Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Random, Little Things that Make Me Extra Happy in Books

I couldn't really think of a good title for this top ten list because it's a bit random. *I just really wanted an excuse to talk about how much I love it when characters make fun of other characters for brooding and saw my chance.* Don't judge me.

We all have them though, the random, little things that just kind of tickle us inside, make us squeal, make us laugh out loud every time, make us mark the page to come back, or just make us extra happy for no real reason when we read them, so here's my hodge-podge list, complete with quotes and everything!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week was a freebie, so my topic is:

Top Ten Random, Little Things that Make Me Extra Happy in Books

To Summon a Vampire by Soraya Cage | books, reading, book covers
In Darkness Bound by Christine Price | books, reading, book covers
Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond | books, reading, book covers
The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan | books, reading, book covers
Nocte by Courtney Cole | books, reading, book covers

10. Hilariously Miserable Dinner Scenes

“I didn’t just lose my job, like, ‘Oops, where’d my job go?'” from American Beauty may always be the best dinner scene, and I will never stop laughing at it, but I’ve come across one or two good dinner scenes in books, too.

And as the tension grew, Maribel began to go a bit heavy on the wine, which probably wasn’t a good idea on an empty stomach. But it numbed her a bit, eased her discomfort some, and made it sting a little less when he shot another question down and glanced at the back door, as though he was judging the distance to it, calculating how long it might take to get there.

“More wine?” she asked sarcastically, pouring more into the full glass he hadn’t touched, until it nearly overflowed.

-Soraya Cage, To Summon a Vampire

9. When Characters Acknowledge Cliches

Always funny even though I do admit to liking certain cliches.

“Don’t quote poetry, Vance. Being a vampire is pretentious enough.”

-In Darkness Bound, Christine Price

8. Epic Character Descriptions

You know, the ones that are about more than mere looks or personality traits, the ones that make me wonder how someone would describe me. And if someone did describe me, I’d want it to be this beautiful! (Just for reference, the character in the quote is a flying trapeze artist.)

Remy stilled. It was impossible not to notice when he went motionless, because he was usually so filled with energy. He was rarely truly still. Some part of him was always swinging through the air at high speed, even when he was sitting next to me.

-Girl on a Wire, Gwenda Bond

7. Wit

And snark. Gotta love it.

“That dress I had on was pretty. It’s a pity I had to rip it apart.”

“Yeah. It was entertaining to watch though.”

“To watch?” I fold my arms over my chest. “Weren’t you wrestling on the floor at the time?”

A grin lifts one side of Ryn’s mouth. “I can multitask, remember? And girls tearing their clothes off is something I try not to miss.”

-Rachel Morgan, The Faerie Guardian

6. Lines that Perfectly Capture How I Feel About the Night

Nyctophilia (n.) love of darkness or night; finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness. That’s me. I have that. I love the night. There’s a magic in it that words could never truly do justice, but I still love finding quotes and knowing there’s someone else out there who feels it, too.

Insomniacs know that there is something about the night. A darkness, an energy, a mystery that shrouds things. It hides things at the same time as it illuminates them. It is this thing that allows us to examine our thoughts in a way that we can’t during the day, It is this thing that brings truth and clarity.

-Courtney Cole, Nocte

Sawdust & Spangles: Stories & Secrets of the Circus by W.C. Coup | books, reading, book covers
Steal the Sun by Lexi Blake | books, reading, book covers
Steal the Day by Lexi Blake | books, reading, book covers
The Princess Bride by William Goldman | books, reading, book covers
Chase the Dark by Annette Marie | books, reading, book covers

5. Old-Timey Speech/Writing (AKA The Much Underrated Trait of Eloquence)

I’m just a sucker for it, whether it’s a character in a fictional book, the author’s writing style, or a person in real life. Pro tip: If you’re thinking about wooing me, this is the way to do it. (Oh, W.C. Coup, You had me at affray of a fatal character. And a trifle irregular. And served to dampen my sense of admiration. And basically every sentence in your book even though I couldn’t include them all in this post.)

This was the first time in my life that I ever looked upon the face of the dead or witnessed any affray of a fatal character. The shock and shuddering which it caused me were so great that I actually attempted to leave the show business, but was soon back again into the “current of destiny” and became inured to these exciting scenes.

-W.C. Coup, Sawdust & Spangles: Stories & Secrets of the Circus

4. When Authors Find Beauty in Something I Never Considered Beautiful

I love finding beauty in everything that I can and seeing things in different ways.

I watched intently because Daniel was a vision of violent power and grace when he worked. The crowd fell like dominoes as he twisted and whirled that sword in an arc that left not one of the men untouched. Blood began to splatter in a neat circle, saturating the ground around him. Half the men had already fallen.

Daniel stopped, his head down, sword held low and he looked over at me and winked.

-Lexi Blake, Steal the Sun

3. When Characters Make Fun of Other Characters for Brooding

I considered making this #1, you know, reason for the post and all that, but alas, it’s actually #3. I do so love it when characters good-naturedly tease other characters for brooding though. (But don’t get me wrong, I love the brooding characters, too!)

