Bookish Boxes and Buzzwords Tag

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Time for another book tag! This one is the Bookish Boxes and Buzzwords Tag. I can’t actually remember where this one is from as it’s been sat in my drafts for so long, so if someone knows, please do let me know so I can give them credit.

Your go-to genre or favourite type of book:
As will surprise absolutely nobody who has been around these here parts before, I don’t have one answer. I love a bit of everything, that is well written and absorbing. However, since last year I’ve found that I love fantasy (read my post about why I love to read it here), and have been taking a lot of adventures down that path since then, resulting in reading some absolutely stunning books that I can’t believe I missed out on before now. I also love young adult books as they don’t tend to be quite as graphic as adult fiction (in most cases), and a good thriller is always… well, good!

Retellings you are drawn to:
One of the most amazing retellings I’ve read this year has been Little Thieves, which is a retelling of Goose Girl. A combination of character development and said-character led plot results in this being one of the best books I’ve read this year.
I also read an anthology recently called Beasts and Beauty, which was a collection of retellings of traditional fairy tales, and the twists on each of them was utterly brilliant. It was also beautifully illustrated, and will be one of those books I keep hold of for a long time.

Lifestyles or careers of the book characters:
I think, like everyone, the whole reason I read is to get lost in a story, and to get lost in moments that would never happen in my life. Even librarians like Elisabeth in Sorcery of Thorns don’t lead normal lives, surrounded by magical books and swinging swords. And, as someone who used to dance with swords – true story – trust me, nothing feels cooler than swinging a sword around, even if you’re not aiming it at anyone! So lifestyles that take the characters on adventures, or completely out of their expected surroundings are the ones that grab me most.

Places or settings you are drawn to:
I go for one of two extremes here. Either I want something far away and magical and fantastical. Or I want a small town setting where everyone knows each other (ahem, The Appeal) and nothing is a secret. Those are vastly different settings, and that’s what keeps me on my toes!

Relationships you enjoy reading about:
Ooh I’m a big enemies to loves fan! I didn’t even realise I was until I started book blogging really, and started analyzing my reading a bit more. It’s one of the reasons I’ll always be grateful I ended up going down this path, as it’s made me a more considerate reader, a more thoughtful reader, and a more observant reader.
As mentioned above, I also love a close quarters dynamic, as I feel it really brings out so much in a story, and in the characters it is built around.

Buzzwords in the title of the book
Hmm. Looking back over my reading history, I don’t think there’s any words I seem to be particularly drawn to. That said, I am interested in words or titles that are, well, interesting! Books that have twists on turns of phrase, or one word titles that are unusual, grab my attention. And, having looked back over this year’s reads, I seem to go for one extreme or the other: long titles or very short ones!

Things on book covers that draw you in:
Again, I don’t think there’s anything in particular that I look out for, but I am always on the hunt for a beautiful book. This year has seen the release of some absolutely gorgeous books and some of next year’s are already looking gorgeous… I think I’m just “pretty things” motivated. Especially with losing my vision, I love a good looking cover that I can just lose myself in as much as the contents.

Non-fiction buzzwords or a non-fiction area you are drawn to:
I don’t read anywhere near as much non-fiction as I used to, but when I do read non-fiction, it tends to be either about Egyptology or about forensics. Before I became so sick at sixteen, my plan was to either study Egyptology or Forensic Anthropology, although at the back of my mind the long term plan was always to combine them both, focusing on mummies and situations where forensic techniques could be applied to them. It’s a very specific area, but then, I was a very specifically minded person!

Medical conditions of characters:
I always appreciate representation of chronically ill characters; The Girls Are Never Gone did a brilliant job of demonstrating life with Type One Diabetes and the experiences of the author. More books are getting better at representing mental health, but, as a woman in a wheelchair, and a woman who uses a roller ball cane to help me with my sight loss, I think there’s a long way to go.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want token representation, with every character having a box to tick as that defeats the object. But we can do better, and I hope that in ten years time I’ll see myself more and more in books.

Time of year, or time in history / future that you are drawn to:
Autumn is my favourite time of year, both in and out of books. Crisp, crunchy leaves and the weather changing around us is so atmospheric, that it’s the perfect time of year to be curled up with a book – or in one! As for moving with the times, I enjoy books set in the current time as technology makes for an interesting counterpart in mysteries for example. My biggest feeling regarding this is that if you’re going to do historical fiction, do it well. Remember (or make up!) old wives tales from before medical knowledge was what it is now. That’s what makes the difference for me.

BONUS #1:  Any other bookish boxes or buzzwords not already mentioned:
Tropes! I’m going to talk about tropes. Because, again, this isn’t something I was even really very aware of in my own reading before I started blogging.
I love a good trope, and would quite happily sit there with a checklist ticking off some of my favourites from books I’ve read, all together or one at a time. Some of my favourites are “the chosen one” (good or bad), “enemies to lovers”, “two people, one bed” (sorry Mum!), “man in distress saved by a damsel” and “school settings / dark academia”.

BONUS #2:  What bookish boxes or buzzwords turn you away from a book?
Even though I know I’m probably guilty of doing it myself, anything that claims something like “the best thriller you’ll read this year” or “the biggest twist” etc. Anything that claims to be the biggest or best automatically makes me sceptical, not because I assume they’re bad books, but because it’s so biased! I can sit here and list ten books I’d recommend to a fantasy book lover, for example, and chances are they would hate a few of them. And that’s okay! We need more disagreements (civil, obviously) and discussion in the book community about why books have been so good. Which is why book blogs will always be special.

This tag was so much fun to do, I can’t believe it took me so long to attack it! My answers might be a bit wordy on some questions but that’s what I love about other people’s answers, so hopefully I’ve struck the balance.

Because I’ve had this sat waiting for so long, I can’t remember who was tagged and who wasn’t in the first place, so I’m sorry if you’ve already done it. Tagging the following and anyone else:

  • Danni
  • Fiona
  • Ellie
  • Jenny
  • Kerri
  • Ashlee

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