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.
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
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 Help, The Host, The Hobbit, The Shack… They’re powerful? Dammit, I don’t know.
9. Rip-off titles:
10. Words I don’t understand: