5 Things I Love In Books

Hey everyone!

Today, I thought I would talk about books, just for a change.

Specifically, certain things I love in books. This is an overly specific, miscellaneous list, but I never really get to talk/shine a light on these qualities. Therefore, I hope you enjoy this fun, different post.

Thank you sooo much to Sabrina @ Wordy and Whimsical for the idea. Her posts “specific things I want to read more of” and “more specific things I love in books” were so good and inspired me to create my own. Please check out Sabrina’s posts before reading this one. πŸ–€

books set on one day… just one day.

The power of one day. I love the focus of one day. How these books talk about small things. Big things. Human things. It’s a slice-of-life concept, and I love the slice. They are big on emotions, focusing on how they felt that day and why. The ‘one-day’ set-up reveals different sides of one person very effectively.

Plus, these stories are a love letter to possibility. One day can change a lot. One day holds more potential than people give it credit. Plus, these books never feel like a case-closed story. I love the openness and how the story doesn’t feel contained to the pages.

examples:
β˜€οΈ THE SUN IS ALWAYS A STAR BY NICOLA YOON
πŸš† RELEASE BY PATRICK NESS
πŸ›— A LONG WAY DOWN BY JASON REYNOLDS
πŸ—³οΈ THE VOTING BOOTH BY BRANDY COLBERT
πŸ—“οΈ TODAY, TONIGHT, TOMORROW BY RACHEL LYNN SOLOMON

creative main characters

Creative characters are relatively common in literature, as they are written by someone passionate about creative pursuits. Their love of creativity demanded to be written. But, you can cover different passions, such as music, art, poems, photography, or podcasts. I love getting to experience the specific aspects of each one and what attracted people to them. But what I love most is the celebration of their love for it. How each character is fulfilled or even saved by what they love is beautiful, and I will never tire of hearing it. You could go one step further and have the ‘obsessed artist’. That is dangerously good.

These stories often feel like an extension of one of my favourite (twitter) quotes, “Remember that in the darkest days when everything stopped, you turned to artists.”

examples:
🎼 THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS BY ASHLEY WOODFOLK
🎨 STARFISH BY AKEMI DAWN BOWMAN
πŸŽ™οΈ RADIO SILENCE BY ALICE OSEMAN
πŸ“œ THE POET X BY ELIZABETH ACEVEDO
πŸ“· EMERGENCY CONTACT BY MARY H. K. CHOI

elemental magic

Elemental magic gets a bit of hate, and I’m lowkey bitter about it. I know it is overdone, but that’s a consequence of what you are reading, not the actual magic. I’m not saying I would want to read elemental magic 24/7, but that’s true for every magic. Anyway, I’m going to focus on what I love about it.

For a start, it is visually stunning. Water, Air, Earth and Fire are incredibly beautiful without magic, so the magic just enhances this beauty. The elements are extraordinary, and I love getting lost in their descriptions.

Next, elements are such a connection for humans across space and time. Every land relies on elements to survive, every culture talks about elements, and we rely on them as much as we did when humans first came into existence. It is such a mesmerising fact that I can’t not love the elements and any use of them in stories. 

Finally, when delving into elemental magic. It really pushes writers to think differently and make it their own. I think it is an opportunity for writers to put an individual spin on something so legendary. Therefore, I am immediately curious to see how they do it. 

examples:
πŸ”₯ CASTER BY ELSIE CHAPMAN
🌬️ AIR AWAKENS BY ELISE KOVA
βš”οΈ THE WAY OF KINGS BY BRANDON SANDERSON
πŸ—» THE SWORD OF KAIGEN BY M. L. WANG
πŸƒ THE SISTER’S GRIMM BY MENNA VAN PRAAG

atmospheric settings

Creating atmospheric settings takes time. Writers have to dedicate themselves to descriptions to build a clear image in the reader’s mind. This type of dedication comes from a writer who loves their setting and wants to ensure all the picturesque and magical landscape details are felt. It helps me transport myself into their world, which is one of the greatest gifts books can provide.

I love how it ensures each place is distinct as you learn about the quirks unique to the location, whether it’s a city, coast, desert or small town. Therefore, it is no surprise that these types of books are some of my favourite reads because their attention to detail is thought-out and beautiful.

examples:
πŸ«€ INK IN THE BLOOD BY KIM SMEJKAL
πŸ’Ž JADY CITY BY FONDA LEE
πŸ—‘οΈ WE HUNT THE FLAME BY HAFSAH FAIZAL
πŸ•Œ THE CITY OF BRASS BY S. A. CHAKRABORTY
πŸ₯€ THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS BY CHLOE GONG

unromanticised plots

When reaching for contemporary stories, I tend to steer towards the sad, bitter, emotional and (my favourite word) human ones. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good rom-com full of gooeyness, but the unromanticised look at life hits the spot. 

