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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!