Wishing on a star… (Top 10 things on my reading wishlist)

January 21, 2014 Top Ten Tuesday 28


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist (if you could make authors write about these things you would. Could be a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a time period, a certain plot, etc.) 

This is going to be a very mixed bag, and I’ve stretched the category definition a bit, but here goes:

  • The founding of Hogwarts.  Please?  But only if Rowling writes it.
  • The third Kingkiller Chronicle.  Pat Rothfuss is working on it, and I’d much rather he take his time and get it right… but we wants it, my preciousssss, we wants it now!
  • A really good (new) YA fantasy series that isn’t dystopian and doesn’t have a love triangle, a vampire, a witch, or a werewolf/shapeshifter.  Lately, this seems to be very hard to find. 
  • More people of color and people with disabilities who are real, well-written people, not token minorities defined by their race/ethnicity/disability alone.  Especially in fantasy, SF, and romance, but we could use this pretty much everywhere, and not just in genre fiction.  I know there are good examples out there, but they tend to be the exceptions and not the rule.
  • Romances with heroines in their 40s, 50s, or 60s.  C’mon, there’s no age limit on love and romance in real life.  
  • A book in which the homeschooled main character is normal and average (or normally smart, not genius-plus), and so are his/her parents.  Because as a former homeschooling mom, I get really tired of all the misconceptions out there. And for that matter, how about…
  • A book in which the main character(s) have a strong, stable, functional family?  There must be some way to challenge a character and give them obstacles to surmount or lessons to learn that don’t require losing a parent, having an abusive parent or sibling, finding themselves suddenly on their own, etc.  How about a story in which the MC’s family is their strength, for a change?
  • On the lighter side, I’d love a mystery which involves at least three of the following as significant characters:  Lord Peter Wimsey, Albert Campion, Roderick Alleyn, a youngish Miss Marple, and/or Laurie King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.  Set it in the 1930s, and you should be able to include all of them (and maybe a few more for good measure.)* 
  •  A sequel to The Secret GardenA good one.
  • And finally, more books by all my favorite authors.  Especially the dead ones.

* And yes, I do know that Lord Peter makes a brief appearance in King’s A Letter from Mary, identified only as “Peter.”  But he’s not a significant player in the book.

28 Responses to “Wishing on a star… (Top 10 things on my reading wishlist)”

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Hi, Amy! I don’t think you’ve been by before – welcome! Yes, the YA fantasy field seems to be mining a lot of the same tropes and themes recently. Some authors have found ways to do this very creatively, but there’s also a plethora of same-same stuff, and I just want something new.

      As for more from my favorite authors… Oh, I wish! As I’ve gotten older, more and more authors I grew up reading have died (or were already gone by the time I discovered them, of course – like C. S. Lewis and Tolkien.) I’ve found new authors to love, but no one can ever really replace a favorite author. I cried when Anne McCaffrey died a few years ago; I’d been reading her since I was in high school, so about 30 years. Her son writes the series now, but it’s just not the same.

  1. Ula (Blog of Erised)

    “A really good (new) YA fantasy series that isn’t dystopian and doesn’t have a love triangle, a vampire, a witch, or a werewolf/shapeshifter.” Good luck! 😀 Not sure this exists 😀
    And yes to Hogwarts! That’d be amazing. Or just Hogwarts: A History that Hermione keeps citing 😀
    “Romances with heroines in their 40s, 50s, or 60s” sounds awesome too 🙂
    Great list, I agree with all of these 😀

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I think Hogwarts: A History would be wonderful. But it might tie Rowling down too much in terms of future books, if she ever goes back into that world.

      There are all these young women (twenties and thirties) in romance novels. Well, I’m 50 and very much in love with my husband, but if I were single or widowed, I’m certainly not past wanting romance!

      As for the fantasy… they’ve got to be out there, I just haven’t found them yet. Actually, I don’t insist on YA (and there are some wonderful adult fantasy series I want to read. The reason I put it on the list is that I think YA fantasy has been overly prone to stick with what has been popular instead of branching out and taking risks.

  2. Amber (Books of Amber)

    CRYING. Everyone seems to want the Marauders-era, but I just really want a Founders story. That’s maybe seven to ten books long.

    Yep, there definitely needs to be a more diverse range of characters in YA (and adult fiction, but I don’t read as much of that so I can’t really comment). I think YA has the strong woman thing down, now we need to work on the POC/LGBT+ thing. Token characters are irratating, and stereotypical. It’s annoying.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      7 to 10 books – wow! I was just hoping for one… but if she could get two or three or seven really good books out of it, why not? Ms. Rowling, if you’re reading this, you’ve got at least a few requests for a Founders book or series!

      Absolutely. Token characters, or even no diversity at all, are a problem across the board in almost every genre. With, as I said, some notable exceptions. But the thing is, they shouldn’t be notable for anything but the quality of the writing and the writer’s imagination. We live in a diverse world (well, most of us do. I admit that there’s not as much diversity in my small, rural county as I could wish.) Our books should reflect that. Even the ones that don’t take place in our world.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Thanks! I wasn’t sure if anyone else would understand the normal homeschooled kid wish. There are so many stereotypes out there. A lot of people homeschool in our county, including us (8th grade through graduation.) And I don’t think our family is particularly abnormal… just lucky that homeschooling was an option when public school wasn’t right for our child.

  3. Elisa @ Leopards and Dragons

    Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I just started and am still sorting out what I will be doing. I really appreciate the vote of confidence.

