April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Topics That Make Me Grab a Book

I’ve got to be honest, I am a cover shopper. Period. It has to be something about the cover for me to consider picking it up in a book store or library, but there are always topics I am searching for as well.

I usually love to find books that deal with something I teach so I can help my students (1) connect beyond the classroom and (2) pick up a book for fun.

With that said, I also just love to read and learn myself. The list below comprises mostly of what I love to read, which is what leads me to grab a book off the shelf in the first place.

My list below is in no particular order, other than my thinking about the topic.


1.    Witches and Magic

I love a good witchy tale, and I am always on the lookout for children/tween/YA reads on this subject. I especially love witchy series novels, and I have discovered a few witchy mysteries, which I love. Also titles with magic—I’m going to pick it up. Even if I don’t purchase/check it out, I am still going to check out the novel. Especially anything dealing with the Salem Witch Trials. I love reading about them.

2.    Cupcakes

I blame Lisa Schroeder for this. Because of her novel ‘It’s Raining Cupcakes,’ I now find myself reading other novels related to cupcakes. My favorite right now is ‘The Cupcake Diaries,’ which is such a great series of friendship and growing up. And of course, cupcakes.

3.    Friendship

This is something I am always looking for in tween novels. While I teach high schoolers, I find that it is important to remember where they are coming from, not just where they are now. So, I love reading tween friendship novels that discuss the trials and tribulations of growing up and holding on to friendships. Lauren Myracle’s ‘Winnie series’ is great for this.

4.    Supernatural

So, since I love all things witchy, I am sure this is no surprise. I love a good supernatural tale. Series are big since studies have shown that younger readers prefer them, so I have recently found myself a lot of great supernatural series reads.

5.    Dystopian

With ‘The Hunger Games’ helping this topic take off, you can imagine how much a love a great dystopian tale. I know this is not really a “topic,” but there are so many elements covered under dystopia, and I love seeing this grow.

6.    Fallen Angels

I know this goes under supernatural, but I am putting it separately. I love a good fallen angel tale, and I am always willing to pick up a book that deals with the topic.

7.    Shakespeare

Some students find him unreadable—for a plethora of reasons. I am aways looking for novels to bring him into the classroom in an approachable way. I’ve even found a pop-up book I use when I introduce him to my kids.

I have taught Hamlet for twelve years, and I love to find all of the “takes” on it. I have read several, and at the play’s conclusion, I always reference these novels and the take the authors have on what happened within the plot. I love it because there are so many unanswered questions that allow students to critically think about the text as well as discuss, and I love finding novels to tie to it.

8.    Elizabethan England

I love historical fiction, especially novels dealing with this time period. I am always looking for something new and intriguing to read, so I would love suggestions if you have any.

9.    Marilyn Monroe

I collect Monroe biographies, so any book about her is going to get picked up by me. I don’t always buy them. I usually check them out of the library to see if they are worth my time.

10. Social Issues

Rape, suicide, anything ethically questionable. It’s one of the reasons I love Jodi Picoult. She seems to have the pulse on society and what we should discuss versus what we are discussing. I especially love YA novels that tie social issues into their plots. It’s a great discussion with my students, for those who love to read.

So…that’s my list. What’s on yours?

Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator


  1. I love a good witchy tale, and I am always on the lookout for children/tween/YA reads on this subject.

  2. I'm a sucker for witches, dystopian and fallen angels too-- there are so many of my favourites in these genres! That's not to say these topics aren't overused. It hurts when I pick up a dystopian book full of gusto, all ready to be swept away by some cool futuristic world and it ends up just MEH.

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  3. 'Friends' is on my list, I love reading about how friendships develop too.


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