Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things I Want to See More of in Books

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

There are certain topics and storylines that will instantly grab my attention. While there are definitely more stories out there about most of the items in this week’s top ten list than there have been in the past, I want all of them to become widespread. When it comes to #7, I’d simply like to see it start happening in general!

1. Foster Care.

Many people still have misperceptions about birth parents, foster parents, social workers, and foster kids. It would be wonderful to have lots of tales about what it’s like to experience the foster care system from every single one of these perspectives. From reunification to adoption and every other possible ending in between them, there is so much left to explore here.

2. Diversity in General.

Reading is an incredible way to learn about what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. I look forward to the day when there are far more stories about characters who come from  every racial, ethnic, cultural, and social background.

3. Likeable Villains.

It would be nice to have some antagonists who aren’t completely evil. I can’t remember the last time I read about one whose goals made sense and whose personality was well-rounded. Will I still be rooting for the protagonist to win? Almost certainly, but at least give me the chance to see the conflict from the other person’s point of view as well.

4. Prehistoric Times.

I wish there were more tales set in this period of history that were scientifically and medically accurate. The hunter-gatherer lifestyle fascinates me. Living without antibiotics and other miracles of modern medicine sounds unbearably difficult, but there is definitely something to be said for having a close-knit community around to help out when you’re growing up, raising your own children, recovering from an injury, or enjoying old age.

5. Friends Falling in Love.

Nearly all of the romance novels I’ve read have been about strangers meeting and almost immediately falling for each other. It would be fascinating to see more romances begin when longtime friends realize their feelings for each other have shifted. There is something  irrestibible about that to me.

6. Interracial Couples and Families

As someone who is part of a multiracial extended family, I get excited when I find books about families that look even a little like mine. While I am seeing more of this than I used to, there is still a long way to go here. It doesn’t matter if they’re formed through marriage, adoption, foster care, guardianship, or some other way entirely. I want to read about all of them.

7. Intelligent Characters in the Horror Genre

As much as I enjoy this genre, I do get annoyed with characters who take ridiculous risks in the first chapter. No one I know in real life would ignore basic safety rules or go wandering around without a working flashlight in a pitch-black basement to discover what’s been making that strange noise down there.

I’d love to see how horror works when everyone in it has common sense.  Let the ghosts, serial killers, or monsters catch them if you must, but at least give the characters a fighting chance to survive in the meantime.

8. Parodies and Satire.

When they’re done well, they can be extremely amusing. They can also be an important way to criticize the parts of a society that need to be challenged so they can be changed for the better.

Most of my favorite parodies and satires are decades old now. It’s high time to revive these forms of storytelling.

9. LGBT Characters.

I especially appreciate it when they pop up in plots where the none of the conflicts have anything at all to do with them being part of the LGBT community.

If there’s a way to find more of them, I haven’t discovered it. All of the ones I have found so far have been by chance. I’d read far more of them if I could.

10. Utopias.

Now that the dystopian trend seems to be ending, I’m hoping that utopian fiction will become popular next. It would be refreshing to read hopeful visions of what our future could be like, especially when it comes to things like climate change or establishing colonies on other planets.

How about you? What do you wish you could find more of in modern fiction?


  1. Great list! I agree completely with all of these. Especially likeable villains is something I’d also really would like to see more of. And of course diversity is a big one too!

  2. I agree with all of these! Foster care isn’t something I think I’ve ever come across in a book unless its part of a character’s past. I’d like to see more books that deal with that experience. Character is such a big thing for me, two-dimensional villains can really ruin a story.

  3. Poinsettia says:

    Definitely #3 and #8! I love a well rounded villain. They make the story so much more interesting. I really enjoy a well done satire, so it would be fun to see more of that as well.

  4. This is a wonderful list! I can’t think of *any* books with foster-children or foster-parents right now…

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Utopian book– but I’d totally be down!! And YES to more Paradies & Satire!! It’s SO hard to find!

  6. Intelligent characters in the horror genre? Yes please! I love reading horror so much, but I’m fed up with groaning and rolling my eyes ten times per chapter when the protagonist does YET ANOTHER stupid thing. It would be so much scarier if they were doing all of the right things and they were STILL getting killed!

  7. Great list. I like the idea of friends falling in love. I mentioned the slow approach to romance in my post too.

  8. Great list!
    Number 7 is sooooo true! I love horror stories but my god can a lot of characters be so naive, and the same is true in films!

  9. Prehistoric times? Heck yes! The archaeologist in me is very excited about that!

  10. Mariela says:

    I LOVE Villains! I always fall in love with them. I don’t know why but I find them so attractive!
    My TTT.

  11. I’d love more stories set in Prehistoric Times. Clan of the Cave Bear is on my TBR for that reason.

  12. Your right, apart from brave new world utopias are very rarely written about, I guess there isn’t much of a story in happy.

    • Astilbe says:

      Yeah, there is some truth to that. I can’t remember their titles at the moment, but I have read a couple of utopian books that managed to have great storytelling in worlds where nothing dark happened. It was lovely. If I can think of their names, I’ll let you know.

  13. Brilliant list! Foster care is a fantastic choice.

  14. I remember reading a lot of Jacqueline Wilson books when I was younger, the majority of them had characters in foster care or sticky family situations. Whether it’s accurate or not, I’m not so sure. It would definitely be an eye opening topic!

  15. I’ve never thought about likable villains before. I kind of like this idea. And yay to all the diversity!

  16. I love villains that are likable or sympathetic, I’d much rather read about them than the stereotypical mustache- twirling villain lol. Evil just for evil’s sake is kjnda boring. 🙂 And I’d love to read more prehistoric books or settings. There don’t seem to be many…

    I also like the idea of utopias rather than just all dystopians all the time…

  17. YES to numbers 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9! And I never knew I needed intelligent characters in the horror genre but now I definitely do! Such books would be so awesome and I’d absolutely read them, even though I don’t normally read horror.

  18. I love utopias and foster care! A great list.

  19. Definitely would love to see some more interracial couples!

  20. I would love to see more likable villains! There’s just something about a villain that you can’t help but like that’s addicting. More foster care would be great too.

  21. Wow, I would love prehistoric books, such a good idea!

  22. Haha yes to 7. And reading about utopias would be refreshing.

  23. Omg intelligent characters in horror…YES. 😂 That would be quite refreshing haha. And I definitely want to see more diversity in all the genres too. Also definitely yes to likeable villains! I generally end up rooting for the villain just a teeeeny tiny bit when they’re actually complex and you can get to understand their perspective a bit. 🙈🙊

    • Astilbe says:

      I’m glad you liked my list, Cait. It’s so nice to meet other people who occasionally root for the bad guy. Haha. Thanks for stopping by.

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