Bookish List

Specific Things I Want To Read More Of

Hey, it’s Sabrina!  Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out what sort of books I really want to read, rather than just choosing books that I hear about which sound interesting.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to pick up books from your favourite genres without knowing much else about them, but I want to actively search for books that I have a high chance of enjoying by identifying specific traits of books that I love.  Today’s post is about some of those things.  If you have any recommendations for me – I am literally here begging for them, so please, leave them in the comments!  Without further ado, here’s some things I want to read more books about!

HIGH SEAS SETTING

I feel like these books should be easier to find.  Where are my pirate adventure books?  Or thrillers set on boats?  Am I just not looking hard enough?  I love the ocean and I feel like it allows for different kinds of stories and boats lead to a limited cast of characters that can be explored.  I’ve read a few books where a tiny bit of the story takes place on a ship, but I would love something a bit more long term.

Examples: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller, The Princess and the Captain by Anne-Laure Bondoux and for a movie option, Dead Calm (1989).


FANTASY THAT IS NOT TO DO WITH RULERS

To explain this one a little further, though I do enjoy fantasy with kingdoms and emperors, it’s refreshing, and often more interesting, when they are not a significant aspect of the story.  It gives the freedom to explore other aspects of life in a fantasy setting, not just court etiquette and diplomacy, or overthrowing a dictatorship.  These books seem to be few and far between, and honestly, I’m struggling to even come up with proper examples.

Examples: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh and Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.


ARCHAEOLOGY PLUS MAGIC

This is basically me asking for Indiana Jones in book form – but better.  Is that a little too much to ask?  I want historical artefacts, traps, curses, abandoned ruins, digs and creepy caves.  If there’s no magic, that’s okay, but I’ll need some adventure in there somewhere.  And honestly, the weirder, the better.

Examples: The Need by Helen Phillips and for movie options, The Mummy (1999) and Romancing the Stone (1984).


ALL THE PIECES FITTING TOGETHER

I try to explain this a lot, and I’m just not very good at doing it in exactly the way I mean, but I’ll give it my best shot.  I love when there are lots of plot points that end up tying together unexpectedly, forming the perfect ending for a story.  For example, a strange occurrence at the beginning of the novel being integral to the final resolution, multiple characters teaming up for a common goal despite different motivations, or the romance turning out to be perfectly convenient in context of the plot without this convenience being known beforehand.  I suppose the problem with enjoying this sort of thing is that it is easy to do it really badly, in a way that is more predictable and boring than surprising.  Mysteries are at high risk of this, because I’m already alert looking for clues, which is probably why my favourite instances of this occur in fantasy.

Examples: The usual suspects, Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and the movie Stardust (2007) all fit this.  Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik and The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma are great too.


MAGICAL, SEMI-SENTIENT SETTINGS

Castles, forests, mansions, lakes – I don’t care what it is, but if it’s a usually inanimate setting that can change and move on its own (or by the design of someone that doesn’t get revealed until later), I want to read about it.  I love the idea of opening a door to a room that wasn’t there yesterday, or a tree making its way into the living room.

Examples: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, Uprooted by Naomi Novik and Messenger by Lois Lowry.


SUPERHERO STORIES

I suppose this is one topic that I must take responsibility for.  I know these stories are out there, and I have read a few, but unfortunately there have been not many so far that I have loved.  In fact, most of them I have actively disliked or DNFed.  Still, I don’t want to give up and turn to solely comic books – there has to be a superhero novel out there that I’ll fall in love with.

Examples: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee (I actually enjoyed this one!), Vicious by V.E. Schwab (2 stars), Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee (DNF), and, though I doubt you need movie suggestions for this, Sky High (2005). 


ANIMALS AND FANTASTICAL CREATURES

I am an animal lover and I, of course, also enjoy stories about mythical creatures.  Unfortunately, I have not read many books that have a big focus on animals or creatures – except, perhaps, dragons and horses (though I was quite a bit younger when I was reading those).  When books do focus on mythical creatures, they are usually able to have a human form (mermaids, werewolves etc).  There’s also one other huge problem – I don’t want to be reading about the animal death and this happens a lot.  There’s not many pets that make it through their owner’s novels unscathed.

Examples: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck and, of course, for the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016).


What do you think?

Do you have any specific things you want to read more of in books?  Do you have any recommendations for me?  Let me know!

