Reading Gaps

This month both Cindy Minnich at Charting By the Stars and Donalyn Miller at The Nerdy Book Club posted about reading gaps.  I’ve posted about my literary Achilles heel this year, which is similar to both of these posts.  Since posting about my own reading gaps, I’ve read quite a few fantasy novels and loved them.  I’m still sticking with my 2012 challenge to read more fantasy and science fiction, but I’ve decided to add to that challenge for 2013.

It’s my goal in 2013 to read more historical fiction and LGBT fiction.

Eleanor & ParkI can’t explain why I’m not more drawn to historical fiction, especially since I’m a history minor.  I love American history.  I love the 1920s.  I’ve even bought quite a few historical fiction YA novels to add to my class library because I have students who enjoy reading that genre.  But for some reason I don’t make time to read it myself.  This year I read and loved Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.  The Diviners by Libba Bray wasn’t my favorite, but I still enjoyed reading it.  So maybe I need historical fiction with a magical twist?  Even though I don’t like thinking of the 80s as historical fiction, it is for our teens right now.  Besides Eleanor and Park (which I know I’ll enjoy) and Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, are there other YA novels that take place in the 80s or around that time and have been written recently?  I like reading historical fiction that feels contemporary, even though that’s kind of backwards.

Here are some historical fiction novels I’d like to read in 2013:

I Am JI love contemporary realistic fiction, so reading more LGBT fiction really shouldn’t be a difficult challenge for me.  I think this is a gap for me simply because I haven’t made a strong enough effort to read more of these novels.  It has nothing to do with not liking novels with LGBT issues or characters.  I want to read more of these books because I know I have students who need these stories.  I just read Ask the Passengers by A.S. King and absolutely loved it.  Every Day by David Levithan wasn’t my favorite for a few reasons, but I love how he wrote A as a character who understands love outside of gender and sex.  I’ve been wanting to read I Am J for I don’t know how long.  If you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to have them.  I’ve already moved The Miseducation of Cameron Post to the top of my reading pile not only because I’ve been wanting to read it, but also because it’s a Morris shortlist contender.

Here are some LGBT fiction novels I’d like to read in 2013:



  1. Have you read HERO by Perry Moore? It’s a YA superhero novel with a gay main character. It came to me highly recommended by a grad school classmate and I loved it. That was a great one to have in the classroom, too, because while some of my students wouldn’t pick up a contemporary about LGBT issues, many of them would read a superhero book (especially if I offered it.)

  2. Here’s a twist on the ’80s historical fiction: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. It’s actually probably a HF, sci fi, fantasy mash-up–’80s kids get access to Facebook before it has even been invented. Interesting and my 8th graders (I’m a middle school teacher) have really enjoyed it.

    BTW, I really enjoy your blog!

    • Mrs. Andersen says:

      Thanks for the rec! I read The Future of Us a while ago, but I completely forgot about naming that one when writing the post. It’s a fun book 🙂

  3. I so agree with you, I cannot make myself enjoy historical fiction until and unless there is a twist. Even though I really wanted to read Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, it still isn’t finished yet but I liked My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris a lot.

    Almost all the books you mentioned seem pretty interesting and I’d love to pick them up. I’m definitely lacking LGBT fiction is my life and I decided to start with The Miseducation of Cameron Post or Every Day so let’s see what happens there.

    P.S. Just discovered your blog via Riffle books and it just looks amazing.

    • Mrs. Andersen says:

      I’ve been wanting to read Grave Mercy for a while now. Quite a few of my friends have read it and loved it, so I think I might give it a try. I haven’t heard of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, so thanks for mentioning it! 🙂

      I hope you like The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Every Day. Let me know what you think!

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