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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Cultural Diversity- This one should be a given. I doubt I even have to explain. GIVE ME CHARACTERS FROM DIFFERENT CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS. /end shout
- 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!