22 thoughts on “Specific Things I Want To Read More Of

  1. I actually think we have very similar tastes when it comes to reading because I always agree with you!!! haha!!
    Anyway all the pieces fitting together is a great trope and I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed it until you just said it but they are so satisfying and full of lots of great things that all have a purpose, stardust is a great example!!
    Archaeology plus magic does sound so fun!!! where are the books???
    YESSSSS superheroes are my favourite, I love books with heroes and the whole concept, I’m obsessed!! I enjoyed Heroine Complex, it is just fun as the plot isn’t the strongest but it was still good fun. Then The Extraordinaries is coming out this year which I’m very excited about!!
    Great post, I loved it!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! That makes me so pleased. I have noticed I agree with you all the time too :’)
      Glad you think so too about all the pieces fitting together 😀
      If you find any, you have to tell me about them!
      Thanks for the superhero book suggestions! I don’t think I’ve heard of either of those!
      Thank you!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree on the high seas theme. This kind of goes along with it, but I would love to read more books with mermaids. I actually find mermaids fascinating but don’t read nearly enough books with them in them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh yes I need to read more mermaid books too! I read so many of them when I was younger, but for some reason I don’t find myself picking them up these days. To Kill A Kingdom in particular is high on my TBR list.
      (Also! I thought I replied to your comment on our Blogiversary post, but it turns out I didn’t. I have to know about your Outsiders tattoo?! I’m so excited to find out you are a fan as well.)

      Like

  3. Ooo, I know exactly what you mean about stories where all the pieces come together exactly! It’s so satisfying haha. I find that Fantasy is a lot better at doing it too! The whole Mistborn series is my favorite because of it 😄, and Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde is a sci-fi novel that does it really well too! I really really need to read Howl’s Moving Castle still 😭! Great post, Sabrina 🙂!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You know what I like, that I have not read a ton of, books that really weave separate people’s lives together. Like Holes of the The Authenticity Project. I love watching these veritable strangers being brought together in that way

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ooohhh I love a good high sea setting and now you’ve got me interested in checking out!! the first book that came to my mind is ‘the girl from everywhere’ it has a lot of time travel and pirate ships and thats pretty much all i remember about it lol

    archaeology with magic is SUCH an interesting concept. definitely going to check out ‘the need’ i never really heard of it and it sounds really weird and maybe even scary?? ahh excited!! “Unearthed” by aime kaufman and meagan spooner is very Indiana Jones-esque with sci-fi elements and had a really great twist. i haven’t gotten the chance to continue the duology, but the first book was really entertaining

    for ‘all the pieces fitting together’ IT IS MY FREAKING DUTY TO SCREAM AT YOU TO READ “On the Jellicoe Road” IT HAS THE BEST INSTANCE OF THAT I’VE EVER SEEN and its basically my favourite book ever and it breaks my heart every time i read it so !!!!!!!!!!!

    superhero stories are definitely a hit or miss. i LOVED vicious but i dislike a lot of books that attempt at the superhero concept (i think i’ve just seen it too much in cartoons/movies to enjoy them). HOWEVER, i do have two recommendations. “renegades” by marissa meyer (which i have a love hate relationship with oops) and “the supervillain and me” which is more fluffy contemporary but i ENJOYED it so much

    ahh sorry if i overdid it on the recommendations, i literally cannot stop myself. i hope you enjoy them if you get decide to read them!! good luck❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to try The Girl From Everywhere as soon as possible, hearing that!
      The Need is definitely a little scary, and super weird. I hope you enjoy it if you get to it! I never looked into Unearthed because I didn’t like These Broken Stars by the same authors, but seeing what you’ve said about it, I need to pick it up!
      Lol, I love your enthusiasm for On The Jellicoe Road and I will definitely be checking that out too. I am really excited to read it, knowing now that you love it.
      I can see how having seen a lot of superheroes in movies and cartoons would make it hard to enjoy them in books. Maybe that’s one of my issues :’) I will be adding those books to my tbr right away!

      You have nothing to say sorry for! I am SO excited to have all these books brought to my attention!! Thank you SO much for your effort!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a fantastic list!! 🌺💗 Since once of the OWL Readathon prompts is to read a book set at sea, I realized how little high sea books I’ve read and how I don’t have many on my TBR either 😱 One of my fave books Truthwitch has a sea journey as a central plot point, but only for this first book. There’s also To Kill a Kingdom that I know many people love, but that didn’t end up being for me 😅 For Superhero books I recommend Renegades 🥰 I love how many superhero books are coming out this year in general! I’m especially excited for Super Adjacent, The Extraordinaries, and Faith: Taking Flight 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you think so, Caro! Ahh wow, yet another reason for me to read the Truthwitch books! Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy To Kill a Kingdom, but thanks for the suggestion 😀
      And thank you for the superhero book suggestions too!! I’ll be adding them all to my tbr right now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooh I love this type of post! This made me realize how few fantasy books I can think of that don’t involve royals. Now I want to see more of them too! I also LOVE when all the pieces come together beautifully in a book, and one that I recommend that does this so well is The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Every tiny detail is important! And I’m always down for more books with magical creatures 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this idea and I hope you will be able to find some books for you to read that include these things! I would love to read more fantasy that isn’t about rulers and I also have The Scorpio races high on my tbr so I guess I want to read about magical creatures as well hehe 😀 I also so want to read more superhero books. Ooh, archaeology plus magic sounds so unique to me but I will be curious to see what you find with that!

    Liked by 1 person

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