These books tend to be full of messy characters, lots of mistakes, characters not always understanding their actions, and difficult emotions. They do not shy away from uncomfortable moments/situations. As a private person who is almost afraid of displaying emotion, I find these open and unflinching portrayals of the human experience comforting. Especially as the use of hope and joy feel so powerful in contrast. These books and their honesty stay with me, and I love that.

examples:
πŸ‘„ LUSTER BY RAVEN LEILANI
♀️ THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES BY MANDY MCGINNIS
πŸ‘‘ QUEENIE BY CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS
🀫 THINGS WE DO NOT TELL THE PEOPLE WE LOVE BY HUMA QURESHI
🧠 MORE HAPPY THAN NOT BY ADAM SILVERA

Do you love these qualities in books too (or not so much)? Have you got any recommendations for books I should be reading for these qualities? What are some specific things you love in books?


21 thoughts on “5 Things I Love In Books

  1. I love discovering a pattern of overly specific things in the books I’ve read too πŸ₯° adored reading your list Sophie, loved what you had to say about the books set over a day, those don’t get enough attention in my opinion. also YES as I read more contemporary stories I’ve found myself connecting more with the characters who have a passion or hobby, its always interesting to read a book about a character whose a writer πŸ˜‚ I love elemental magic in fantasy, my first thought was Air Awakens too, that series has such a special place in my heart. I could list so many qualities I adore in books, but one of my favorites that I don’t see enough of is stories about or involving bakeries!! I’m kind of picky with which ones I pick up and it’d be wonderful to see more variety to those πŸ₯πŸ˜πŸ“š A wonderful list Sophie ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is great to see specific things pop up again and again in books, especially as you realise how much you like them!
      Thank you soooo much πŸ’—πŸ’—
      Books set on one day don’t get enough attention you’re right, but I remember reading my first book with it and immediately loving that aspect!
      Character who have a passion seem to have more to say at times. I guess because it rounds them out so nicely. Haha I love a writer main character, they motivate me as well πŸ˜‚
      Elemental magic is soo cool πŸ’¦πŸ”₯🌿🌬️ haha air awakens came straight to my mind too, I mean, it is in the name.
      Ahh.. I would love to see that list 😍 bakery stories can be so fun. They feel so cosy and I am in a baking mood at the minute. I hope you get to find some more recs. The only book I’ve read with a bakery is Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault. Whilst it felt a little unedited, I enjoyed it and it was different.
      Thank you ❣️πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Creative main characters are great to read about, their passion is so infectious! Artists are really fun, I love experiencing how they describe their art. 😍
      I often connect to the writer ones too. It is fab because they often motivate me to write! πŸ˜‚
      Thank you soo much πŸ’—

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha I try to draw but it isn’t a strength of mine, so I certainly admire it to. And I’m a little bit jealous as well πŸ˜‚
          True! Showing writers struggles can be comforting to read in its own way.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. this is very interesting and i love thinking about specific things i love in books. but if there is one thing that changed drastically for me is my view on unromanticised plots. i used to really want to read more books with no romance in them, but now i feel like if i know a book has no romance, i immediately am like: β€œthen what’s the point on reading it?” lmao. i’ve become what i feared the most hahah. i love reading about creative people, but i also really enjoy reading about athletes! probably bc i’m not athletic at all, so it’s always fun reading about people’s relationship with sports. i really need to read some more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is fun to look at specific things in books, there are so many 😍
      Haha romance can be good, weirdly I really like to have them in fantasy stories otherwise I miss it! Haha becoming what we fear is a part of adulthood 🀣🀣
      Creative people are so fun to read about, I love their passion.
      I do find myself surprisingly enjoying sport books too, I love the group dynamic in them. I don’t know too many recs though. Hope you get to read some more soon πŸ’—

      Like

  3. Hey Sophie!! Thank you so much for including the links to my post ❀ I’m so glad they inspired you to write this one!

    I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that’s only set on one day, but I love the way you’ve described them. I’ll have to try out your examples – I have heard incredible things about Long Way Down in particular.

    I love creative main characters too! They often feel so true to life and they get me inspired to try something new. Starfish and Radio Silence are favourite books of mine, so I will have to try your other examples too! I have heard mixed things about Emergency Contact, so I’ve been hesitant to pick it up.

    And I love elemental magic too!! It reminds me of the stories I loved in childhood, like W.I.T.C.H. and Avatar. I haven’t read any of your examples, so I have to get on top of those! The Sisters Grimm cover in particular is stunning. I’ve just jumped in the queue to get it from my library.

    I’m aware that I’m repeating myself here, lol, but I love atmospheric settings too :’) A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers is a recent-ish favourite of mine that felt very atmospheric to me.

    Amazing post πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sabrina! ❣️ Of course, I loved your posts and thank you for inspiration πŸ₯°

      I immediately loved the one day aspect when I first read a book like that so I definitely advice checking it at least once. Release by Patrick Ness was my favourite one.

      Creative characters can be really motivational and they always feel such well rounded characters too. I hope you enjoy any of the recs you decide to check out… Emergency Contact has a very minimal plot but I really loved the way it talked about art and dreams.

