Happy Sunday afternoon, y’all! I hope that your weekend has been treating you brilliantly thus far. I just finished brewing a pot of tea and as I wait for it to cool down a little bit, I thought it would be lots of fun to do a relaxing post about my favourite bookish buzz words!
Originally, I had no idea what bookish buzz words were. So, I did what any curious individual with internet does. I Googled it. Apparently bookish buzz words are words or phrases that you see displayed in the synopsis of a book’s story, or even words you’ve noticed being associated with a specific book quite often, and they are the sorts of things that will instantly make you interested in reading said book. I would like to thank Bree for tagging me to do The Entertainer Book Tag, where she asked me about some of my go-to buzz words. That question led to my adventuring and also inspired me to write up a whole post about these nifty little letter combinations.
Anyhoo, where are my top ten bookish buzz words! Some of these may not surprise many of you at all, especially my number one. But will the others? Hmmm… let’s find out!
I love narratives about people, usually Asians and Asians living outside of their respective cultural countries, and the struggles that they have with multiple identities. Such as a Japanese immigrant adjusting to being an American, or a Chinese-British who tries to balance being both Chinese and British, maybe after returning to live in China. These are far rarer in fiction, but another example would be of an Indian person who is born and raised in a Western country, their parents don’t try very hard to instil the Indian culture into them, but they are desperately wanting to assimilate into their own heritage (using Indian as a background, not that the character has to specifically be Indian). I think as someone who has difficulty with all of these examples on one level or another, it’s very addicting to me.
Psychological thrillers, or any narrative that has some kind of dark psychological shit in it is always an excellent brew of tea for my brain. They don’t even have to be thrillers. They could be psychological exploration of sexual identity, cultural and religious identity, dealing with grief, etc.—anything really that is about the psychology of human behaviour in a fictitious setting or scenario. I’m so sold.
Gothic settings and atmospheres are breath-takingly beautiful. You have a fantasy tale that takes place in a Gothic castle? Sign me the hell up. Romance amid a Gothic backdrop of mystery and mayhem? Yes, please! Gothic fiction, particularly Victorian Gothic fiction, is like fuel for my soul! The darker and more fucked-up and more romantic (it’s original meaning, not lovey things), the more I shall yearn for it.
This mostly applies to science-fiction. The perfect example of a “high-octane” book that I loved beyond all doubt would be Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea. It’s a cyberpunk, sci-fi novel that pretty much satisfies everything that I crave from a book within this specific genre. Fast-paced, action-packed, vulgar-filled, thrill-rides—gimme, gimme.
06. Post-Colonial + Asian Country + #OwnVoices
Post-colonial fiction in Asian countries (this includes the Asian subcontinent) is probably one of the types of fiction that I cannot resist at all. All I need to see is post-colonial set somewhere in Asian written by an Asian author and I will immediately sit down and start reading it. One of my favourites is The Garden of Evening Mist by Tan Twan Eng. It is by far one of the best novels I’ve ever read.
05. Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Phrases
Okay, this isn’t a specific word, but more of an umbrella for terms. Let me explain… or make an attempt at it. Fantasy books that have words like dragons, magic, fantastical creatures (Elves, dwarves, etc.), descriptions of fantastical places (underground cavern built from ice, etc.), things like that are stuff that I crave as it’s one of my top three favourite genres. A couple of fantasy universes that I turn to for sword and sorcery novels include Eberron and Forgotten Realms.
04. Second World War + Any Country That ISN’T the US
I am obsessed with World War II, and I mean obsessed. Granted that my obsession stems mostly from the Japanese history side/part of it, I still love reading about it and learning about it and experiencing it via fiction. So, if I see a book that has a year from WWII plus a setting in Germany, Austria, Ireland, etc., I will snag that shit up so fast. If I see that it’s 1942 New York… not so much. I do not like American history at all and avoid it at all costs whenever I can, even in a fictional setting.
03. 1960s & Earlier + Any Country that ISN’T US
This pretty much follows the same system as what I said above. I loathe US history, so I will not read historical fiction that takes place here, unless it’s about a figure that I admire greatly. Even then I tend to struggle getting through the stories. But if it takes place in France or England or even Canada, I’ll take it. If the book is #OwnVoices Asian literature, then there isn’t even a moment’s hesitation in my grabbing that thing up. Historical fiction is one of my top five favourite genres.
02. Artificial Intelligence
I love, love, love stories about AI technology, particularly if the AI is sentient and/or if things get super fucked-up because of AI for whatever reason. I think this is because I know that we are headed down the road with our current advancement and obsession with technology. The Terminator is a brilliant sci-fi story that is a lot more real and far closer than most people realise or accept. The doom and gloom of a technological advanced society has been taunting us and warning us in books for decades, and now that we are fast-approaching those potential outcomes, the horror of it fascinates the hell out of me.
01. #OwnVoices Japanese Books Taking Place in Japan
If I catch a Japanese author’s name, or if I catch a narrative that takes place in Japan and learn that the author is of Japanese descent on any level, I will immediately buy that book without any question or hesitation. If I can’t afford to buy it in that moment, I’ll check it out and also add it to my Wishlist of things to buy ASAP. It can be a godawful book, but I will still take and read it and add it to my collection. #OwnVoices Japanese literature, especially when they take place in Japan, is my favourite kind of book to read above anything else in the whole wide universe. No exceptions. Whatsoever.
That does it for my top ten bookish buzz words thingymajiggy. What did you think? Are any of these your buzz words? Do you have buzz words? Please, come chat with me in the comments, and have a beautiful rest of the weekend ahead!