#TopTenTuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book

Welcome back to another episode of Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Girl. This week’s topic is Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book.

As I mentioned in my first Top Ten Tuesday post, I’m really bad when it comes to lists. My brain just tends to freeze up whenever someone says “Give me a Top __ List!”, and then I forget that I’ve ever had any thoughts about the topic to begin with. So I’m going to do my best and see if we can get down 10 points today!

So what do I look for in a book?

1. The Cover. I’d be lying if I said that covers don’t matter. I’ll admit to being guilty of occasionally judging a book by its cover, and I know that the majority of you book lovers can say the same thing. It goes without saying that the story matters most, but if you’ve got an eye-catching cover, I’m 50% more likely to at least pick it up and read the blurb, than not!

2. A Great Blurb. I love reading a blurb at the back of the book and thinking, I need to read this book as soon as possible! Even better when I read a blurb and think it sounds interesting, but then I can’t get it out of my head for a long time.

3. Trusted Reviews. Every time I head into a bookstore, I have my phone out and my Goodreads (and lately, bookstagram) open so that I can check titles, and ratings and see what friends and my favourite reviewers have to say about the book; if they’ve read it. They haven’t steered me wrong yet! I have to say that this also includes the crazy hype on bookstagram–although I always have some time to process the hype because books don’t normally come out in Asia as fast as they do elsewhere!

4. Favorite Author Buys. We all have these authors. Some of my favourite authors that are automatic book buys are Jodi Picoult, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Brandon Sanderson, and Taylor Jenkins Reid. Those aren’t all of them but just to name a few!

On to more specifics…

5. Romance of all kinds. I love slow-burn romances. The office romances. The forbidden love kind of romance with HEAs. I love heartbreaking romances, unexpected couples and romances. I’m a hopeless romantic, and anything that’s likely to tug on my love heart strings is definitely a win!

6. Settings. I love books that are set in certain locations, such as Scotland, Alaska, and the UK generally. Of all the places I’ve visited, Scotland is probably one of my favourites. Everywhere I visited was not only beautiful but gave me wistful, happy, comforting feelings. Alaska is one of the places that I’d love to visit at one point in my life; it’s totally random, but I became low-key obsessed with Alaska in my early 20s!

7. Books About Books. I love stories where the main character is a bookish person, works in a library, or owns/runs a bookstore. I also love stories where the plot centres around books, especially when magic is involved! I always feel this element lends characters and stories an added appeal, and a stronger connection to me as a reader.

8. Magic. Who doesn’t love magic? Most of the time the world-building in these magical lands are fantastic and it just takes me away from reality, which is really 100% of the fun of reading books.

9. WWII. I love historical fiction, but I particularly love stories about this time period. I find these stories always manage to worm their way into my heart, and leave me feeling everything. I’m always left in awe by the authors who have the ability to write these stories, and I’m always amazed by the resilience and strength of the characters, and their capacity to overcome facing such horrors.

10. Parallel Universes. Okay, maybe not just parallel universes, but books that have to do with the idea of fate/destiny and how all the choices we could ever make are played out in various worlds. I love the idea that there are a million possibilities and they all play out somehow, somewhere. Hah, isn’t that romantic?! 😂

What are some of the reasons you pick a book up? Have you written a Top Ten Tuesday post as well? Leave your link in the comments and let’s talk books 🙂

#TopTenTuesday: Audio Freebie

Yay for my first Top Ten Tuesday! I’m excited to finally be spicing up my blog with more fun content, and I hope that I can keep it going every week. To be honest, I’m not so great with “Top Lists”. For some reason, seeing the call for top anything always freezes my brain. I also attribute that to my extremely shoddy memory 99.9% of the time, but let’s see how we go!

Today’s prompt is Audio Freebie (Any audio goes: audiobooks, music, podcasts, etc). I was going to post a Top 10 list of basically, all of the mentioned audio formats, but I decided to stick to Audiobooks. Since I haven’t actually listened to ten audiobooks yet, my list is going to be a combo of: Audiobooks that I love, that I’m currently listening to and that I’m looking forward to trying next!