      Elemental magic is so beautiful 😍 they definitely had a lot of influence in the past. ATLA is such a good example, one of the most well-made series ever!!
      The cover for The Sisters Grimm is gorgeous, one of my favourite 😍 hope you love it!!

      Ahh… I love that you love all these things too!! Oohh I haven’t read A Psalm for the Wild-Built but I will have to check it out, thank you for the rec πŸ₯°

      Thank you soooo much πŸ’—πŸ’—

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I also love so many of these! I’m particularly fond of any story set in a small frame, both in time but also in place! As much as I love sprawling world-building, there’s something incredibly comforting about stories that are set in one place and take place over a short period of time. Of course, this doesn’t work for everything, but the stories it does work for are so good! One of my other favourite specific loves in books is angry girls! I love reading about girls and women who get to be broken and angry and make bad choices. So often there’s an expectation for women to be soft and nice and perfect and I love stories that give their female characters the space to be fully human, including all the ugly parts of humanity. Plus, I often find that those kinds of stories explore grief and trauma really well which is another thing I love to read about (when it’s done well!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I am glad you love these qualities in books too!!
      I agree how books that have a small frame can be incredibly comforting, it focuses in on small details yet they say a lot. It is nice to have a mix of stories showing vast world, and ones capturing a single moment.
      Angry girls are amazing!! After women being forcing into so many boxes in media, I value the times when they can show every complexities and emotion they feel in a variety of plots/genres. Giving females space is exactly it. I also like how women can be shown to own their femininity in recent books. Often to be taken seriously/be seen as strong, they had to adapt so called masculine traits, but now their femininity isn’t seen as a weakness all the time. You can do so much with female characters and I love seeing it as well.
      Grief and trauma are definitely big topics to handle, but when done well they capture your attention. It can definitely go hand in hand with women expressing their messy feelings.
      I love this, thank you so much for commenting πŸ’—

      Like

  5. Yes to all of these!! I especially love reading about messy characters, or characters who are allowed to make mistakes and not look all-perfect because they feel realistic. Books set in one day sound very intriguing (the only one I think I’ve read is the girls I’ve been, I highly recommend it!!) The elemental magic concept was done so well in the sword of kaigen and the action scenes in that book were AMAZING.
    Great postπŸ’™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Messy characters are my favourite– it is part of life to make mistakes and books exploring the different ways is, as you say, so realistic.
      I love books set on one day, I didn’t realise the girls I’ve been had that trope. I will have to check it out. I am so glad you liked it!
      Ahh.. I can’t wait to read The Sword of Kaigen!! It’s on the top of my to-buy list 😍😍
      Thank you sooo much!! πŸ’—

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Sophie! ❀️ I never used to be a big fan of Books set in one day, but Today Tonight Tomorrow changed my opinion because it was so good!! See You Yesterday was also great, though in this case, it’s a day that keeps looping πŸ˜„ I also love creative main characters, Radio Silence got me interested in podcasts for the first time, which was nice πŸ₯° Despite it being a cliche, I always LOVE elemental magic, it’s just SO much fun and reminds me of Avatar the Last Airbender 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Caro! πŸ₯° I love that TTT changed your mind on books set on one day. I can’t believe I haven’t read that one yet 😱 I haven’t read See You Yesterday, but I really liked the movie Palm Springs which looped the day again and again!
      Aw… That’s amazing that radio silence got you into podcasts. I have only checked out 3 podcast but I have enjoyed them all!
      I feel like elemental magic had earned the right to be a clichΓ© with the influence it has. ATLA is a great show 😍 and books with this kind of magic are often compared to it for sure! 🌬️🌿πŸ”₯πŸ’¦
      Thank you so much for reading ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhh I love this post so so much!!

    Books set in one day are SO unique and I LOVE how so many events can just fit into a span of 24 hours! Plus the amount of character development in just one day is insane too! The sun is also a star is amazing ahh, and I’ve been meaning to read today, tonight, tomorrow soon!

    Creative main characters are really cool as well, it’s nice seeing the characters just doing stuff they genuinely enjoy hahah. ALSO RADIO SILENCE SUPREMACY>>

    Atmospheric settings ARE THE BEST- you just get transported to this whole other magical world and IT’S WONDERFUL! and the setting of these violent delights was such a perfect example, i adored shanghai in 1900’s!!!

    Love this list SO SO MUCh, and agree with all of these!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much suhani ❀️❀️

      One day books are very unique and they have a very different feel to other books. It is so clever what authors do with the day to tell the story. I love the character development πŸ‘‹πŸ»one day can change everythingπŸ‘‹πŸ» I love the sun is also a star so much more than I expected! Hope you love today, tonight, tomorrow!

      Creative main characters are so much fun and I love the passion!! YESSS SCREAMS ABOUT RADIO SILENCE FOREVER!!

      Atmospheric settings are so good at transporting you places 😍😍 I love the setting of these violent delights~~ one of my favourite things about the book!!

      Ah… Thank you so much!! Glad we share the love for these specific tropes πŸ₯° thank you for reading!! πŸ’—

      Like

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