Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Buzzwords

Posted April 2, 2019 by Madalyn || 5 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and currently hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is our top ten things that make us want to pick up a book, so I thought I’d discuss some of my “bookish buzzwords!” These are words or phrases in a title or synopsis that immediately make me more likely to pick up a book. Let’s get into some of my buzzwords and some examples of books I have read and loved that feature those elements!

madalyn’s list

Boarding School Settings

I don’t know what it is, but I am a sucker for a book set at a boarding school. These settings immediately add so much atmosphere to a story. Maybe because it’s kind of the YA equivalent of a college setting? All I know is that I LOVE boarding school books.



I mean, this one is pretty self-explanatory, if you know me at all. I spent four years in college studying music, and many more before that studying it in middle and high school, so any book that involves music and the people who make it will instantly have my attention.


Fabulism or Magical Realism

This is probably the broadest category on my list, since it comprises two entire genres, but knowing a book contains fabulist or magical realist elements makes me 1643724921 times more likely to pick it up.


Historical Settings

Historical fiction has been my favorite genre since childhood, and that still remains true to this day. I’ve always been a bit of a history nerd, and there’s nothing I love more than a well-done historical setting. (Bonus points if there are fantasy elements thrown in!)


F/F Romances

I mean, another one that’s entirely self-explanatory if you know me at all. Often, if I hear there’s an f/f romance in a book that I’m on the fence about, that will be the deciding factor as to whether I pick it up. It’s just nice to see yourself and your attractions represented in fiction.


Shameless plug: I’ve written two entire posts on this topic before (here and here), so these are some f/f books I’ve read since I published those posts. 🙂

Set in Atlanta

I will never not love books set in my home city, especially when they’re written by authors who are also from here. Obviously, I’m biased, but Atlanta is the best and I appreciate books that celebrate it in the way it deserves to be celebrated.



I LOVE a witchy book. The combination of the magic and the usually-haunting atmosphere of witchy books just really does it for me. It’s no surprise that the only two fantasy books that made my “best of 2018” list (Circe and Strange Grace) both involved witches. (Bonus points for queer witches, always.)


Small Town Romance

I grew up in a small town, and even though I am VERY happy in the city and have no desire to move back, I can’t deny that small towns have a certain magic all their own. Small town settings in books automatically feel so cozy and comforting to me. Add in a cute romance and/or a summer timeframe? I’M SOLD.


Political Campaigns

Okay, listen. I know the state of politics right now is maddening and is mostly a source of stress, BUT. I can’t deny that I have a soft spot for YA/NA books that involve political campaigns. I’ve always been heavily involved in the world of politics, and ever since the 2016 elections, following fictional politicians in books has provided a source of comfort/wish-fulfillment for the alternate reality we could have had.


That’s all I have for today! What are some of your bookish buzzwords? Do we share any in common? Do you have any recommendations for any of my buzzwords? Let’s chat in the comments!

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Madalyn is a 20-something musician and lifelong lover of reading. When she's not reading or singing, you're likely to find her drinking coffee, traveling, or buying more lipstick than one person could possibly need.
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5 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Buzzwords

  1. YES to historical settings, f/f romances, and witches. I occasionally have a soft spot for small town romances too which is probably why I love Lora Richardson’s Juniper series so much. I’m not even sure why considering that I’ve never lived in a small town nor do I have any desire to, haha.

  2. Oooh, yes. Small town romances are wins for me every time as well. And I have to say, it’s nice to see books set in your hometown. I lived in Brooklyn until my teens, so those books are everywhere, but now I live in central NJ, and Nisha Sharma is the only one giving a shout out to where I live (and I love her for that.)

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