Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Words That Make Me Buy Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is whatever I want.

People sometimes ask me how I choose which books to read. Well, today I’m going to enlighten you. My book-buying decisions are usually based on the synopsis. If I like the sound of the synopsis, I buy the book. What makes me like a synopsis? It has to intrigue me, and I’ve discovered that there are certain words that are almost always intriguing. So, here are ten words (in no particular order) that will catch my attention if I see them in a synopsis.

Synopsis Words That Make Me Buy Books

1. Dystopian: Dystopian books can be pretty formulaic, but the good ones are really good. I’m always on the hunt for dystopias that break the mold and push the boundaries of the genre.

2. Strange: I like stories about unusual people doing unusual things. It’s even better if the book is written in an unusual way. If a story has a unique narrative structure, I need it in my hot little hands.

3. Lyrical/Poetic: I’m a writing snob. I want to reread paragraphs over and over to find out what makes them so perfect. I like fresh language and writing that causes me to see something familiar in a new way.

4. Murder/Death: A little blood splatter never hurt anyone, right? I’m not a fan of detective fiction, but I do like to see everyday people working through a deadly mystery.

5. Apocalypse: The upcoming US presidential election makes me think that we’re closer to the apocalypse than ever. I want to be prepared.

6. Cult: Cults are just flat-out fascinating. Who wouldn’t want to read about them?

7. Modern Classic: This is cheating because it’s two words, but I had to put it on the list. Older classics can be a slog, but I have a deep love for modern classics. I like reading the books that helped shape my culture.

8. Twisted: You’ve probably figured this out by now, but I prefer my books to be a bit dark. I like unpredictable plots and characters who aren’t always upstanding citizens.

9. Remote: A book set in Antarctica? Or on a deserted island? Or on a raft in the middle of the ocean? Yes, please.

10. Award-winning: I try to keep up with the major literature awards and read a few of the finalists from each one.

What are some synopsis words that make you buy books?


  1. Ah fun topic!! Modern Classic is a good one. I think that twisted, dark or any time I see something doing with friendships or sisters will catch me.

  2. I can totally relate on the death/murder department: it's an insta-buy for me! Which seems a bit creepy lol

  3. What a great topic! Certain words definitely jump out at me in a synopsis too. Sometimes it's For Fans Of *Insert favorite author's name here*. Also lyrical, hidden secrets, dual timeline, fairy tale retelling, "based on a true story".

  4. Great topic! Words in synopses or descriptions can totally change my opinion of a book and whether or not I buy it. Dystopian and strange definitely stand out to me!

    Check out my TTT

    Lizzie @ Big Books and Grande Lattes

  5. Some of these things totally make me want to a buy a book!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/top-ten-tuesday-63/

  6. Ooh! Good topic - Strange and twisted would probably make mine, too, I expect!

    Check out my TTT.

  7. I will also get my wallet out for many of these types of books! I love strange books and remote settings, especially stories set in or around a forest. I grew up by the woods and, what with my wild imagination and constant reading and all, always scared myself imagining what might be looking back at me when I gazed into the trees at night!

  8. Awesome topic! Yes to lyrical, strange, dystopian, twisted and apocalypse! Gimme, gimme, gimme!

  9. I'm also a sucker for award-winning and lyrical. I find myself drawn to Retelling and Meditation as often as not

  10. Heh. Number 5 made me snort with laughter! I love this type of list and need to make one myself - it would be a fun exercise. I think the words in which our tastes most align is murder/death which is perhaps a little troubling? I love a good murder mystery and don't mind if it's a random Joe/Jane or pro detective doing the detecting. My favorite are those with historical settings. Super fun list!

  11. I am also drawn to books about cults! Very interesting list, I love to see what draws other people into books. Awesome list :)

  12. I really like any kind of science fiction really, so dystopian and apocalyptic are two words that definitely draw me in! I also really like books set in remote places because there always tends to be that psychological element of being removed from civilisation.
    Great topic! :)