LISTENED & LOVED

I’ve only managed to finish four audiobooks. That’s a very small portion of the many that I’ve accumulated in my Audible library, but I’ll get through them all eventually! The ones I’ve listened to didn’t disappoint me though, and I actually loved every minute of them!

1 Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. I am a huge Trevor Noah fan but I didn’t have any expectations when I chose this as my first audiobook. However, listening to Trevor Noah read us his life story was amazing–I laughed, I cried, I was shocked and appalled by some of the events in his life. I often found myself feeling mortified before bursting into laughter listening to some of the mischief he got up to as a kid. This was all around brilliant. If you want some relief, I highly recommend it!

2 Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson. Perhaps the reason I fell so hard and quick for this book is because Joyce Bean voiced one of the characters; and if there’s any voice that can bring me comfort, it’s definitely hers! This was a cute little romantic-comedy of a book that had me feeling all the feels at the end. Amy McFadden does a wonderful job portraying the main character and I felt such an emotional connection with the characters, and I was rooting so hard for them all at the end. This was a sweet one!

3 The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Who doesn’t love Neil Gaiman? His is a voice that I could listen to endlessly–I love the accent, I love how he pronounces words so eloquently and I love the cadences of his voice. I tried picking this one up as a book and I just couldn’t get into it, but the audiobook was great! I’m admittedly a wimp, so I thought this one was pretty creepy (how is it a book for kids?!), but it was also a fantastical story about a magical world, filled with the wickedest of monsters and demons, that lies just beyond the veil of our own.

4 Hunger: A Memoir of My Body by Roxane Gay. I recently reviewed Hunger on my blog and if you’ve read my post, you’ll know how much I loved it. Roxane Gay has such a soothing voice and listening to her tell her story was just like listening to a friend open up about all her intimate secrets. It’s also a fairly short listen, so I highly recommend it!

CURRENTLY LISTENING

5 Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. The only thing I needed to know about this audiobook was that it’s narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Needless to say, I love him! LMM does such a fantastic job narrating all the characters (esp. Ari & Dante), and what makes it even better is that I can actually imagine his expressions when he’s narrating, and it’s awesome! The only reason I haven’t finished this yet is because audiobooks are l-o-n-g and I haven’t had the time to focus!

6 Becoming by Michelle Obama. This book is legendary in the bookstagram world. It’s so hyped up I’m a little scared to go into it, but there’s no way that I’m not reading it either. Michelle Obama has so much charisma and you can feel it when you listen to her narrate! I am waiting to get the physical book so I can follow along for this one.

7 I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. I love true crime and I’ve been so excited to read this book! I started this but 1) it was too creepy to listen to when I got home at night after work, and 2) it’s so packed with details, it’s a little hard to follow at times. I think following along with the physical book is a must for this!

FUTURE LISTENS

8 Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James. This is another book that has gone through insane hype on bookstagram and while I’m honestly excited to read it, I’m also pretty intimidated by it. After listening to the excerpt, I already felt myself getting hooked, so I got it in the hopes that it would help me get through this epic fantasy!

9 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I started reading the (physical) book in February but until now have yet to finish it. It’s not that I dislike it, I’ve actually really enjoyed it so far, it’s just that when I put it down, I don’t feel compelled to pick it up again. So, I’m hoping to finally finish the book along with the audio!

10 Milkman by Anna Burns. I’ve heard really mixed reviews about this book but when I listened to an excerpt of the audiobook I knew I had to get it. The narrator, Bríd Brennan, has a wonderful Irish accent and since this novel is set in Ireland (I think?) what better way is there to immerse yourself in the reading experience? I honestly didn’t want to stop listening to the excerpt and it has made me even more excited to read this book!

That’s a wrap folks! After writing this post, I realized once more just how “chatty” or wordy I am, so I hope that I haven’t bored you all to tears! 😂

Have you done a Top Ten Tuesday post? If you have, feel free to leave me a link in the comments and let’s chat!