Everyone has ideas about what they are looking for in a good book. Here’s what I want:
1) Characters who are believable and make me want to root for them. They don’t have to be perfect people. After all, who wants to read about someone who has a family, job, life without flaws? But there must be a characteristic or attribute that makes me want to connect. Like maybe they’re clever, witty, charitable, or kind.
2) Settings that take me away. I love to travel and meet people from around the world. Each place, whether domestic or foreign, has a unique ambiance that makes it special. I like authors who make me feel like I’ve visited their setting. I want to smell the fragrances, feel the air’s humidity or dryness, and understand why the author chose to write about that particular place.
3) Stories that teach me something new. While more easily accomplished with nonfiction or historical fiction books, books of all types can teach us. Novels are jam-packed with relationships and moral dilemmas. Each of these situations are ripe for exploring different points of view.
4) An ending that leaves me satisfied. I accept that not all stories have happy endings. But when I read the final page, I like to feel the story is complete. If the hero is still unhappy, then I want to know that the individual did his/her best to remedy the circumstances.