Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TTT: My Reading Wishlist


If your favorite authors came to you and said, "What would you like my next book to be about?" what would you say?  Which themes would you suggest?  What settings?  What kinds of characters?  This week's Top Ten Tuesday prompt asks us to answer this exact question.  It's such a fun topic that I couldn't resist joining in.  If you want to get on this bandwagon (and you totally do), click on over to The Broke and the Bookish to learn how.  I know I'd love to hear your take on this topic.  In the meantime, here are the Top Ten Things on My Reading Wishlist:

1.  Adoption—Adopting my daughter was such a huge, pivotal moment in my life that I will always be interested in discussions of this subject.  I'm fascinated with stories about birth mothers, birth fathers, adoptive mothers, adoptive fathers, adopted children, their siblings, and everyone else involved in the process.  Interracial adoption is relevant to my situation, so of course, I'm especially interested in that side of the issue.  Fiction, non-fiction, whatever—I just want more books about adoption.

2.  Bi-racial and African-American main characters—Along the same lines, I'd like to see more heroes/heroines who look like my beautiful, bi-racial daughter.  She lights up whenever she sees a brown-skinned, curly-haired child on t.v.—I want her to find the same kind of connection in books.  I think stories about kids/teens of color exploring their racial identity are fantastic, but I'd also love to see more novels where race isn't the central theme, more stories where they're just ordinary kids/teens solving ordinary kid/teen problems.

3.  Arizona—I am, admittedly, kind of an Arizona hater.  After moving here from greener, moister climes, I have little love for the desert in which I live.  It's boiling hot, bone dry, and dirt brown.  Not my favorite climate or landscape.  And yet, I see some great setting potential here—how about a survival story that takes place in the Grand Canyon?  Or a murder mystery set during a houseboating trip on Lake Powell?  Or an action/adventure in the desert, with its extreme weather and threatening wildlife?  Surely, there's a story lurking around here somewhere ...

4.  Teens facing crises of faith—I know novels about religion are hard-sells (unless, of course, they're about polygamous Mormons, fanatical cults, etc.), but I'd love to see more stories about teens grappling with their beliefs about God, especially if they differ from those of their parents.  I also enjoy novels about religious people, especially teens, struggling to be "good" in a world full of temptation.

5.  Cults—I admit, I find these kinds of books endlessly fascinating.  Why?  I have no idea, I just do.

6.  Obesity/weight issues—Most YA novels are, at least in part, about self-image.  I'd like to see more of them about kids who are obese/struggling with weight.  It's an important topic and one I think would resound with readers of all ages.

7.  Stay-at-home moms—I know we don't seem like the most exciting characters in the world, but I think some great books could be written about SAHMs.  Just think of all the potential conflicts for a novel: kids, husbands, boredom, identity crises, neighborhood mysteries/dramas, etc.

8.  YA murder mysteries (no supernatural abilities involved)—Is it just me or is the market seriously lacking in classic murder mysteries for teens?  And I don't mean the kind that are solved through supernatural means.  I'm not even talking about "kid detective" stories necessarily, just contemporary murder mysteries that teens solve or help to solve.

9.  Books/reading—As a bibliophile, I always love reading about books.  I love stories set in bookstores, stories where book worlds collide with the real world, stories about characters who love books, etc.

10.  Original post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels—Seems like an oxymoron, I know.  I still love this genre, but it's getting so stale.  There's got to be a new and different take on it out there somewhere, right?  Right?

So, that's what's on my reading wishlist.  How about yours?  And, have you read any good books that fit into the categories I've listed?  I'd love any recommendations.

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

36 comments:

  1. Your list is really interesting and kind of unique, I haven't really seen any of these things on other peoples lists (which is a good thing!) but I find myself also wanting to read book with these things in them. Adoption is one I have never thought about but would make a great story. Whilst on this point, your daughter is absolutely GORGEOUS! I work in an office full of women (mostly all mothers) and as soon as I said the words 'this little girl is so cute' I had 20 women all crowded round my computer cooing over here.
    In reference to your YA murder mystery, it's not specifically murders, but the Lizzy Gardner series by T.R.Ragen (Book 1: Abducted) is a not teen, but young woman who is a private investigator. I've only read the first one and like 1 chapter of the second one but really liked them. Maybe check them out?
    Great list though, really interesting! :)

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    1. Aww, thanks! Funny thing, my baby really isn't a baby anymore. She was a beautiful baby, but now she's a GORGEOUS little girl (5 yo). I added a current picture just for you and the coo-ers in your office :)

      I haven't heard of the Lizzy Gardner series, but I'll definitely look into it. Thanks for the rec!

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    2. Aww, shes such a pretty little (big) girl!
      No worries, I'm glad to recommend. One of those series that I really love and feel needs more reconition because it's so good!

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  2. I was thinking the other day about the serious lack of mysteries in the YA section of the library. Mysteries are probably my favorite genre and I can only think of a very small handful. Sad.

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    1. Right? I know there are some on the market, but I want MORE.

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  3. oooh you have a great list!! I love how you are able to tie in your own interests and see where publishers are lacking in books! I'd love to read adoption stories and am always trying to find racial diversity for my bookshelf-- great picks!

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    1. I guess we all want to see more of our personal interests reflected in books!

