Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday blog header 5-9-17

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed post hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week features a different theme/prompt for which you come up with a list of 10 books/ideas. This week’s theme is ten things on our reading wishlist: things you want to see more of in books — tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!

What do I want to see in more books? (As a side note: if you happen to have any books recs for any of the things I mention, please let me know!)

LGBTQIAP Characters Whose Stories Aren’t Coming Out Stories

I know that coming out stories are super important and can be really comforting for people who are figuring out their sexuality and how to tell people about it. BUT it seems like 99.9999% of stories about LGBTQIAP characters are only about coming out. Give me more LGBTQIAP characters in other genres or just whose stories don’t revolve around them figuring out who they are. Show them as well-rounded humans with more than one thing to worry about!!

Social Anxiety

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde is to date the only book I’ve read where a main character has social anxiety and it was awesome. But I want more stories that incorporate social anxiety! I’ve been dealing with social anxiety since I was in middle school and it would be so, so awesome to see more characters dealing with it, too.

New Adult Books That Aren’t Romance

I know new adult is a fairly new category on its own and therefore is still just starting to pop up, but really, I’d love to see more of this age category that doesn’t focus on romance and sex. I love reading new adult because in a lot of ways it feels more relatable to me than either YA or adult fiction, but I’m not the biggest fan of romance (every now and then, yes, but it’s definitely not my go-to genre) and so I’d love to this age range expand into sci-fi, fantasy, etc.

Colonial Era Historical Fiction

Remember those Dear America books?? They were written as if they were diaries and a lot of them were stories from colonial America. I used to eat those books up when I was a kid. In retrospect, I’m sure there are a lot of problems with them, but I loved them as a kid. In general, I love learning about the colonial period of US history, but I can never seem to find YA set during that time period and it makes me very sad (if any of you happen to have recs…).

Forbidden Romance

I know I said I don’t read romance that often, but man, I love forbidden romances. I don’t know, there’s something about two people who aren’t supposed to love each other who just can’t stay away. 

Poor Teenagers in YA

Is it just me or is every YA character middle or upper-middle class? Where are all the poor kids?!

Books With Pictures

This probably stems from me really loving books that have unique formats, but I especially love when books incorporate pictures into them. That’s one of the reasons why I loved the Miss Peregrine’s books as much as I did (or at least the first two – still haven’t read the third). I feel like this works especially well for horror books or books that are just generally kind of creepy. More, please!

Books Written in Verse

Going back to that whole “I love books with unique formats” thing… I love books written in verse. It’s kind of ironic considering I generally don’t like reading poetry (it depends on the type of poetry, but still). The only books I can ever think of that are written in verse are Ellen Hopkins’ and as much as I love her writing, I need others to choose from! I know I’ve read at least a couple others, but still, it seems like there aren’t a ton of options.

Books With Cults

Truthfully, I know there are probably a lot of books with/about cults that I haven’t come across simply because I haven’t really looked for them. But ever since I read Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene which is about a girl in the FLDS, I’ve really been interested in finding more books that are at least somewhat similar. I’m open to nonfiction books about cults, but I really want fiction about what it’s like to live in these groups.

Positive Portrayals of Therapists/Medication (esp. in YA)

I love reading books about mental health, but one thing that is painfully common is the view of therapists and/or medication as evil/untrustworthy/”they don’t understand me.” I get that these are common thoughts for people being forced to get treatment (like teens whose parents are making them go to therapy), but man, this is a dangerous idea to feed to teens. Therapists and medication for psychiatric illnesses can literally be life-saving and I’d like to see more books actually encourage seeking help rather than having a “tough guy” MC who tries to tackle their mental illness alone.

What would you like to see more of in books?

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43 thoughts on “Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

  1. I would absolutely love to see more books featuring LGBT+ characters were the story isn’t about them coming out! I don’t really like books where someone is defined by their sexuality or where it plays the biggest part in who a character is and everything is just lingering in the background and not really looked at or developed! I feel like that kind of also goes along with me wanting more books that have established relationships rather than the whole ‘will they won’t they’ type of things – but I also really love reading about that!


    • I like reading coming out/figuring out your sexuality stories, but it gets tiring when that’s the only kind of story you get to see LGBTQIAP characters in. I’d also love to see more characters in established relationships. Seems like the only time you see that happen is if they break up for the protagonist to go with someone else. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely agree with LGBTQ+ stories that are more than coming out! I also want more LGBTQ+ stories that take place in non-contemporary genres because I love horror, thrillers, sci-fi, dystopian, etc WAY MORE than contemporary!

