TTT: Pick-Me-Ups

I am home! I have important exams coming up, so will get back into the swing of blogging (and talking more about Semester at Sea) E-VEN-TUALLY… for now, it’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday. I loved looking for (and in most cases, finding) bookshops in all the countries – and books were my splurge-items in all the countries. I don’t often buy books, since they’re so expensive, but here are topics and words that usually convince me to either read or buy a book.

1. Books titled: “The (something’s) (someone)”: For example, The Time Traveler’s Wife or The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

I don’t know why these titles have such an effect on me – and on so many other readers too. I suspect it is because it promises the tale of a lead character who is not really the lead character. Perhaps it appeals to the outsider or forgotten one within each of us. I don’t know. But I always think these titles are intriguing.

2. Books written in the form of journals or diaries:

It started with Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl and The Diary of a Teenage Health Freak, and as a journal-er myself, I was hooked. Unfortunately these can sometimes be really cliched, so I don’t read any journal I can get my hands on anymore. The Real Teens series was awful, for example. A recent favourite is Daddy-Long-Legs by by Jean Webster (which, by the way, is free in the iTunes store!).

3. Foreign Historical Fiction

This combines my love for traveling with my love of history. Two recent favourites are Shanghai Girls (set in China and the USA) by Lisa See and The Glass Palace (set in India, Burma and Singapore) by Amitav Ghosh.

4. Short story collections

They are easy to read and cover a range of connected but different topics. I immediately picked up The Penguin Book of International Women’s Stories and Yes, I Am! writing by South African Gay Men.

5. LGBTQI literature

Despite identifying as an ally, I don’t really know why I am always drawn to this like a bee to honey. I’m not talking about the steamy novels (they don’t appeal to me, no matter the sexuality of the characters), I’m more referring to the collection above, or Julie Anne Peters’s Luna.

6. Medical Non-Fiction

Meh. I am a med-nerd. Can’t help it. I can not resist books like The Brain That Changes Itself or The Emperor Of All Maladies.

7. Medical Fiction

This really doesn’t even have to be medical through and through. I picked up a thoroughly unenjoyable romance the other day because the lead character was an obstetrician (fortunately I did not buy it). I picked up Bumped because the root cause of it is a virus, and there’s pregnancy in the book, so that’s medical too, right?

8. Two-word titles starting with “The”: 

Like The HelpThe HostThe HobbitThe Shack… They’re powerful? Dammit, I don’t know.

9. Rip-off titles: 

Titles which meddle with other well-known titles (like The Karma Suture and The Angina Monologues) or that alter well-known phrases (like Deja Dead) intrigue me enough to pick up the book.

10. Words I don’t understand:

I am a hopeless wanna-know-it-all. Books like Maverick and The Atonement Child first got my attention because I had to look up a word in the title.


  1. Two-word titles starting with “The”
    Love that! I’m always drawn to LGBT books as well. I just can’t help it!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I actually had never heard of The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and when I saw on your list that you liked LGBT literature too, I added that to my TBR.

  2. beckireads says:

    It was really interesting to read your topics and your reasoning behind them.

    1. Thanks Becki! Hope you’re well?

  3. Great list! I agree, the two-word titles or titles that start with “The” sound really powerful *nods*

    My TTT

    1. Haha, I am glad you agree. I thought it might sound a little weird!

  4. Michelle says:

    LOL love the 2-word titles!!! My list was all about titles this week and that’s a good one!!! Also I want to read more Short Story Collections thanks for reminding me 🙂

    My TTT

    1. You’re welcome, and thanks for stopping by!

  5. Interesting reasoning on #1. I never thought that deeply about it before, but I think your explanation is right on the money. Makes total sense, you know?

    Happy TTT!

    1. I am so glad that my babbling made sense to someone 😉 thanks for stopping by!

  6. Have you read Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder? It’s a medical fiction that’s really good (fertility, the Amazon, quest for medical longevity).

    1. I have not, but now I will definitely look for it and add it to Mount TBR!

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