Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Bookish Pet Peeves.

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Hmm, where to start? My list is a mix of complaints about book formatting, editing, etc, plus a few plot points that I just can’t stand.

My top 10 are:

1 – Overstuffed books: Books with such long descriptive passages or a simple lack of good editing that they’re much bigger than they need to be, often at the expense of the plot.

2 – Loose ends: I hate when the conclusion of a book leaves unanswered questions or dangling plot threads.

3 – Sequels without reminders: Especially when sequels come years later, it’s helpful to get little reminders in the text about what came previously. Are we really supposed to remember every little detail after so much time?

4 – Mismatched series covers: Ugh, I get so frustrated when the cover design or the actual book size changes mid-series! I like my series to match, thank you very much.

5 – Audiobook complaint: I love audiobooks, but I don’t understand why they don’t include the author’s notes that might be at the end of the print version of a book. Not every book has these, but particularly for historical fiction, they’re so important.

6 – Not acting their age: Teens acting like adults or adults acting like teens. I know this is broad, but for example, I just finished (and loved) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, but every time we’re reminded that the group of lead characters are all in their teens, I was completely pulled out of the story. There’s just no way they’d all be such advanced criminal masterminds at their ages!

7 – Age differentials in supernatural fiction: Enough with the centuries-old vampires (etc) falling in love with teenagers! What would they even have to talk about?

8 – Alcohol as a plot point: I’ve read too many romances lately where the plot turns upon decisions made while drunk, often to the point of not remembering. Just… no. Also, on a related note, I don’t need to keep reading about people’s hangovers, thank you very much.

9 – Unrealistic workplaces: Again, in too many romances, women seem to have these idealized careers where they walk around in professional clothes and attend meetings, but the work environment just doesn’t feel real and they don’t seem to do, ya know, actual work. And on the flip side, it makes me bonkers when a novel’s plot has a woman experiencing workplace harassment and then doesn’t show her dealing with it effectively. I think authors should have their characters model empowering behavior!

10 – Anatomy lessons: This isn’t so much a pet peeve as a matter of taste. I prefer my fiction with implied steaminess rather than detail-by-detail graphic sex. I get that readers’ tastes vary, and I’m not anti-sex. I just don’t need every last little detail!

What about you? What are your bookish pet peeves? Do we have any in common?

If you wrote a TTT this week, please share your links!

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Bookish bits & bobs

 

Just a random collection of some bookish thoughts bouncing around my brain this week.

 

 

 

  • Audiobooks. Love ’em. But here’s my issue: Why don’t audiobooks include the acknowledgements or author’s notes at the end? If I’m listening to a book, I want the full experience and full content. I only discovered the lack recently after listening to a couple of historical fiction audiobooks. I ended up browsing through the hardcovers at the library, and saw that the print books includes notes about the historical setting and context. Well, why wasn’t that on the audiobook? It adds to the reading experience, and clearly the author felt it was part of what she wanted readers to know. I don’t understand… and it makes me mad. Not that I’ll stop listening to audiobooks, but it leaves me wondering what I’m missing.

 

  • Book review ratings: I don’t do them. At least, not here on my blog. I play along on Goodreads, but I made the decision way back when to do narrative reviews without any sort of quantitative scale. Lately, though, I’ve started rethinking this. I know when I read reviews on other people’s blogs, I’ll often check the star (or unicorn or banana or teacup) rating first, and then decide if I want to read the whole review. So shouldn’t I expect others to expect the same from me? This is a bigger question than just a few lines and a bullet point, so I’ll be expanding on the topic sometime in the coming week, and would love some input.

 

  • Amazon customer service rocks! I have never had a bad experience once I connect with a service rep, and this week was no different. I bought a Kindle edition of a new release in early April, and started reading it this week. And hated it. By 15%, I just knew I couldn’t continue. And I was mad, because it was past the one-week deadline for returning Kindle content. I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. It’s not the amount spent was going to break me or anything, but if I’m spending money on a book, I don’t want it to end up being something I actively dislike. Anyway… I reached out and ended up in a chat with a lovely and helpful Amazon rep, who arranged to return the book for a refund within the blink of an eye. No quoting policy, no trying to convince me of anything, no telling me I was wrong. Just a very nice “I’m sorry the book didn’t work out for you” and a resolution that made me happy.

 

  • When is a novella a novella? When is it really, instead, a short novel? Is 200 pages the dividing line? 125? I haven’t found a hard and fast rule to go by — I’ve found a lot of notes on word count in novels and novellas, but I’m a reader, not a writer. Do you have any firm ideas on what distinguishes a novella from a novel?

 

  • Oh, the things a book lover will do for the sake of bookish satisfaction. I’m a big fan of Susanna Kearsley’s writing, and beside the glory of the stories themselves, I adore the covers of her books.

Well, now she has a new book coming out, Bellewether, and I knew I needed a copy. I preordered it ages ago (the book releases in August), then discovered that the US cover is… well… unappealing. But hey, the Canadian cover is gorgeous and goes with the rest of my books! So I cancelled my US preorder, and got a copy from Amazon Canada instead, which gave me the added bonus of getting the book early, since it released in Canada this month already. And really, which of these would YOU want?

Anyhoo… that’s what’s on my mind today. How about you? What deep bookish thought are bouncing about in your brain?

 

And seriously. What is up with audiobooks and the lack of afterwords and notes? Can someone please make them fix this? Annoyed now.