions: The God of Small Things, Suite Francais, Anna Karenina
- Maps and plans. If a book opens with a plan – of a fictional country or an ancient building for example – then my excitement will know no bounds.
Suggestions: The Hobbit, The Name of the Rose, Treasure Island
- Inter-war. I’m naturally drawn to books set between the wars. I expect it’s just because so much changed in so very little time and you can see that reflected in the books of the period, sandwiched as they are between the traditional classics and modern fiction.
Suggestions: Vile Bodies, I Capture The Castle, The Great Gatsby
- Traditional murder mystery. I’m not a fan of modern crime fiction but I will happily read a golden oldie any time. They’re entertaining and easy to read and not half as grimas their modern equivalents.
Suggestions: The Moonstone, Murder on the Orient Express, The Nine Taylors
- An arty cover.I seem to own a ton of classic novels with covers featuring artworks, specifically art depicting beautiful but sad looking women.
Suggestions: On Tangled Paths, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, The House of Mirth
- Letters, diaries and documents. I suspect I like these just because my lazy brain can’t always be arsed with lengthy descriptions, scene setting and inner monologue. Sometimes it just wants the facts explained as concisely as possible thank you very much.
Suggestions: His Bloody Project, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾
- A quest for the truth. It is a truth universally acknowledged that books with protagonists who must uncover a long dead secret are splendid, especially if said protagonist must visit dusty archives, unravel clues hidden in a diary or (preferably) poem and interview elderly witnesses who clearly have something to hide.
Suggestions: Possession, A Very Long Engagement, The Woman in White
- Looking back.A regretful narrator (or narrators) telling the story of that thing that happened long, long ago is one of my favouritest things ever.
Suggestions: Atonement, The Poisonwood Bible, The Secret History
- Monasteries and cathedrals.I don’t know why this is either.
Suggestions: The Name of the Rose, Dissolution, The Pillars of the Earth
- Family trees. I love a family saga, particularly ones so complicated a family tree is necessary to help the reader untangle the narrative. It’s the sense of history that appeals to me I think.
Suggestions: War and Peace, The Forsyte Saga, One Hundred Years of Solitude