Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: TexasRanger on January 27, 2013, 08:05:52 AM

Title: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: TexasRanger on January 27, 2013, 08:05:52 AM
What are some things you can't stand about plots, characters, or just the author's writing style?

1. Mary Sue / Larry Stu Characters: These are the "perfect" characters. No physical/character flaws, never have a hair out of place and always right about everything they say. Expect them to look like super models.
2. Too much detail: The "I must write a three page description of a lamp" type.

So what are yours?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Garden Goblin on January 27, 2013, 08:26:12 AM
When the 14 book series could have been a trilogy if the characters weren't so stupid and didn't keep making the same stupid mistakes because they were too stupid to talk to each other because each had the stupid notion that they were the only stupid person qualified to deal with the stupid plot.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: atirial on January 27, 2013, 08:35:45 AM
Deus Ex Machina. If you're going to write characters into a corner, then get them out of it with things that are already established. Don't invent the magical superpower of dealing-specifically-with-problem-x that has never been mentioned before and will never be used again.

It drives me up the wall in certain series, where characters' abilities vary from book to book. When it happens in the same book, it is even worse.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cicero on January 27, 2013, 08:41:39 AM
1. when author's styles change from 'interesting and different' to 'ewww get me out of here'. like stephen king for one.

so, i end up picking up one of that author's latest books, thinking it will be just as good if not better than the previous one, and it gets... gory.

2. and i know this is my issue but typos and incorrect word choices drive me crazy. it's a book, it's published by this big publishing house, i'm sure they have plenty of editors and proof readers on staff. Use them! I know it's not possible to always find every mistake, but sometimes books are just sloppy and it's annoying.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: faithlessone on January 27, 2013, 08:43:45 AM
I think my biggest pet peeve (of fiction in general, tbh) is "Didn't Do The Research". Books that have Ancient Romans eating potatoes, or a person driving from Sydney to Perth in a matter of hours.

For books in particular, it has to be inconsistency in their writing style. I've read too many books that veered from "formal" style to a more colloquial feel and back again. A subset of that is books clearly written in a posh/formal/literary style, but including lots of slang that isn't appropriate to that style.

Ooh, and while I'm on the subject, character dialogue written with the phonetic accent. It can work, but often it's just bad.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mmswm on January 27, 2013, 08:51:06 AM
I think my biggest pet peeve (of fiction in general, tbh) is "Didn't Do The Research". Books that have Ancient Romans eating potatoes, or a person driving from Sydney to Perth in a matter of hours.

For books in particular, it has to be inconsistency in their writing style. I've read too many books that veered from "formal" style to a more colloquial feel and back again. A subset of that is books clearly written in a posh/formal/literary style, but including lots of slang that isn't appropriate to that style.

Ooh, and while I'm on the subject, character dialogue written with the phonetic accent. It can work, but often it's just bad.

I think the bolded part is directly linked to the first part.  If you aren't actually part of the group you're writing about, then an extraordinary amount of research is required to pull off the dialect.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabylonSister on January 27, 2013, 09:09:01 AM
And it's also very hard to read.  I once mistakenly bought a copy of a Barbara Delinsky book, not realizing it was a romance novel (I hate romance novels with everything that lives in me.)  She had some background characters speak entire sentences in a Maine accent.  It was terribly frustrating to try to decipher what they meant.


I don't like it when an author tries to create suspense with a lot of teasing.  I'm looking at you, Harlan Coben.  Segments like this (I made this one up, but it could be in any of his books):


"I couldn't tell him because..."
Her voice trailed off.
"What?" I asked, "because what?"
She stood up and walked away.
"Where are you going?"
"Follow me."

"What's going on?"
She kept walking in silence.


And the chapter ends there.  And he does a lot of that.  And yet when I have one of his books, I can't put it down. ::)


I dislike the Mary Sue/Larry Stu too. I much prefer flawed characters with realistic looks.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Thipu1 on January 27, 2013, 09:14:26 AM
1) There's what I call the 'potato trap' that shows up in Medieval fantasies.  Characters are always eating things like corn and potatoes that didn't exist in Europe at that time.  I lost all interest in one author when he had a market in the tenth century selling chili peppers.

2) Failure to do basic research.  Wilbour Smith lost my respect when he trotted out an ancient Egyptian obelisk with four inscribed sides, 'One for each season of the year'.  About five minutes of research would have shown that the Pharaonic Egyptians had three seasons, not four.

3) Writers who use unnecessarily elaborate language. I recall one author who never said anything was 'dark'.  It was always 'negrescent'.  Also, things were never pale.  They were always 'etiolated'.  The same author also had a character hitting a wolf on the 'nozzle' instead of the muzzle.  I thought it was a typo until it happened again and again.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Venus193 on January 27, 2013, 09:21:09 AM
1) There's what I call the 'potato trap' that shows up in Medieval fantasies.  Characters are always eating things like corn and potatoes that didn't exist in Europe at that time.  I lost all interest in one author when he had a market in the tenth century selling chili peppers.

2) Failure to do basic research.  Wilbour Smith lost my respect when he trotted out an ancient Egyptian obelisk with four inscribed sides, 'One for each season of the year'.  About five minutes of research would have shown that the Pharaonic Egyptians had three seasons, not four.

3) Writers who use unnecessarily elaborate language. I recall one author who never said anything was 'dark'.  It was always 'negrescent'.  Also, things were never pale.  They were always 'etiolated'.  The same author also had a character hitting a wolf on the 'nozzle' instead of the muzzle.  I thought it was a typo until it happened again and again.

I totally gave up on an author after reading one book in which she describes the hero's clothing as "trunk hose" when the story took place 500 years before that garment existed.  That's a slap at all the authors of historical romance who do their homework because it allows people who disparage the genre to rant about how stupid they know think it is.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on January 27, 2013, 09:27:26 AM
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Yarnspinner on January 27, 2013, 09:28:43 AM
1. when author's styles change from 'interesting and different' to 'ewww get me out of here'. like stephen king for one. so, i end up picking up one of that author's latest books, thinking it will be just as good if not better than the previous one, and it gets... gory.

2. and i know this is my issue but typos and incorrect word choices drive me crazy. it's a book, it's published by this big publishing house, i'm sure they have plenty of editors and proof readers on staff. Use them! I know it's not possible to always find every mistake, but sometimes books are just sloppy and it's annoying.

So agree about King.  Carrie was one of the first true horror novels I read and it was so unusual in its style (the magazine and newspaper articles interspersed with the prose) that it kept you reading just to see what magazine he would include next.  Ditto Salems Lot and The Shining.

And then, somewhere down the line, I want to say the book was IT, things went from being horrific love letters to Maine and New England and turned into ruminations on people's bowel movements, gore and gore and gore, and all kinds of references to bodily fluids.  Instead of the compelling, irresistable feeling of "what happens next" I remember being treated to one character's thinking about his constipation for several pages in IT but delivered, not in that character's tone of voice (which would have been more circumspect, I think) but in King's very snotty tone, as if he was mocking the character who would ultimately prove the real hero of the story.

I haven't been able to read his new books since then.

Regards your second point:  I have a friend who is a proof reader for a couple of houses...and it's a very frustrating job for her.  She received an instruction from the editor of one rising romance star  saying "Do NOT correct the grammar or the spelling.  Do NOT point out holes in logic.   We don't have time to fix them."  She says "They pay me to read this trash, but they won't let me fix what's wrong because it'll cost them money.  If I didn't need the job, I wouldn't do it."  (Among some of these gaffes is a woman who is simultaneously putting on her high heels, while zipping up her dress AND walking out the door.  Or there is the plot in which a woman kidnaps a pilot to get her to an island where her ten year old son will be sacrificed to some evil God or other....as his father was before him, in fact, ALL first born sons of first born sons are sacrificed at the age of ten.  Sooooo, question:  how did her husband survive long enough to grow up, get interested in girls and find HER.  Corollary: if you are sacrificing these children at age ten, and each one if the first born son of the first born son of this one family line (clearly stated), uh---how do they keep begetting first born sons of first born sons if the first first born son was killed at age ten?) 

She's had me read some of these treasures and I want to scream.  And THAT is why so many books are filled with errors.  Apparently first readers are used to see if the writing makes them bleed from the eyes and when it doesn't, they send the book to the publisher.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Yarnspinner on January 27, 2013, 09:54:15 AM
My own pet peeve is when the author realizes she has written something really, really good but has created for her characters a crisis situation from which there is no escape and anything less than a production number is not going to do it for a resolution.  (cough* Night Circus* cough) Suddenly they begin to take prose that was descriptive and atmospheric and tweak it into flowery-ire and flowery-ier writing, performing unnecessary literary gymnastics that scream "look at the writing, look at the writing so you won't see what I am about to do...."  and then they create a resolution that is, at best, almost completely incomprehensible or a huge let down. 

Another book I really enjoyed at the time (but whose title escapes me) held another of my annoyances:  comparing situations the character is experiencing to situations in other novels she has read.  In this particular book, the protagonist was a well read woman in  her fifties with "issues."  every time she came close to having describe how she felt, she would say something like "I felt like Pip did in "Great Expectations" upon meeting Miss Haversham."  Well, that's great that you've read Dickens, but what if I haven't???
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Thipu1 on January 27, 2013, 10:04:00 AM
There's also the 'look how much I know' syndrome.  There was a mystery writer I started reading because he often used our neighborhood.  It was fun to see the actual locations in my mind as I read. 

However, into his second book, it became evident that the descriptions of locations were beginning to overwhelm the story.  It got distracting to the point that I stopped reading his stuff. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Bellantara on January 27, 2013, 10:04:54 AM
When an author can't keep track of his or her own continuity (Hello, Mercedes Lackey!) If you establish certain facts in your first books, have the decency to remember or have notes of said facts for subsequent books. . .
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 27, 2013, 10:08:39 AM
First and foremost, spelling, grammar and spacing errors.  If there are just a couple, I barely notice but if there are a lot, it jars me out of the story completely.

Secondly, too much description drives me crazy.  It is a big part of the problem with the latest book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series.  I mean, there are other issues with this book but the over descriptiveness is a big part of it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lady Snowdon on January 27, 2013, 10:19:09 AM
I have a pet peeve about people trying to write Sherlock Holmes mysteries.  There are a few authors who can manage it - Laurie King, for example - but most of the time it just doesn't work.  I picked up one such book, and got rid of it after five pages because I'd started cataloging all the ways that Holmes and Watson were misrepresented. 

I agree with the PP who said dialectical spelling.  If I have to spend half an hour reading a single page because I can't figure out what's being said, then it's too hard.  It may be authentic and genuine, but I don't think it makes for a better book. 

I hate when an author suddenly starts to include fantasy or gothic romance in the book.  I'm good at suspending my disbelief, but if the first half of the book is a "normal" mystery, romance, whatever, and suddenly the main character hits their head, wakes up and is seeing purple unicorns or sexy fairies, it's very jarring and hard to work with. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on January 27, 2013, 10:31:55 AM
Worse - made up dialetic writing. Yes, Cloud Atlas and Phillip Roth novel whose title I have forgotten - I am looking straight at you. If I have to read the dialog out loud to be able to make some sense of it, I am not reading it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 27, 2013, 10:42:22 AM
I have a pet peeve about people trying to write Sherlock Holmes mysteries.  There are a few authors who can manage it - Laurie King, for example - but most of the time it just doesn't work.  I picked up one such book, and got rid of it after five pages because I'd started cataloging all the ways that Holmes and Watson were misrepresented. 

You might enjoy Barrie Roberts.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Giggity on January 27, 2013, 10:55:47 AM
There seems to be a new thing with writers, wherein they avoid quotation marks at all. I HATE THAT.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: demarco on January 27, 2013, 11:18:26 AM
I've just about given up reading fiction and here are some of the reasons why:

1. Too much time shifting.  The occasional flashback is fine but if the reader has to write out a chart to figure out what's going on, it's too much.

2. Too much description of things that don't matter. I like to know what the characters are wearing.  I don't need to know the color, size, and state of maturity of every flower growing along the road.

3. Too long. It's a book, not a doorstop. Edit accordingly.

4. Ambiguous endings. If I want to make up my own ending, I'd write my own book. 

I also have a couple of peeves about one of my favorite categories of nonfiction, the memoir.

1. If you want the reader to have a list of every book you ever read in your entire life, put it in an appendix.  Don't make it part of the narrative. It's distracting and pretentious and makes you look a little ... insecure.

2. If your memoir isn't about politics, dwelling on the subject is off putting to the reader, especially if bile drips off the page, and makes the reader feel as if she has been victimized by a bait and switch. 


Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tini on January 27, 2013, 11:19:24 AM
I do quite like fantasy novels, but if I read one more where the hero/heroine whines to themselves that having adventures is not like the stories they grew up with (Rain is wet! Snow is cold! Sleeping on the ground is unpleasant! Being chased by people is scary! Who knew?), that book is going to fly out of the window. All it is is the author shouting "Me, me, me, look at me, look how much more realistic than some old saga my writing is! Notice the quality of my story-telling!"
Coy and annoying.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mmswm on January 27, 2013, 11:58:11 AM
This thread has made me go back and re-read my own writing.  I'm fairly decent at writing short stories, but longer works have always given me trouble.  You guys have given me a lot to think about.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Thipu1 on January 27, 2013, 12:10:01 PM
Worse - made up dialetic writing. Yes, Cloud Atlas and Phillip Roth novel whose title I have forgotten - I am looking straight at you. If I have to read the dialog out loud to be able to make some sense of it, I am not reading it.

I had always heard about Artemis Ward.  He was an American humorist of the 19th century who was said to be very funny.

I tracked down a book of his work that was published during his lifetime  and was not impressed.  He wrote in such heavy dialect that I doubt readers of his time could have decoded the stuff.  It must have been horrible to write.  It was certainly a torture to read. 
 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: PeterM on January 27, 2013, 12:23:52 PM
There's also the 'look how much I know' syndrome.  There was a mystery writer I started reading because he often used our neighborhood.  It was fun to see the actual locations in my mind as I read. 

However, into his second book, it became evident that the descriptions of locations were beginning to overwhelm the story.  It got distracting to the point that I stopped reading his stuff.

A woman on a science fiction forum I used to frequent referred to this sort of thing as "I suffered for my art, now it's your turn!" Some authors don't bother to do any research, as has been mentioned already. Some authors do the necessary research but only write about what's necessary for the story, which is the correct approach. Too many others, unfortunately, do a lot of research and then want to make sure the readers know they did a lot of research, so immense amounts of completely unnecessary detail end up in the story. Bleh.

The same woman coined The Eight Deadly Words, "I don't care what happens to these people," said right before you put the book down and never pick it up again.

One of my own reading pet peeves is a publisher's decision, not a writing sin. I've got a good forty or fifty pages left in a book and I'm looking forward to a nice, drawn out resolution, and then the book ends and it turns out the last thirty or forty pages are a preview of the next book in the series, or even a completely unrelated book. I don't see that as often these days, for which I'm grateful.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Amara on January 27, 2013, 12:32:39 PM
I wish I could remember the specific wording that put me off immediately but then all I could see was that first paragraph where it was.

I had gone to BEA (BookExpo America) in 2004 where among others I picked up a copy of a new book, a historical novel, I believe. When I got home I picked it up to try it. It opened in a late nineteenth-century ballroom where a man was flirting with a woman and she responded with a trendy phrase that didn't exist until about the time of the writing. ::) After my eyes returned to their normal position I tossed the book in the recycle bin.

How did something so wrong so early in the story get published?  >:(
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Allyson on January 27, 2013, 01:27:55 PM
Inaccurate naming conventions. If I'm reading a novel set in 1820, I don't want the main character's names to sound like a high school class list today. One unusual-for-the-time name I can buy, but all of them? Distracting.

When we're obviously supposed to think everything the main protagonist does is perfect. I am addicted to JD Robb's In Death series but I am so tired of everyone who disagrees with Eve ending up being wrong, and anyone who dislikes her ending up being evil or obviously meant to be disliked by the reader.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Bijou on January 27, 2013, 01:29:22 PM
What are some things you can't stand about plots, characters, or just the author's writing style?

1. Mary Sue / Larry Stu Characters: These are the "perfect" characters. No physical/character flaws, never have a hair out of place and always right about everything they say. Expect them to look like super models.
2. Too much detail: The "I must write a three page description of a lamp" type.

So what are yours?
I hate, hate, hate books written in first person, present tense.  (I guess that's what you call it)
I walk into the kitchen.  She glares at me.  I pick up the magazine from the table and start eating the pages.  I think it's "Fine Dining at The Ritz."  I am gagging. She is laughing.  It's a cookbook from 1930 featuring canned peas."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: booklover03 on January 27, 2013, 01:33:01 PM
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

This is a big one for me, too. I had this happen to me in a series of books that I used to love. I even got several of my friends to read them and they loved them, too. They were paranormal romance and about 6-7 books in the author decided to change to urban fantasy. Everything that made me fall in love with the series was changed. A lot of her fans, including me, were very disappointed. I finally had to stop reading the series because rules that the author herself established for the world she created were being broken left and right. There were so many plot holes it was ridiculous. She would also put so many extra plot lines in the book that it was hard to keep everything straight. When a book is advertised to be about 2 certain people, I expect them to be the main focus of the story. Her later books were supposed to be about a certain couple, but they would only have about 1/4 of the book dedicated to them. Everything else was to keep other plot lines going or to introduce new ones. It was hard, but I finally decided not to read anymore of her books.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cicero on January 27, 2013, 01:35:01 PM
another one i thought of:

when the author starts out with a certain pattern (e.g., odd number chapters are current time and even number chapters are flashbacks) and then messes it up halfway through the book so i don't know if this is past or present.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Snowy Owl on January 27, 2013, 01:49:15 PM
Inaccurate naming conventions. If I'm reading a novel set in 1820, I don't want the main character's names to sound like a high school class list today. One unusual-for-the-time name I can buy, but all of them? Distracting.

When we're obviously supposed to think everything the main protagonist does is perfect. I am addicted to JD Robb's In Death series but I am so tired of everyone who disagrees with Eve ending up being wrong, and anyone who dislikes her ending up being evil or obviously meant to be disliked by the reader.

Can I add to this, historically inaccurate modes of address.  Nothing makes me stop reading a regency romance than having the hero and heroine on first name terms within 5 minutes.  If you're writing something set in a period then check how people in that period interacted based on gender and class.  Also check the order of peerage if you're writing something with titles in. 

I'd definitely add research fail as a major problem.  Reading 50 Shades of Grey the first thing that made me think "this is going to be terrible" was when the 21 year old university graduate in present day Seattle didn't know how to use the internet and didn't have an email address. It took me 5 minutes to google the university and find out that an email account was mandatory to receive course information and students were expected to make full use of the available technology.  If I can do that then so can the author. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabylonSister on January 27, 2013, 02:02:48 PM
There's also the 'look how much I know' syndrome.  There was a mystery writer I started reading because he often used our neighborhood.  It was fun to see the actual locations in my mind as I read. 

However, into his second book, it became evident that the descriptions of locations were beginning to overwhelm the story.  It got distracting to the point that I stopped reading his stuff.

A woman on a science fiction forum I used to frequent referred to this sort of thing as "I suffered for my art, now it's your turn!" Some authors don't bother to do any research, as has been mentioned already. Some authors do the necessary research but only write about what's necessary for the story, which is the correct approach. Too many others, unfortunately, do a lot of research and then want to make sure the readers know they did a lot of research, so immense amounts of completely unnecessary detail end up in the story. Bleh.



Ha!  I have in the "Worst book ever" thread mentioned how terrible Lilian Jackson Braun's books had become as years passed (or I should say, the books published under her name because there is very strong suspicion that they were ghost-written.)  In the most ludicrous of them all, The Cat Who Saw Stars, there is lengthy talk about goats. It has nothing to do with the plot.



RE: names:  I really hate it when an author tries to include French characters but does not bother to research names.  So writers, take note:
1. there are no intracaps in French names.  It's not "DuPont", it's "Dupont" or, less likely, "Du Pont". 
2. Names like Yvette or Simone might look so daintily French but don't use them for a current French woman.  99% of French women with those names are in their 80s or older.  I hate to break it to you, but a young French woman is likely to be named Jennifer.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 27, 2013, 02:19:10 PM
I'm with others on over description. When the plot comes to a screeching halt for several pages to not only describe the buildings, but to describe the process in which the bricks were made and the politics within the bricklayer's union, to the point where I've forgotten what happened before the author started describing all that, is when I start skipping pages.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on January 27, 2013, 03:38:09 PM
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: pwv on January 27, 2013, 04:04:27 PM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabylonSister on January 27, 2013, 04:06:58 PM
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.




Was it an old or a recent book?  Last summer I read Vanity Fair and I found it peppered with French.  That didn't bother me, but I can imagine that a highschool or college student who has to read it would find that annoying.  Of course, at the time it was written, it was assumed that the readership would comprise highly educated people who all had some knowledge of French.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: The TARDIS on January 27, 2013, 04:15:28 PM
When a series author uses a lot of ghostwriters.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 27, 2013, 04:20:38 PM
When a series author uses a lot of ghostwriters.

Like James Patterson.  Someone suggested I read his "Witch and Wizard" and thinking I'd like it since I like his style of writing, I gave it a shot.  It was a young adult book, which on its own does not matter to me as I've enjoyed other books marketed to that demographic.   But this was one clearly written by a ghostwriter and was not very well written.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Venus193 on January 27, 2013, 05:48:23 PM
V.C. Andrews.  There are more ghost-ridden books under that name than the original author wrote in her lifetime.  I think it's time to quit.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: DollyPond on January 27, 2013, 05:59:01 PM
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.

Was it an Umberto Eco book?  For an Italian writer he uses an awful lot of French. 

His latest novel The Prague Cemetery uses a lot of French but it is mostly food/menu oriented so I can understand that.  In Foucoult's Pendulum there is a full page letter that is entirely in French.  i assume that there was some important information in the letter but how could I know unless I re-typed the whole thing into a translation program?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 27, 2013, 07:00:56 PM
I'm working on getting a romance novel published, so I'm seeing this from a writer's point of view as well as a reader:

- Books that shouldn't have been published.  Almost any famous author can tell you about the first book or two they wrote, tried to sell, failed, and subsequently have hidden under the bed and will never see the light of day.  You learn to write by writing, and that means your first book is pretty universally bad.  In bygone days those books stayed under the bed, unless you got really famous and then maybe you heavily edited it and released it once you had a few dozen other books under your belt.  Now aspiring authors try to shop around their first books (which they're convinced will be masterpieces), fail to sell them to major publishers, and decide to self-publish in ebook form instead.

- Related is how some smaller e-presses have sacrificed quality for quantity.  They have a smaller investment in your book than they would in a printed book, so they accept anything halfway readable and hope to make up their money in volume.  As a result, they cut their support for authors to bare bones: editing may be minimal, cover design is often lacking, promotional help is non-existant.  And the employees who do this editing/designing are now "independent contractors" who may or may not be qualified for what they're doing.  The result is a huge variating in quality for ebooks, which makes me (and other readers) hesitant about spending the money for them without first being very, very sure they're worth it.

- Authors who don't take the time to fully edit their work.  This drives me nuts - too many people write "The End" and figure they're good to go.  There's more to editing a book than spell check!  Unfortunately, if you don't know how to check for things like pacing or point of view changes, you probably aren't doing them right.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Morrigan on January 27, 2013, 08:02:10 PM
When a really good paranormal fantasy (I'm looking at you, Anita Blake) series turns into porn halfway through and throws out all plot in the name of sex.

When a book starts repeating the same pattern just with different names (Christine Feehan's Dark series....)

When characters don't age at all, yet go through three summer vacations (I don't care if it's YA, Babysitter's Club & Saddle Club...)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: amandaelizabeth on January 27, 2013, 08:54:30 PM
In the Christmas holidays I started a regency romance.  Third paragraph in, the hero saw a picture of himself and bother as children.  He smiled to himself and was glad his mother had insisted on a painting rather than a photograph in spite of the time it took to paint.  I never did get to the fourth paragraph
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MerryCat on January 27, 2013, 09:15:38 PM
Obnoxious main characters who are snotty and rude for no reason, but we're supposed to excuse and even sympathize with them because of their Dark Past which is, of course, Full of Pain. Meanwhile all the other people around them, who may actually be trying to be nice, deserve to be treated like dirt because they Don't Understand My Pain.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Cami on January 27, 2013, 11:03:41 PM
When a really good paranormal fantasy (I'm looking at you, Anita Blake) series turns into porn halfway through and throws out all plot in the name of sex.


So so true! If I wanted to read porn, I'd just look it up on the internet.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on January 27, 2013, 11:52:28 PM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

In the same vein - books where editors feel they have to be "translated" just because they're moving across the pond.

