December 2, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Top Ten Tuesday- Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where book bloggers are invited to share their top ten lists centered on a certain theme. This week’s Tuesday fun is centered around what makes us all pick up a book! I have some pretty long reads this week so let’s have some fun! Ok…. I have nine… 🙂

1.Favorite Authors– Whether novels, graphic novels or comics- favorite authors will automatically draw me in!

2. Synopsis- This might seem obvious but I’ve found out years later that I didn’t read a great book because the synopsis was nothing like the book. I’ve also (and luckily) read great books that were sorely misrepresented by their synopsis. Luckily something in the synopsis that caught my interest but the book was much more than I expected.

The most recent in memory is To Best the Boys. The synopsis was great but the book was so much more than the synopsis let on! It was a pleasant surprise but more often than not I end up missing books due to a synopsis’ shortcomings.

3. Lack of romantic mentions There are things I am and am not looking for within the synopsis and romance IS NOT one of them. When I get through a synopsis without the mention of a major romantic plot I get more enthused about the book.

4. Lack of intimidation/pretentiousness – Yes a book can be pretentious! Adult fiction, especially. Sometimes an author just has this way of talking down to the readers through the way a book is written and it aggravates me. I don’t read to get aggravated.

I think the intimidation piece, for me, comes from my ADD. The size of a book can get in my head. If a book looks too large my ADD just starts making my brain itch. I try to get out of my own way but sometimes it becomes too much.

5. Short Chapters- This is probably related to the above. If a very long book is going to saved it will be one (or more) of three ways. Two are coming up. An other is by short chapters. If the book is really long and the chapters are twenty pages long? My brain will really have a fit. If it at least has chapters that are ten pages and under, I might have a shot! At any length, I like books that have shorter chapters.

6. Immediate and continuing action– If there is evidence of action throughout the book? I’m in. I don’t like stories that drag or that do a lot of telling without showing. This is also the second thing that can get me through a long book. If it has a lot of action that keeps the story moving? That helps a lot.

7. Dialogue/Banter This is always a huge plus. It is also the last way a long book can save itself. Whether the dialogue is like watching a tennis match, snippy, sarcastic barbs, and/or funny wit, dialogue between an ensemble of characters will always perk my interests. It doesn’t always have to be funny or witty banter but that is always a plus and fun when it happens.

8. Multiple genres and/or formats in one book- I learned reading For a Muse of Fire that this is a really incredible vehicle for authors to utilize. It can make a book more rich, interesting and bring certain situations to life. Utilizing telegraph formats really brought those communications to life. Utilizing song lyrics brought the performances to life. It was amazing to have interwoven throughout the story.

9. Social Awareness- Tiffany Jackson (Allegedly, Monday’s Not Coming and the upcoming Let Me Hear a Rhyme) is a master of taking social issues and wrapping them up in dark and twisty gut-punching stories that leave you gripped long after you finish them. I don’t know anyone who is writing what she is writing quite how she is writing it. It is absolutely incredible and absolutely imperative reading.

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