Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Reading Wish List

Someone asked on Goodreads the other day about books that haven't been written yet that people would like to read. It just so happens that I already have something of a list (several, actually, scattered on Post-it notes that are...somewhere...). Sooo in lieu of talking about existing books, here's a version, in no particular order:

1) A memoir set in Gaborone, or another major Botswana city. Ideally, it would be written by someone native to Botswana and about his or (preferably) her life as an adult rather than a coming-of-age piece. I've read Place of Reeds (review) and Twenty Chickens for a Saddle (review), both of which I loved, but the latter is about the author's childhood, both books are written by outsiders, and both take place in relatively rural areas.

2) YA gymnastics fiction. I've read my fair share of gymnastics books, memoir and fiction and the occasional piece of non-memoir nonfiction, but most of the fiction tends to be aimed at middle-grade readers rather than older teenagers or adults. I'm not sure why, except that gymnastics offers a small window of opportunity—many gymnasts retire by the time they're twenty, so a lot of books tend to focus on younger teens. I have a couple of not-terribly-promising gymnastics books on my to-read list, but those too look middle grade. (It would also be nice to read some gymnastics fiction with male protagonists—don't think I've seen anything along those lines.

3) A really ridiculously stereotypically over-the-top YA novel set in the late 60s or early 70s (but probably written in the last fifteen years). Possible elements: Summer of Love, Woodstock, war protests, feminist marches, Mondrian dresses, free love, bellbottoms, vinyl dresses, vinyl records. More than most of the things on this list, I'm holding out some hope that I'll be able to find what I'm looking for.

4) Nonfiction about Makoko. Makoko is a neighbourhood of Lagos perched on a lagoon; inhabitants live in raised houses and get around via boat. It doesn't sound like a terribly nice place to live, to be honest, but it also sounds interesting. I've been able to find very very little about it at all, let alone a full, in-depth book...but you never know.

5) Fiction about the Vestal Virgins. There's the occasional thing, but really, how is there not more on them? The Vestal Virgins were priestesses in ancient Rome; they both had significant power and were under serious restrictions. Seriously, look them up—and then try to tell me there isn't a whole host of material there for some fiction.

6) More contemporary boarding-school books. Not paranormal, not over-the-top wealth, no murder or mayhem. Just characters (or authors, if it's memoir) growing up and learning and forging relationships and the like. There are some of these, but there are a great deal more (or so it seems) books involving demons and/or ostentatious wealth, etc. Would particularly love some more memoir about boarding school.

Books, books, books...

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