"The Baby-Sitter's Club" series was "translated" into British English (and the covers were HIDEOUS!)
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was "translated" into American English.
"Anne of Windy Willows" was 'translated' when published in the US, had a lot of scenes cut out of it, and was retitled "Anne of Windy Poplars".
"Outlander" was "translated" when published in the UK, had a lot of scenes cut out of it and was retitled "Cross-Stitch".

... I could keep going.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mechtilde on January 28, 2013, 12:08:40 AM
Historical novels where the characters (or at least some of them- usually the feisty young Mary Sue) behave like 21st century people.

Yes, it can be possible to write a book where a 17th century magistrate is tolerant of Catholicism and sceptical about the existence witchcraft, but you have to get his character and motivation right.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on January 28, 2013, 01:56:05 AM
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.




Was it an old or a recent book?  Last summer I read Vanity Fair and I found it peppered with French.  That didn't bother me, but I can imagine that a highschool or college student who has to read it would find that annoying.  Of course, at the time it was written, it was assumed that the readership would comprise highly educated people who all had some knowledge of French.


The book is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse and it was written in 2005. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: iridaceae on January 28, 2013, 03:42:10 AM
Books where the main character is told "don't do X/go to Y because it's dangerous" and they do anyhow. Usually because "you can't tell me what to do."  I don't mind if doing whatever is done logically like they promise but then hear someone calling for help, but usually they come off looking like spoiled brats.

The didn't do their homework one bothers me as well.

And especially names. No I don't buy a 12th century Scottish Lady named Storm and I don't buy a 25 year old female today named Nevaeh (it's Heaven speller backwards) .  Fanfiction loves Mary Sues named Rayleigh Angel Sky and Kileah Emerald Shakira.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 28, 2013, 03:53:12 AM
I just finished a book where a good portion of the book was written in French.  People talking in French to eachother, quotes from texts written in French and even French words thrown in haphazardly to let the reader know that the author can speak French.

The problem?  I don't speak a word of French and there were only a few English subtitles so I didn't understand a good portion of the book.  Sad part is that this isn't the first time that I've seen this done.

Authors:  if you're going to write a book (in whatever language) and you choose to add a second language for whatever reason then add subtitles for EACH phrase.  Do NOT assume that your reader understands what what you are writing.




Was it an old or a recent book?  Last summer I read Vanity Fair and I found it peppered with French.  That didn't bother me, but I can imagine that a highschool or college student who has to read it would find that annoying.  Of course, at the time it was written, it was assumed that the readership would comprise highly educated people who all had some knowledge of French.


The book is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse and it was written in 2005.

I'm surprised - I just looked at my copy.  There is only the odd word in French in it, not ongoing sentences and there is a glossary at the back of the book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on January 28, 2013, 04:07:31 AM
Names bother me too. I've read more than one American book that featured Russian men with female last names, it seems like such a basic thing that it doesn't say much about their research skills (there was also one book that had correct names, if I recall correctly but parts of it read like a guide book to Moscow). One author has used Finnish last names (one was incorrectly spelled but I guess ä might make readers confused) for generic Slavic / Eastern European characters at least in two books. We may be Eastern European but far from Slavic and Igor Särkilahti looks about the same as Sven Jones.

This isn't probably a completely rational pet peeve but I really dislike made-up countries (even though I don't mind made-up dialects at all, Iain M. Banks's Feersum Endjinn would have lost a lot of its charm without the language and in Cloud Atlas the language really showed the progress of time. For real dialects, Trainspotting would have been pretty boring in straight English), especially European ones. They make sense in historical novels, as there were so many tiny principalities and kingdoms in Europe then, even though I don't like it but I have trouble taking them seriously in contemporary books that are supposed to be sort of realistic. I can understand why writers use them (it's probably easier when you can control the history and geography and politics completely) but I don't like it. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: CakeEater on January 28, 2013, 04:10:14 AM
Definitely non-endings. I like every little loose end neatly tied up for me.
 
I know they're corny, but I actually like movies that end with a montage of the futures of the characters.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: shadowfox79 on January 28, 2013, 05:14:01 AM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

This may be an editing issue rather than an author issue. My first novel was set in the US, but I and my publisher are in the UK. I basically had to edit it so that all Americanisms were in the dialogue and not the text, because my editor insisted on it being written in British English regardless of the location. (You wouldn't believe the wrangle we had about a certain name for one's bottom.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: iridaceae on January 28, 2013, 05:17:23 AM
I remembered another one : fantasy books where they use made up words but never define them so you're wondering what the word means. Authors will do this with spells and powers,  too. Drives me crazy.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Geekychick1984 on January 28, 2013, 05:36:17 AM
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

This is a big one for me, too. I had this happen to me in a series of books that I used to love. I even got several of my friends to read them and they loved them, too. They were paranormal romance and about 6-7 books in the author decided to change to urban fantasy. Everything that made me fall in love with the series was changed. A lot of her fans, including me, were very disappointed. I finally had to stop reading the series because rules that the author herself established for the world she created were being broken left and right. There were so many plot holes it was ridiculous. She would also put so many extra plot lines in the book that it was hard to keep everything straight. When a book is advertised to be about 2 certain people, I expect them to be the main focus of the story. Her later books were supposed to be about a certain couple, but they would only have about 1/4 of the book dedicated to them. Everything else was to keep other plot lines going or to introduce new ones. It was hard, but I finally decided not to read anymore of her books.

I have to ask....Blackdagger Brotherhood?  That's the first that came to mind for me (and if so, I totally agree).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redsoil on January 28, 2013, 05:37:44 AM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

In the same vein - books where editors feel they have to be "translated" just because they're moving across the pond.

"The Baby-Sitter's Club" series was "translated" into British English (and the covers were HIDEOUS!)
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was "translated" into American English.
"Anne of Windy Willows" was 'translated' when published in the US, had a lot of scenes cut out of it, and was retitled "Anne of Windy Poplars".
"Outlander" was "translated" when published in the UK, had a lot of scenes cut out of it and was retitled "Cross-Stitch".

... I could keep going.

Wow - didn't know that about "Outlander".  I bought the book when it was first available in Australia, titled as "Cross-Stitch".  May just have to go and purchase the "Outlander" version on Kindle and re-read to see what differences there are.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redsoil on January 28, 2013, 05:41:44 AM
One series I did quite enjoy is by Traci Harding - starting with "The Ancient Future".  However, there are various inaccuracies that grate, not least the constant misuse of the terms "thee" and "thou".  If you're going to use "ancient language" get the grammar right!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on January 28, 2013, 05:49:04 AM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

In the same vein - books where editors feel they have to be "translated" just because they're moving across the pond.

"The Baby-Sitter's Club" series was "translated" into British English (and the covers were HIDEOUS!)
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was "translated" into American English.
"Anne of Windy Willows" was 'translated' when published in the US, had a lot of scenes cut out of it, and was retitled "Anne of Windy Poplars".
"Outlander" was "translated" when published in the UK, had a lot of scenes cut out of it and was retitled "Cross-Stitch".

... I could keep going.

Wow - didn't know that about "Outlander".  I bought the book when it was first available in Australia, titled as "Cross-Stitch".  May just have to go and purchase the "Outlander" version on Kindle and re-read to see what differences there are.

It's worth it - IMHO - "Cross-Stitch" is a lot more tame than "Outlander". See here (http://outlandishobservations.blogspot.dk/2009/11/outlander-vs-cross-stitch-part-1.html) for examples.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redsoil on January 28, 2013, 05:52:00 AM
Just checked on Amazon - can't get the "Outlander" version for Australia on Kindle!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redsoil on January 28, 2013, 05:57:22 AM
Thanks, MariaE!  Have just followed the link - most interesting.  I wonder why the changes were made?  Seems to be no good reason.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 28, 2013, 05:58:12 AM
A pet peeve of mine is when there is, in historical fiction in general, a high degree of deliberately-archaic language in the dialogue / conversation. Just a personal "kink" of mine: I respect those who take the opposite view, and who like the author to have researched well as regards speech, and are irked by speech-anachronisms. I just happen to find the "archaic mode" jarring and distracting -- I'm happier with the characters speaking modern English, even though it's not what they would have sounded like at the time.

... I picked up a copy of a new book, a historical novel, I believe. When I got home I picked it up to try it. It opened in a late nineteenth-century ballroom where a man was flirting with a woman and she responded with a trendy phrase that didn't exist until about the time of the writing. ::) After my eyes returned to their normal position I tossed the book in the recycle bin.
Now that very probably wouldn't have bothered me -- I'd have been happier with it than with "Oh, hoity-toity, sir !" or the like.

I've never enjoyed Georgette Heyer much, because of the characters' routinely conversing in Regency slang and idiom: the author has no doubt done meticulous research to get all this right for the period, and kudos to her for it -- unfortunately, it grates on me. And, when first hearing about "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell", I thought the book would be right up my street. In fact, I couldn't get very far through it, because of its being all in "Jane-Austen-speak" (and orthography): not only the dialogue; but all the text -- with its being supposedly a document from 200-odd years ago. Indisputably, very clever on the author's part -- but it drove me nuts.

As said, just my individual "thing"; and an instance of how it's impossible for the poor author to please everybody !
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 28, 2013, 06:10:14 AM
Worse - made up dialetic writing. Yes, Cloud Atlas and Phillip Roth novel whose title I have forgotten - I am looking straight at you. If I have to read the dialog out loud to be able to make some sense of it, I am not reading it.

I had always heard about Artemis Ward.  He was an American humorist of the 19th century who was said to be very funny.

I tracked down a book of his work that was published during his lifetime  and was not impressed.  He wrote in such heavy dialect that I doubt readers of his time could have decoded the stuff.  It must have been horrible to write.  It was certainly a torture to read. 
 

I'm with those who find dialectal writing / spelling a pain, and annoying to have to plough through. Also of that opinion, is Lynne Truss of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves". In the chapter on apostrophes in that book, she quotes a fragment of "Lady Chatterley's Lover" where Mellors the sexy gamekeeper and Lady C. are discussing an estate-management issue. The author sets out Mellors's words, in a solemn attempt to reproduce Nottinghamshire dialect, heavily peppered with apostrophes to indicate rustic-speech omitted letters. Truss's imagined rejoinder: " 'Why don't you speak ordinary English?' Lady Chatterley enquires, saucily."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Gyburc on January 28, 2013, 07:26:45 AM
Grammatical errors drive me nuts, and once I've spotted them, I can't un-see them.

I also find it deeply annoying when fantasy authors 'create' or 'imagine' a society that is essentially a copy of a real society (usually a medieval one), basically ripping it off and adding just a few details to make it look as if it is original.

I started a series of books a few months ago and the first volume seemed really promising, but in the second book the author had his hero travel to a mysterious country to learn sword-fighting from !!The Best Martial Artists In The World Ever!! (TM). The country turned out to be medieval Japan with the genders reversed, so that the women were the amazing martial artists. The men sort of disappeared from the picture, but I imagine they were busy with housework.  ::)

Then the hero got beaten in a sword-fight by an 8-year-old girl, which made me go  ??? ...

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on January 28, 2013, 07:39:58 AM
I remembered another one : fantasy books where they use made up words but never define them so you're wondering what the word means. Authors will do this with spells and powers,  too. Drives me crazy.

I don't mind this much, as it is generally either understandable from the context, irrelevant or eventually explained in plot (I am a patient soul). What drives me crazy are fantasy authors that can't call a sheep a sheep - they have to make up a word for sheep "to add to the ambiance". and to be able to have a glossary at the back. Sorry, if it is four legged, grazes, has wool, is edible, is around the size of a sheep and is easily herded, it is a sheep not a shoiurgqjgn. Trudi Cannavan is a serial offender.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Verloona Ti on January 28, 2013, 08:00:48 AM



So agree about King.  Carrie was one of the first true horror novels I read and it was so unusual in its style (the magazine and newspaper articles interspersed with the prose) that it kept you reading just to see what magazine he would include next.  Ditto Salems Lot and The Shining.

And then, somewhere down the line, I want to say the book was IT, things went from being horrific love letters to Maine and New England and turned into ruminations on people's bowel movements, gore and gore and gore, and all kinds of references to bodily fluids.  Instead of the compelling, irresistable feeling of "what happens next" I remember being treated to one character's thinking about his constipation for several pages in IT but delivered, not in that character's tone of voice (which would have been more circumspect, I think) but in King's very snotty tone, as if he was mocking the character who would ultimately prove the real hero of the story.

I haven't been able to read his new books since then.



I have noticed that SK's characters have gotten older and richer as HE'S gotten older and richer...And it was at IT that I noticed he seemed to no longer have any empathy for poor/middle class/struggling people as he'd had in his earlier books, and now mostly held them up to ridicule. I call this "Stephen King Syndrome" : When a formerly poor , struggling person attains success, and then devotes himself to showing how much more "enlightened" he is than the Poor Slobs in whose class he used to be.

I hate the way books nowadays don't seem to be edited: Multiple typos, grammatical errors, mistakes of fact that should be easily rectifiable...I have now run across multiple books written by UK authors and (presumably) edited by UK editors employed by UK publishing houses, that describe the execution of King Charles I as a hanging. They may as well have strapped him into an electric chair!

Also agree with the person complaining about "phonetic" pronunciations in books. A LITTLE of this for flavor is OK : But when every single word is spelled like  "ehveree seengul werd"  and with commas   run amock to show dropped consonants,  despite my best efforts all I can do is scan not read. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: onyonryngs on January 28, 2013, 08:22:52 AM
A pet peeve of mine is when there is, in historical fiction in general, a high degree of deliberately-archaic language in the dialogue / conversation. Just a personal "kink" of mine: I respect those who take the opposite view, and who like the author to have researched well as regards speech, and are irked by speech-anachronisms. I just happen to find the "archaic mode" jarring and distracting -- I'm happier with the characters speaking modern English, even though it's not what they would have sounded like at the time.

... I picked up a copy of a new book, a historical novel, I believe. When I got home I picked it up to try it. It opened in a late nineteenth-century ballroom where a man was flirting with a woman and she responded with a trendy phrase that didn't exist until about the time of the writing. ::) After my eyes returned to their normal position I tossed the book in the recycle bin.
Now that very probably wouldn't have bothered me -- I'd have been happier with it than with "Oh, hoity-toity, sir !" or the like.

I've never enjoyed Georgette Heyer much, because of the characters' routinely conversing in Regency slang and idiom: the author has no doubt done meticulous research to get all this right for the period, and kudos to her for it -- unfortunately, it grates on me. And, when first hearing about "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell", I thought the book would be right up my street. In fact, I couldn't get very far through it, because of its being all in "Jane-Austen-speak" (and orthography): not only the dialogue; but all the text -- with its being supposedly a document from 200-odd years ago. Indisputably, very clever on the author's part -- but it drove me nuts.

As said, just my individual "thing"; and an instance of how it's impossible for the poor author to please everybody !

Ha!  That's awesome!  I giggled the entire way through this!  Sounds just like those books!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: booklover03 on January 28, 2013, 08:43:20 AM
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

This is a big one for me, too. I had this happen to me in a series of books that I used to love. I even got several of my friends to read them and they loved them, too. They were paranormal romance and about 6-7 books in the author decided to change to urban fantasy. Everything that made me fall in love with the series was changed. A lot of her fans, including me, were very disappointed. I finally had to stop reading the series because rules that the author herself established for the world she created were being broken left and right. There were so many plot holes it was ridiculous. She would also put so many extra plot lines in the book that it was hard to keep everything straight. When a book is advertised to be about 2 certain people, I expect them to be the main focus of the story. Her later books were supposed to be about a certain couple, but they would only have about 1/4 of the book dedicated to them. Everything else was to keep other plot lines going or to introduce new ones. It was hard, but I finally decided not to read anymore of her books.

I have to ask....Blackdagger Brotherhood?  That's the first that came to mind for me (and if so, I totally agree).

That's the series I was thinking about, I don't know if it's the one rose red is talking about, though. I pretty much quit reading after the disaster that was Phury's book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tini on January 28, 2013, 08:48:49 AM
I also really dislike people who think owning a dictionary is enough to stick bits of a foreign language in your story. The amount of ridiculously bad German/Spanish/French I've come across! And quite often this would be combined with the book claiming native speaker level for its character.
I'm also with everyone on the bad research. Again, because of my German background and English reading habits, the wrongness I've come across has put me off quite a few books. I can live with Germans being a bit of a humorless caricature, but claiming that there are sausage stands in HAMBURG that would sell weisswurst that wasn't nearly as good as the characters mother would make it? Please.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Giggity on January 28, 2013, 09:06:42 AM
I hate, hate, hate books written in first person, present tense.  (I guess that's what you call it)
I walk into the kitchen.  She glares at me.  I pick up the magazine from the table and start eating the pages.  I think it's "Fine Dining at The Ritz."  I am gagging. She is laughing.  It's a cookbook from 1930 featuring canned peas."

Oh yes ma'am. This right here.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: blahblahblah on January 28, 2013, 09:11:49 AM
I hate, hate, hate books written in first person, present tense.  (I guess that's what you call it)
I walk into the kitchen.  She glares at me.  I pick up the magazine from the table and start eating the pages.  I think it's "Fine Dining at The Ritz."  I am gagging. She is laughing.  It's a cookbook from 1930 featuring canned peas."

Oh yes ma'am. This right here.
Same. Usually it comes across as a crutch and a very lazy way of writing.

That's not to say that it can't be pulled off - hence the "usually" as a qualifier - but I very rarely see it done successfully.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Giggity on January 28, 2013, 09:13:40 AM
I'm with others on over description. When the plot comes to a screeching halt for several pages to not only describe the buildings, but to describe the process in which the bricks were made and the politics within the bricklayer's union, to the point where I've forgotten what happened before the author started describing all that, is when I start skipping pages.

Anne Rice ... I'm looking in your direction ... seriously, what on earth made her think we need three pages describing the living room curtains?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Venus193 on January 28, 2013, 09:26:56 AM
Cabbageweevil, I am on the side of historical accuracy, or at least time-neutral language in books and other entertainment in period costume.  I can't stand overly contemporary language coming from characters who are wearing hoopskirts, trunk hose, or togas.  I think it encourages ignorance of history, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

This is the reason I shut off Moulin Rouge! after ten minutes and refused to watch Marie Antoinette.  There are other examples coming with the wrong music for the period and I don't want to know what they're doing with the dialogue.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: blahblahblah on January 28, 2013, 09:35:23 AM
I hate the prevalence of bad boys in YA lit. But that's because nowadays "bad boy" has become synonymous with abusive a-hole. It's one thing to be a bit of a rogue from the wrong side of the tracks with a devil-may-care attitude, it's another thing to, I don't know, stalk the main character with the intention of murdering them (before the power of lurve changes them) or force them to spend the night in their room and then throw a major ragey fit when the girl decides to sneak out.

And no, I'm not talking about Twilight! I know that Twilight has been a sore subject on the forums in the past, but the stuff I'm thinking about bugs me a lot more.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on January 28, 2013, 10:01:00 AM
When a really good paranormal fantasy (I'm looking at you, Anita Blake) series turns into porn halfway through and throws out all plot in the name of sex.

Yep. Unless you're writing porn, give us a plot! Her Merry Gentry series is a particular offender as well. The first book had actual worldbuilding- now it's all porn, all the time. And bad porn at that.

Overexplaining. If you think your readers won't know who Lara Croft is, give one brief mention. Don't spend three sentences repeating yourself. Lindsay McKenna, I'm looking at you.

Mary Sues- I liked the Honor Harrington books, but the last few have been pretty bad. I bailed when she reinvented sign language. spoiler hidden

Surprise romantic relationship. One series I read recently popped up with this. There was no hint of it till this book, no reason to think they were interested in each other and it felt really contrived. Blech.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Adelaide on January 28, 2013, 10:09:55 AM
I hate when a book is written in first-person and the author decides to have the character go insane, or contract PTSD or something. For me, the last two Hunger Games books were like pulling teeth. I don't want to read about someone who spends half of her time getting sedated, waking up to fight, and being sedated, again and again and again. If Collins wanted to make Katniss' unraveling more tragic or make me care about it a bit more, she wouldn't have stuck us inside Katniss' head the entire time. That's one reason I'm looking forward to the next movies-you're not stuck with Katniss through the whole darn thing.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Morticia on January 28, 2013, 10:25:07 AM
When the protaganist must be in peril, even if it's not called for?  Since when do cozy mysteries require the sleuth to be the prime suspect? Why does almost every mystery story to come down the pipe must involve someone being framed? (For some reason it's a trigger for me, so I hate the preponderance of this these days. I am not kidding, almost every mystery story I've bought recently has this as a plot point. And frequently not mentioned in the synopsis.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 28, 2013, 10:30:17 AM
Cabbageweevil, I am on the side of historical accuracy, or at least time-neutral language in books and other entertainment in period costume.  I can't stand overly contemporary language coming from characters who are wearing hoopskirts, trunk hose, or togas.  I think it encourages ignorance of history, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

This is the reason I shut off Moulin Rouge! after ten minutes and refused to watch Marie Antoinette.  There are other examples coming with the wrong music for the period and I don't want to know what they're doing with the dialogue.

Interesting! My understanding is that Moulin Rouge, Marie Antoinette, A Knight's Tale, etc. were deliberately mixing historical and modern elements as part of their unorthodox style, their way of helping modern audiences relate to what the characters were going through. Of course not everyone has to like that style; but to me it doesn't fall in the same category as someone who Did Not Do the Research and thus has Charlemagne firing handguns or something. I wouldn't even really call those historical movies, more like fantasies.

This is a great thread! One thing that bugs me is the "series syndrome." It seems like, in the genres I like such as fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, people can't just write a single, self-contained story anymore. Everyone wants to have the next big series where people hotly anticipate every volume coming out. I feel like authors deliberately string the storyline out, introduce way more characters and complications than are necessary, and never resolve anything so that readers feel compelled to pick up the next book. If you've got a long story to tell and you know where it's going and you'd just rather release three medium-sized books instead of one huge book, that's fine, because actually I don't like huge books; but I get the sense in a lot of series that they're just trying to milk it for as long as possible and don't really know what the endgame is.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on January 28, 2013, 10:56:53 AM
I don't remember the exact titles, but there were a few times that the main character of a book is reading a book by the author.  I find that conceited, not cute, and pulls me out of the story.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Venus193 on January 28, 2013, 11:15:53 AM

Interesting! My understanding is that Moulin Rouge, Marie Antoinette, A Knight's Tale, etc. were deliberately mixing historical and modern elements as part of their unorthodox style, their way of helping modern audiences relate to what the characters were going through. Of course not everyone has to like that style; but to me it doesn't fall in the same category as someone who Did Not Do the Research and thus has Charlemagne firing handguns or something. I wouldn't even really call those historical movies, more like fantasies.


I don't care how the producers justify these decisions; it's not only unnecessary, it leads the less educated to believe the revisionism.  Remember all those people in Jay Leno's audiences who can't name the last four presidents?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on January 28, 2013, 11:18:11 AM
I absolutely agree with those who have mentioned unnecessarily long descritpions of things that are not important to the story. Pat Conroy's Beach Music: beautiful and interesting story, but he would go on for pages and PAGES describing the food he was cooking. We get it - the olive oil is GREEN!! It not only didn't add to the story at all - it actually took me out of the story. That book could have easily been 200 pages shorter.

When the author decides to use funky fonts and other artistic choices in the way the words appear on the page. The most recent offender I can think of is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. There would be several lines of text that were struck through, then a couple normal paragraphs, then more text struck through, then a couple of normal lines, then an entire paragraph struck through. It was distracting and just plain annoying. After about 20 pages, I flipped ahead to see if it ever stopped. Nope, that "style" went on for the entire book. I stopped reading at that point.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: SpottedPony on January 28, 2013, 11:26:55 AM
I write and read Bonanza fanfic and I find there are authors who suffer from what I call, 'As it is now, so it was then.'  They wouldn't allow any of their children under 18 to even touch a gun or insist that their children must complete all 12 years of school and never miss a day for any reason other than sickness. 

Back on the frontier in the 1800's, and in the 1800's in general, children had more responsibilities than children today.  In town, little kids could be running errands and such.  Children also worked in dangerous conditions such as in mines and in factories.

In rural and wilderness areas, children learned about guns early and went hunting on their own.  The family's lives depended on every member of the family being able to defend themselves.  Also schooling wasn't universally available, nor was it required.  Eight years was about as far as any one went.  Only larger towns/cities offered grades 9-12.  Also farm/ranch children were often pulled out of school to help with seasonal work. 

Things back then were very, very different from today.