    I like your list too. I’m not sure there are any books left that fit #3. And I love 4 and 5! Absolutely agree with you there. Why do all protagonists need to be hot teens or 20s with personalities that are paper thin.

    Oh, and for 7, one of the reasons I really liked Discount Armageddon (despite the instalove) was that the protagonist came from a supporting functional family that loved her. It was great!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Hopefully, we’ll start to see more YA authors (and publishers, which may be the real issue) branch out from some of the ride-the-popularity-wave stuff they’ve been writing. Not that it’s bad – there are some wonderful books out there that include one or more of the tropes I complained of. It’s just that there doesn’t seem to be anything else!

      I’ve not read Discount Armegeddon, but I’ll have to check it out. I’m all for functional, supportive families!

  4. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    First of…yes! I want any Hogwarts book that woman can give me. Like Amber said everyone wants the Marauder-era, but I would love to have something unrelated to Harry…because I would probably hate the Marauders if they had a book/series devoted to them. (I’m in the minority on that I think) I also want more YA high fantasy, and I mean true high fantasy. I want the detailed worlds and amazing races of dragons or dwarves…even trolls. I just want it to step away from the paranormal for a while. Great list!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      My worry with the Marauders is that we know how it ends (badly, for the most part.) James and Lily end up dead, along with a lot of others who fought Voldemort. Sirius is in Azkaban. The Longbottoms are in a mental ward. And Peter is a traitor. Even if the series stops with their graduation from Hogwarts, everyone knows what happens, so it wouldn’t be an upbeat ending. (Reminds me of Katherine Kurtz’s Camber trilogy. Good stories, good writing, but I don’t re-read them because too many good people die, and things are only going to get worse.

      I totally agree on the high fantasy: YA or not, I want more of it. Urban fantasy and paranormal are interesting and fun, and I like them some of the time – but not as a steady diet. Which is probably why I love the Kingkiller Chronicle so much (well, that and the fact that Rothfuss is a jaw-droppingly incredible writer.)

  5. Stephanie Shepherd

    Number one is SUCH a great idea! If Rowling writes another in the HP ‘verse, that would be the perfect approach!! THANK you. Hopefully Rowling is reading this and feels inspired:) Like everything else on the list too, especially 3,4,and 5.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Thanks! It solves the problem with writing about the Marauders that I mentioned above. I really, really wish she would write it. Even with the rift with Slytherin at the end, it could end on a hopeful, even mostly triumphant note – the school will survive. But oh, the things that could happen along the way!

    • Stephanie Shepherd

      I totally agree with your objections to a Marauders book. Not to mention that we got some of their story in the HP books and I think it would work better if there was more of a break.

  6. Jennifer

    Yes yes yes for the Hogwarts founding story and a sequel to The Secret Garden. I’ve always wanted to know if Mary ends up with Dicken. A functional (normal) family would be a refreshing change in YA fiction for sure. Happy reading!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Actually, I always thought she would end up with Colin. Yes, I know they’re cousins, but I think that was allowed at that point. I think the class difference would come between her and Dickon – not necessarily on Mary’s part, but possibly on Dickon’s. Although given that they might be coming of age around WWI, a time when those barriers began to break down a little, maybe not. And what would a sequel focus on – the three children coming of age, or maybe it would be about their children? I don’t know; I just know I am always so sad to finish the book that I want more.

  7. Pamela D

    I still need to read books 1 & 2 of the Kingkiller Chronicles, but I am looking forward to the third one too!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      They’re really good. Just be prepared that the first one starts somewhat slowly and without much explanation. Hang in there – it’s worth it. Once you get to Kvothe telling his story, it’s all worth it… and the beginning will slowly start to make some sense as the frame story comes clear.

  8. Bookmark Dragon

    Great list! I agree with everything you’ve written. RE your #3, have you read Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series? It’s newish, but not BRAND new. You might like it.

    And, a Hogwarts founders series written by Rowling would be EPIC.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I haven’t read Cinda Williams, and I’ve been meaning to! Yet another thing on my long TBR list that I haven’t managed to get to yet. Thank you for the reminder – I will bump it higher on the list!

  9. aliceinreaderland.com

    Oooh, I love #8, that would be so cool! And I also agree that we need more well-written characters of color and characters who have disabilities. Too often I think them and their stories are stereotyped.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I know! Once I thought it up, I was dying for someone to write it. Too bad the idea steps on too many copyrights; it will never make it as anything but fanfic.

      Exactly: POC and those with disabilities are often stereotyped when they appear at all. And they’re rarely the main characters (except in fiction lines aimed at and marketed to people of color.) That’s a barrier that needs to be broken often enough that it’s no longer remarkable.

  10. brocsbookcase

    I really really need a new fantasy series in my life right now. Have been looking around but just not found one yet.
    And yes please to a Hogwarts book. Any book involving that world will have my undivided attention from start to finish! Great list! 🙂

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      If you’re up for a very long and not always fast-moving series with phenomenal worldbuilding and incredible writing, try Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. And then be prepared to curse me for putting you on to them, because the publication date for book 3 is still completely up in the air and you, like me, will be going mad wanting to know what happens next. (Do be aware before you start that they aren’t YA; they’re definitely adult – which becomes pretty clear for a little too long in the second book. When you get to the section about Felurian, you’ll see what I mean. Other than spending a bit too long on that section, though, the books are amazing.)

      I’ve just realized I never reviewed The Wise Man’s Fear. How is that possible?