    I have social anxiety as well, so I’d love to see more books where main characters have it, too! Books about cults definitely interest me for some reason (which I feel like is a weird thing to be interested in lol). And, yeah, I feel like NA has SUCH POTENTIAL, but it’s all romance and tropes. 😝


  3. Ahhh I LOVED the Dear America books!!! I would love to read YA set in the colonial time period… and can you imagine a fantasy story set there as well? Authors, this is GOLD 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am waiting for new adult books that aren’t filled with romance and sex too, it’s why I don’t read any new adult. Also Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse is written in verse, it’s a quick read. The DaVinci Code is a book that has a cult in it, I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. YES! You and I have some overlap this week in our wish lists – I’d love to see queer representation expand beyond gay/lesbian coming out stories – there’s so much more to being queer than coming out, and the spectrum extends beyond the L and G portion of the acronym!! 🙂

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  6. More LGBT+ stories that aren’t about coming out are DEFINITELY needed! I’d also love some more new adult books that aren’t just romance. Especially if they’re set in college or right after college and are just about navigating through life. Romance is fine, but sometimes we want a little more, right?!


    • Exactly! Like I said, I don’t read a ton of romance, but I’d love to read about more characters who are my age and going through the kinds of things that I’m experiencing right now. There’s just so much potential for NA and authors should really be taking advantage, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I would love to see more books with social anxiety in. Although I don’t have social anxiety I have general anxiety and panic disorder so it’s a subject that’s so important to me. When I read about characters who struggle in the same ways as me I just connect with them and it makes me enjoy the book so much more. New adult books without romance is one I put on my list as well. I’m at the New Adult age so I want to read stuff in that genre because I think I’d relate more to situations in NA books but they’re all about romance and sex and I’m just not interested in reading it…

    Books with cults is an interesting one. I put books about serial killers on my list, cause that’s something that fascinates me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about a cult though so now I’m intrigued. I’ve just added keep sweet to my TBR so hopefully I enjoy it! Great list 💖


    • I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here! When I read Queens of Geek and saw a character with social anxiety for the first time, it was just so awesome. It just feels validating to see someone else – fictional or not – who struggles with the same things you do.
      Keep Sweet was such a great read, IMO. But there are some pretty intense abuse and sexual assault scenes, so be careful if that’s something that might bother you!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with every single one of these! I particularly want more stories that feature characters with social anxiety (I have it, too, and it can feel so isolating) and positive portrayals of therapy and medication. Especially medication, because taking medication to treat my mental illnesses has completely changed my life. Also, stories about LGBTQIA+ people that don’t center around coming out. YES. I also love stories set in the colonial period and books about cults, too! Fantastic list, Kourtni!!


    • I get so annoyed when books portray medication and therapists as bad things that you should try to avoid. It feels like 99% of the time, books that do that are written by neurotypical authors, too. It just seems downright dangerous to me because it can totally end up making teens who would benefit from those things hesitant about seeking them out.


  9. Yes to all of them! Why are all new adult books romances? I’ve noticed that too. I definitely would enjoy a new adult dystopian or fantasy. That would be awesome! And there should be more books that features characters with anxiety. I just finished By Your Side by Kasie West and the female lead has anxiety but I didn’t like how West portrayed it. I’ve never read a book with a cult in it; that would be really interesting. Great list!

    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday


  10. YES to so many of these! It would be incredible if we got more books with LGBTQIAP characters that aren’t coming out stories. Not that they aren’t important but I definitely think I come across way more that are coming out stories than not. And I would love more books with characters who are dealing with social anxiety. Also, forbidden romance (that is my favorite romance trope lol), poor teenagers in YA, and positive portrayals of therapist and medication. This is such a great list, Kourtni!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Huge YES to all of these!!! I’d love to see more social anxiety rep and positive therapy/med rep in books because it’s something that gets so stigmatised. I’d love to see NA books that aren’t strictly romance either. I feel like they’re could be some really awesome Shades of Magic-esque NA books. Like, why can’t a group of people in their 20’s save the world too??? Also, cults are so creepily fascinating. Great list, Kourtni!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I haven’t seen much new adult stuff that isn’t romance either, so I agree, more of that would be nice! And I hadn’t really thought about it, but poor teens are definitely rare. Positive representation of medication is really important, not just in books but in media in general.


    • New adult has so much potential, I just wish more authors took advantage of it. 😛 I completely agree that positive representation of medication is important for all media – people need to be encouraged to seek out help rather than made to feel as if their needs make them weak.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Totally agree about the LGBTQIAP characters. Coming out stories are great, but it would be nice to have more diversity in terms of what kinds of stories we have about those characters. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was a pretty good example. If I recall correctly, he wasn’t quite out yet at school, but he had already accepted and was comfortable with who he was.

    I would also love to see more characters with social anxiety. It’s something I’ve always struggled with myself, although I’ve never been properly diagnosed so I’m not sure I have it in the clinical sense. I wonder if the lack of socially anxious characters in books are because people think they wouldn’t be too interesting to read about though.


    • I’d love to see more LGBTQIAP characters in genres like sci-fi or fantasy where their sexuality is more of a character trait rather than a defining part of their story. I still haven’t read Simon vs. because I’m a huge freaking slacker, haha. I have it though, so hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

      I think the lack of socially anxious characters is part of an even bigger lack of anxious characters in general. It seems like most YA books that talk about mental health focus on depression so it’d be nice to see books branch out and cover other mental illnesses too.

      Liked by 1 person

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