Spotted Pony
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 28, 2013, 11:28:43 AM
Now I'll be thinking of these all day! :D People mentioned not liking Deus ex machina. One thing I dislike is arbitrary limits on a character's powers. Based on what the author has decided the character can do, the problem would be solved and the story would be over in 100 pages if those powers were deployed intelligently. So instead they use an excuse like, "doing magic makes me tired," but inconsistently, only when it's convenient for the author to prolong the story. Or, "we can't interfere with your quest," except for, you know, when we do... Or the character can do X and Y, but not Z, even though they all seem pretty similar, and no real reason is given why Z isn't doable.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mechtilde on January 28, 2013, 11:32:28 AM
Also farm/ranch children were often pulled out of school to help with seasonal work. 
Spotted Pony

Did school vacations take this into account? I know there were some places where schools were closed during harvest time.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kiara on January 28, 2013, 11:37:24 AM
The most recent I can think of is "I love the character, therefore he has to suffer."  Used to just happen in fanfic.  (Most commonly to Clint Barton in Avengers fanfic, with Tony Stark a close second.  Thank goodness AO3 labels angst fics so I can avoid them if I'm not in the mood.)

However, it's now happening in one of my former favorite series.  I used to love the Dresden Files.  I actually bought the paperbacks to keep.  However, for about the past...3 or 4 books, it's "Let's see how much we can dump on Harry."  After a while it gets to be too much - there has to be some happiness in the guy's life, you know?  So I quit reading.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: NestHolder on January 28, 2013, 11:38:23 AM
I very much dislike stories with quick-fire point of view changes. 

It's perfectly fine to follow one story-line for a chapter or so and then switch, but I (tried to) read a book a few months back in which the story stayed in one POV for, at most, three pages, often less.  And there were lots of 'characters', few of which had any individuality.  The story never allowed me to develop any interest in them, and I gave up.  I've never even wondered what happened...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: stargazer on January 28, 2013, 11:54:02 AM
This is most common with romance novels - I REALLY find it dishonest when authors re-release a previous book with a new title, or a new book that "contains" two or three of their previous books.  You think you are getting a brand new book and it's the same thing you already read!

I got a book for Christmas that started out really well and was quite interesting, and then about half to three quarters of the way through it was like the author lost her way and wasn't sure where to go with the plots she had introduced, so basically just threw them away with things like the reporter just "went away to write a book" (even though the reporter had just introduced a HUGE secret that she was a part of and affected all members of the book) and actually used the words "who would have thought" in the epilogue where everything got tied up neatly even though there were holes you could drive a truck through.   

I found out later reading reviews on Amazon - it was one of her first books she ever wrote that just got released as a new book.  It should have stayed under the bed.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabyMama on January 28, 2013, 11:56:58 AM
Stories where the characters are in luuuuuurve (or one character is in obsessed love with the other) and the reader has to hear over and over and over how handsome/beautiful/perfect the other character is (I'm thinking along the lines of Jondalar/Ayla, Richard/Kahlan, Bella/Edward.) You love them and they're awesome. Got it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Trogdor on January 28, 2013, 12:05:59 PM
Two pet peeves of mine:

1) Including huge amounts padding in a series to stretch it out from two or three books to seven or ten, be it extra long descriptions of places/things, or half a chapter devoted to the point of view of a marginal character mentioned in passing four chapters earlier.

2) Using a plot device over and over and over because it caused a huge sensation in the first book. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RebeccainGA on January 28, 2013, 12:39:10 PM
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: alkira6 on January 28, 2013, 12:58:54 PM
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 28, 2013, 01:05:58 PM
Cabbageweevil, I am on the side of historical accuracy, or at least time-neutral language in books and other entertainment in period costume.  I can't stand overly contemporary language coming from characters who are wearing hoopskirts, trunk hose, or togas.  I think it encourages ignorance of history, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

This is the reason I shut off Moulin Rouge! after ten minutes and refused to watch Marie Antoinette.  There are other examples coming with the wrong music for the period and I don't want to know what they're doing with the dialogue.

Time-neutral language is fine by me. It's just that I have a great (probably excessive, unfair, and not very rational) allergy to anything in language which smacks even slightly to me, of what detractors call "pishery-tushery"-- which tends for me, toward giving an impression that humans in the past, were a "species" more different from present-day ones, than is actually the case.  I'd  rather have glaring modern-anachronistic language, than "p-t" as above.  I "see with my head" your point about historical accuracy; but "feel with my gut", that I'd rather be spared archaic language of a sort that makes me (individually) cringe, and forfeit some historical accuracy. I feel that nobody is right or wrong here; it's just down to tastes, and how they differ.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on January 28, 2013, 01:08:11 PM
This is most common with romance novels - I REALLY find it dishonest when authors re-release a previous book with a new title, or a new book that "contains" two or three of their previous books.  You think you are getting a brand new book and it's the same thing you already read!


I don't think that authors are often involved in that (or have power over it), rather their old publisher who still owns the rights to their old has decided to cash in on an author who's became famous (case in point, Nora Roberts whose new books feature a special logo that lets he reader know that it's new material). It is very annoying, I just got fooled by an old book that turned out to be pretty dated and not that good, though it was decent and cheap.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 28, 2013, 01:11:52 PM
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!
This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RebeccainGA on January 28, 2013, 01:14:33 PM
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!
This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

*bingbingbingbing* Loved the first part. Recommended it widely. Then got to sparkly aliens and just..... stopped. UGH.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on January 28, 2013, 01:17:30 PM
I tune out on writers if I get the sense, after the first half-book or so, that they do not like a single specimen of humanity. I would not spend my non-reading life among people I dislike. Why should I spend time with imaginary beings who make me want to slap each and every one of them?

It's fine to have flawed characters, just not every single one of them being spawn of Satan.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: PeterM on January 28, 2013, 01:19:35 PM
I thought of a dialogue peeve that I haven't seen in awhile.

Be they Native Americans or Indians or whatever you want to call them, I'd be willing to bet cash money that they didn't all speak in formal, stilted and sweeping statements when talking amongst themselves. I don't mind it too much in a lot of western movies, though there you too often run into the other end of the spectrum, with "Me Red Wolf, me heap big fighter" or whatever. But if an Indian character in a western speaks slowly and portentously it's often because it's a dramatic scene, and anyway it's not his first language. No big deal. And even if it is a big deal, it's pretty far down on the list of things most westerns get wrong.

But in a story where it's two Indians talking to each other? I'm no anthropologist or linguist, but I'm betting they wouldn't talk like that. I read a book where a guy is accidentally sent back in time 2000 or so years and is hiding from some Indians. They spot him, of course, and have a conversation about what to do and it's all

"Halt, my friend. Do you see that man behind the tree?"

"Yes, I see him. We should report this to the chief. He will wish to be notified, and it is his right as our leader to decide what to do."

"We are in agreement. The chief must know. Come!"

Or whatever. I'm guessing the conversation really could've been translated as something like

"Say, Bob, you see that guy behind the tree over there?"

"Yeah, I see him. Does he actually think he's hiding? What an idiot. We should probably tell the boss."

"Yeah, good idea. Let's go."

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 28, 2013, 01:24:51 PM
Going along with fanfiction pet peeves:

1. Modern girl hits her head and all of a sudden wakes up in the 1800's on the Black Pearl wearing a bikini or some other scanty bit of clothing and carrying some modern devices like an iPod, iPhone or other smartphone.   Extra points if she wonders why she's getting no signal.  ::)

2. Canon characters, especially main characters, being described in such a way that you have to wonder if the author saw a differently casted version of the movie.  Captain Jack Sparrow does NOT have blue eyes!!  What's laughable is when they describe him as being tall and muscular.  One of the reasons the writers picked the surname of "Sparrow" for him was because the character was meant to be on the small side with a legend that made him seem bigger.   That and Johnny Depp is NOT a tall guy, I think he's about 5'7". 

3. Unlikely (and often disturbing shipping)  I have seen a few fanfictions where someone decided to have Elizabeth Swann fall for Lord Cutler Beckett.  He was in Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, the vile and heartless little man who had Elizabeth's father killed because Governor Swann was no longer of any use to him. And while it may not be well known canon, he was also the one who branded Captain Jack as a pirate and blew up the Wicked woman (now the Black Pearl which was raised by Davy Jones) for setting free a ship full of slaves. 

4. Unnatural hair colors such as purple, flourescent pink or blue, especially a stripe in a period fic, especially when it's supposed to be natural. Sorry, girls in the 18th century did NOT have streaks of pink hair.   ::)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on January 28, 2013, 01:35:04 PM
I thought of a dialogue peeve that I haven't seen in awhile.

Be they Native Americans or Indians or whatever you want to call them, I'd be willing to bet cash money that they didn't all speak in formal, stilted and sweeping statements when talking amongst themselves. I don't mind it too much in a lot of western movies, though there you too often run into the other end of the spectrum, with "Me Red Wolf, me heap big fighter" or whatever. But if an Indian character in a western speaks slowly and portentously it's often because it's a dramatic scene, and anyway it's not his first language. No big deal. And even if it is a big deal, it's pretty far down on the list of things most westerns get wrong.

But in a story where it's two Indians talking to each other? I'm no anthropologist or linguist, but I'm betting they wouldn't talk like that. I read a book where a guy is accidentally sent back in time 2000 or so years and is hiding from some Indians. They spot him, of course, and have a conversation about what to do and it's all

"Halt, my friend. Do you see that man behind the tree?"

"Yes, I see him. We should report this to the chief. He will wish to be notified, and it is his right as our leader to decide what to do."

"We are in agreement. The chief must know. Come!"

Or whatever. I'm guessing the conversation really could've been translated as something like

"Say, Bob, you see that guy behind the tree over there?"

"Yeah, I see him. Does he actually think he's hiding? What an idiot. We should probably tell the boss."

"Yeah, good idea. Let's go."

This is tricky, because when one translates into English, there is very little "pure" English with no reflection of geography, class, historical period, educational level, etc. So, one has to be careful that, instead of giving the sense that your Native American couple were English aristocrats, you don't make them sound like Valley Guys.

In one of Tolkien's letters, he gives a version of Theoden's speech in "modern" vernacular (think Theoden as written by Noel Coward, calling Gandalf "Old boy"), which, ironically, sounds extremely dated to today's reader. He said that he wrote Theoden as speaking in an archaic manner, because that's the way Theoden thought. He would have very little in common, say, with 1940s English aristocrats.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Mikayla on January 28, 2013, 01:41:59 PM
With fiction, my biggest after typos is gratuitous dream sequences.  I've probably read 100 of these, and maybe one of them had value to the story.  Double swats if the book begins with a dream sequence (usually followed by "She awoke with a start"). 

I also loathe poor plot development.  These are books where the first 100 pages are providing all sorts of intricate sub plots and potential for quite the ending!  Then the next 300 pages wind down from the first 100. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: stargazer on January 28, 2013, 01:44:14 PM
This is most common with romance novels - I REALLY find it dishonest when authors re-release a previous book with a new title, or a new book that "contains" two or three of their previous books.  You think you are getting a brand new book and it's the same thing you already read!


I don't think that authors are often involved in that (or have power over it), rather their old publisher who still owns the rights to their old has decided to cash in on an author who's became famous (case in point, Nora Roberts whose new books feature a special logo that lets he reader know that it's new material). It is very annoying, I just got fooled by an old book that turned out to be pretty dated and not that good, though it was decent and cheap.

I always assumed more well known authors especially are involved in that because at the end of the book there is almost always something from them about how they always loved these stories and revisiting them and hope you did too or similar.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: PeterM on January 28, 2013, 01:45:32 PM
Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!

This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

That one meets two of my pet peeves, and I haven't even read it.

1) When an author has something happen that's absolutely impossible with no adequate explanation, such as the laws of physics stop working. The sparkly aliens actually avert this one, admittedly. I don't much like the idea either, but at least it's an explanation.

2) When characters who live in a given setting or scenario for a long time don't bother to explore the limits of said setting/scenario. I've read stories where there's a tribe or village barely eking out a miserable existence in the hellhole they were unlucky enough to be born in. Then a hero falls out of the sky or whatever and starts looking around and three days later he's all, "If you guys had bothered to walk five feet that way you'd have found the solution to all of your problems. Good thing I came along!" Bah.

Stirling fell prey to #2, in my opinion, during a discussion of his setting on a science fiction group I used to frequent. He explained the constraints the people in the setting had to live under, and almost immediately one of the posters came up with an idea for a fairly crude radio that would use tubes of salt-water rather than wiring. It wouldn't be easily portable, but it would allow people to communicate across fairly long distances via Morse code.

Stirling admitted it would work in his scenario, because if the sparkly aliens nixed the laws of physics enough to stop it that would have the minor side effect of causing all living things to drop dead. So it would work, but Stirling said none of his characters cared enough to pursue that kind of innovation. Which is when I decided I had no interest in reading the books, because I don't care about people who have no interest in bettering their lot. And given how much warfare there apparently is in the series, even a crude radio system would be a huge advantage. If the characters don't care about that, let 'em die.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kiara on January 28, 2013, 01:47:15 PM
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!

To follow from this, if you're going to write an AU, please don't take universe A, and just drop in the characters from universe B, and have the same original story play out in universe A!  Just finished (why I read the whole thng I don't know....) one like this with the Avengers in Star Wars.  Was the same Star Wars story, with two small fix-its.  Part of why I read is to be surprised.  I love AUs, but this one....oy.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 28, 2013, 03:38:18 PM
When a series change midway.  For example, romance with a bit of fantasy turn into pure urban fantasy 8 books in.

Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!
This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

*bingbingbingbing* Loved the first part. Recommended it widely. Then got to sparkly aliens and just..... stopped. UGH.
Very many among the SMS fan community seem highly blissed-out over this series, from the beginning to -- wherever it's got to now. Plainly, not you or me. I struggled through to the end of Book 5, progressively more unhappily, and then "called it a day".

For sure, people's reactions vary here. For some, something like this is an ingenious, innovative and appealing fusion-or-whatever of two different genres; for others, it becomes a repellent botched and monstrous hybrid.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 28, 2013, 03:48:07 PM
Oh, yes - I was reading this fabulous post-apocalyptic series. LOVED it. Then halfway through book 5, it turns into 'sparkly aliens' and lots of deus ex machina crapola. So upset!

This wouldn't be S. M. Stirling's "Dies the Fire / 'Emberverse'" series, by any chance? My sentiments about that series, quite closely match yours as described above.

That one meets two of my pet peeves, and I haven't even read it.

1) When an author has something happen that's absolutely impossible with no adequate explanation, such as the laws of physics stop working. The sparkly aliens actually avert this one, admittedly. I don't much like the idea either, but at least it's an explanation.

2) When characters who live in a given setting or scenario for a long time don't bother to explore the limits of said setting/scenario. I've read stories where there's a tribe or village barely eking out a miserable existence in the hellhole they were unlucky enough to be born in. Then a hero falls out of the sky or whatever and starts looking around and three days later he's all, "If you guys had bothered to walk five feet that way you'd have found the solution to all of your problems. Good thing I came along!" Bah.

Stirling fell prey to #2, in my opinion, during a discussion of his setting on a science fiction group I used to frequent. He explained the constraints the people in the setting had to live under, and almost immediately one of the posters came up with an idea for a fairly crude radio that would use tubes of salt-water rather than wiring. It wouldn't be easily portable, but it would allow people to communicate across fairly long distances via Morse code.

Stirling admitted it would work in his scenario, because if the sparkly aliens nixed the laws of physics enough to stop it that would have the minor side effect of causing all living things to drop dead. So it would work, but Stirling said none of his characters cared enough to pursue that kind of innovation. Which is when I decided I had no interest in reading the books, because I don't care about people who have no interest in bettering their lot. And given how much warfare there apparently is in the series, even a crude radio system would be a huge advantage. If the characters don't care about that, let 'em die.

A new aspect to me, of the "Emberverse" -- but, having read your post, I concur. And a prominent character in the earlier books of the series, is an industrialist and engineer who feels highly resentful about what has happened to the world, and knocks himself out experimenting to try to invent, or re-invent, technology workable to the maximum poss. under the new conditions. And HE -- well, presumably, in this case, doesn't think of the "radio" possibility which you mention.  That, on the author's part, is truly weak.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kaypeep on January 28, 2013, 03:49:49 PM
Contemporary Romances:  Every female, no matter what her career (VP, baker, truck driver) appears to be wearing a silk shirt, skirt and high heels.  I once asked my friends (who are VP's, tv camera crew people, SAHM, accountants )and none of them own a silk shirt.    ENOUGH WITH THE SILK SHIRTS!  Also, every bra is a "scrap of lace" and unhooks in the front.  I swear, too many books lose my interest because they are like mad libs with the same scenes over and over.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shalamar on January 28, 2013, 04:04:55 PM
I stopped reading a certain chick-lit author because of the way she described what the female protagonist was wearing - she was too fond of the expression "She slipped on a (name of incredibly expensive accessory) to complete the outfit."  Odds are that the accessory in question was a belt or a scarf or a pair of shoes that costs more than I make in a month.  No thanks.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: magicdomino on January 28, 2013, 04:13:16 PM
So many heroines in cozy mysteries are nosy amateurs, whose expertise is based solely on "I just know So-and-So didn't do it!" and maybe reading cosy mysteries.  The police are always wrong, if not downright obstructionist -- and who could blame them with an idiot bumbling around.  Die Buying was a pleasant break because the heroine had both expertise and some motive for being nosy -- she was a former military police investigator who loved crime investigation, but hadn't yet found a job with a police department because of a war injury.  So, she became a mall cop.   :)

Which brings me to another peeve:  how are all of these perfect little stores and cafes surviving so well?  One machine embroidery series has the store owner getting Internet orders, but so many of these stores seem to survive very nicely on locals and the occasional busload of tourists.  Can a store be a Mary Sue?   :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: magicdomino on January 28, 2013, 04:16:21 PM
Contemporary Romances:  Every female, no matter what her career (VP, baker, truck driver) appears to be wearing a silk shirt, skirt and high heels. I once asked my friends (who are VP's, tv camera crew people, SAHM, accountants )and none of them own a silk shirt.    ENOUGH WITH THE SILK SHIRTS!  Also, every bra is a "scrap of lace" and unhooks in the front.  I swear, too many books lose my interest because they are like mad libs with the same scenes over and over.

*scratches head*  I used to have silk shirts.  I don't think I have any now because the only ones that could handle machine washing weren't very silky, and the handwash and drycleaning ones just weren't getting cleaned.  Annoying things.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lilfox on January 28, 2013, 04:30:06 PM
Don't forget all the buttons you keep having to replace after the shirt is torn in the heat of passion!  Silk shirts, so overrated.   ;)

Biggest pet peeves?  Typos and incorrect word choice.  Series that go stale.  Descriptions that are obliquely written so you are supposed to be impressed by the stylistic word choices, but no actual information is conveyed.  And cliff hangers at every chapter's end.  Constantly trying to build suspense just leave me agitated, not engaged.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Moray on January 28, 2013, 04:42:23 PM

Interesting! My understanding is that Moulin Rouge, Marie Antoinette, A Knight's Tale, etc. were deliberately mixing historical and modern elements as part of their unorthodox style, their way of helping modern audiences relate to what the characters were going through. Of course not everyone has to like that style; but to me it doesn't fall in the same category as someone who Did Not Do the Research and thus has Charlemagne firing handguns or something. I wouldn't even really call those historical movies, more like fantasies.


I don't care how the producers justify these decisions; it's not only unnecessary, it leads the less educated to believe the revisionism.  Remember all those people in Jay Leno's audiences who can't name the last four presidents?

Ok. You don't like it. Gotcha. But that doesn't make it somehow an evil act of trickery designed to lead poor, feeble-minded souls to believe that Bowie's "Golden Years" was the smash hit of medieval Europe.

Going down that slippery slope, we really ought to ban Opera, lest people get it into their heads that people went around spouting arias left and right. ;)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: snowflake on January 28, 2013, 04:46:58 PM
Which brings me to another peeve:  how are all of these perfect little stores and cafes surviving so well?  One machine embroidery series has the store owner getting Internet orders, but so many of these stores seem to survive very nicely on locals and the occasional busload of tourists.  Can a store be a Mary Sue?   :)

Along these lines - the improbable business that takes off and makes the owner fabulously wealthy within weeks.  Eye roll.

Also, increasingly more common failed attempts at writing a non-Mary Sue.  For instance:

The impossibly beautiful heroine who whines all the time that she is just sooooo ugly and doesn't think anyone could possibly love her (but they do)

The bitter mage eating worms in the corner without any friends who (because he is the product of some prophecy or parentage or whatever) just happens to be all-powerful

The woman who broke a nail when she was eight, hasn't had any problems since, and conveniently the whole world bends over backwards to allow her to mourn. 

No!  Those are not lovable flaws, those are not Achilles heels, that is not real interesting conflict.  The characters come off as dull and annoying whiners.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MommyPenguin on January 28, 2013, 05:22:28 PM
I just finished reading a *fantastic* book today!  I absolutely loved it.  But near the end, there were two major things that I was waiting for.  One was that the heroine had told the hero she loved him, and he was definitely *showing* her he loved her, but he hadn't reciprocated with words.  She'd mentioned at one point feeling vulnerable that she'd declared her love and he hadn't.  So there was definitely an implication that we were waiting for that.  The other was that, some time ago, she'd screwed something up majorly and made him look really bad.  He had thought she'd done it on purpose and wanted her to tell him the truth about it.  She *hadn't* done it on purpose and had already told him the truth, although I never felt that she fully explained the lead-up to what happened.  But there was definitely conflict over whether she'd been telling the truth, because he didn't really believe the truth.  The book ended with *neither* of these things resolved!  I was very puzzled and disappointed.  Furthermore, there was an author's note which ended mid-sentence.  (It was a Kindle book).  So I don't know if something was missing, or if the book really ended that way (but the author's note definitely should have had an ending of some sort!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 28, 2013, 05:56:27 PM
I dislike stories that depend on a lot of miscommunication among the characters--I read fiction for escapism, not to experience the things that irritate me in real life! :) I always liked how, in Harry Potter, the first thing Harry, Ron, or Hermione did upon learning a new bit of information was to tell the other two, so they could all try to figure it out as a group. (At least that's how I remember it.)

I also dislike (non-romance) series that rely heavily on "will they or won't they" with a couple, or flip-flopping the main character between two different love interests. I know some people really love that romantic tension and having a "team" that they root for, but it just makes me... tense. And I feel like it's often artificially dragged out to pad the story and create cliff-hangers, when what I really want is more of the sci-fi/supernatural/fantasy stuff they promised me earlier.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 28, 2013, 07:08:34 PM
So many heroines in cozy mysteries are nosy amateurs, whose expertise is based solely on "I just know So-and-So didn't do it!" and maybe reading cosy mysteries.  The police are always wrong, if not downright obstructionist -- and who could blame them with an idiot bumbling around.  Die Buying was a pleasant break because the heroine had both expertise and some motive for being nosy -- she was a former military police investigator who loved crime investigation, but hadn't yet found a job with a police department because of a war injury.  So, she became a mall cop.   :)

Which brings me to another peeve:  how are all of these perfect little stores and cafes surviving so well?  One machine embroidery series has the store owner getting Internet orders, but so many of these stores seem to survive very nicely on locals and the occasional busload of tourists.  Can a store be a Mary Sue?   :)

YES!  Thank you!  I feel better :)

I love cozy mysteries - really, I'm a cozy addict and I do appreciate the charm aspect of some of these businesses.  However, there was one series I couldn't fall in love with where the heroine owned a cookie store and it was always packed.  Morning, noon and night people were demanding cookies.  She was toting a big ol' oatmeal cookie order to a school for breakfast.  Cookies for kids at 9:00 am?  Men sitting around the cafe with coffee and cookies?

I love cookies as much as I like cozies, but that was so implausible to me I couldn't get back into the story. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: snowflake on January 28, 2013, 10:13:58 PM
I dislike stories that depend on a lot of miscommunication among the characters--I read fiction for escapism, not to experience the things that irritate me in real life! :) I always liked how, in Harry Potter, the first thing Harry, Ron, or Hermione did upon learning a new bit of information was to tell the other two, so they could all try to figure it out as a group. (At least that's how I remember it.)

Yep!  That was what bothered me most about the direction of the Anita Blake stories.  The constant Scrabble was annoying, but I swear there were whole chapters of nothing but her bickering with the men she didn't want to Scrabble.  (And then she Scrabbled them anyways.) 

I have a good friend who just got into the world of writing romance.  At first I wanted to be supportive and bought/read many books that she and her friends wrote.  I stopped because too many of them are about major feuds hinging on simple misunderstandings.  In real life, I have found that the people who misunderstand very easily make the worst partners.  So when the story ends happily with two such people getting married, I don't actually feel happy for them.  I feel sorry for whoever will have to hear them complain about each other.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Allyson on January 28, 2013, 11:02:55 PM
That 'intuition' is always right, even against all logic. This is fine sometimes, but all the time? It gets tedious, and sometimes a little insulting. Highly trained scientists say that X will happen, but a plucky kid insists it's Y! I'd like to see, just sometimes, the plucky kid be wrong. Just sometimes, see the rebel cop going against his superiors be wrong about the suspect's guilt.

