Tuesday things

Welcome to Tuesday! Today’s teaser comes from Air: The Restless Shaper of Our World, and the Top Ten Tuesday topic is “Things That Automatically Make Me Want to Buy a Book“.

[…]it was Darwin who taught us to think in this way. His travels aboard the Beagle confirmed his hunch that the world is not an aggregate of stable individuals, but a network of processes out of which individuals arise and into which they return. The world is a concert that brings forth its own instruments.”

pg. 33, Air: The Restless Shaper of Our World. William Bryant Logan

And now, top ten things that make me want to buy a book. I’m going to try to avoid rehashing the “Top Ten Authors on Autobuy” too much!

(1) Certain authors, like Bernard Cornwell (historical fiction), Anthony Esolen (society, culture, Catholicism), Wendell Berry (culture, farming, rural/household economics), Robert Harris (historical fiction), Joseph Pearce (literature & Catholicism), etc.

(2) Certain narrators. Did Wil Wheaton or Roger Clark perform the narration? Then I’m game to listen.

(3) Authors’ recommendations. I finally dove into Lord of the Rings and P.G. Wodehouse because one of my very favorite authors, Isaac Asimov, mentioned them frequently. Similarly, there are authors who draw on or mention a book, and the weight of my regard for them means automatically taking a look at the book itself.

(4) Good podcast conversations about a book. I listen to podcasts regularly, and some of my favorite books have come because I heard their authors in an extended back-and-forth on something like EconTalk — The Green Metropolis, for instance.

(5) Setting. Near-future science fiction? Count me interested. Medieval Europe? Let me at `em. Dixie or the Southwest? I want to know about it.

(6) Good workmanship on the book itself — especially graceful, classy fonts and deckled-edged pages.

(7) A recommendation from a friend. A lot of books I’ve read over the years here have come from IRL or digital friends — or, people who just dropped by! One of my favorite books, indeed one of my favorite authors, came from someone randomly commenting that if I liked Walden and Civil Disobedience, I’d enjoy Ed Abbey. Boy, was that an understatement.

(8) Promising blurbs. If an author I respect offers a book blurb, or better yet writes the introduction, I’m definitely taking a long and considered look.

(9) If it’s unusual. This applies more for random bookstore finds, but there are some books that are so uncommon — not in terms of how many used copies are online, but just odd or unexpected — that I have to take a chance on it.

(10) Subject. This is extremely broad, so I’ll use it to finish the list. There are a lot of topics I have a strong academic interest in, like World War 2 aviation, or understanding human behavior through the lens of evolutionary biology & psychology. As a citizen, I’m frequently drawn to books that help me understand how we might create a better society together — reading books on transportation and infrastructure, for instance, or how urban planning can induce or stifle human flourishing. Most keenly, though, I’m attracted to books that offer some piercing insight into why things are why they are, or expose something important about modernity that we might be blind to. I’m most drawn to books that defend the human and the humane against modernity, consumerism, and self-worship.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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8 Responses to Tuesday things

  1. Certain narrators will make me want to listen to a book versus reading it, too. Nice list!

  2. lydiaschoch says:

    There are definitely some fantastic narrators out there! Thanks for stopping by earlier.

  3. Susan says:

    Same. If a book blogger or IRL friend who has similar tastes to mine really likes a book, I’ll definitely give it a try. I’ve found lots of great reads this way.

    Happy TTT!


  4. Marian says:

    Ooh, #6 is relatable… I have discovered I really like the Penguin Deluxe paperbacks with their deckle edges and French flaps. Same with the little Macmillan Collectors pocket-sized hardcovers. Hard for me to resist!

    • Someone donated a goooooorgeous edition of Jane Eyre to the library bookstore, complete with a silk ribbon to use as a bookmark. I was sorely tempted but reminded myself that I’d already read the book, and that if I purchased it it would just sit there on my shelf. :-/ As Jane said, “I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation.”

  5. masterspj says:

    A well-put-together book is definitely an attention-getter. As to the subject of the book, I will use my enjoyment of historical fiction. I prefer books that showcase life back home during the war instead of what was happening on the front lines. I think that’s why I enjoyed The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan and We Are Not Free by Tracy Chee.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  6. Favourite authors is definitely a big one for me, and now that audiobooks make up most of my reading, I do have certain narrators that I will immediately jump on whenever I see they’ve narrated something I’m interested in!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/05/23/top-ten-tuesday-421-the-literary-dinner-party-2022-tag/

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