Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things on Our Reading Wish List

This is my second foray into the Top Ten Tuesday meme, my first being last week’s Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Covers. This week’s theme is Ten Things on Our Reading Wish List. The meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. From that site you can also see all of the other Top Ten Tuesday posts that have been submitted. I just shuffled through them myself and found several excellent posts. Go check them out!

 

  1. Less Sex Shaming – This is one where I feel that art imitates life. When characters in books do the horizontal tango they either end up madly in love or it’s rape. If it is rape or the rare casual encounter the character always seem to feel that they have to hide it or lie about it. They are the victim or they are labeled as whorish. They are expected to be ashamed of either what was done to them or what they have done.
  2. Real Characters – “Why, Amanda, what do you mean by that?” I hear you say. Well, I mean characters that are organic and change as the story fleshes out. I’ve recently read too many books where the character changes only to further the plot line. Their choices and actions don’t feel real because they have altered from the character previously presented to us without any definitive reason besides convenience. The most glaring example in my mind is Tamlin from A Court of Wings and Ruin. His actions were convenient and little more.
  3. Strong Women- Pardon me, excuse me, I have a bone to pick. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just picking up the wrong books. But, it seems to me that when a female character is made as a strong character it is usually directly because of a man. She was lost and found love and now she is strong. She was weak and was guided by a man back to the light. She was indecisive and a male mentor nudged her toward the right choices. Why can’t she be strong by herself? Why does she need a partner need to make her strong?
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  4. Cultural Diversity- This one should be a given. I doubt I even have to explain. GIVE ME CHARACTERS FROM DIFFERENT CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS. /end shout
  5. Everyman- The more I read the more I notice that main characters come mostly from one of two backgrounds. The first is when they are dirt poor, starving, and far below the poverty line and are brought higher in the world during the course of the story. The second example is when the character already leads a charmed life as they are among the ruling class or hierarchy such as a royal. Where is the relatable character? Where is the Everyman?

 

I’m choosing not to do a full ten today because these five are my biggest issues with literature and by adding in five more that are only minor or occasionally aggravating would lessen their importance. If you have read a book you feel represents one of my five please leave it’s title or link in the comments, I’d love to hear about it! You may also feel free to leave a link to your own Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things on Our Reading Wish List

  1. I feel like maybe the sex shaming has to do with the age group books are written for or the age characters are themselves. Whenever I think back to my teenage years (especially around the of 15-16) I was HORRIBLE. Often to my own sister which is ridiculous to think back now, but damn I was seriously so mean to her for having sex and how often she chose to have it. It definitely took me a couple of years to grow out of that phase but once I did, I was the one who would give people a hard time for speaking bad of girls who chose to be sexually active. I actually went off on a grown man for being an idiot!

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    1. I agree that it probably does have something to do with the age group for YA novels. Authors don’t want to encourage that group to have underage sex etc. You see it in adult novels, too. The slightly sexually promiscuous female character will be painted as having a lesser social standing than the Stepford wife character. It’s alarming how often it shows up once you start looking for it.

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  2. YES to all of these!! Your last point is especially interesting because it’s something that I hadn’t really thought about before, but now that you mention it there aren’t many “average” characters out there. I guess it’s probably easier for authors to just make a character rich and then the plot doesn’t have to be hindered by the practicality of finances, but honestly that’s no excuse for being so unrealistic. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m sure it does make it better for the author to use a character who is wealthy and has access to more options than the common Joe. The same with using a desperately poor character, they have the “nothing left to loose” idea to drive them. Average Joe may not be as easy to write about but it would probably make stories more relatable to readers.

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  3. YES! I definitely want more sex-positive books for young people especially. Safe, consensual sex is nothing to be ashamed of, and it already isn’t for boys, but that terrible double standard of “boys will be boys” versus “sluts/whores” is still far too prevalent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could rant on the “boys will be boys” mind set for hours. Whether people of that age are taught about safe and consensual sex or not they will still engage in the act. I personally think it would be best to show through schooling and literature and media what safe and consensual is instead of the “just don’t do it” and “shame those that do” concept that is currently floating around, at least in the states.

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  4. I completely agree with the “every man” thing; I like seeing people with normal lives too. Many of us have normal lives with normal or common stuff. It would be nice to see that. So far, from what I’ve read, “Alex Approximately” seems like that kind of story. Great post!

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