Another peeve is all happy endings looking the same. This is really bad in fanfic, but I see it other places too. You'll get a really interesting, nontraditional character or couple, and most of the fanfic that shows them together will always have her taking his name, them having kids and being great parents etc etc. Even if a large part of the character appeal was their differences and variation from that script.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Giggity on January 29, 2013, 07:01:05 AM
I love cozy mysteries

What is a cozy mystery? Why isn't it just a mystery?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 29, 2013, 07:53:33 AM
I love cozy mysteries

What is a cozy mystery? Why isn't it just a mystery?

It's a sub-genre of mystery. They often have female amateur sleuths, take place in a small town or village and are "lighter".  You typically won't have a dark, gory, serial killer type of plot in a cozy!  The reader gets to know not only the village setting very well, but the assortment of characters who live there as well.  I'd say the old "Murder She Wrote" series is a decent example of what a cozy is.  Very different style from "Law and Order: SVU"  :)

(I know - tv examples in a book thread! Agatha Raisin series - cozy, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo - not cozy)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Luci on January 29, 2013, 09:39:35 AM
I once read an essay years ago about a type of writing that was popular in Science Fiction in the early years: the story is written in first person, there is suspence about something tying to attack the writer and ends, "Feel the hot breath on my neck and the fetid smell............................AHHHHH!" The critic thought it was so illogical that it was humorous.

Now I just finished a book in which the early part of the woman's life is written in third person and the present day in first. She dies about half way through the book, but keeps writing. I really had to laugh, but the story was so good I had to finish the novel. (She never does 'go to the light', so it wasn't Ghost Whisperer style.)

I got it free on ebooks, but I will look for more from this author to buy, but really hope she drops this particular device.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 29, 2013, 09:40:01 AM
I love cozy mysteries

What is a cozy mystery? Why isn't it just a mystery?

Cozies are, as Tabby Uprising described, a quieter type of mystery.  The general formula is you have a small-town protagonist who somehow stumbles across a mystery in each book for various (usually implausible) reasons, who also has some unique hook that readers might relate to.  The main character owns a bakery, for example, or plays bunko, or knits, or owns cats, or works at a ski shop, or does DIY home renovations - something hobby-like, usually.  The mystery is not always murder - it's often a robbery or something less violent.  There's almost never any gore or sex explicitly described, and although the main character may have one (or many) love interests over the course of the series, it's usually not anything serious.  The plot includes following the process of solving the mystery, but usually includes major side-plots dealing with other characters doing small-town things like putting on a town play or trying not to lose their shop or whatever.  Examples are Miss Marple and The Cat Who [whatever].

Procedural mysteries are the other type, and they often are much grittier and darker.  The protagonist is somehow involved in law enforcement (detective, police officer, police psychic, bounty hunter, etc.) and the book primarily follows law enforcement's efforts to catch the criminal.  The initial crime is usually murder and is usually shown/described in gory detail.  The stories involve more immediate danger, gore, sometimes sex, and more "adult" situations (such as the inner workings of a strip club or a drug ring).  Good procedurals try to at least get the details correct about how a case is solved, but there's a wide variety of artistic license from series to series  :)  Examples are Hercule Poirot, CSI, or Law & Order.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Betelnut on January 29, 2013, 09:54:42 AM
I love cozy mysteries

What is a cozy mystery? Why isn't it just a mystery?

To me, the primary difference is that the cozy mystery has a non-police person as the detective (although sometimes he/she can be ex-police).  Plus, there is definitely more of an emphasis on the "place" as a character as well as recurring characters throughout the series.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Venus193 on January 29, 2013, 10:40:49 AM
Don't they also typically take place in isolated situations like the classic English Country Estate?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Giggity on January 29, 2013, 11:02:48 AM
Thank you all!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on January 29, 2013, 11:08:23 AM
I dislike stories that depend on a lot of miscommunication among the characters--I read fiction for escapism, not to experience the things that irritate me in real life! :) I always liked how, in Harry Potter, the first thing Harry, Ron, or Hermione did upon learning a new bit of information was to tell the other two, so they could all try to figure it out as a group. (At least that's how I remember it.)

Well, I often found myself shouting at Harry, "Go tell Dumbledore what you just learned!" However, I don't think that's unrealistic; children (particularly children with bad experiences with adults, like Harry) often don't consider adults as confidantes. It's as though childhood and adulthood are two differents worlds. Harry is more forthcoming with adults as he gets older.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Nikko-chan on January 29, 2013, 11:25:11 AM
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!

On that same token, if a fanfiction has a male/male or female/female relationship, or even male/female relationship that is not established in Canon... your story is an AU. Please label it as such. Also, please give a warning that it does indeed have m/m or f/f or even f/m for folks who don't like that stuff, K? I am looking at you, fanfiction author of 'The Sentinel' fanfic, who tricked me! One minute, lovely story la la la la la... then BAM! Jim and Blair playing a game of scrabble.

I went "O.o but... they're roommates... and they are both straight in the series.... what!? O.o..."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on January 29, 2013, 11:35:46 AM
I went "O.o but... they're roommates... and they are both straight in the series.... what!? O.o..."

Many fanfic authors go "Challenge accepted" to that.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on January 29, 2013, 11:39:01 AM
One of the things I hate is when a supposedly likeable character behaves like a tantruming 2 year old, and the author wants us to approve.

There was a book I read years ago, in which the heroine stumbles upon a conspiracy where she works, and by the end of Chapter One, she has become the victim of a bungled murder attempt (hit and run accident), and she is lying comatose in the hospital.  She is trying to communicate psychically, but in the meantime: her soon to be ex-husband wants to pull the plug, her doctor wants to pull the plug, and the killer has managed to also get himself admitted to the hospital because he wants to, well, yes, pull the plug.  Enter her brother, a man so desperate to save his sister that he constantly shows up, screams and yells, grabs at doctors and nurses, attempts to snatch at charts and medication only to be asked to leave.  Asked to leave?  Heck, no!  They should have committed him.

Now, I know why this writer did it.  From Chapter One, the supposed heroine is in a coma.  She never speaks to anyone, you never get to know her as someone that you want to live, and since everyone else was at best, indifferent to her, or at worst, actively trying to kill her, the author had to generate someone who cared.  But the brother was such a pill!

I stopped reading Kathy Reichs for a few years because of a similar situation.  In one of her books, a crime scene had been rigged to look like a Santeria altar, and a local politician was trying to use the crime scene to support his conservative agenda.  So politician would show up, Tempe would see red and cause a major scene, complete with the press documenting it.  She was warned that she was in danger of losing her job, and yet over and over again, she was screaming and shoving at him.  I know that Kathy Reichs was trying to establish that the politician was a bad guy, but I ended up feeling sorry for him, and I wanted Tempe to lose her job in that she might finally admit she finally had a problem.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Morticia on January 29, 2013, 12:18:09 PM
Kathy Reichs is the only author who ever caused me to physically abuse a book. Heroine is being stalked by a serial killer. She decides she knows where the killer is. She goes off without a weapon or notifying the police task squad who are looking for the serial killer to find him on her own. What a moron. I threw the book across the room in disgust. Never did finish it, or pick up another of her books. Her heroine is supposed to super-smart, but she has no common sense at all?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: goldilocks on January 29, 2013, 01:20:41 PM
Patricia Cornwall wrote a series of books about a different set of characters than Kay scarpetta, and I couldn't read after the 1st one.  THe main character, a female police detective, was ALWAYS in a bad mood, always running late, spilling coffee on her suit, couldn't find a parking place, etc.  She made me a nervous wreck just reading about her!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on January 29, 2013, 01:26:10 PM
Patricia Cornwall wrote a series of books about a different set of characters than Kay scarpetta, and I couldn't read after the 1st one.  THe main character, a female police detective, was ALWAYS in a bad mood, always running late, spilling coffee on her suit, couldn't find a parking place, etc.  She made me a nervous wreck just reading about her!

Yes, there are some writers who in an effort to avoid Mary Sues, create a Grumpy Lou.  There was a book I posted about in the other thread about books you hate, in which the main female character was a mess: psychologically crippled, unpleasant, prone to suicidal behavior.

What they don't seem to understand is that the core problem with a Mary Sue is that there is no depth, no real personality.  Overly perfect or twisted, one dimensional is still one dimensional.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Thuringwethyl on January 29, 2013, 02:14:22 PM
Kathy Reichs is the only author who ever caused me to physically abuse a book. Heroine is being stalked by a serial killer. She decides she knows where the killer is. She goes off without a weapon or notifying the police task squad who are looking for the serial killer to find him on her own. What a moron. I threw the book across the room in disgust. Never did finish it, or pick up another of her books. Her heroine is supposed to super-smart, but she has no common sense at all?

I whole-heartedly agree with this post. I had much more empathy with the police officers who were trying to keep Tempe from being killed. Idiot!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 29, 2013, 02:36:18 PM
I have, somehow, instinctively not fancied Kathy Reichs's books, and have never tried them. From what just learnt in this thread, am glad that I refrained !
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: nuit93 on January 29, 2013, 02:56:34 PM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."

"Anne of Windy Willows" was 'translated' when published in the US, had a lot of scenes cut out of it, and was retitled "Anne of Windy Poplars".

It was?  I had no idea...now I feel compelled to find the UK original.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: AylaM on January 29, 2013, 03:32:34 PM
Latest thing that got to me was an author that made a series.  Interesting premise, but too predictable.  I guess it goes along with using the same plot device because it was popular in one book.

I never finished the series because the first 3 or four books taught me one thing:  Someone new will be introduced in the first chapter.  In the last chapter it will become apparent that they are working against the protagonist.  And z huge part of this the whole book is based on this premise.   How long are you going to continue this?

My example: 

Something happens and Bad Guy Bob (introduced by Good Guy George) says the only thing to be done is climb the mountain.  So they climb the mountain. And then it turns out that Bad Guy Bob betrays them.  And is working for Evil Corp.

So in book 2 Bad Guy Bill (introduced by Good Guy George) is introduced because they have to fix the problems caused by Bad Guy Bob.  Bad Guy Bill says they must swim across the river.  So they swim across the river.  And Bad Guy Bill betrays them. And is working for Evil Corp.

So in Book 3 Bad Guy Brett (introduced by Good Guy George) is introduced because of complications caused by Bad Guys Bob and Bill.  Bad Guy Brett says...


A.  Why do you still trust Good Guy George? 
B.  Just finish the mission on your own.  You don't need them.  You didn't need them before.  What are you doing?

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 29, 2013, 03:44:08 PM
You can't even get a standalone book published anymore, in many cases - publishers want trilogies which can be expanded into longer series.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on January 29, 2013, 03:52:29 PM
I went "O.o but... they're roommates... and they are both straight in the series.... what!? O.o..."

Many fanfic authors go "Challenge accepted" to that.

Which is fine- so long as you mark it as slash. Not marking it and letting people walk into it is considered rude, at least in the fandoms I'm in. (BTW, where on earth do you find gen Sentinel fic? I don't think I've ever seen it.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tea Drinker on January 29, 2013, 05:21:45 PM
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the beginning!

On that same token, if a fanfiction has a male/male or female/female relationship, or even male/female relationship that is not established in Canon... your story is an AU. Please label it as such. Also, please give a warning that it does indeed have m/m or f/f or even f/m for folks who don't like that stuff, K? I am looking at you, fanfiction author of 'The Sentinel' fanfic, who tricked me! One minute, lovely story la la la la la... then BAM! Jim and Blair playing a game of scrabble.

I went "O.o but... they're roommates... and they are both straight in the series.... what!? O.o..."

I'd say it's an AU if there's evidence in-canon that contradicts the fanfiction. Sherlock Holmes as the Crown Prince of a Ruritanian kingdom somewhere near the Black Sea? Definitely an AU. But you could give Irene Adler any number of adventures or back stories without conflicting with what Doyle wrote about her. Again, there are characters who are clearly, from what's in the canon, straight: sometimes the author says so. In other cases an author describes enough of the character's life that it's a pretty good inference, even if the narrative voice never says "Mary was completely indifferent to the charms of other women" or "Simon ignored men and women alike; his only interest was his work." On the other hand, if the story makes it clear that the character has to marry and produce heirs, and he agrees with that need, but we never get his own viewpoint, his marrying doesn't prove he's straight rather than bi (or even gay but doing his duty for his country).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Maude on January 29, 2013, 05:44:05 PM
My pet peeve is ADVERBS. I once tried to read a Nora Roberts book while on a long bus trip.The number of adverbs in each sentence had me almost gagging.I ended up tucking the book into the elasticised holdall. At the end of the trip the driver says"Please take all your belongings".I was terrified that some Helpful Henry would remind me that I had forgotten my book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kiara on January 29, 2013, 06:15:47 PM
I went "O.o but... they're roommates... and they are both straight in the series.... what!? O.o..."

Many fanfic authors go "Challenge accepted" to that.

Which is fine- so long as you mark it as slash. Not marking it and letting people walk into it is considered rude, at least in the fandoms I'm in. (BTW, where on earth do you find gen Sentinel fic? I don't think I've ever seen it.)

While I love me some slash, I agree that you *mark it*, for crying out loud.  You mark that, you mark explicit/adult, you mark AU....more information is better than less.

And I remember once upon a time there was a Sentinel gen mailing list.  Wonder if it's archived anywhere.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on January 29, 2013, 06:28:53 PM
Since we are also talking about fanfiction, what makes me run far away screaming is changing a character's gender and/or making up a brother or sister.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: twiggy on January 29, 2013, 06:51:59 PM
what is AU?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 29, 2013, 07:08:44 PM
Alternate Universe. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 29, 2013, 07:18:14 PM
I love the Dresden Files and will continue to read them, but for the love of chocolate cake, Mr. Butcher, please stop describing Harry's lab every freaking time he goes into it!  I read the first 5 books, I'm pretty sure I know what it looks like already!

(Note: Avoiding spoilers).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on January 30, 2013, 05:08:59 AM
Genre fiction that reads like bad fan fiction.

I was reading a book in a popular sci-fi series, but I'm going to keep this vague.  The main character from the story is a well-known character in a military hierarchy... let's say he's a Class 8 Thingdoer (who has evolved, over the years, from a Class 7 Thingdoer, because as you know, good work is rewarded with promotion in military circles).  Well, it involves him meeting up with a character that, in canon, he last saw ten years ago, when she was Class 1 Thingdoer.  Only now, she's a Class 9 (out-ranking our well-known chum).  Only, here's the thing.  Miss Class 1 was shown to be, at best, average.  She was clumsy, if plucky, and when adversity struck it left her stunned and almost unable to function (except Mr Class 7 got her moving and thinking on a solution again).

Suddenly, in the amount of time it took an exceptional individual to go from Class 7 to 8, she shot all the way up *past* him to Class 9, AND became the Head Of Thingdoers in the process.  This is a guy who's saved not only his unit, but the established setting on more than one occasion (in-canon!), and the book gave no explanation as to the Wondrous Deeds she would have had to perform to reach her rank, and no indication she'd become exceptional off-screen.  Also, until he met her again, he didn't even seem to know she was Head Of Thingdoers, even though that's kind of something a Thingdoer would expect to know, wouldn't you think?

In the end, I quietly finished the book (it was only 90 pages), and have resolved never to revisit it.  It's the first in a series, and there are others by different authors, so I'll give them a try, but oy.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: iridaceae on January 30, 2013, 05:57:39 AM
Just curious but why not name the book outright? I mean unless it's named The Naughty Marines and The Men Who Loved Them (And HOW)?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redsoil on January 30, 2013, 06:02:19 AM
Now I really want to know what series it is, Diane!  I'm looking for more sci-fi to read, having exhausted my current authors.  The new ones I've tried via Kindle are less than spectacular.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Giggity on January 30, 2013, 06:48:51 AM
Just curious but why not name the book outright? I mean unless it's named The Naughty Marines and The Men Who Loved Them (And HOW)?

Gotta be honest. I'd buy the hell out of that book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: iridaceae on January 30, 2013, 07:22:32 AM
Just curious but why not name the book outright? I mean unless it's named The Naughty Marines and The Men Who Loved Them (And HOW)?

Gotta be honest. I'd buy the hell out of that book.

Yeah me too. I just figure most people wouldn't want to admit they read it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RebeccainGA on January 30, 2013, 07:38:11 AM
Just curious but why not name the book outright? I mean unless it's named The Naughty Marines and The Men Who Loved Them (And HOW)?

Gotta be honest. I'd buy the hell out of that book.

And now my cubemates are wondering why I seem to have exploded - holding in the laughter hurt too much!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Betelnut on January 30, 2013, 07:50:48 AM
Just curious but why not name the book outright? I mean unless it's named The Naughty Marines and The Men Who Loved Them (And HOW)?

Gotta be honest. I'd buy the hell out of that book.

(me too)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on January 30, 2013, 07:53:41 AM
It's Star Trek (Specifically Star Trek S.C.E.: Belly of the Beast).  For those that follow Next Generation, remember Sonya Gomez, a plucky Ensign who spilled hot chocolate on Picard?  Yeah, she's in charge of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.   ::)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: alkira6 on January 30, 2013, 08:27:55 AM
Just curious but why not name the book outright? I mean unless it's named The Naughty Marines and The Men Who Loved Them (And HOW)?

Gotta be honest. I'd buy the hell out of that book.

Yeah me too. I just figure most people wouldn't want to admit they read it.

I...am going to write that book. And the sequel.  BRB  >:D
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 30, 2013, 09:19:05 AM
It's Star Trek (Specifically Star Trek S.C.E.: Belly of the Beast).  For those that follow Next Generation, remember Sonya Gomez, a plucky Ensign who spilled hot chocolate on Picard?  Yeah, she's in charge of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.   ::)

As much as I love the Star Trek TV shows, I've often been disappointed by the novels (for all series). Some of them are quite good, but I find that a lot of them are just sort of mediocre. I don't know if it's authors being paid to write for a series they didn't conceive of and don't really love that much, or maybe executive meddling smoothing away any slightly controversial points that would add interest to the story, or what. Do people find this in novels based on other movies/TV shows, like Star Wars, Dr. Who, etc.?

ETA: This is also a reading peeve of mine, that so many novels spun off from movies/shows I like are pointless. Maybe this is only to be expected... ? Like expecting the "Avengers candy sticks" I got at Halloween to actually be good.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 30, 2013, 09:23:04 AM
Sorry, guys, but I think the record for the world's worst title has already been filled. (http://www.amazon.com/Abraham-Lincoln-Presidential-Machine-ebook/dp/B007Y2VGIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359559301&sr=8-1&keywords=abraham+lincoln+presidential+(I can't express myself without swearing)+machine)  (Linked title and book NSFWork, NSFKids, and NRATGAOSIH (Not Really All That Good Anyway Or So I Hear.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kiara on January 30, 2013, 09:24:11 AM
Just curious but why not name the book outright? I mean unless it's named The Naughty Marines and The Men Who Loved Them (And HOW)?

Gotta be honest. I'd buy the hell out of that book.

(me too)

*raises hand*
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on January 30, 2013, 09:32:17 AM
It's Star Trek (Specifically Star Trek S.C.E.: Belly of the Beast).  For those that follow Next Generation, remember Sonya Gomez, a plucky Ensign who spilled hot chocolate on Picard?  Yeah, she's in charge of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.   ::)

As much as I love the Star Trek TV shows, I've often been disappointed by the novels (for all series). Some of them are quite good, but I find that a lot of them are just sort of mediocre. I don't know if it's authors being paid to write for a series they didn't conceive of and don't really love that much, or maybe executive meddling smoothing away any slightly controversial points that would add interest to the story, or what. Do people find this in novels based on other movies/TV shows, like Star Wars, Dr. Who, etc.?

ETA: This is also a reading peeve of mine, that so many novels spun off from movies/shows I like are pointless. Maybe this is only to be expected... ? Like expecting the "Avengers candy sticks" I got at Halloween to actually be good.

The Section 31 books are *quite* good.  (As are the Mirror and Myriad Universe books, but they're AU by definition).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redneck Gravy on January 30, 2013, 09:40:54 AM
I absolutely agree with those who have mentioned unnecessarily long descritpions of things that are not important to the story. Pat Conroy's Beach Music: beautiful and interesting story, but he would go on for pages and PAGES describing the food he was cooking. We get it - the olive oil is GREEN!! It not only didn't add to the story at all - it actually took me out of the story. That book could have easily been 200 pages shorter.

I am right in the middle of this book and yes, the darn olive oil is green - let's move on.  I love Conroy's work but this book in particular is full of over descriptive verbage.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 30, 2013, 09:45:06 AM
It's Star Trek (Specifically Star Trek S.C.E.: Belly of the Beast).  For those that follow Next Generation, remember Sonya Gomez, a plucky Ensign who spilled hot chocolate on Picard?  Yeah, she's in charge of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.   ::)

As much as I love the Star Trek TV shows, I've often been disappointed by the novels (for all series). Some of them are quite good, but I find that a lot of them are just sort of mediocre. I don't know if it's authors being paid to write for a series they didn't conceive of and don't really love that much, or maybe executive meddling smoothing away any slightly controversial points that would add interest to the story, or what. Do people find this in novels based on other movies/TV shows, like Star Wars, Dr. Who, etc.?

ETA: This is also a reading peeve of mine, that so many novels spun off from movies/shows I like are pointless. Maybe this is only to be expected... ? Like expecting the "Avengers candy sticks" I got at Halloween to actually be good.

I loved "Q In Law".
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redneck Gravy on January 30, 2013, 10:09:06 AM
One of my pet peeves is that childhood characters never grow up - like Trixie Belden for example.

I know that these are written as children's books but Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, never age and it would be so much more fun if they did... a couple of years at least.  Maybe get them to college age or at least driving...
 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: snowflake on January 30, 2013, 10:37:13 AM
Sorry, guys, but I think the record for the world's worst title has already been filled. (http://www.amazon.com/Abraham-Lincoln-Presidential-Machine-ebook/dp/B007Y2VGIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359559301&sr=8-1&keywords=abraham+lincoln+presidential+(I can't express myself without swearing)+machine)  (Linked title and book NSFWork, NSFKids, and NRATGAOSIH (Not Really All That Good Anyway Or So I Hear.)

What?

The annoying thing about slash writers?  They seem to think they are so original by writing p*o*r*n.  Dude, it's a multi-billion dollar genre!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: CrochetFanatic on January 30, 2013, 10:57:40 AM
That post about Star Trek novels brought to mind one of my pet peeves, and it's something the books are guilty of.  A massive "series", if you can call it that, where there is no real continuity.  One author will contradict another, and so forth.

Another series that is really bad about that is the Dragonlance series.  You have the original trilogy, the follow-up trilogy, and books that came after that all written by the same team of two.  You've got spin-offs written by many different authors, going in all different directions, but apparently those aren't "true" canon.  Adventures concerning the main characters are accepted as part of the series, but apparently aren't to be taken seriously.  Some of them were my favorite books in the series.  Not too many new books are coming out for that series these days, but it contradicts itself a lot.  That said...I still like it, and I'll occasionally pick up one of my old books to read for nostalgia.  Also, reading the books as an adult, I strongly believe Raistlin and Kitiara to be sociopaths, and the scary thing is that they're two of the most popular characters!

Another thing that bothers me has to do with poor editing.  The wrong character name being used, among other things.  For example, the person speaking addresses someone by their own name.  What, are you talking to yourself?  ;D The only time I've ever defaced one of my own books, it was to correct errors like that with a pen.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Bexx27 on January 30, 2013, 11:00:30 AM
Sorry, guys, but I think the record for the world's worst title has already been filled. (http://www.amazon.com/Abraham-Lincoln-Presidential-Machine-ebook/dp/B007Y2VGIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359559301&sr=8-1&keywords=abraham+lincoln+presidential+(I can't express myself without swearing)+machine)  (Linked title and book NSFWork, NSFKids, and NRATGAOSIH (Not Really All That Good Anyway Or So I Hear.)

That's hilarious, but I'm not sure it's the world's worst title. Let's not forget Pregnesia (http://www.amazon.com/Pregnesia-Harlequin-Intrigue-Carla-Cassidy/dp/037369413X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359564029&sr=8-1&keywords=pregnesia).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Giggity on January 30, 2013, 11:01:37 AM
Oooh, you better not be bad-mouthing Pregnesia. Its epic sweep, its dramatic arc, its uber-developed characters, its polished dialogue, its complicated and logical plot ... THAT'S GOLD RIGHT THERE, MISSY.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kiara on January 30, 2013, 11:03:42 AM
Another one that I mostly see in fanfic, but I've seen it in discussions for books too.

