Book hooks

What makes you pick up a book? I’m not talking about favorite genres or authors. Rather, I’m wondering about things in the content of a book that make a certain reader want to pick it up. Sometimes these hooks are very strong for me — The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon had been recommended to me by a trusted source, and I acquired it with full intentions of reading it. But once I started reading it, and learned that it’s a book about books, well, I would have picked it up much sooner if I’d known that.

I feel like I have a ton of these hooks. Do I have more (or more varied) interests than everyone else most people?

    A (partial, I’m sure) list:

  • detectives
  • spies
  • the Midwest
  • knitting/fiber arts
  • the South
  • civil rights
  • lyrical prose
  • sustainable living
  • cultures other than my own
  • language(s)
  • art
  • epistolary form
  • coffee
  • foodie
  • blogging/tech
  • journalism
  • books
  • writing
  • archaeology
  • convents/cloistered life

That’s 20 hooks. And I made this list in about 5 minutes. How long is your list of book hooks, longer or shorter than my quick list here? What’s on your list? Do we have some of the same hooks? I wonder if the diversity of my interests is somewhat tied to my journalism background (know a little about everything) or if I am just a person of many passions. What do you think?

Maybe a better question: Based on this list, what books would you recommend I read?


24 responses to “Book hooks

  1. The Name of the Rose, though I’m guessing you’ve already read it.

  2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett?

  3. I have quite a long list of “book hooks” too. I had to laugh at coffee on your list – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a book about coffee.

  4. sustainable living – World Made by Hand (it’s fiction, though)

    coffee – The Coffee Trader, Edward Liss

    the South – The Well and the Mine

    Have you read any of those?

  5. foodie …hmmm, that would be one of my hooks, too! Have you read any of M.F.K. Fisher? love her!

  6. What a great list – and such a great idea, making up a list of book hooks! I think I might do the same, and see what spills out for me! Have you read any of Kate Ellis’ Wesley Peterson mysteries? They’ve always got some sort of archeological angle entangled with a modern day mystery.

  7. Gah! I should have realized that this post would be adding to my wish list left and right! Like I need that! (But I am enjoying it!) 😀

    Valerie, Belle: No, I haven’t read the ones you mention. Added! I’d love to see your list when you get it done, Belle!

  8. I’m not sure you have more diverse hooks than me, but they are very different to mine. I think the only ones we share are:
    •cultures other than my own
    based on those I’ll recommend A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (as I recommend it to everyone!

  9. Spies! Have you read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy or Smiley’s People by John Le Carre?
    There is a surprise for you here.

  10. I love the book hook idea, will have to steel it for a post. The Midwest? have you read Willa Cather? My Antonia or Oh, Pioneers?

  11. Love the “book hooks” title. 😛 It’s so interesting to see what time periods, themes, etc., attract different bloggers.

  12. I like your list of book hooks. I’ve never looked at it that way before. I have quite a few in common with your list (detectives, spies, knitting, food). This past year I’ve been involved in two different challenges that involve reading books about food. There is an enormous number of books about food from fiction, non-fiction, and so forth, not counting cookbooks. In fact, there is a whole genre out there of mysteries involving food.

  13. I love your list: we overlap a lot: foodie, other cultures, fiber arts, coffee . . . I really need to steal your idea and do a similar post.

  14. Pingback: How I Get Hooked on Books

  15. Cloistered life: In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden, The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock, A Severed Wasp by Madeleine L’Engle

    Other cultures: Mitali Perkins, Stephen Lawhead, Alan Paton

    Language: Crazy English by Richard Lederer

    • Ooh, thanks for the recs!

      • I’m a fan of L’Engle; I’ll definitely look into that one.
      • I just wrote and scheduled my first review of a Mitali Perkins book; I’m looking forward to reading more of her work!
      • I’m tried Lawhead, but I haven’t finished one yet. I’ll try again some day.

      I’m planning to look up the rest.

  16. Pingback: Sunday Salon: 20 Examples That Feed My Fascinations | Semicolon

  17. Pingback: Bliss List, Book Hooks, Fascinations | Semicolon

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