Booking Through Thursday – Blurb

Booking Through Thursday

Q: “What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible? What words/phrases will make you put the book back down immediately?”

Off the top of my head, words or phrases that make me want to read a book:

  • “Mysterious”
  • “Hidden past”
  • “Adventure”
  • “Beauty”
  • “Love”
  • “Betrayal”
  • “Murder”
  • “Deceit”
  • “Art”
  • “Story”
  • “Unravelling”
  • “Secrets”
  • “no one could have predicted the outcome”

Words that make want to put it down:

  • “Submarine”
  • “War”
  • “Lifechanging journey”
  • “True life tale”

I tend to like big stories, mysteries or tales that teach me something about the world I didn’t know before and come at life from a different angle. Often the best blurbs are the ones that simply summarise the story neatly without giving too much away. I don’t tend to like blurbs that make the book seem too simplistic, or seem to be overstating how brilliant it will be.There is absolutely nothing worse than a blurb that is totally misleading.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule. I have read many books set in wartime that I enjoyed,  but those were usually elegant enough to tell a story without making war the only theme. I do like true stories but usually good books based on real events do not need to state it on the cover because they are so intriguing they make you want to find out more. I know ‘submarine’ is a bit of an odd choice, but really for some reason I have an aversion to anything with a submarine in it be it film or book!

I suppose what you make of a blurb, quite often depends on how you feel or what you are looking for at the time. What do you think? What kind of words put you of or turn you on to reading a book?

28 responses to “Booking Through Thursday – Blurb

  1. LOL-lots of people dont like self help books

  2. I used to LOVE Tom Clancy but I think, post high school,. subs and explosions in books have turned me off, as well.

    • What is about submarines that makes things so boring? I think I was traumatised by being taken to see The Hunt for the Red October as a child!

  3. Great post! I don’t like self help books or most true life tales

    • Thank you. I don’t mind self-help in the broad sense of ‘educational’ but schmaltzy self indulgent stories can be annoying!

  4. I totally agree that it depends on how you feel at the time. 🙂

  5. Thats just made me laugh out loud as I almost put submarine, in the end I plumped for Cricket instead as I can’t think of anything worse! I should maybe have put sports and submarines!

    • That’s random. We must be in a similar mindset! Your response is much more philosopical than mine. Great thoughts…

  6. I agree. . .the worst thing is a misleading blurb!

  7. You answered very well!
    I have the misleading factor in my response:

    My answer is here at The Burton Review

  8. justabookreader

    Submarines! I love that. Life changing journey would be a turnoff for me too.

  9. Oh yes, submarine, along with sports, army, and fishing. But you’re right: sometimes the blurbs are misleading, and I feel bad for the authors who ended up with irresponsible blurbs!

  10. Good to have more blurbs that interest than not I always say.
    Happy BTT

  11. I didn’t even think of doing the Booking Through Thursday with a list! Great list!

    I have finished Maxwell’s O, Juliet. I will not be placing a full review on my blog until after the first of the year as she has a lot of stuff leading up to the release and I will include my review in that. I will be placing a short review on my blog today or tomorrow just to put some of my thoughts up. 🙂

  12. I love true life tales, but don’t like self help books. I have a whole shelf of them – I’ve read them – they haven’t helped me! 🙂

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about a submarine. But “Life-changing journey” would send me running for the hills.

  14. Self help books turn me off too. My post is here.

  15. “I suppose what you make of a blurb, quite often depends on how you feel or what you are looking for at the time.”

    – My feelings exactly. My BTT post is here!

  16. Thanks for visiting today!!

  17. War books are not my cup of tea either. Haven’t been to your site before but will be back, that’s for sure!

  18. Some people seem to dislike true story…I like it but I am not gonna say I love it. I still enjoy fiction more than true story

    • I guess that’s similar to how I feel. I did enjoy True History of the Kelly Gang, but as a rule I prefer fiction too.

  19. Pingback: Chris Cleave’s – The Other Hand « Novel Insights

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