Folks, everyone has their favorite pairing.  Some people even have their OTP.  (One True Pairing.)  And MY favorite pairing is just as valid as YOUR favorite pairing, and vice versa.  (Even if one is slash.  Different strokes and all that.)  So can we please not get into shouting matches over how the fans of pairing X are all terrible people who clearly never read the book/watched the movie/whatever?  There's room here for all of us.

(Yeesh.  I love Avengers fanfic, but some days I want to smack the entire fandom.  Happens in Dresden and Harry Potter, too.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Bexx27 on January 30, 2013, 11:15:59 AM
Oooh, you better not be bad-mouthing Pregnesia. Its epic sweep, its dramatic arc, its uber-developed characters, its polished dialogue, its complicated and logical plot ... THAT'S GOLD RIGHT THERE, MISSY.

I'm ashamed to say I haven't read it myself, but I hear it's a literary masterpiece. And really, though the title may seem silly at first, it's actually quite ingenious -- how better to indicate that the heroine is both pregnant AND an amnesiac in just one word? Masterful.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabyMama on January 30, 2013, 12:16:18 PM
Sorry, guys, but I think the record for the world's worst title has already been filled. (http://www.amazon.com/Abraham-Lincoln-Presidential-Machine-ebook/dp/B007Y2VGIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359559301&sr=8-1&keywords=abraham+lincoln+presidential+(I can't express myself without swearing)+machine)  (Linked title and book NSFWork, NSFKids, and NRATGAOSIH (Not Really All That Good Anyway Or So I Hear.)

Wasn't there one of a similar name that featured Westley Crusher instead of Abraham Lincoln?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on January 30, 2013, 12:45:42 PM
I absolutely agree with those who have mentioned unnecessarily long descritpions of things that are not important to the story. Pat Conroy's Beach Music: beautiful and interesting story, but he would go on for pages and PAGES describing the food he was cooking. We get it - the olive oil is GREEN!! It not only didn't add to the story at all - it actually took me out of the story. That book could have easily been 200 pages shorter.

I am right in the middle of this book and yes, the darn olive oil is green - let's move on.  I love Conroy's work but this book in particular is full of over descriptive verbage.

Are his other books less long-winded when it comes to descriptions of trivial matters? This was the first of his I read and I haven't attempted to pick up anything else by him. I really loved the story but was getting way too irritated at constantly being taken out of it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redneck Gravy on January 30, 2013, 01:02:18 PM
I absolutely agree with those who have mentioned unnecessarily long descritpions of things that are not important to the story. Pat Conroy's Beach Music: beautiful and interesting story, but he would go on for pages and PAGES describing the food he was cooking. We get it - the olive oil is GREEN!! It not only didn't add to the story at all - it actually took me out of the story. That book could have easily been 200 pages shorter.

I am right in the middle of this book and yes, the darn olive oil is green - let's move on.  I love Conroy's work but this book in particular is full of over descriptive verbage.

Are his other books less long-winded when it comes to descriptions of trivial matters? This was the first of his I read and I haven't attempted to pick up anything else by him. I really loved the story but was getting way too irritated at constantly being taken out of it.

I thought South of Broad was less long winded. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kimberami on January 30, 2013, 01:02:49 PM
That post about Star Trek novels brought to mind one of my pet peeves, and it's something the books are guilty of.  A massive "series", if you can call it that, where there is no real continuity.  One author will contradict another, and so forth.

Another series that is really bad about that is the Dragonlance series.  You have the original trilogy, the follow-up trilogy, and books that came after that all written by the same team of two.  You've got spin-offs written by many different authors, going in all different directions, but apparently those aren't "true" canon.  Adventures concerning the main characters are accepted as part of the series, but apparently aren't to be taken seriously.  Some of them were my favorite books in the series.  Not too many new books are coming out for that series these days, but it contradicts itself a lot.  That said...I still like it, and I'll occasionally pick up one of my old books to read for nostalgia.  Also, reading the books as an adult, I strongly believe Raistlin and Kitiara to be sociopaths, and the scary thing is that they're two of the most popular characters!

Another thing that bothers me has to do with poor editing.  The wrong character name being used, among other things.  For example, the person speaking addresses someone by their own name.  What, are you talking to yourself?  ;D The only time I've ever defaced one of my own books, it was to correct errors like that with a pen.

POD POD POD

If it isn't by Hickman & Weiss, ....ugh. 
Confession time: A group of friends and I used to roleplay in the Dragonlance universe.  There was always a (in our minds) very logical & well designed child of either Kitiara or Raistlin played by one of the main group of gamers.  Oh the stories that we came up with! 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on January 30, 2013, 01:34:16 PM
Another one that I mostly see in fanfic, but I've seen it in discussions for books too.

Folks, everyone has their favorite pairing.  Some people even have their OTP.  (One True Pairing.)  And MY favorite pairing is just as valid as YOUR favorite pairing, and vice versa.  (Even if one is slash.  Different strokes and all that.)  So can we please not get into shouting matches over how the fans of pairing X are all terrible people who clearly never read the book/watched the movie/whatever?  There's room here for all of us.

(Yeesh.  I love Avengers fanfic, but some days I want to smack the entire fandom.  Happens in Dresden and Harry Potter, too.)

It happens in every fandom. Every. Fandom. Always. The latest review I got on one of my fics was someone yelling about how dare the rest of us not only write canon pairings. She included one in her list that was completely disproven in the show.  ::)

Fanfic Specific:
1) Yes, please mark AUs. If not for the people who don't want to read them, then for the people like me who do. I've seen at least four fics that, by the summary, I wanted nothing to do with, until someone mentioned they were AUs.

2) I actually don't have a problem with people making siblings and such for characters we don't have this knowledge for (if we've met A's only sibling, don't make more, but if we know nothing about B's family...). I just don't want to see them as major characters. If I want to read about your characters, then publish an Original Story and I'll buy it. Keep it out of my fandom.

3) Please, by the love of all that's wonderful, mark your fluffing slash/femslash! Preferably with what couple it is! This isn't even a pet peeve, it's just basic ettiquette!

Overall Writing:
1) Poor spelling/grammar/word choice. Just. No.

2) Some basic research at least! I swear, I do more research for the daily writing challenges than some people do for their novels!

Okay, this example isn't from a book, but it makes my point. Character in a show is talking about his youth, namely his time in the US military. Apparently this enlisted man, at 18, was a Lieutenant in the Air Force, being allowed to fly jets, and receiving no real punishment for actions such as crashing said jet, nearly killing people in the process, and getting into bar brawls weekly. For some reason no one could understand why this ruined the episode for me (child of two AF vets), and why 'his commanding officer liked him' wasn't an excuse.

There is no excuse for something like this. It didn't just kill the episode, it killed the character for me.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Grancalla on January 30, 2013, 02:17:47 PM
I'm curious to know how many of these pet peeves apply to media other than books. Comics, for example. I'm a wannabe comic-artist and I don't want to turn off potential readers.

To add one of mine:
Characters that don't grow- at all- with no logical reason for staying the same. Same goes for relationships. People and relationships change over time, after all. I've fallen into the trap of liking a particular stage of a character's or relationship's evolution and wanting to stay there as long as possible, but there are limits.

A favorite example.
A manga called "Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru", which I don't think has been released in english, but I'm itching to do a snarky review/analysis of it, because it's like reading a trainwreck. It follows the 14-year-old bigger-Mary-Sue-than-Bella heroine and her 26-year-old boyfriend. At the beginning, it's all Heroine fretting and angsting at the slightest provocation (which NEVER ends up being justified) that her BF will leave her for someone closer to his age. The Hero is basically a cardboard cutout who gives Heroine fancy dresses, hangs out with hot models, and pats her on the head and tells her she's acting like a spoiked child when she's angsting, but that's okay because he likes spoiled girls. The angst makes perfect sense at first, since their relationship is bizarre. But several volumes in, after FOUR YEARS of in-story time has passed, Hero and Heroine are now married with a kid... and she's still angsting over him leaving for someone older, and he still hasn't grown a personality. Their relationship is basically the same as it was in the beginning, just with a super-hyper-adorable-precious baby hanging around to give the readers something else to go "awww" over.
Oh, god, somebody give me an excuse to write this review...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on January 30, 2013, 02:30:25 PM
I'm curious to know how many of these pet peeves apply to media other than books. Comics, for example. I'm a wannabe comic-artist and I don't want to turn off potential readers.

To add one of mine:
Characters that don't grow- at all- with no logical reason for staying the same. Same goes for relationships. People and relationships change over time, after all. I've fallen into the trap of liking a particular stage of a character's or relationship's evolution and wanting to stay there as long as possible, but there are limits.

A favorite example.
A manga called "Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru", which I don't think has been released in english, but I'm itching to do a snarky review/analysis of it, because it's like reading a trainwreck. It follows the 14-year-old bigger-Mary-Sue-than-Bella heroine and her 26-year-old boyfriend. At the beginning, it's all Heroine fretting and angsting at the slightest provocation (which NEVER ends up being justified) that her BF will leave her for someone closer to his age. The Hero is basically a cardboard cutout who gives Heroine fancy dresses, hangs out with hot models, and pats her on the head and tells her she's acting like a spoiked child when she's angsting, but that's okay because he likes spoiled girls. The angst makes perfect sense at first, since their relationship is bizarre. But several volumes in, after FOUR YEARS of in-story time has passed, Hero and Heroine are now married with a kid... and she's still angsting over him leaving for someone older, and he still hasn't grown a personality. Their relationship is basically the same as it was in the beginning, just with a super-hyper-adorable-precious baby hanging around to give the readers something else to go "awww" over.
Oh, god, somebody give me an excuse to write this review...

Would you be so kind as to write a review for a manga called "Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru"? And if you'd then send me a link, that would be nice to.  ;D
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: wolfie on January 30, 2013, 02:41:29 PM
Adolescents who don't act like adolescents. I know that it is a huge pain to have to add curfews and restrictions to your main character but having a 16 year old run off to another town for the weekend at a moment's notice is just not going to work. Neither is having a whole group of them meet at midnight on a school night so many times, and yet their parents don't seem to have any problems with it. Also having a 26 year old world traveler chasing a 16 year old is unrealistic. If doing that is important make the characters college age instead of high school age.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tea Drinker on January 30, 2013, 02:46:00 PM
"Taught" is not an adjective.

The word you are looking for is "taut."

No, your spell-checker won't catch that, but I will grit my teeth if not close the book or computer file at "taught ropes" and "taught muscles."

If a word isn't part of your normal vocabulary, it probably doesn't belong in your fiction. (Gene Wolfe has an exemption here.) If you need it because it's specialized terminology (whether for sailing or informatics), make sure you know what it means and how to spell it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on January 30, 2013, 03:03:38 PM
"Taught" is not an adjective.

Not even "self-taught"?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: AnnaJ on January 30, 2013, 03:07:00 PM
If you don't want to do the research to set your book in a historical setting, then put it in a time setting you do know.  And that means having a clue about language and clothing and the major details - no, you don't get from London to Bath in a couple of hours in 1810.

If you want to make your female character a 21st century kick-butt female in the Regency era, then make it a time-travel novel, or an alternate universe...just, for the love of Georgette Heyer, do not make it a Regency novel or romance.

You do have absolute permission (at least from me), particularly if book involves much heat, to ignore the conventions of the day regarding bathing and allow your characters to bathe.  A lot.  :)

I honestly don't understand why anyone would want to set a book in a time or place they don't know or are unwilling to research - they either come off as being ignorant or the book has no grounding.  When you get halfway through a book and have to look back to see if it's set in New York or San Francisco or London, or if you can't remember if it's the 1850s or the 1890s, then the author did not do their job.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Luci on January 30, 2013, 03:12:19 PM
"Taught" is not an adjective.

The word you are looking for is "taut."

No, your spell-checker won't catch that, but I will grit my teeth if not close the book or computer file at "taught ropes" and "taught muscles."

If a word isn't part of your normal vocabulary, it probably doesn't belong in your fiction. (Gene Wolfe has an exemption here.) If you need it because it's specialized terminology (whether for sailing or informatics), make sure you know what it means and how to spell it.

I found two of those in the first page of a book I bought. One was 'reigning in his enthusiasm'. I don't remember what the other was, but it was enough to send me around the bend and toss the book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tea Drinker on January 30, 2013, 03:13:58 PM
"Taught" is not an adjective.

Not even "self-taught"?

"Self-taught" is an adjective, yes, but not "taught" by itself. And (fortunately) I have yet to run into a story that says that a character had "impressive self-taught muscles" or that sails were held by "self-taught ropes."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 30, 2013, 03:28:26 PM
One of my pet peeves is that childhood characters never grow up - like Trixie Belden for example.

I know that these are written as children's books but Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, never age and it would be so much more fun if they did... a couple of years at least.  Maybe get them to college age or at least driving...

The award-winner for the most extreme instance of this, ever, must be the "Just William" short stories by the British writer Richmal Crompton. Her naughty-boy hero William Brown manages to stay at the age of eleven or twelve, for some forty years: the series -- many hundreds of stories in dozens upon dozens of books -- was written between approximately 1920 and 1960.  William's small band of young fellow-miscreants, and his parents and siblings, also remain throughout, at the ages they were when the series started (while history goes on happening around them).

With these stories, however, "willing suspension of disbelief" comes into play. Being a mischievous 11/12-year-old is what William is "about" -- lovers of the stories would not want him any other way !
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabylonSister on January 30, 2013, 03:41:20 PM
One of my pet peeves is that childhood characters never grow up - like Trixie Belden for example.

I know that these are written as children's books but Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, never age and it would be so much more fun if they did... a couple of years at least.  Maybe get them to college age or at least driving...

The award-winner for the most extreme instance of this, ever, must be the "Just William" short stories by the British writer Richmal Crompton. Her naughty-boy hero William Brown manages to stay at the age of eleven or twelve, for some forty years: the series -- many hundreds of stories in dozens upon dozens of books -- was written between approximately 1920 and 1960.  William's small band of young fellow-miscreants, and his parents and siblings, also remain throughout, at the ages they were when the series started (while history goes on happening around them).

With these stories, however, "willing suspension of disbelief" comes into play. Being a mischievous 11/12-year-old is what William is "about" -- lovers of the stories would not want him any other way !


And Junie B. Jones, after graduating from Kindergarten, has been in First Grade for years (and, according to the author, will never go up to Second Grade.)  I think in humor books about/for children, it makes sense. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on January 30, 2013, 03:42:57 PM
One of my pet peeves is that childhood characters never grow up - like Trixie Belden for example.

I know that these are written as children's books but Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, never age and it would be so much more fun if they did... a couple of years at least.  Maybe get them to college age or at least driving...

But then, they wouldn't appeal to their target audience, which is young teenagers.

Twelve year olds will not be much interested in Nancy's musings on menopause as she hunts for clues.

And the Hardy Boys drove, I believe, a roadster.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: dawnfire on January 30, 2013, 04:23:58 PM
It's Star Trek (Specifically Star Trek S.C.E.: Belly of the Beast).  For those that follow Next Generation, remember Sonya Gomez, a plucky Ensign who spilled hot chocolate on Picard?  Yeah, she's in charge of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.   ::)

As much as I love the Star Trek TV shows, I've often been disappointed by the novels (for all series). Some of them are quite good, but I find that a lot of them are just sort of mediocre. I don't know if it's authors being paid to write for a series they didn't conceive of and don't really love that much, or maybe executive meddling smoothing away any slightly controversial points that would add interest to the story, or what. Do people find this in novels based on other movies/TV shows, like Star Wars, Dr. Who, etc.?

ETA: This is also a reading peeve of mine, that so many novels spun off from movies/shows I like are pointless. Maybe this is only to be expected... ? Like expecting the "Avengers candy sticks" I got at Halloween to actually be good.

I loved "Q In Law".

that was one of my all time favourates :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on January 30, 2013, 04:42:01 PM
It's Star Trek (Specifically Star Trek S.C.E.: Belly of the Beast).  For those that follow Next Generation, remember Sonya Gomez, a plucky Ensign who spilled hot chocolate on Picard?  Yeah, she's in charge of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.   ::)

As much as I love the Star Trek TV shows, I've often been disappointed by the novels (for all series). Some of them are quite good, but I find that a lot of them are just sort of mediocre. I don't know if it's authors being paid to write for a series they didn't conceive of and don't really love that much, or maybe executive meddling smoothing away any slightly controversial points that would add interest to the story, or what. Do people find this in novels based on other movies/TV shows, like Star Wars, Dr. Who, etc.?

ETA: This is also a reading peeve of mine, that so many novels spun off from movies/shows I like are pointless. Maybe this is only to be expected... ? Like expecting the "Avengers candy sticks" I got at Halloween to actually be good.

I loved "Q In Law".

that was one of my all time favourates :)

Haven't read that yet, but it's on my list.  Do NOT spoil it for me!  :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Queen of Clubs on January 30, 2013, 04:54:38 PM
I went "O.o but... they're roommates... and they are both straight in the series.... what!? O.o..."

Many fanfic authors go "Challenge accepted" to that.

Which is fine- so long as you mark it as slash. Not marking it and letting people walk into it is considered rude, at least in the fandoms I'm in. (BTW, where on earth do you find gen Sentinel fic? I don't think I've ever seen it.)

http://www.wolfpanther.com/ is a gen Sentinel fanfic archive.  There are a number of authors posted there.

My fanfic pet peeve is about slash authors labelling their stories gen.  I know they mean 'gen rated' but it makes it harder to find gen (as in the genre).

My book pet peeve is when I'm reading a book (or a fanfic, come to that) and discover the author has little knowledge of the rules of grammar or punctuation.  If you don't know how to use punctuation, please, for the love of commas, learn before you put your story out there.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Nikko-chan on January 30, 2013, 06:02:15 PM
Since we are also talking about fanfiction, what makes me run far away screaming is changing a character's gender and/or making up a brother or sister.

Guilty...  :-[
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Morrigan on January 30, 2013, 09:19:52 PM
One of my pet peeves is that childhood characters never grow up - like Trixie Belden for example.

I know that these are written as children's books but Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, never age and it would be so much more fun if they did... a couple of years at least.  Maybe get them to college age or at least driving...

The award-winner for the most extreme instance of this, ever, must be the "Just William" short stories by the British writer Richmal Crompton. Her naughty-boy hero William Brown manages to stay at the age of eleven or twelve, for some forty years: the series -- many hundreds of stories in dozens upon dozens of books -- was written between approximately 1920 and 1960.  William's small band of young fellow-miscreants, and his parents and siblings, also remain throughout, at the ages they were when the series started (while history goes on happening around them).

With these stories, however, "willing suspension of disbelief" comes into play. Being a mischievous 11/12-year-old is what William is "about" -- lovers of the stories would not want him any other way !


And Junie B. Jones, after graduating from Kindergarten, has been in First Grade for years (and, according to the author, will never go up to Second Grade.)  I think in humor books about/for children, it makes sense.

I actually pointed this out way back on page 1, but also the Saddle Club & Baby-Sitter's Club spend several summer vacations and never age...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: CrochetFanatic on January 31, 2013, 03:39:15 AM
Got a couple of fanfic-related ones.

1. If they were in High School. 
No.  Everybody seems to be doing it, and nobody does it well.  These are totally different characters, probably classmates of the author, who just happen to have the names of fandom characters tacked on.  They rarely resemble the characters they are supposed to be.

2. Species-swapping.
That is, badly-done species-swapping.  I have seen it done well, but this isn't what I'm talking about.  Human characters who are no longer human, without any explanation.  Non-human characters who are now human, same scenario.  Or, a different version: character is changed to something else, has amnesia, and falls in love with the hero/heroine...who, by the way, has no idea who they're really talking to, despite very obvious clues.  Such as having the same voice and hair color, for example!

3. Severely underage characters (think 14 years old) falling in looooove, getting pregnant, and "making a stand" to their parents. 
Bonus points if the parents are okay or happy with it.  Double bonus points if they marry (still 14), raise their child, and live happily ever after without any problems or fights other than a romantic rival who comes along and tries to steal one member of the Golden Couple.  No mention of a job for either parent.  Some fics blatantly state that the grandparents are overjoyed to support them.  Hm, anyone out there think that this might be wishful thinking on the part of the young teenaged author?  Hm?  Nah.  ;)

If anyone likes or writes stories like this, I truly mean no offense.  But when I see a story going in that direction, I hit the "back" arrow and resume scrolling down through the list of stories.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on January 31, 2013, 03:54:10 AM
Since we are also talking about fanfiction, what makes me run far away screaming is changing a character's gender and/or making up a brother or sister.

Guilty...  :-[

It's only an issue for me if it's made blatantly obvious in the books that such a character doesn't exist.

Harry Potter's brother suddenly turning up? No. Just no.
Arthur Weasley's brother turning up? Sure, go for it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on January 31, 2013, 07:09:21 AM
I went "O.o but... they're roommates... and they are both straight in the series.... what!? O.o..."

Many fanfic authors go "Challenge accepted" to that.

Which is fine- so long as you mark it as slash. Not marking it and letting people walk into it is considered rude, at least in the fandoms I'm in. (BTW, where on earth do you find gen Sentinel fic? I don't think I've ever seen it.)

http://www.wolfpanther.com/ is a gen Sentinel fanfic archive.  There are a number of authors posted there.

My fanfic pet peeve is about slash authors labelling their stories gen.  I know they mean 'gen rated' but it makes it harder to find gen (as in the genre).

My book pet peeve is when I'm reading a book (or a fanfic, come to that) and discover the author has little knowledge of the rules of grammar or punctuation.  If you don't know how to use punctuation, please, for the love of commas, learn before you put your story out there.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on January 31, 2013, 07:16:27 AM
One of my pet peeves is that childhood characters never grow up - like Trixie Belden for example.

I know that these are written as children's books but Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, never age and it would be so much more fun if they did... a couple of years at least.  Maybe get them to college age or at least driving...

But then, they wouldn't appeal to their target audience, which is young teenagers.

Twelve year olds will not be much interested in Nancy's musings on menopause as she hunts for clues.

And the Hardy Boys drove, I believe, a roadster.

So did Nancy! Or rather, a convertible.

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Bexx27 on January 31, 2013, 08:40:15 AM
I realize this is my personal taste, but the books that frustrate me most are the ones that purposely leave more to the reader's interpretation/imagination than they actually explain. I actually prefer obvious plot holes and/or implausible scenarios because at least then I know what the author intended even if he/she messed up a bit.

My book club just read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It was an interesting book, but left so many unanswered questions. Knowing some of those answers one way or another would have completely changed my reaction to the book. I get that the author left things vague on purpose and the point was to make the reader think, but I hate speculating when I can't ever figure out the "truth" because the author didn't create it. I don't want to make up parts of the story myself from thin air; I'd write my own book if I did! I also suspect the author chose to explain as little as possible because he knew the more he explained, the less plausible the book's premise would seem. 

Again, I realize that's my personal pet peeve and lots of people probably like filling in the gaps themselves. Or they don't share my compulsion to have "the whole story" in the first place.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: shadowfox79 on January 31, 2013, 08:53:47 AM

My book pet peeve is when I'm reading a book (or a fanfic, come to that) and discover the author has little knowledge of the rules of grammar or punctuation.  If you don't know how to use punctuation, please, for the love of commas, learn before you put your story out there.

I agree. I was recommended a book on Amazon which sounded brilliant, so I downloaded a sample to my Kindle. In the first two pages there were fifteen punctuation errors, generally like so:

"What does he want me to do", he said.
"Go home".

INSIDE THE BLOODY QUOTES!! (deep breath) It's not that hard!

Thank goodness for free samples. I'd have gone mad trying to read an entire book of that.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabyMama on January 31, 2013, 09:18:17 AM
When the character jumps from one location to another, but there seems to be no passage of time. Like from London to New York, and oh look he's suddenly there. No, I don't particularly want to hear about how John had to stand in line at the airport, get his baggage checked, go through the scanner,  kill time before his flight, sit next to a smelly person with a screaming baby on the plane, ate a premade in-flight sandwich, etc., but it really throws me when the characters are suddenly...somewhere else. I hate it in movies and TV too.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Verloona Ti on January 31, 2013, 09:21:23 AM
I realize this is my personal taste, but the books that frustrate me most are the ones that purposely leave more to the reader's interpretation/imagination than they actually explain. I actually prefer obvious plot holes and/or implausible scenarios because at least then I know what the author intended even if he/she messed up a bit.



