Thursday, 24 March 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Once again I found a book meme that I want to take part in. This one is called top ten Tuesday. The explanation is really in the name. Much like last weeks booking through Thursday I was going to wait until the next one before I take part. I wrote my answers for this in my journal and now I am itching to post it. I realise it's Thursday but here are my answers anyway.

Bookish Pet Peeves.

I do have them but I also seem to contradict myself in some of them. The contradiction is in red.

1. Book Covers. I don't mind to admitting that I am a magpie when it comes to book covers. I am attracted to the pretty or unusual. It doesn't determine my book purchases but I am more likely to look at a book if it attracts me in some way. There are times though I have to wonder what publishers are thinking. I understand that the point of the book is about the content but surely you want to attract new readers to it? Off hand I can only think of one example and it's not a strong one. Last year I read "New York" by Edward Rutherford. I loved it and it became one of my favourites. I will eventually read others by this author. I picked it up because of the title. I had not long been on holiday in New York and so I was curious about the book. Had it not been for that I would have dismissed it as potential mass market trash because that's what it looks like (I do like a trashy mass market book now and then but I stick to specific ones). Maybe that's a problem with me being so judgemental but I wonder how many others have dismissed a fantastic book because of the cover?
Here is where I contradict myself. I do actually also like a trashy cover. You know those naff covers from the 70s? I like them. I find them amusing and I would pick a second hand book based on that.

2. Shiny book covers. I'm talking about the ones that have a film of plastic over it to make it shiny. That film of plastic peals so easily. A book store sticker will destroy it. Sometimes just carrying it in your bag will leave you with a book half matt and half shiny. This isn't restricted to mass market books.
No contradictions here. I really do hate this.

3. Changing book covers. Yep another book cover peeve. Don't worry I am not completely shallow. There will be others coming up. I hate it when half way through a series the publisher decides to release them all with new cover designs. It seriously irritates me. I can understand why they do it. Usually it's because the author has moved up in popularity and they want to make the most of it. Annoying for those who have enjoyed the books since they were first published. I am one of those anal types who likes their books to match. I especially hate it when the new designs are nicer than the old ones.
Not really a contradiction I don't think. My ex ended up with a series of my favourite books. Me being week I chose to lose the books than having to see him again. A few years later the books were released again with lovely new designs. I took that as an opportunity to replace all the earlier ones and I actually do prefer this new design.

4. Airport editions. This is a new pet peeve. They didn't bother me before. The airport stores would get a hardback sized edition of a new book with a soft cover. This is all to do with weight and they were limited to the airports. The bookstores got the hardback ones. Now though some publishers are releasing them to bookstores too. Not instead of the hardback but as an edition between the hardback and the paperback. The publishers don't advertise it as that though. They advertise it as paperback. If I had wanted a book that size I would have bought the durable hardback.

5. Ridiculous story lines. I can suspend reality when reading. I love the original and I love the minute detail authors can go into when creating an unlikely world. I enjoy reading horror and science fiction and I am aware that to some these realities are ridiculous (in that mostly they are never going to become a reality). I am okay with that. I am expecting it and I like it. There are times though when authors take it too far. The prime example of this is Audrey Niffenegger's "Her Fearful Symmetry". Most of you will know that her previous book was hardly based on reality. I am fairly certain that people don't jump through time. Still, I liked it. Her next one involved a ghost. It was the most ridiculous book I have read in my life and I seriously wanted to damage it. I never damage books. I hate breaking the spines but I was close to tearing it in two or, at the very least, tossing it across the room. Apologies Twilight fans but Breaking Dawn is another example. I can only suspend reality so much.
Contradiction is my recent love of Kathy Reichs. The coincidences in these books would fall into the ridiculous category. The main character goes on holiday and she just happens to come across bodies that are linked to a case she had been working on in another country. It amuses me and it's one of the reasons I keep reading.

6. Perfect endings. I am generally quite open minded when it comes to endings. I don't mind happy ones or open ones or even sometimes slightly confusing ones. I do confess to liking the unhappy endings. I hate perfect endings. I think some people confuse happy endings with perfect ones. You can have happy without the perfect but the perfect must always have the happy. Things conveniently tie up and sometimes those ties make no sense or it's far too easy. I am usually waiting for the catch.

7. Series Mojo. If you have read my booking through Thursday response you will know I enjoy a series. I do think that it's inevitable that a series will eventually lose it's mojo. The novels formula becomes far too predictable and the characters are just repeating the same thing over and over again. I really do wish that they would end the series on a high and with a fantastic ending that slowly killing it with boredom. The Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich are a perfect example. I don't think there has been anything new for the last four or five.
Yet I will still buy these books although I am no longer as soon as they are released. I will read them purely for Grandma Mazur who is still entertaining (and Ranger). I do think Grandma Mazur should get her own series.

8. Characters that go out of character. There was a book I read not that long ago that did this. For the life of me I can't remember what it was and it's itching at the back of my head. No doubt it will hit me six months from now. Anyways, I do understand that the author has artistic license with their characters. It's their creation and up to them how they think they will react to any given situation. To have a character change all of a sudden though is irritating when it makes no sense and it's only for that one brief moment.

9. Product placement. A problem that is usually linked to films or television. I have seen it in books though. I don't mind products being there for a reason. Description is a very important part of a book. Product placement seems to be a bigger part of YA these days. They are more likely to mention ipods or converse, etc. Generally speaking it doesn't bother me too much especially if it is important. There are some books though that mention the same product over and over again and it's really unnecessary. The House of Night series springs to mind. I lost count of the number of times Starbucks was mentioned in them. Yet instead of mentioning cola it describes brown pop. In later books the product has changed (I can't remember what) but the placement is still there. Is it to keep up with the trends of youth? I don't know but I hate it.

10. Dialect. I have seen this mentioned on a few blogs. I am not a fan of reading in dialect. It slows down the pace of the book and after a while it becomes annoying. Many authors are able to describe a characters accent or origins without using this. I have a specific dialect I hate though. If you aren't Scottish I beg you not to try and write in a Scottish dialect. It's mortifying. I dare these authors to read some Scottish fiction written in true dialect and see if they can understand it. If they struggle then they shouldn't try writing it themselves. It's not only irritating I am generally going to be offended by the stereotyping. House of Night series again does that. I am all for Scottish characters. Just not bad imitations. I am assuming that everyone feels the same about their own regional accents?

No contradictions for the last two. I did use the same series of books though as an example. So why read them? I get a kick out of everything that is bad about them (and there is a lot). I love nothing more than to rant about it. Predictably, as the series has continued these rants have grown and it's not fun anymore so I have stopped reading them. Bet you are pleased there will be no ranting reviews of them here.

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