The year is winding to a close and as some of us immerse ourselves in lists of 2010’s greatest hits, I’m thinking ahead to 2011 and pondering what I’d like to see more of in that prime number year. In no particular order, I want:
Really good historical fiction. You know, like The Alienist or I, Claudius or The White Queen or The Crimson Petal and the White—the kind of thing that totally transports you to another era, giving you insights into the lives of the characters, and the cultural mores and political imperatives they were subject to, while also thoroughly immersing you in a transfixing story.
A memoir that makes one individual’s journey mirror the preoccupations, experiences, fears and fantasies many, if not most of us, share. Oh, and if that could come with a funny, self-aware but not self-important, charming protagonist whose life I don’t mind being wrapped up in for 300 pages, that’d be great too.
Gripping science narratives. I was browsing in a book store the other day and came across The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. I stopped to read so long that I was almost late to my appointment. Dr. Mukherjee grabbed my interest from the very first line and I’m his new biggest fan. I’d like to see more of the kind of writing and storytelling that brings scientific or medical topics to life and creates characters out of concepts or ideas.
A political book that explains what’s going on in our crazy republic. Let’s face it, we have some pretty colorful characters running the country (or trying to) these days and I find myself frequently as baffled as entertained by their antics. I’d love to see someone put it all in some kind of historical perspective while analyzing what it is about us (and them) that would make the founding fathers throw up their hands and head to Vegas.
An edge-of-your-seat, can’t-put-it-down, scary-suspenseful-sexy thriller with a hero/heroine who’d give Jack Reacher a run for his money.
Is that too much to ask? What’ve you guys got?