Sigrid Undset is really, REALLY bad about this. I tried to plow through The Master of Hestviken a few weeks ago, and her approach to so many events was elliptical to the extreme. Multiple times characters referred back to earlier events that I recalled not at all. For an example,  a woman was raped in this book, but there was NOTHING in the text from her interactions with her rapist, before or after the rape, to indicate an assault  had occurred. I went back to the chapters with both of them in it, and I confirmed : NOTHING in the text, not even a row of ......  as old time books used to show something sexual was taking place, NOTHING. Just a few chapters later, she's suddenly pregnant, and she makes a comment about the other character having assaulted her in a hay loft. And the rapist later admitted to a third character that  he had taken her by force, but again...Nothing in the text either indicated an assault had taken place or showed the victim behaving any differently to her assailant afterwards. If Undset didn't want to deal with sexual situations, it would be better to leave them out entirely , rather than  make the reader wonder if a chapter had been left out at the binders. She's a fine writer, but this tendency (and this rape/pregnancy is only the most extreme instance of it) of hers to tell and not even try to show even a teeny bit makes reading her a bit frustrating. It makes the reader feel as if the fault is the reader's for not paying attention-when there really was nothing in the text to pay attention to!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on January 31, 2013, 09:41:01 AM
I just quit reading a biography where the author did online personality tests as her "subject."  And considered it research. Forget it.

One of my other peeves was that the book was very poorly organized. It's a joint biography of Czar Nicholas and Czarina Alexandra of Russia. The author started in 1913, five years before their deaths, then jumped back to their childhoods in chapter 5, a third of the way through the book!

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on January 31, 2013, 09:50:29 AM
Since we are also talking about fanfiction, what makes me run far away screaming is changing a character's gender and/or making up a brother or sister.

Guilty...  :-[

Eh, so have I, personal tastes and all that.

Although I did just remember an issue I have specific to genderswap fics.

Do some research on names if you are writing genderswap, I beg of you! If the character's name is, say, 'Kenneth', and you want them to still go by 'Ken', not a problem. We have names like Kenina, Kendra, and Kendall all available and actual names. Just don't, for the love of all that is holy and/or good in the world, say 'her' name is 'Kennethine' or something. That isn't a name, it's some lazy git's attempt to feminize a perfectly good name instead of actually finding out if there's anything else that works.   >:(

And don't even try to say that you had to to keep a pattern going; I will bet money that if you'd done any research you'd have found something that fit!


Yeah, I take my genderswap fics seriously. They have so much potential to let us see the character from a different angle, but are rarely ever done well.  :'(
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ryuugan80 on January 31, 2013, 11:00:20 AM
Another one that I mostly see in fanfic, but I've seen it in discussions for books too.

Folks, everyone has their favorite pairing.  Some people even have their OTP.  (One True Pairing.)  And MY favorite pairing is just as valid as YOUR favorite pairing, and vice versa.  (Even if one is slash.  Different strokes and all that.)  So can we please not get into shouting matches over how the fans of pairing X are all terrible people who clearly never read the book/watched the movie/whatever?  There's room here for all of us.

(Yeesh.  I love Avengers fanfic, but some days I want to smack the entire fandom.  Happens in Dresden and Harry Potter, too.)

Happens with Avatar the Last Airbender too. It just makes me sigh sometimes.

As for my pet peeves:

I've only seen this happen once or twice, just in fanfiction thankfully: Long stretches of just dialouge. It can be cute with a very short drabble so long as it's easy to figure out what's going on, but normally...no.

Excessive description of unnessesary stuff.

I can handle a bit of bad grammar or misplaced words, but when there's a lot of it I tend to get cranky.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: magicdomino on January 31, 2013, 11:02:10 AM

My book pet peeve is when I'm reading a book (or a fanfic, come to that) and discover the author has little knowledge of the rules of grammar or punctuation.  If you don't know how to use punctuation, please, for the love of commas, learn before you put your story out there.

I agree. I was recommended a book on Amazon which sounded brilliant, so I downloaded a sample to my Kindle. In the first two pages there were fifteen punctuation errors, generally like so:

"What does he want me to do", he said.
"Go home".

INSIDE THE BLOODY QUOTES!! (deep breath) It's not that hard!

Thank goodness for free samples. I'd have gone mad trying to read an entire book of that.

That might be British punctuation, as opposed to American punctuation.  I just finished Eats, Shoots and Leaves, which is British.

Quote
"There is, too, a gulf between American usage and our own, with Americans always using double quotation marks and American grammarians insisting that, if a sentence ends with a phrase in inverted commas, all the terminal punctuation for the sentence must come tidily inside the speech marks, even when this doesn't seem to make sense.

I can see how it could be annoying.  All the Pretty Horses was aggravating because the author couldn't be bothered with quotation marks. It was just these weird, choppy paragraphs.  I couldn't tell that someone was speaking, much less who was speaking.   
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Queen of Clubs on January 31, 2013, 11:51:59 AM

I agree. I was recommended a book on Amazon which sounded brilliant, so I downloaded a sample to my Kindle. In the first two pages there were fifteen punctuation errors, generally like so:

"What does he want me to do", he said.
"Go home".

INSIDE THE BLOODY QUOTES!! (deep breath) It's not that hard!

Thank goodness for free samples. I'd have gone mad trying to read an entire book of that.

That might be British punctuation, as opposed to American punctuation.  I just finished Eats, Shoots and Leaves, which is British.

Quote
"There is, too, a gulf between American usage and our own, with Americans always using double quotation marks and American grammarians insisting that, if a sentence ends with a phrase in inverted commas, all the terminal punctuation for the sentence must come tidily inside the speech marks, even when this doesn't seem to make sense.

I can see how it could be annoying.  All the Pretty Horses was aggravating because the author couldn't be bothered with quotation marks. It was just these weird, choppy paragraphs.  I couldn't tell that someone was speaking, much less who was speaking.

That's only referring to quotes.  In direct speech/dialogue, all the punctuation goes inside the speech marks.  I think Lynn Truss really needed to clarify that, as so many people misunderstand it...and probably use it to excuse people who have no clue about punctuation. /is British
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Yarnspinner on February 01, 2013, 01:51:48 PM
Dear Author of Ghost Novel I Am Currently Reading:


You have written a compelling, gripping and creepy read that succeeds without being gorey and slasher-y.  I am really enjoying it.  HOWEVER, your hero needs to get over the fact soon that certain parts of his anatomy will shrink when he is exposed to the cold or when he is super duper scared.  He had to let us know about it at least four times during his outdoor walk in the middle of the night with only his pajamas as proof against a pretty wicked snowstorm  in chapter three alone and then twice more in a later chapter when he is scared by something that happens.  Seriously, we got it.  Shrinkage occurs.  Call George Costanza and talk to him about  it.  And move on with the story.  I beg you.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on February 01, 2013, 01:55:07 PM
I hate when historical novels can be bothered to do basic research.  In "When We Were Gods," a novel based on the life of Cleopatra, where the writer (although claiming to be far more factually accurate than Hollywood) seems to have limited his research to World Book Encyclopedia.

For example, once Cleopatra and Caesar become intimate, she starts calling him Julius (ooh! she's using his first name).  Except, it isn't his first name.  Julius  was his clan.  A true intimate might call him Gaius.

Then there are constant references to how bitterly cold Rome is in winter compared to Egypt.  Granted, Egypt is closer to the equator, but it is also mostly desert -- nights can be chilly in Alexandra.  And Rome doesn't have inches of snow in the winter.  Every winter.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on February 01, 2013, 02:17:10 PM
Complaint that's more or less specific to science fiction and fantasy:

Cultures don't scale that much.  I can see there being a tribe/group of people who do X (live in a big city, are good at mining, like wearing fluffy dresses, etc.) but that doesn't mean I can buy a whole PLANET of city-living miners in fluffy dresses exist!  Leaving aside the obvious issues with your entire planet being urban (the amount and cost of space traffic necessary to bring in food for that huge a population would far outstrip any planet's wealth or resources), history has shown us time and time again that human populations tend to form splinter groups when the population gets big enough to split.  Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town?  Same with "this race of aliens is nomadic and really good with riding horses" - logic would dictate a mix of rural and urban living anywhere the same as we have here.  Often alien races end up being shorthand for specific stereotypes (warlike, greedy, noble, etc.) and authors/scriptwriters completely ignore the fact that any race would have a huge range of normal variation in individual personalities.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lilfox on February 01, 2013, 06:08:35 PM
Complaint that's more or less specific to science fiction and fantasy:

Cultures don't scale that much.  I can see there being a tribe/group of people who do X (live in a big city, are good at mining, like wearing fluffy dresses, etc.) but that doesn't mean I can buy a whole PLANET of city-living miners in fluffy dresses exist!  Leaving aside the obvious issues with your entire planet being urban (the amount and cost of space traffic necessary to bring in food for that huge a population would far outstrip any planet's wealth or resources), history has shown us time and time again that human populations tend to form splinter groups when the population gets big enough to split.  Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town?  Same with "this race of aliens is nomadic and really good with riding horses" - logic would dictate a mix of rural and urban living anywhere the same as we have here.  Often alien races end up being shorthand for specific stereotypes (warlike, greedy, noble, etc.) and authors/scriptwriters completely ignore the fact that any race would have a huge range of normal variation in individual personalities.

But they do all wear silver jumpsuits, right?   ;)

I'm with you.  I can understand why it's done - with alien races, authors have to resort to some amount of obvious stereotyping because they can't get away with using the history that come with a known (human) race to invoke certain expectations or perceptions of the characters (even if they write characters that fall outside the normal stereotypes, there are those stereotypes to fall outside of).

But it's the literary equivalent of the Star Trek approach of "add a different cranial ridge and presto! all-new alien race."  Where's the depth?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: PeterM on February 01, 2013, 06:37:09 PM
Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town? 

Off topic, but for anyone interested in a story about a paradise planet whose unassuming natives caught up in politics and money and corruption by people who want to turn their home into a resort, I cannot recommend "Monument" by Lloyd Biggle highly enough. Plucky natives vs. huge amounts of power and money don't usually fare too well, but these natives have The Plan.

http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1416520724/1416520724___2.htm

Easily one of my favorites of all time.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Softly Spoken on February 01, 2013, 09:10:49 PM
Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town? 

Off topic, but for anyone interested in a story about a paradise planet whose unassuming natives caught up in politics and money and corruption by people who want to turn their home into a resort, I cannot recommend "Monument" by Lloyd Biggle highly enough. Plucky natives vs. huge amounts of power and money don't usually fare too well, but these natives have The Plan.

http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1416520724/1416520724___2.htm

Easily one of my favorites of all time.

Darn you, PeterM...as if I don't have enough to read!  ;D (*mutters* I told myself I was just going to take a quick look...why did I believe me? ::))
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: HoneyBee42 on February 01, 2013, 09:25:52 PM
Complaint that's more or less specific to science fiction and fantasy:

Cultures don't scale that much.  I can see there being a tribe/group of people who do X (live in a big city, are good at mining, like wearing fluffy dresses, etc.) but that doesn't mean I can buy a whole PLANET of city-living miners in fluffy dresses exist!  Leaving aside the obvious issues with your entire planet being urban (the amount and cost of space traffic necessary to bring in food for that huge a population would far outstrip any planet's wealth or resources), history has shown us time and time again that human populations tend to form splinter groups when the population gets big enough to split.  Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town?  Same with "this race of aliens is nomadic and really good with riding horses" - logic would dictate a mix of rural and urban living anywhere the same as we have here.  Often alien races end up being shorthand for specific stereotypes (warlike, greedy, noble, etc.) and authors/scriptwriters completely ignore the fact that any race would have a huge range of normal variation in individual personalities.
And it rains on Mongo.

Why do I suddenly think of Star Wars?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: furrcats on February 01, 2013, 11:57:47 PM
Q-in-law was the first adult novel I  ever read I loved it  :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: PeterM on February 02, 2013, 02:06:43 AM
I cannot recommend "Monument" by Lloyd Biggle highly enough.

http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/1416520724/1416520724___2.htm

Darn you, PeterM...as if I don't have enough to read!  ;D (*mutters* I told myself I was just going to take a quick look...why did I believe me? ::))

Ya gotta finish it, because the last line might be my favorite of all time, and perfectly fits the story.

If you really want to lose some time, there's also a novel version. Most of your time will be spent tracking a copy down, of course, and it's not as good as the shorter original, but it's still a good read and has a few really interesting courtroom scenes that aren't in the original.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Amanita on February 03, 2013, 01:37:55 PM
Complaint that's more or less specific to science fiction and fantasy:

Cultures don't scale that much.  I can see there being a tribe/group of people who do X (live in a big city, are good at mining, like wearing fluffy dresses, etc.) but that doesn't mean I can buy a whole PLANET of city-living miners in fluffy dresses exist!  Leaving aside the obvious issues with your entire planet being urban (the amount and cost of space traffic necessary to bring in food for that huge a population would far outstrip any planet's wealth or resources), history has shown us time and time again that human populations tend to form splinter groups when the population gets big enough to split.  Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town?  Same with "this race of aliens is nomadic and really good with riding horses" - logic would dictate a mix of rural and urban living anywhere the same as we have here.  Often alien races end up being shorthand for specific stereotypes (warlike, greedy, noble, etc.) and authors/scriptwriters completely ignore the fact that any race would have a huge range of normal variation in individual personalities.

Pretty much this! I have a copy of a Star Wars book called "The Guide to Alien SPecies" or something like that. While it's a fun read, your complaint sums it up exactly! For example, one species might be described as highly xenophobic. The whole species. Really? All members of the species hate outsiders for whatever reason? (Superiority complex, religious reasons, fear that contact with others could lead to colonization or contamination of their "pure" culture) Even if a planet's governing body holds those beliefs, surely there would be dissenters? Surely there would be differences of opinion, with different groups having different ideas, or positions at various places along the ideological spectrum? For example- the governing body's position is one of isolationism, but in reality, citizens have different ideas- some are very isolationist or xenophobic, others hold a moderate position advocating perhaps just enough contact with outsiders to avoid becoming out of touch, or coming up on the wrong end of a technology gap, and others still (even if they're a minority and catch flak for it) advocating for openness.

I'm trying to avoid this in my own writing- true, I'm dealing with a race of beings who coexist with humans on this planet, who have their own culture and ideas. But at the same time, they're not all ideological clones- The majority believe in a symbiotic relationship with humans, but there's a minority who have been badly treated by humans, and don't want to play nice anymore. In some cases, they've integrated peacefully with humans, two cultures coexisting in relative peace. In other areas, they tend to butt heads.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 03, 2013, 03:32:58 PM
Complaint that's more or less specific to science fiction and fantasy:

Cultures don't scale that much.  I can see there being a tribe/group of people who do X (live in a big city, are good at mining, like wearing fluffy dresses, etc.) but that doesn't mean I can buy a whole PLANET of city-living miners in fluffy dresses exist!  Leaving aside the obvious issues with your entire planet being urban (the amount and cost of space traffic necessary to bring in food for that huge a population would far outstrip any planet's wealth or resources), history has shown us time and time again that human populations tend to form splinter groups when the population gets big enough to split.  Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town?  Same with "this race of aliens is nomadic and really good with riding horses" - logic would dictate a mix of rural and urban living anywhere the same as we have here.  Often alien races end up being shorthand for specific stereotypes (warlike, greedy, noble, etc.) and authors/scriptwriters completely ignore the fact that any race would have a huge range of normal variation in individual personalities.

Pretty much this! I have a copy of a Star Wars book called "The Guide to Alien SPecies" or something like that. While it's a fun read, your complaint sums it up exactly! For example, one species might be described as highly xenophobic. The whole species. Really? All members of the species hate outsiders for whatever reason? (Superiority complex, religious reasons, fear that contact with others could lead to colonization or contamination of their "pure" culture) Even if a planet's governing body holds those beliefs, surely there would be dissenters? Surely there would be differences of opinion, with different groups having different ideas, or positions at various places along the ideological spectrum? For example- the governing body's position is one of isolationism, but in reality, citizens have different ideas- some are very isolationist or xenophobic, others hold a moderate position advocating perhaps just enough contact with outsiders to avoid becoming out of touch, or coming up on the wrong end of a technology gap, and others still (even if they're a minority and catch flak for it) advocating for openness.

I'm trying to avoid this in my own writing- true, I'm dealing with a race of beings who coexist with humans on this planet, who have their own culture and ideas. But at the same time, they're not all ideological clones- The majority believe in a symbiotic relationship with humans, but there's a minority who have been badly treated by humans, and don't want to play nice anymore. In some cases, they've integrated peacefully with humans, two cultures coexisting in relative peace. In other areas, they tend to butt heads.

It is possible for a race to be genetically xenophoboic... that is, they react with hostility toward other lifeforms on a biological level.  But basically, yes.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on February 03, 2013, 04:01:26 PM
Books with vague or no endings at all...like the Sopranos, but in book form.  One author in particular is guilty of this: Brian Keene.  He writes horror fiction and I've read about six of his books, but after reading the last book I have to say that I will never read another book of his ever again.  Of the six books that I've read from him, three had vague/no endings where you're supposed to come up with your own conclusion on how the story ends.

The last book that I read from this author involves characters that are stuck in a town which has been surrounded by a supernatural evil mist and so they escape, but you never find out what happens to them because you find out at the very end that it's a diary that the main character has left behind about everything that happened.  The book basically ends with: "We're leaving right now to cross the supernatural evil mist in order to escape this town, but I can't tell you what happens because I'm leaving this diary here for other people to find!  Yes, I know that the story has culminated in seeing what happens when you cross the supernatural evil mist, but you'll have to imagine what happens to us because I'm leaving the book here!"     

Some people call endings like this "artistic," but I consider them lazy and cop-out's.  I read books because I want a story and I want the story to end.

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Nikko-chan on February 03, 2013, 05:22:16 PM
Complaint that's more or less specific to science fiction and fantasy:

Cultures don't scale that much.  I can see there being a tribe/group of people who do X (live in a big city, are good at mining, like wearing fluffy dresses, etc.) but that doesn't mean I can buy a whole PLANET of city-living miners in fluffy dresses exist!  Leaving aside the obvious issues with your entire planet being urban (the amount and cost of space traffic necessary to bring in food for that huge a population would far outstrip any planet's wealth or resources), history has shown us time and time again that human populations tend to form splinter groups when the population gets big enough to split.  Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town?  Same with "this race of aliens is nomadic and really good with riding horses" - logic would dictate a mix of rural and urban living anywhere the same as we have here.  Often alien races end up being shorthand for specific stereotypes (warlike, greedy, noble, etc.) and authors/scriptwriters completely ignore the fact that any race would have a huge range of normal variation in individual personalities.

Pretty much this! I have a copy of a Star Wars book called "The Guide to Alien SPecies" or something like that. While it's a fun read, your complaint sums it up exactly! For example, one species might be described as highly xenophobic. The whole species. Really? All members of the species hate outsiders for whatever reason? (Superiority complex, religious reasons, fear that contact with others could lead to colonization or contamination of their "pure" culture) Even if a planet's governing body holds those beliefs, surely there would be dissenters? Surely there would be differences of opinion, with different groups having different ideas, or positions at various places along the ideological spectrum? For example- the governing body's position is one of isolationism, but in reality, citizens have different ideas- some are very isolationist or xenophobic, others hold a moderate position advocating perhaps just enough contact with outsiders to avoid becoming out of touch, or coming up on the wrong end of a technology gap, and others still (even if they're a minority and catch flak for it) advocating for openness.

I'm trying to avoid this in my own writing- true, I'm dealing with a race of beings who coexist with humans on this planet, who have their own culture and ideas. But at the same time, they're not all ideological clones- The majority believe in a symbiotic relationship with humans, but there's a minority who have been badly treated by humans, and don't want to play nice anymore. In some cases, they've integrated peacefully with humans, two cultures coexisting in relative peace. In other areas, they tend to butt heads.

It is possible for a race to be genetically xenophoboic... that is, they react with hostility toward other lifeforms on a biological level.  But basically, yes.

You mean like the Daleks?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 03, 2013, 09:16:07 PM
I've taken to reviewing historical novels that aren't, on Amazon. One of my most recent reviews is about a novel where the heroine, in 1200, decides to marry the hero but not consummate the marriage. And he agrees!

Somehow, I suspect that a heroine would have a tough job pulling that off in 2013, much less in 1200. Apparently the author had never heard that in the Middle Ages, there were limits on how much control women had over their lives.
Oh, and the hero produces, literally overnight, a marriage contract, which the heroine reads before signing. Without any witnesses.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: JeanFromBNA on February 03, 2013, 10:04:17 PM
Complaint that's more or less specific to science fiction and fantasy:

Cultures don't scale that much.  I can see there being a tribe/group of people who do X (live in a big city, are good at mining, like wearing fluffy dresses, etc.) but that doesn't mean I can buy a whole PLANET of city-living miners in fluffy dresses exist!  Leaving aside the obvious issues with your entire planet being urban (the amount and cost of space traffic necessary to bring in food for that huge a population would far outstrip any planet's wealth or resources), history has shown us time and time again that human populations tend to form splinter groups when the population gets big enough to split.  Try to show me a "vacation planet" and I'll ask you where all the workers live - do they own expensive resort real estate too, or do they have a hidden slum outside of town?  Same with "this race of aliens is nomadic and really good with riding horses" - logic would dictate a mix of rural and urban living anywhere the same as we have here.  Often alien races end up being shorthand for specific stereotypes (warlike, greedy, noble, etc.) and authors/scriptwriters completely ignore the fact that any race would have a huge range of normal variation in individual personalities.
And it rains on Mongo.

Why do I suddenly think of Star Wars?

Made me think of Blazing Saddles.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RingTailedLemur on February 04, 2013, 02:22:02 AM
Books with vague or no endings at all...like the Sopranos, but in book form.  One author in particular is guilty of this: Brian Keene.  He writes horror fiction and I've read about six of his books, but after reading the last book I have to say that I will never read another book of his ever again.  Of the six books that I've read from him, three had vague/no endings where you're supposed to come up with your own conclusion on how the story ends.

The last book that I read from this author involves characters that are stuck in a town which has been surrounded by a supernatural evil mist and so they escape, but you never find out what happens to them because you find out at the very end that it's a diary that the main character has left behind about everything that happened.  The book basically ends with: "We're leaving right now to cross the supernatural evil mist in order to escape this town, but I can't tell you what happens because I'm leaving this diary here for other people to find!  Yes, I know that the story has culminated in seeing what happens when you cross the supernatural evil mist, but you'll have to imagine what happens to us because I'm leaving the book here!"     

Some people call endings like this "artistic," but I consider them lazy and cop-out's.  I read books because I want a story and I want the story to end.

That's Stephen King's The Mist, isn't it?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Morrigan on February 04, 2013, 08:58:11 AM
Books with vague or no endings at all...like the Sopranos, but in book form.  One author in particular is guilty of this: Brian Keene.  He writes horror fiction and I've read about six of his books, but after reading the last book I have to say that I will never read another book of his ever again.  Of the six books that I've read from him, three had vague/no endings where you're supposed to come up with your own conclusion on how the story ends.

The last book that I read from this author involves characters that are stuck in a town which has been surrounded by a supernatural evil mist and so they escape, but you never find out what happens to them because you find out at the very end that it's a diary that the main character has left behind about everything that happened.  The book basically ends with: "We're leaving right now to cross the supernatural evil mist in order to escape this town, but I can't tell you what happens because I'm leaving this diary here for other people to find!  Yes, I know that the story has culminated in seeing what happens when you cross the supernatural evil mist, but you'll have to imagine what happens to us because I'm leaving the book here!"     

Some people call endings like this "artistic," but I consider them lazy and cop-out's.  I read books because I want a story and I want the story to end.

That's Stephen King's The Mist, isn't it?

It is.  It might also be another author's book, but it's definitely the Mist.  The ending of the movie was vastly different (superior) to me, though, since it had an actual ending.

Most of SK's have regular endings, though.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 04, 2013, 10:10:47 AM
I've taken to reviewing historical novels that aren't, on Amazon. One of my most recent reviews is about a novel where the heroine, in 1200, decides to marry the hero but not consummate the marriage. And he agrees!

I'm not sure that's impossible on the face of it. There might be reasons why a husband would go for this - it could be a politically expedient marriage to a woman he wasn't attracted to, or he had physical/psychological problems that made sex impossible, or even religious scruples. However, I doubt that was what the author was driving at.

(The idea of a chaste marriage reminds me a bit of the story of Ivar the Boneless (my favorite historical nickname) and the Viking Curse....)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Bexx27 on February 04, 2013, 10:47:04 AM
Books with vague or no endings at all...like the Sopranos, but in book form.  One author in particular is guilty of this: Brian Keene.  He writes horror fiction and I've read about six of his books, but after reading the last book I have to say that I will never read another book of his ever again.  Of the six books that I've read from him, three had vague/no endings where you're supposed to come up with your own conclusion on how the story ends.

The last book that I read from this author involves characters that are stuck in a town which has been surrounded by a supernatural evil mist and so they escape, but you never find out what happens to them because you find out at the very end that it's a diary that the main character has left behind about everything that happened.  The book basically ends with: "We're leaving right now to cross the supernatural evil mist in order to escape this town, but I can't tell you what happens because I'm leaving this diary here for other people to find!  Yes, I know that the story has culminated in seeing what happens when you cross the supernatural evil mist, but you'll have to imagine what happens to us because I'm leaving the book here!"     