Daniel was still staring at his itinerary. “And what the hell does this mean? This asshole has me brooding every day from seven to nine.”

A little smile curled Dev’s lips up. “That would be your free time.”

-Lexi Blake, Steal the Day

2. Absurd Humor

The best kind of humor there is! Ok I don’t know if that’s actually what it’s called or if it has a name, but that’s what I call it. (And The Princess Bride is chock full of it!)

“Skin?” asked the Prince.

“Marbleish,” answered the Queen.


“Number or color?” asked the Queen.

-William Goldman, The Princess Bride

1. Beautiful Writing

I know it’s not the most original thing on my list, so does it really deserve the number one spot? YES IT DOES. I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH. Any book I review will pretty much instantly get an extra star if it has beautiful writing. In fact, I love it so much that I couldn’t pick just one quote and ruined the uniformity of the post. It’s a justifiable reason. Beautiful writing is always a justifiable reason. (I can see it now: “Why did you murder that man, Kristen?” “…Beautiful writing?” “You’re free to go.”)

Walk was too harmless a word for the way he moved. He drifted like a slinking shadow, each movement melting seamlessly into the next.

-Annette Marie, Chase the Dark

His movements were all power and grace. The shadows in the room welcomed him, absorbing his form even when she swore the darkness wasn’t deep enough to hide him.

-Annette Marie, Yield the Night

It was burning there in her eyes, the kind of love that turns your insides into glass and the person you love into stone. Every word, every sigh, every pathetic sound I made had the potential to break her or keep her safe but when it came to the two of us, I couldn’t figure out how to do one without the other.

-Laekan Zea Kemp, The Boy in Her Dreams


Talk to me!

What random, little things would be on YOUR top ten list? If we have any in common, I'd love book recommendations!


Your Thoughts


36 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Random, Little Things that Make Me Extra Happy in Books

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  1. LHauser27

    Hi! Great idea 🙂 I love wit, too. And beautiful writing. One of the wittiest books series I can think of is the Thursday Next series. One of the best descriptive books I’ve read is Parrot in the Oven- not a trendy book, but soooo well written. My TTT

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ll definitely check those out! Most of the books I read are not overly trendy, so that won’t bother me 😛

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you 🙂 I’m glad I’m not alone in all the strange things I like–absurd humor and beautiful writing are seriously the best!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I read a lot of vampire books, and you can’t read vampire books without loving certain cliches lol, but it’s still refreshing when they’re joked about!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I don’t what it is about dinner scenes that makes them so great, but they just are.

  2. Priyanka

    I love your topic and I agree with all the things you mentioned! I always think them subconciously while reading but never properly thought about it until your post. Nice work!
    Here’s my TTT

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Yeah, I had to do a bit of digging in my brain to pinpoint all the things on my list lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! If I’m being entirely honest, the only reason I thought of the “epic character descriptions” section was because I had too many books for the “beautiful writing” section but wanted an excuse to use Girl on a Wire. It’s full of beautiful writing, but I’m also a huge circus fan, so I ADORED the descriptions of the circus acts and even the costumes/prep. There’s also really great banter between the two main characters, so I think you’ll like it.

  3. J.E. Fountain

    Marvelous use of your freebie TTT. I can relate to most of these, though I’d never have come up with them. The epic character descriptions is a beaut! Hmmm, my own? You took all the good ones. All I can think of to add is a description of a hangover. The Gold Standard was set by Kingsley Amis is Lucky Jim: Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spidercrab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha I have to admit I’ve never drunken enough to experience a hangover myself (and I’d like to keep it that way), but that’s a pretty epic description. And thanks! It was fun thinking about the different things I love while I was making the list.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is hilarious! I definitely recommend it if you like that kind of humor and/or if you like the movie.

  4. kgriffin3227

    I’m a big fan of wit and snark. I’m also an insomniac, so I completely understand the passage about the night. I might have to read that book, that just really captured how I feel. I work best at night and I’m more creative at night. Great topic choice! Thanks for visiting Bookworm Book Reviews! Happy reading!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Same here, I always do my writing at night because I feel more creativity and focus. The rest of the book might have one or two more quotes but isn’t really about the night, despite the title :-/ Not a bad book, just don’t want you to be misled. And thanks, same to you!

  5. Lisa

    Lovely list! I don’t know these books (except for the Princess Bride, which gets immediate hugs from me), but I love all your categories!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! It was a fun list for me. And The Princess Bride is one of my favorites 😀

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Seriously, there have definitely been times when I was glad I was reading alone in my house or people would’ve thought I was nuts with how hard I was laughing!

  6. Veronika

    Absolutely love your list! Especially that you used quotes to demonstrate your points. I love when a book makes me laugh out loud so absurd humor is def one of my favorite points from your list. Witty and snarky characters are so much fun – you just gotta love them. I fully agree with #9 – when the characters acknowledge cliches is usually super-funny. Beautiful writing is so very important for me as well. I mean, I do enjoy non-beautifully written books as well, but the whole reading experience is so much better if not only the story/characters but the writing is exceptional as well.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! And I agree, a book can still be great if it has a strong plot and characters, but add beautiful writing to the mix and I get positively giddy lol.