|"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!|
You know that saying, "write the book you want to read"? Well, here's the problem... I've got a lot of books I'd like to read, but really not all the time in the world to write them. Is it too much to ask to have the Universe take some of those great ideas off my hands, and turn them into brilliant plotlines, enmeshed with epic world-building and realistic characters, snappy dialogue, and grand action sequences? Is it too much, people?
Clearly, there are plenty others out there, like me, who have dreams of books galore that they'd like to see poof into being on the shelves of their local Barnes and Noble. That's why today's Top Ten Tuesday theme - "Top Ten Things on my Reading Wishlist" - is probably going to be such a unique one... everybody's got something different they'd like to see more of in books, be that a particular time period, characterization, issue under discussion, etc.
Basically, we're all a bunch of nerds, and more than that, we're nerds of our own particular branding. We'd just like to see more of our favorite things, in our favorite format! And here are some of my ideas...
1. Shakespearean adaptations
Even before I found out the Hogarth Shakespeare collection was a thing (for those who have yet to, please pick up Anne Tyler's Vinegar Girl as your first reading assignment), I've long been a fan of the Bard. And such classic stories and characters could surely find a place in the more contemporary range of fiction, too!
2. 1930s Great Depression and 1940s WWII
These are some of my favorite time periods, and ones that will always attract my attention for historical fiction, due to their rather incredible, transformational effects on American history. And while we're on the subject, why not ask for a little more...
3. Cultural history, rather than Political history
Is it too much to ask, that historical fiction doesn't necessarily focus on prominent historical figures - like Marie Antoinette, which I feel like is super overdone at this point - and instead, the literal thousands of normal people also happening to be going through life at the same point? I get that big names help sell books, but man... too many works of historical fiction get bogged down by marketable personalities and huge defining moments instead of just the everyday, of a bygone day.
4. Pirates, especially famous female pirates
Okay, you know how every little kid goes through phases where they get obsessed with certain things and then feel the need to learn every little thing about that thing? Pirates were one - a BIG one - of mine. Like, in the first novel I ever tried to write, there was a piratical bookstore, named Bonny Reads, in honor of Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Like, I just love pirates, you guys.
5. Asian - esp. South Asian - influences and perspectives
Growing up, I was lucky to hang out with a lot of really cool and interesting people in my neck of the woods, widely thanks to the fact that Tacoma, and the state of Washington, happen to be pretty open and inclusive spaces. One of my best friends is Cambodian, and it dawned on me the other day, that I could name very few works of fiction set in Asia, let alone Southern Asia.
6. Media innovation in ebooks and internet publishing
Okay, these next two might sound strange, but hear me out... after watching a TED Talk by comic book author Scott McCloud, I'm convinced that we've really yet to push the boundaries on electronic publishing. Wouldn't it be cool to have a book go viral, and become a bestseller, not just because the book itself is good, but because it's an innovative platform experience? I just feel like that would be awesome.
7. Multimedia book experiences in general
This one's more inspired by Mark Z Danielewski's House of Leaves, which - in addition to its print format - has accompanying internet content and even music (which only lends more cult credence to one of the most immersive and subversive books you will ever read). Connecting books to multimedia experiences is also something we've also seen with the geniuses over at Pemberley Digital, with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries vlog series, multiple linked character Twitter accounts, and accompanying published books. Clearly, it can be done, and well. So why not do it more?
8. Paranormal towns, like in Gravity Falls or The Darkest Part of the Forest
I guess I'm just a real sucker for small towns beset by supernatural forces, particularly when they're set in the Pacific Northwest. And yes, I recognize Twilight technically fits this description, and no, I've obviously not talking about that one.
9. Accessible eco-consciousness for the Millenial set
Maybe it's the March for Science still ringing in my head, but I'd love to see more concrete ways for people to approach daily, routine eco-friendly living. Some of my favorite YouTube series revolve around people buying zero waste or consuming responsibly-grown food, and I want to see that reflected in print content.
10. Modern-day, contemporary updates on British childhood classics - Secret Garden, The Little Princess, etc.
My brother just got the chance to see the musical version of The Secret Garden in Seattle with his high school drama department, and it got me thinking: what about a contemporary update, where orphaned teenager Mary goes to live with her eccentric uncle in New York, only to stumble upon a secret rooftop garden that's fallen into disrepair? And her cousin Colin is a hypochondriac who turns to WebMD instead of a real doctor, and Dickon is the cute British guy who lives across the hall? Someone write this, please!
Got any recommendations for books that fit my Reading Wishlist? What's in your Top Ten? Let me know, in the comments below!