Some people call endings like this "artistic," but I consider them lazy and cop-out's.  I read books because I want a story and I want the story to end.

I'm totally with you. As I posted earlier, I don't want to have to use my imagination to fill in major parts of the story. The ending is part of the story. If I wanted to make up my own ending, I'd make up my own beginning and middle, too. Don't get me wrong, I like thought-provoking books, but they should provoke thoughts about the author's message and its implications for my own life, society, etc., not "I wonder what happened?"
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Amanita on February 04, 2013, 02:56:54 PM

It is possible for a race to be genetically xenophoboic... that is, they react with hostility toward other lifeforms on a biological level.  But basically, yes.

If a trait like xenophobia is genetic, on a biological level as opposed to social, cultural, or religious, That's one way to justify it. But that's something that a writer should provide some detail on- if it's genetic, how else does this genetic predisposition affect them? Does it give them any other proclivities?

A biologically/genetically hardwired thing like the Daleks I could understand. But races where everyone seems to be on the same ideological page without any such explanation are harder to swallow.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on February 04, 2013, 03:46:21 PM
Books with vague or no endings at all...like the Sopranos, but in book form.  One author in particular is guilty of this: Brian Keene.  He writes horror fiction and I've read about six of his books, but after reading the last book I have to say that I will never read another book of his ever again.  Of the six books that I've read from him, three had vague/no endings where you're supposed to come up with your own conclusion on how the story ends.

The last book that I read from this author involves characters that are stuck in a town which has been surrounded by a supernatural evil mist and so they escape, but you never find out what happens to them because you find out at the very end that it's a diary that the main character has left behind about everything that happened.  The book basically ends with: "We're leaving right now to cross the supernatural evil mist in order to escape this town, but I can't tell you what happens because I'm leaving this diary here for other people to find!  Yes, I know that the story has culminated in seeing what happens when you cross the supernatural evil mist, but you'll have to imagine what happens to us because I'm leaving the book here!"     

Some people call endings like this "artistic," but I consider them lazy and cop-out's.  I read books because I want a story and I want the story to end.

I'm totally with you. As I posted earlier, I don't want to have to use my imagination to fill in major parts of the story. The ending is part of the story. If I wanted to make up my own ending, I'd make up my own beginning and middle, too. Don't get me wrong, I like thought-provoking books, but they should provoke thoughts about the author's message and its implications for my own life, society, etc., not "I wonder what happened?"
Books with vague or no endings at all...like the Sopranos, but in book form.  One author in particular is guilty of this: Brian Keene.  He writes horror fiction and I've read about six of his books, but after reading the last book I have to say that I will never read another book of his ever again.  Of the six books that I've read from him, three had vague/no endings where you're supposed to come up with your own conclusion on how the story ends.

The last book that I read from this author involves characters that are stuck in a town which has been surrounded by a supernatural evil mist and so they escape, but you never find out what happens to them because you find out at the very end that it's a diary that the main character has left behind about everything that happened.  The book basically ends with: "We're leaving right now to cross the supernatural evil mist in order to escape this town, but I can't tell you what happens because I'm leaving this diary here for other people to find!  Yes, I know that the story has culminated in seeing what happens when you cross the supernatural evil mist, but you'll have to imagine what happens to us because I'm leaving the book here!"     

Some people call endings like this "artistic," but I consider them lazy and cop-out's.  I read books because I want a story and I want the story to end.

That's Stephen King's The Mist, isn't it?

It is.  It might also be another author's book, but it's definitely the Mist.  The ending of the movie was vastly different (superior) to me, though, since it had an actual ending.

Most of SK's have regular endings, though.


Actually, the book is called Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene, but the ending is pretty much the same.

*edited because I chose the wrong quote
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 04, 2013, 08:33:41 PM
I've taken to reviewing historical novels that aren't, on Amazon. One of my most recent reviews is about a novel where the heroine, in 1200, decides to marry the hero but not consummate the marriage. And he agrees!

I'm not sure that's impossible on the face of it. There might be reasons why a husband would go for this - it could be a politically expedient marriage to a woman he wasn't attracted to, or he had physical/psychological problems that made sex impossible, or even religious scruples. However, I doubt that was what the author was driving at.

(The idea of a chaste marriage reminds me a bit of the story of Ivar the Boneless (my favorite historical nickname) and the Viking Curse....)
Yes, in this case, the husband desperately wanted to consummate the marriage, but when his bride made it clear she didn't, he was too much of a gentleman to proceed. It wasn't an arrangement they discussed before the wedding; she just sprang it on him on the wedding night.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Editeer on February 04, 2013, 09:03:22 PM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."


I enjoy spotting such bloopers.  :)

My peeve is authors who constantly use brand names. The character doesn't drive her car, or even her luxury sedan; she drives her turbo Mercedes S-class. Every reference to the car thereafter is to "the Mercedes." Hey, we already know the character is wealthy and has impeccable taste. The worst for this is Patricia Cornwell. Her protagonist doesn't have a watch, or an expensive watch, or a very expensive watch. No, we are told seventeen times about her BREITLING TITANIUM watch. Gee, I wonder what Cornwell got/wants for her birthday.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 04, 2013, 10:05:12 PM
That makes me think of a series I stopped reading even though I do like other things by the author.  The books are the Nuala McGrail series by Andrew Greeley and I enjoyed the series at first but it really got on my nerves after a while that one character, Dermot, kept insisting he wasn't a yuppie yet loved talking about his Mercedes, the elite yacht clubs he'd take his wife to, having a house on Lake Michigan and mind you, a house in a very well to do part of the beach. 

Dude, we get it, you're loaded and don't have to work because you made some kind of mistake when you were a stock broker.  And your family's loaded too.  We get that as well.  I'd like you a lot more if you weren't trying to make the reader believe that you're humble despite having money when you're making sure they know just how rich you and your wife are.  There's nothing wrong with being wealthy and enjoying what you can afford, really, but rubbing your wealth in the faces of others while pretending you're just like every other middle class person is just annoying. 

Edited to add: I still enjoy the Bishop Blackie series, and was rather amused at how he seemed rather annoyed that his family insist he get rid of his old car and replaced it with an expensive brand new SUV that he really didn't enjoy driving.  That and it was hard to be the invisible auxillary bishop when one is driving a big black and fancy SUV.  He much preferred having an older car (A mustang, I think it was) that was very cool but didn't make him stick out quite as much.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MerryCat on February 04, 2013, 10:36:14 PM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."


I enjoy spotting such bloopers.  :)

My peeve is authors who constantly use brand names. The character doesn't drive her car, or even her luxury sedan; she drives her turbo Mercedes S-class. Every reference to the car thereafter is to "the Mercedes." Hey, we already know the character is wealthy and has impeccable taste. The worst for this is Patricia Cornwell. Her protagonist doesn't have a watch, or an expensive watch, or a very expensive watch. No, we are told seventeen times about her BREITLING TITANIUM watch. Gee, I wonder what Cornwell got/wants for her birthday.

This. So much this! Also, for some reason, when authors start doing this I start imaging the characters as being like Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping up Appearances. In my head the main characters are all speaking in affected English accents and boasting about their candlelight suppers while the secondary characters are all rolling their eyes behind the main characters' backs.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: LEMon on February 05, 2013, 12:11:00 AM
Romance books by British/Australian authors that have the story set in America.  The author has properly done her geography research, however, the heroine worries about scraping her "tyres" on the "kerb" as she pulls into the "carpark " then takes the "lift" up to her "flat."


I enjoy spotting such bloopers.  :)

My peeve is authors who constantly use brand names. The character doesn't drive her car, or even her luxury sedan; she drives her turbo Mercedes S-class. Every reference to the car thereafter is to "the Mercedes." Hey, we already know the character is wealthy and has impeccable taste. The worst for this is Patricia Cornwell. Her protagonist doesn't have a watch, or an expensive watch, or a very expensive watch. No, we are told seventeen times about her BREITLING TITANIUM watch. Gee, I wonder what Cornwell got/wants for her birthday.

This. So much this! Also, for some reason, when authors start doing this I start imaging the characters as being like Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping up Appearances. In my head the main characters are all speaking in affected English accents and boasting about their candlelight suppers while the secondary characters are all rolling their eyes behind the main characters' backs.
It also gets interesting when the items used become dated.  Picture someone boating about their wonderful phone which is now the totally outdated, useless brick, or that no one remembers any more.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: CrochetFanatic on February 05, 2013, 12:37:14 AM
I've just thought of another one, and I think someone might have mentioned it earlier in this thread.  Stories written in the first person perspective.  Now, don't get me wrong.  If it's done right, the story can be great.  It's just very difficult to pull off.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on February 05, 2013, 11:07:28 AM
Authors do love and focus on one thing.  My sister and I usually read the same books and we have an inside joke that whenever we hear the word "Uzi" we both say "Dean Koontz."

When I was younger, I read Christopher Pike and hunt the phase "starlight crystal" like Easter eggs.  Finally, he just went for it and wrote a book with that title.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shea on February 05, 2013, 04:59:09 PM
When authors attempt to write dialogue or some lines of text in a language that they plainly do not speak. Especially if it's a language with tons of speakers, so it wouldn't exactly be difficult to locate someone who could proofread your text to make sure you haven't made mistakes.

I remember one book where a character occasionally spoke in Spanish. Which was fine, except the author apparently wrote said character's dialogue by running sentences in English through Google translate or something. Seriously, Spanish is a major world language! It's the first language of millions of people, and millions more (such as yours truly) can read it well enough to tell that in the space of 3 sentences, you have assigned the wrong gender to three nouns, put an adjective in the wrong place relative to its noun, and had the character using a distinctly Spanish-from-Spain verb form that the character, being Guatemalan, would not use.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: ica171 on February 05, 2013, 06:13:40 PM
So agree about King.  Carrie was one of the first true horror novels I read and it was so unusual in its style (the magazine and newspaper articles interspersed with the prose) that it kept you reading just to see what magazine he would include next.  Ditto Salems Lot and The Shining.

And then, somewhere down the line, I want to say the book was IT, things went from being horrific love letters to Maine and New England and turned into ruminations on people's bowel movements, gore and gore and gore, and all kinds of references to bodily fluids.  Instead of the compelling, irresistable feeling of "what happens next" I remember being treated to one character's thinking about his constipation for several pages in IT but delivered, not in that character's tone of voice (which would have been more circumspect, I think) but in King's very snotty tone, as if he was mocking the character who would ultimately prove the real hero of the story.

I haven't been able to read his new books since then.

In his defense, Stephen King was very addicted to drugs around the time that he wrote It and I think Cujo (maybe some others) and you can definitely tell. He's had some great stuff since then, although he had another rough period around the time Dreamcatcher came out (poop monsters, anyone?) and he was recovering from being hit by a van.

My pet peeves are, as someone else stated, first person, especially when it starts bleeding over into knowledge that only a third person omniscient narrator can have. If you want to write in first person you can't have the narrator know things they haven't been told and couldn't possibly have found out because it's easier for the story.

The other that comes to mind is when characters want to be lauded for having decent morals that would be expected of basically all human beings. This happens a lot in older (and some newer) romances, where the hero and heroine are not married yet but are sharing some degree of a passionate embrace. The heroine stops the hero before things go too far and the hero makes some sort of comment about how another man might not have stopped. So...good for you that you didn't s*e*x*ually assault someone? Pretty sure that's one of those things that you're just supposed to do and not point out how awesome it is that you did it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabylonSister on February 05, 2013, 07:13:50 PM
Let me add this about Stephen King: his recent novel 11/22/63 is absolutely excellent, it does not involve gross out factors and it does not have excessive verbiage.  It's, in my opinion, his best novel in a long time.


Sorry, I don't have any new pet peeve to contribute but I'm enjoying this thread. :D
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: PeterM on February 05, 2013, 08:05:26 PM
The other that comes to mind is when characters want to be lauded for having decent morals that would be expected of basically all human beings.

One of my favorite subversions of this is in the movie "The Replacement Killers." Chow Yun Fat has been forced to work as a hitman for an Asian crime lord in order to protect his own family. He's mostly sent after vicious criminals, so he has no particular qualms about what he's doing. Then he's ordered to kill the young son of a cop who's causing trouble for the gang. He can't do it, and is planning to go home, grab his family, and take them into hiding. He's working with Mira Sorvino, who points out that the gang leader will just send someone else, the replacement killers of the title.

"You're not willing to kill a little kid," she says. "Welcome to the human race." Then she convinces him they have to save the kid before he can save his own family. Then he says the best line in the whole movie.

"I'll need guns..."

Shortly afterwards, of course, all hell breaks loose. Great movie.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 05, 2013, 10:13:21 PM

In his defense, Stephen King was very addicted to drugs around the time that he wrote It and I think Cujo 
King also had a traumatic childhood, and some of his early books contain scenes that relate to the trauma he suffered. It's like he was trying for trauma mastery by putting them into his books. Doesn't make it any easier to read, though. (at least for me).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 05, 2013, 11:41:35 PM
When authors attempt to write dialogue or some lines of text in a language that they plainly do not speak. Especially if it's a language with tons of speakers, so it wouldn't exactly be difficult to locate someone who could proofread your text to make sure you haven't made mistakes.

I've read more than one book where a character is revealed to be Danish... And promptly goes on to speak either Swedish or Dutch.

*sigh*
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Leafy on February 06, 2013, 02:14:26 AM
Excessively descriptive - Dan Brown I'm looking at you!

No quotation marks. Makes it extremely hard to read. I had to read half the book twice to work out when someone was speaking.

When two characters have quite similar names, say Mark and Mike. I have bad habit of skimming names and often only really look at the first letter. When you have endless options for names how hard is it to come up with dissimilar ones?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: staceym on February 06, 2013, 07:36:06 AM
   
Some people call endings like this "artistic," but I consider them lazy and cop-out's.  I read books because I want a story and I want the story to end.

That's Stephen King's The Mist, isn't it?

It is.  It might also be another author's book, but it's definitely the Mist.  The ending of the movie was vastly different (superior) to me, though, since it had an actual ending.

Most of SK's have regular endings, though.

Except for The Cell - ready to throw the book across the room with it's "not an ending" - you have to imagine how it ended ending; because up until then I really enjoyed the book and couldn't stop reading it as I had to find out how it ended.


I love this thread - so many of my pet peeves have been mention:

excessive descriptors - I really don't need to know what the sky looked like, the exact fabric or color of someone's clothes...

books that sum up the story/ending in the last two paragraphs..wham, bam

looking at the amount of pages you have left to read and the come to find out that that the last 20 are "previews" from the author's next book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabyMama on February 06, 2013, 07:41:56 AM
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shea on February 06, 2013, 07:56:15 AM
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

My friend Anne-Marie has posited that the frequency with which characters in the Millennium Trilogy eat pan pizza and open-faced sandwiches and drink coffee is simply reflective of what Stieg Larsson was consuming at the time. He was drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about what do write next, and just decided that Lisbeth would have a cup of coffee too.

On the other hand, the excessive descriptions of food in A Song of Ice and Fire (aka the Game of Thrones books) are, in my opinion, a bonus. They led some people to write a food blog and a cookbook based on all the food described, and they're both amazing!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 06, 2013, 09:28:02 AM
Note to self: if I ever write contemporary fiction, there will be at least one drawn out description of a cheesesteak.  They need some love.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 06, 2013, 09:38:53 AM
When two characters have quite similar names, say Mark and Mike. I have bad habit of skimming names and often only really look at the first letter. When you have endless options for names how hard is it to come up with dissimilar ones?

This bugs me, too. When I'm writing I usually try to have all my characters' names start with different letters and not rhyme or anything like that (unless there's a reason for it, like someone named their twins Jenny and Jason, or Jenny and Penny). It's really not that hard to do. Otherwise even I (as the author) get confused.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 06, 2013, 09:43:51 AM
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

My friend Anne-Marie has posited that the frequency with which characters in the Millennium Trilogy eat pan pizza and open-faced sandwiches and drink coffee is simply reflective of what Stieg Larsson was consuming at the time. He was drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about what do write next, and just decided that Lisbeth would have a cup of coffee too.

The funny thing is that I never noticed because people in Scandinavia really do drink that much coffee ;)

On the other hand, reading "Farmer Boy" or any of the "Famous Five" books always makes me soooo hungry :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shea on February 06, 2013, 09:46:47 AM
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

My friend Anne-Marie has posited that the frequency with which characters in the Millennium Trilogy eat pan pizza and open-faced sandwiches and drink coffee is simply reflective of what Stieg Larsson was consuming at the time. He was drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about what do write next, and just decided that Lisbeth would have a cup of coffee too.

The funny thing is that I never noticed because people in Scandinavia really do drink that much coffee ;)

On the other hand, reading "Farmer Boy" or any of the "Famous Five" books always makes me soooo hungry :)

Haha, I have a friend who's Swedish, and she was just like, "Yeah, that's pretty much how we eat in Sweden. Sandwiches and coffee. All the time."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 06, 2013, 09:52:33 AM
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

My friend Anne-Marie has posited that the frequency with which characters in the Millennium Trilogy eat pan pizza and open-faced sandwiches and drink coffee is simply reflective of what Stieg Larsson was consuming at the time. He was drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about what do write next, and just decided that Lisbeth would have a cup of coffee too.

The funny thing is that I never noticed because people in Scandinavia really do drink that much coffee ;)

On the other hand, reading "Farmer Boy" or any of the "Famous Five" books always makes me soooo hungry :)

Haha, I have a friend who's Swedish, and she was just like, "Yeah, that's pretty much how we eat in Sweden. Sandwiches and coffee. All the time."

Denmark too  ;D
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: artk2002 on February 06, 2013, 10:20:45 AM
When authors attempt to write dialogue or some lines of text in a language that they plainly do not speak. Especially if it's a language with tons of speakers, so it wouldn't exactly be difficult to locate someone who could proofread your text to make sure you haven't made mistakes.

I remember one book where a character occasionally spoke in Spanish. Which was fine, except the author apparently wrote said character's dialogue by running sentences in English through Google translate or something. Seriously, Spanish is a major world language! It's the first language of millions of people, and millions more (such as yours truly) can read it well enough to tell that in the space of 3 sentences, you have assigned the wrong gender to three nouns, put an adjective in the wrong place relative to its noun, and had the character using a distinctly Spanish-from-Spain verb form that the character, being Guatemalan, would not use.

Here's a piece (http://herhandsmyhands.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/another-rant-its-not-so-hard/) by a friend of mine on that topic. She's a native Spanish speaker and a book reviewer so the combination is pretty good. Warning: That post is ok, but some of her stuff is NSFW.

My peeve is authors who constantly use brand names. The character doesn't drive her car, or even her luxury sedan; she drives her turbo Mercedes S-class. Every reference to the car thereafter is to "the Mercedes." Hey, we already know the character is wealthy and has impeccable taste. The worst for this is Patricia Cornwell. Her protagonist doesn't have a watch, or an expensive watch, or a very expensive watch. No, we are told seventeen times about her BREITLING TITANIUM watch. Gee, I wonder what Cornwell got/wants for her birthday.

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if an author as popular as Cornwell got "product placement" money. It happens in TV and movies, so I can't see the advertising folks leaving mass fiction untouched.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabyMama on February 06, 2013, 10:40:43 AM
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

My friend Anne-Marie has posited that the frequency with which characters in the Millennium Trilogy eat pan pizza and open-faced sandwiches and drink coffee is simply reflective of what Stieg Larsson was consuming at the time. He was drinking a cup of coffee, thinking about what do write next, and just decided that Lisbeth would have a cup of coffee too.

On the other hand, the excessive descriptions of food in A Song of Ice and Fire (aka the Game of Thrones books) are, in my opinion, a bonus. They led some people to write a food blog and a cookbook based on all the food described, and they're both amazing!

^ No joke! At least pizza and sandwiches are quick and easy. I had the constant urge to roast a chicken or duck while reading those, with nice crispy skin...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twirly on February 06, 2013, 11:06:44 AM
What about excessive descriptions of food? I wanted a sandwich and a pan pizza so bad after reading Stieg Larsson's books... :D

On the other hand, the excessive descriptions of food in A Song of Ice and Fire (aka the Game of Thrones books) are, in my opinion, a bonus. They led some people to write a food blog and a cookbook based on all the food described, and they're both amazing!

^ No joke! At least pizza and sandwiches are quick and easy. I had the constant urge to roast a chicken or duck while reading those, with nice crispy skin...

It was the wine that did it for me…pages and pages of characters enjoying what sounded like amazing wine made it near impossible to read without eventually ending up with a glass for myself. I was engrossed in something on the computer and only half listening to my husband once when he was asking my wine preference for a dinner and I vaguely responded "oh an Arbor Gold would be good." I didn’t even realize until he burst out laughing and replied if he ever traveled through Westeros he'd be sure to bring me a bottle but in the meantime what kind of Earth wine would I prefer?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 06, 2013, 11:15:17 AM
My peeve is authors who constantly use brand names. The character doesn't drive her car, or even her luxury sedan; she drives her turbo Mercedes S-class. Every reference to the car thereafter is to "the Mercedes." Hey, we already know the character is wealthy and has impeccable taste. The worst for this is Patricia Cornwell. Her protagonist doesn't have a watch, or an expensive watch, or a very expensive watch. No, we are told seventeen times about her BREITLING TITANIUM watch. Gee, I wonder what Cornwell got/wants for her birthday.

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if an author as popular as Cornwell got "product placement" money. It happens in TV and movies, so I can't see the advertising folks leaving mass fiction untouched.

I suspect you're correct that this happens more than we know.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 06, 2013, 01:17:08 PM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: nuit93 on February 06, 2013, 01:46:14 PM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

Wow...what the heck?

I can understand using a movie still with Megan Follows, even if those movies are 20+ years old. 

But a blonde Anne?  Noooo...besides, she wanted raven-black hair when she was younger ;)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 06, 2013, 02:15:42 PM
I suspect that it was the only "farm girl stock photo" they had. But how expensive would it have been to make their own, if they were publishing a book?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on February 06, 2013, 03:27:53 PM
That cover is horrifying.  Just don't have a picture at all, or have a picture of a house or something.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kimberami on February 06, 2013, 03:31:38 PM
I absolutely detest when the author says that a character gives a witty remark or a scathing reply, but doesn't say what the character says.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 06, 2013, 03:39:16 PM
I absolutely detest when the author says that a character gives a witty remark or a scathing reply, but doesn't say what the character says.

Ah, the verbal equivalent of the "informed attribute".

"Jane replied to his ignorant comment with a witty putdown that had the entire room convulsed with hysteria" means "the author couldn't actually think up a good response, so just tells you it was a zinger".
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tea Drinker on February 06, 2013, 05:20:12 PM
I absolutely detest when the author says that a character gives a witty remark or a scathing reply, but doesn't say what the character says.

Ah, the verbal equivalent of the "informed attribute".

"Jane replied to his ignorant comment with a witty putdown that had the entire room convulsed with hysteria" means "the author couldn't actually think up a good response, so just tells you it was a zinger".

On the other hand, that's not as bad as an author proving that no, s/he cannot write poetry, or come up with a good witty response even when given plenty of time to think about it. If someone is described as the greatest songwriter of her generation, including third-rate song lyrics does not in fact add verisimilitude. There are novelists who can also write poetry, and some of them include it in their fiction when appropriate. For example, Emma Bull is both a musician and a novelist, and her fantasy novel <cite>War for the Oaks</cite> includes original song lyrics, attributed to the protagonist, and they're good enough for it to work. (Nor does Emma claim to be the greatest songwriter of her generation.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: wendelenn on February 06, 2013, 08:37:44 PM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

You beat me to it. Unbelievable!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: ica171 on February 06, 2013, 08:40:35 PM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

You beat me to it. Unbelievable!

Although I have to say, that Amazon page shows another one of my reading pet peeves that's not strictly literary--it annoys me to no end when someone gives a book a bad review for something like the picture on the cover. It's not bad formatting and it's not plot-related, so it shouldn't factor into your review.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on February 06, 2013, 08:51:13 PM
^ That bugs me too.  I've seen one star reviews because the book never arrived, or the seller didn't describe the condition of the book correctly.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 06, 2013, 11:32:05 PM
I disagree. The cover is part of the reading experience and should absolutely factor in, as long as it's made clear in the review and not just a solitary rating (which isn't possible on Anazon, but it is on goodreads).

The examples rose red gave shouldn't though.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: ET is the best alien. on February 07, 2013, 12:49:19 AM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360219534&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+donald+zochert#_

Go to search inside the book, and then go to the back cover. Laura would never wear something like that.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: parrot_girl on February 07, 2013, 12:55:49 AM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360219534&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+donald+zochert#_

Go to search inside the book, and then go to the back cover. Laura would never wear something like that.