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  4. Your list is really interesting. I especially love the YA murder mysteries one. I can't think of any, at least not involving special powers of some sort. The closest I can come is Enid Blyton's Secret Seven and Famous Five stories, but even then I'm not there were murders, and I'm pretty sure they were the younger side of Young Adult!

    Sarah

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    1. I know! It's crazy how few there are. I'll have to look into the book you mentioned -- a good mystery is a good mystery, right?

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  5. Oh, I like your list. Several of these would be on my list too. Once was Lost by Sara Zarr is a teen struggling with faith and it's awesome!

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    1. I've read a couple Sara Zarr books, but not ONCE WAS LOST. Isn't it based on the Elizabeth Smart case or something?

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  6. Good list. For the Teen Crisis of Faith, I think you should read Tilt by Ellen Hopkins because the character Shane ends up having a crisis of faith but I don't know if that's exactly what your looking for since he's gay and does immoral things but he did believe in god at the beginning of the book but starts to doubt it after his sister dies, his point of view chapters were really good though so I think it's worth a try.

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    1. LOL -- I've read several books by Ellen Hopkins, even though they're always gritty. She always sucks me in somehow! I'll definitely look into TILT. Thanks for recommending it.

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  7. I want more YA mysteries too. I didn't put it on my list but I like mysteries and I read a lot of YA so I like when I see the two cross paths.
    I really like your list- it has a lot of different things on it, that I didn't think about.
    Thanks for stopping by my post.

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    1. Yep, there's a huge, untapped YA mystery market. If I was more clever about such things, maybe I'd write one myself!

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  8. Teens facing a crisis of faith, that is a really neat idea!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I agree -- it's something a lot of teens struggle with, I think.

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  9. I have to say, I really loved your list. That photo of your daughter is beyond adorable. Your list touches on real-life events and issues that would make remarkable stories. I think this might be my favorite post today. :)

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  10. Lots of great wishes on your list! Very thoughtful. I especially like 6, 8 and 9. In regards to a unique dystopian, I happened to have just finished one that I think fits this category and I loved it! Have you read Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde? It's unique imaginative and hilarious and yet still very much set in a dystopian world. I don't yet have the review up on my blog but here it is on good reads.

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    1. I haven't read SHADES OF GREY. The only Fforde books I've read is THE EYRE AFFAIR. I really enjoyed it, too, so I'm not sure why I didn't continue on with the series. I need to! I'll look into this one, too, as it sounds like a book that's right up my alley!

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  11. I would be interested in reading books about cults too. They just seem so foreign.

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    1. I know! They're just so beyond my everyday experience that I find them fascinating. I'm especially interested in the psychology of cult behavior. It's really intriguing to me for some reason!

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  12. The only books that I know that feature overweight characters are books about how the MC is bullied or trying to love weight. I know authors want to promote healthy lifestyles but I also think a story needs to be written about that reality that isn't preachy. Why can't someone be overweight and happy?

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

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    1. Right, I totally agree. The only "fat and happy" YA book I can think of is PLUS by Veronica Chambers. It's about a brainiac college student turned plus-sized model.

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  13. I definitely agree with the YA mysteries. I read lots of YA books and I love mysteries, but mysteries by Dan Brown for example are all a bit violent and intellectual for me, so I would love a tamer YA version to read!
    ~Bronte~
    Check out our Top Ten at:http://titlesandteacups.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/top-ten-things-on-my-reading-wishlist.html

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    1. Yes, I totally agree. I'd love a classic murder mystery that's clever and interesting without being gory and violent. Is that too much to ask??

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  14. I love the idea of a survival story in the Grand Canyon! That would be awesome!

    And if you like books where book worlds and reality collide, you might want to check out White Space by Ilsa J. Bick. It's about a girl who can jump into the pages of books. It was pretty gory just to forewarn you, but I thought it was pretty good. Very original and interesting plot line.

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    1. I think so, too! I'm sure Grand Canyon adventures have been done, but I've never seen it. The desert's so treacherous, it would be the perfect setting for a survival story!

      Oooh, and I love Ilsa J. Bick. She's one of my favorites, even though her books can get pretty gritty. She's an excellent writer, though, so I'll definitely look into WHITE SPACE. I love the premise :)

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  15. COMPLETELY agree with #2! I just want some characters to be non-white...the book doesn't have to be ABOUT race, or have any racial conflict or problem to be overcome, just have a mix of people in the book. You know, like the real world, lol.

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  16. Yes to biracial characters! As someone who is biracial myself, I kinda wish there'd be a greater voice given to us.

    As for books on challenging faith, two related to Judaism come to my mind. Dancing in the Dark by Robyn Bavati and Intentions by Deborah Heiligman. Both books present protagonists who are struggling with the faith of their families and how it factors into their own beliefs.

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    1. Right? Before I adopted my daughter, I really didn't even think about this issue, but now it's just appalling to me how little representation there is for black and bi-racial people (especially teens) in books.

      Thanks for the recommendations! I haven't heard of either of these books, but I'll for sure check them out.

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  17. Really interesting list! I especially like your first two points. Issues about representation are important to consider, but it's also boring when book after book features a cast made up of entirely white characters! Variety is good!

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  18. Very interesting list! I also enjoy reading about #5 or special secret groups with weird ways! Blame on the paranormal reading addiction :)

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

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  19. Very interesting choices, some I've never even thought about. I've seen a few lists with number 9, and I feel a bit silly now, cos that's definitely one I wanted to include also. Thank you for stopping by my TT!

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