 :o :o :o
OH NO!!!
I am gasping in shock here.
It's not like there weren't any detailed descriptions of what she wore IN THE BOOK. Thank heavens she's deceased; she'd be within her rights to sue for libel!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 07, 2013, 01:14:33 AM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360219534&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+donald+zochert#_

Go to search inside the book, and then go to the back cover. Laura would never wear something like that.

Somehow that doesn't bother me nearly as much, because at least those drawings were inspired by the TV-series.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shea on February 07, 2013, 07:57:20 AM
I disagree. The cover is part of the reading experience and should absolutely factor in, as long as it's made clear in the review and not just a solitary rating (which isn't possible on Anazon, but it is on goodreads).

The examples rose red gave shouldn't though.

I think the cover is a factor too. I can't stand it when book covers feature images from the movie version. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to find a copy of The Road that did not feature Post-Apocalyptic Viggo Mortensen. And heck, that was a good film adaptation, but I still didn't want it on my book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kimberami on February 07, 2013, 08:31:10 AM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360219534&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+donald+zochert#_

Go to search inside the book, and then go to the back cover. Laura would never wear something like that.

 :o :o :o
OH NO!!!
I am gasping in shock here.
It's not like there weren't any detailed descriptions of what she wore IN THE BOOK. Thank heavens she's deceased; she'd be within her rights to sue for libel!
I have that book in my desk drawer right now.  I've always giggled over that picture. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on February 07, 2013, 08:43:48 AM
I disagree. The cover is part of the reading experience and should absolutely factor in, as long as it's made clear in the review and not just a solitary rating (which isn't possible on Anazon, but it is on goodreads).

The examples rose red gave shouldn't though.

I think the cover is a factor too. I can't stand it when book covers feature images from the movie version. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to find a copy of The Road that did not feature Post-Apocalyptic Viggo Mortensen. And heck, that was a good film adaptation, but I still didn't want it on my book.

When I read The Girl with the Pearl Earring, my copy had the painting on the cover.  I saw later editions that had the two leads from the movie snuggling up together.  No!!!!!!!  First of all, if you don't what the painting looks like, you really need to see it to appreciate the book.  And then, the snuggling NEVER HAPPENED.  Totally misleading.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: whatsanenigma on February 07, 2013, 08:58:45 AM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360219534&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+donald+zochert#_

Go to search inside the book, and then go to the back cover. Laura would never wear something like that.

 :o :o :o
OH NO!!!
I am gasping in shock here.
It's not like there weren't any detailed descriptions of what she wore IN THE BOOK. Thank heavens she's deceased; she'd be within her rights to sue for libel!

That hair is bizzare too! I am pretty sure they didn't have hairspray back in those days.  And hair was usually much longer and rarely worn down loose.

(Though apparently they did have a form of "curling iron", according to Little Town on the Prarie, I think.  But it wasn't used to give that kind of flip!)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on February 07, 2013, 09:27:05 AM
I disagree. The cover is part of the reading experience and should absolutely factor in, as long as it's made clear in the review and not just a solitary rating (which isn't possible on Anazon, but it is on goodreads).

The examples rose red gave shouldn't though.

I think the cover is a factor too. I can't stand it when book covers feature images from the movie version. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to find a copy of The Road that did not feature Post-Apocalyptic Viggo Mortensen. And heck, that was a good film adaptation, but I still didn't want it on my book.

When I read The Girl with the Pearl Earring, my copy had the painting on the cover.  I saw later editions that had the two leads from the movie snuggling up together.  No!!!!!!!  First of all, if you don't what the painting looks like, you really need to see it to appreciate the book.  And then, the snuggling NEVER HAPPENED.  Totally misleading.

I rarely like movie covers either.  I get a lot of my books for free at book exchanges and a lot of them have the movie covers, but beggars can't be choosers and I'm really grateful for free books no matter what cover.  However, if I later stumble on the same book with a non-movie cover, I take it and donate back the other copy. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: missanpan on February 07, 2013, 09:30:31 AM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360219534&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+donald+zochert#_

Go to search inside the book, and then go to the back cover. Laura would never wear something like that.

Somehow that doesn't bother me nearly as much, because at least those drawings were inspired by the TV-series.

The front cover of the book is fine.  When you scroll down to the back cover . . .

It's just wrong.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 07, 2013, 10:57:25 AM
Ahh! I was staring at the front cover, not seeing what the big deal was about the costumes and hair but then looking at the back cover, I got it. Yikes! 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 07, 2013, 10:59:57 AM
I know next to nothing about the subject material, but... isn't that a touch on the revealing side?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 07, 2013, 11:21:05 AM
How about - when publishers take a beloved childhood heroine and decide to market her as, well, as something that indicates they've never actually *read* the book in question: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top (http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Green-Gables-Avonlea-Island/dp/1481024116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top).

(To be fair, it is a "CreateSpace" edition on Amazon, whatever that is. But I understand that Anne, and her image, are still legally controlled by Montgomery's heirs, which makes me wonder if this is really an "authorized" edition.)

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360219534&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+donald+zochert#_

Go to search inside the book, and then go to the back cover. Laura would never wear something like that.

Somehow that doesn't bother me nearly as much, because at least those drawings were inspired by the TV-series.

The front cover of the book is fine.  When you scroll down to the back cover . . .

It's just wrong.
:O ... Okay I give. That's horrible!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Girlie on February 07, 2013, 12:16:08 PM
I despise it when books make their supposedly "normal" characters into some kind of superhuman. I don't anyone who can, each and every night, go to bed at 1:00AM, get up at 4:00AM, drink a cup of coffee and be perfectly okay to face the day and fight crime.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elisabunny on February 07, 2013, 12:53:17 PM
I despise it when books make their supposedly "normal" characters into some kind of superhuman. I don't anyone who can, each and every night, go to bed at 1:00AM, get up at 4:00AM, drink a cup of coffee and be perfectly okay to face the day and fight crime.

Actually, I know someone who could probably do that.  Her amount of energy is mind-boggling.  When I read an article on "short sleepers" I discovered that she's a textbook example.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 07, 2013, 01:33:08 PM
I recently read something in a style that really bugged me. Basically, the author was so vague I couldn't understand what was going on. Like, there's a mention of blood and screaming, and then the characters are at the hospital, and one person is apologizing to the hurt one and the hurt one is saying it was just an accident. Maybe five or six sentences in the whole scene. It wasn't until several pages later, when the author was in an expository mood I guess, that I was able to figure out exactly what had happened, and it wasn't really what I had assumed from the little info that was given, and it changed (in a small way) the characters' arcs for me.

And, I didn't get the feeling that this was the author's intent, to hide the truth for a while and then upend my assumptions. It was more like the author thought they were being artsy and minimalist and spare (instead of over-describing everything), but the result was that I had no idea what was occurring in the story or why.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 07, 2013, 02:24:21 PM
And, I didn't get the feeling that this was the author's intent, to hide the truth for a while and then upend my assumptions. It was more like the author thought they were being artsy and minimalist and spare (instead of over-describing everything), but the result was that I had no idea what was occurring in the story or why.

I recall an author once saying that if you ever write something that you think is the most original stylistic masterstroke ever, you should hit the delete button with all haste, because it's likely a really bad idea.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 08, 2013, 04:50:38 AM
Names and topics that are historically inaccurate, to the point of being outlandish.

I love reading historical fiction, in the vein of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, so I was glad to pick up a book by an unknown writer set in 1500's England.

At the start of the book, Edward VI is king.  The protagonist, a nobleman, goes to visit Henry VIII's other daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, who are living at the same house as each other (stike one!).

He then bows to each of them and repeatedly addresses each of them as Princess (strike two!  Elizabeth wasn't titled Princess since she was 3 years old).

I told myself I was being too picky and to get over it.

But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

After a chapter or two of this nonsense, I decided to keep reading only for the humor value -- and there was plenty more of that!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 08, 2013, 05:10:57 AM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 08, 2013, 06:06:03 AM
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Thipu1 on February 08, 2013, 08:48:55 AM
I despise it when books make their supposedly "normal" characters into some kind of superhuman. I don't anyone who can, each and every night, go to bed at 1:00AM, get up at 4:00AM, drink a cup of coffee and be perfectly okay to face the day and fight crime.

Actually, I know someone who could probably do that.  Her amount of energy is mind-boggling.  When I read an article on "short sleepers" I discovered that she's a textbook example.

Something like that turned me off the Da Vinci Code.  They never seemed to sleep or eat.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redneck Gravy on February 08, 2013, 08:54:22 AM
I despise it when books make their supposedly "normal" characters into some kind of superhuman. I don't anyone who can, each and every night, go to bed at 1:00AM, get up at 4:00AM, drink a cup of coffee and be perfectly okay to face the day and fight crime.

Actually, I know someone who could probably do that.  Her amount of energy is mind-boggling.  When I read an article on "short sleepers" I discovered that she's a textbook example.

I know a man like this - he sleeps from 2 am to 6 am and goes to work everyday. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 08, 2013, 08:57:17 AM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

It was an extant name, but I must admit I don't recall ever reading of an English noble with that name in the period.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: nuit93 on February 08, 2013, 11:02:13 AM
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.

I've noticed her books are kind of hit or miss.  I liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" (hated the movie) and "The Queen's Fool" but there was another one I almost gave up on...I think it was "The Wise Woman".
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on February 08, 2013, 11:15:08 AM
Stories that rely on the "Joe died but no one saw the body so he will come back 100 pages from the end, saving the day and telling a story of how he really didn't die" trope. It has been overused and now I roll my eyes at "deaths".
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 08, 2013, 11:45:02 AM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 08, 2013, 11:51:23 AM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: athersgeo on February 08, 2013, 12:07:48 PM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

I think the key point would be the spelling. Erik (ending with a k) might well have been a viable name because of the Norse influence in England (although it would have waned a bit by the 1200s, I would have thought). Eric (with a c) is a rather more modern spelling.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 08, 2013, 12:28:20 PM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

If the rest of the book were historically accurate, I might have believed that this family had Scandinavian ancestors or something.  But it was just so bad.

After writing this post last night, I was remembering even more about this book.  A major plot point is that another nobleman comes to Eric with the story that his daughter was kidnapped at the age of 4 by Spanish pirates.  She'd now be in her teens.  Can Eric please go to Spain to rescue her?  So Eric does, and he magically finds this girl, realizing that she must be the missing English girl, because she is blonde, and no blonde people live in Spain!  So he kidnaps her and brings her back to England.  Her name - given name by English parents in the 1500's - is Eden.

There also seemed a huge religious agenda -- with whole chapters being devoted to characters converting to the Orange religion and how righteous it was, while all Purple characters were portrayed as bad in every one-dimensional way.  Then at the end, with the author bio, you learn the author is a professor at an Orange religion university!  I remember thinking, if his goal was to convert people, it backfired, because all he did was show his own ignorance and lack of research.

I would normally stop reading such a bad book, but this was so bad, it was hilarious.  I've been trying to Google and can't even find the title (it was a print book someone had left at a free library) so it really must have been bad.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on February 08, 2013, 12:46:53 PM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

Behindthename.com says that it used to be common during the Viking era but became very rare during Middle Ages and only became popular again in the 19th century with the publication of a novel.

I think that I once read a romance novel set in the 19th century with heroine called Jade. I don't know how commonly the word was actually used but in historical novels it seems to be a common term for disreputable woman which might prevent an aristocratic family from using it as their daughter's name.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Firecat on February 08, 2013, 01:02:47 PM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

If the rest of the book were historically accurate, I might have believed that this family had Scandinavian ancestors or something.  But it was just so bad.

After writing this post last night, I was remembering even more about this book.  A major plot point is that another nobleman comes to Eric with the story that his daughter was kidnapped at the age of 4 by Spanish pirates.  She'd now be in her teens.  Can Eric please go to Spain to rescue her?  So Eric does, and he magically finds this girl, realizing that she must be the missing English girl, because she is blonde, and no blonde people live in Spain!  So he kidnaps her and brings her back to England.  Her name - given name by English parents in the 1500's - is Eden.

There also seemed a huge religious agenda -- with whole chapters being devoted to characters converting to the Orange religion and how righteous it was, while all Purple characters were portrayed as bad in every one-dimensional way.  Then at the end, with the author bio, you learn the author is a professor at an Orange religion university!  I remember thinking, if his goal was to convert people, it backfired, because all he did was show his own ignorance and lack of research.

I would normally stop reading such a bad book, but this was so bad, it was hilarious.  I've been trying to Google and can't even find the title (it was a print book someone had left at a free library) so it really must have been bad.

Re the bolded: So the author of this story had never looked at a portrait of Catherine of Aragon? Who, despite the way she is consistently portrayed in movies/TV was a blonde Spanish princess?? It wasn't uncommon among the nobility, since most of the royal families were related to each other, often several times over. (Really, it's no wonder some of them weren't very mentally sound, considering all the inbreeding....)

Please tell me if you ever figure out the title, because I want to avoid reading it.

Although the Elizabeth and Mary living in the same house thing is possible...barely...I believe there were at least a few times when one visited the other, but I don't think it was common until Mary became Queen and Elizabeth was periodically at court until being placed under house arrest until Mary's death. So it could have been sent during one of those visits, I suppose...but given the rest of it, I'm probably giving the author way too much credit.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 08, 2013, 01:16:24 PM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

If the rest of the book were historically accurate, I might have believed that this family had Scandinavian ancestors or something.  But it was just so bad.

After writing this post last night, I was remembering even more about this book.  A major plot point is that another nobleman comes to Eric with the story that his daughter was kidnapped at the age of 4 by Spanish pirates.  She'd now be in her teens.  Can Eric please go to Spain to rescue her?  So Eric does, and he magically finds this girl, realizing that she must be the missing English girl, because she is blonde, and no blonde people live in Spain!  So he kidnaps her and brings her back to England.  Her name - given name by English parents in the 1500's - is Eden.

There also seemed a huge religious agenda -- with whole chapters being devoted to characters converting to the Orange religion and how righteous it was, while all Purple characters were portrayed as bad in every one-dimensional way.  Then at the end, with the author bio, you learn the author is a professor at an Orange religion university!  I remember thinking, if his goal was to convert people, it backfired, because all he did was show his own ignorance and lack of research.

I would normally stop reading such a bad book, but this was so bad, it was hilarious.  I've been trying to Google and can't even find the title (it was a print book someone had left at a free library) so it really must have been bad.

Re the bolded: So the author of this story had never looked at a portrait of Catherine of Aragon? Who, despite the way she is consistently portrayed in movies/TV was a blonde Spanish princess?? It wasn't uncommon among the nobility, since most of the royal families were related to each other, often several times over. (Really, it's no wonder some of them weren't very mentally sound, considering all the inbreeding....)

Please tell me if you ever figure out the title, because I want to avoid reading it.

Although the Elizabeth and Mary living in the same house thing is possible...barely...I believe there were at least a few times when one visited the other, but I don't think it was common until Mary became Queen and Elizabeth was periodically at court until being placed under house arrest until Mary's death. So it could have been sent during one of those visits, I suppose...but given the rest of it, I'm probably giving the author way too much credit.

Yup, that was exactly my thought!  And Isabella of Castile, Catherine's mother:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_I_of_Castile 

Mary and Elizabeth living in the same house is nothing next to how ridiculous the rest of the book gets.

Now you have me curious to find this book.....
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 08, 2013, 01:36:20 PM
Really? A professor wrote that?

Whether or not it helps sell his Orangeness, it certainly doesn't sell the institution he works for.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: snowflake on February 08, 2013, 02:27:52 PM
I think that I once read a romance novel set in the 19th century with heroine called Jade. I don't know how commonly the word was actually used but in historical novels it seems to be a common term for disreputable woman which might prevent an aristocratic family from using it as their daughter's name.

I remember some Regency thing where the heroine's name was something like "Bailey"

The other thing about Regencys that drives me batty is that some authors take the Pride and Prejudice incomes of "Five thousand a year" (Bingley) and "Ten Thousand a year" (Darcy) as sort of a benchmark.  No, that is supposed to be a considerable amount!  I read a series where there were there were at least half-a-dozen heiresses that had over a hundred thousand pounds a year.  The worst part was that three of them were from the same family!  It was implied that their brother was getting the whole shebang and their thousands came from the leftover cash that was just lying around.

I was too lazy to research that, but I was pretty sure the author had just ascribed the entire British Gross National Product for 1815 to one Earl's family.  Not to mention that said family was landed gentry who just sort of hung out on the land and never dabbled in trade or thought of anything other than ribbons.

There was also one woman who was not rich because her parents had been spendthrifts and it was up to she and her brother to pay back tens of thousands of pounds so they didn't bankrupt the property.  She does so by going to London for a season and having fewer dresses than anyone else.  So in other words, she saves what has to be hundreds of pounds per year instead of forgoing the Season altogether and say, NOT hiring a household full of staff, keeping an extra carriage and horses, and other expenses that are associated with keeping up two households.  (Her brother stayed in the country to manage the estate.)  I mean, that's crazy expensive today even if you don't have staff!  Of course this woman ends up with the Earl who is worth billions (after she bravely sacrifices a few dresses to pay back insurmountable debt.)

The thing is, this silliness would have been fine if the story had been good.  It wasn't a bad romance, but the author made a big deal about how tiny and frail the heroines were and how massive the heroes were.  The heroes towered over six-foot men and hand arms twice the size of others' legs.  There are several scenes where the heroine barely touches his mid-chest with the top of her head.  It made the inevitable spats and physical overpowering sound more domestic-violence than swoon-worthy.  Also, during the Scrabble scenes (all missionary) I could not breathe in sheer empathy.

I think the writer who asked me to read this eventually got it published.  I didn't read it in the published format, but I was hoping her editor at least made her switch the positions around for Scrabble.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: amandaelizabeth on February 08, 2013, 03:07:25 PM
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: violinp on February 08, 2013, 03:14:10 PM
I despise it when books make their supposedly "normal" characters into some kind of superhuman. I don't anyone who can, each and every night, go to bed at 1:00AM, get up at 4:00AM, drink a cup of coffee and be perfectly okay to face the day and fight crime.

I can go to bed at 3:00 A.M. and force myself to get up at 7:30 if I need to. However, I can't do that every day, or I'd be a raving lunatic.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Firecat on February 08, 2013, 03:44:30 PM
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.

Taffy?? Wow.

It is true, though, that unusual names aren't just a recent thing. Look at some of the things the Puritans named their kids, for example. After that, Taffy actually seems pretty normal...but not for Regency England...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 08, 2013, 03:48:09 PM
As a nickname, it might just be possible, if not documented.

On the other hand, Taffy being a common name for a Welshman (from Dafydd), it would have a pejorative ring for an aristocratic Englishwoman that would mean it would likely be used only by one's closest intimates.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on February 08, 2013, 04:01:32 PM
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.

Taffy?? Wow.

It is true, though, that unusual names aren't just a recent thing. Look at some of the things the Puritans named their kids, for example. After that, Taffy actually seems pretty normal...but not for Regency England...

This  :)  It's sometimes hard to find a balance somewhere between "hard to remember" and "overdone" without stretching plausibility about baby naming quite a bit.  For a long time, over 80% of baby boys born in England shared the same five names - sometimes in the same family.  You might have a William, Will, Bill, and a Billy all actually be named "William."  Anything other than William/John/Charles/James/George was somewhat uncommon among the elite and REALLY uncommon among the masses.  When you're writing a story and you want a dashing hero you can't call him "Billy," though, so you stretch a bit.

Case in point: the heroine in my story has a rather puritanical father, so I wanted her named after one of the virtues.  "Hope" and "Chastity" and such didn't fit her personality, though, so I finally settled on her having been named "Perseverance" and deciding to go by "Vera" once she ran away from home.  "Vera" wasn't a common name in Victorian times - although it wasn't totally unheard-of - but it was pretty common to name girls after even the hard-to-pronounce virtues and I'm hoping readers will let me get away with it  ;D
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 08, 2013, 04:15:49 PM
When my grandfather was a young, a common entertainment was a talent show at the local church.

One show, several girls did a skit about how they were being courted by the most charming man. One's beau was Willy; the other was Will; one was Bill, and so on. Gradually, they realized they were all seeing the same man.

Apparently, my grandfather William slunk out of church that day.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: AtraBecca on February 08, 2013, 04:45:57 PM
I just hate it when someone gets something painfully wrong... David Eddings lost my respect for that scene where Ce'Nedra almost drowned and Belgarion just pushed her back to get her breathing. Sorry, it doesn't work like that...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 08, 2013, 04:46:01 PM
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.

I've noticed her books are kind of hit or miss.  I liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" (hated the movie) and "The Queen's Fool" but there was another one I almost gave up on...I think it was "The Wise Woman".
The Other Boleyn Girl was irritating to me, because she supposed that Mary was younger than Anne. It didn't fit well for me, and I've never read a historical work that even questioned that Mary was the older sister.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 08, 2013, 04:50:52 PM
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.
I did..just for the occasion when I need a good long laugh.  ::)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Venus193 on February 08, 2013, 06:49:36 PM
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.
I did..just for the occasion when I need a good long laugh.  ::)

Nicknames like that would be a huge turn-off for me if it were a modern story let alone a Regency.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mbbored on February 08, 2013, 07:41:30 PM
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.

I kind of want to read it for it's potential for sheer awfulness. Mind sharing the source?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 08, 2013, 07:46:05 PM
Taffeta & Hotspur
   Conn, Claudy
Lord Thurston Tarrant, known as Hotspur on the London social scene, thinks Lady Taffeta Grantham is too young and idealistic. Experience has taught him that love is found only in fairy tales and that very few women can be trusted—especially young and attractive ones.

As for Taffy, she finds the rakehell cynical and arrogant—definitely not the hero, the man of principles and romance, her heart longs for. Besides, as one of the Rogues Three, she is more concerned with social injustice than a man who could use his influence to right wrongs but shows no interest in doing so.

So why does Tarrant find himself enchanted by the beautiful and high-spirited Taffy? Why does Taffy’s sporadic gift of sight insist on showing her visions of Tarrant as a bold and passionate lover—her lover?

When the prince of flirts catches the princess of thieves in a ‘Robin Hood’ encounter gone wrong, a secret is discovered, a promise is given, and two lives will be changed in ways neither could have dreamed.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mbbored on February 08, 2013, 08:08:07 PM
Taffeta & Hotspur
   Conn, Claudy
Lord Thurston Tarrant, known as Hotspur on the London social scene, thinks Lady Taffeta Grantham is too young and idealistic. Experience has taught him that love is found only in fairy tales and that very few women can be trusted—especially young and attractive ones.

As for Taffy, she finds the rakehell cynical and arrogant—definitely not the hero, the man of principles and romance, her heart longs for. Besides, as one of the Rogues Three, she is more concerned with social injustice than a man who could use his influence to right wrongs but shows no interest in doing so.

So why does Tarrant find himself enchanted by the beautiful and high-spirited Taffy? Why does Taffy’s sporadic gift of sight insist on showing her visions of Tarrant as a bold and passionate lover—her lover?

When the prince of flirts catches the princess of thieves in a ‘Robin Hood’ encounter gone wrong, a secret is discovered, a promise is given, and two lives will be changed in ways neither could have dreamed.

Totally just downloaded! Now I want to know where you get this free e-book list!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 08, 2013, 09:00:08 PM
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

If the rest of the book were historically accurate, I might have believed that this family had Scandinavian ancestors or something.  But it was just so bad.

After writing this post last night, I was remembering even more about this book.  A major plot point is that another nobleman comes to Eric with the story that his daughter was kidnapped at the age of 4 by Spanish pirates.  She'd now be in her teens.  Can Eric please go to Spain to rescue her?  So Eric does, and he magically finds this girl, realizing that she must be the missing English girl, because she is blonde, and no blonde people live in Spain!  So he kidnaps her and brings her back to England.  Her name - given name by English parents in the 1500's - is Eden.

There also seemed a huge religious agenda -- with whole chapters being devoted to characters converting to the Orange religion and how righteous it was, while all Purple characters were portrayed as bad in every one-dimensional way.  Then at the end, with the author bio, you learn the author is a professor at an Orange religion university!  I remember thinking, if his goal was to convert people, it backfired, because all he did was show his own ignorance and lack of research.

I would normally stop reading such a bad book, but this was so bad, it was hilarious.  I've been trying to Google and can't even find the title (it was a print book someone had left at a free library) so it really must have been bad.

Re the bolded: So the author of this story had never looked at a portrait of Catherine of Aragon? Who, despite the way she is consistently portrayed in movies/TV was a blonde Spanish princess?? It wasn't uncommon among the nobility, since most of the royal families were related to each other, often several times over. (Really, it's no wonder some of them weren't very mentally sound, considering all the inbreeding....)

Please tell me if you ever figure out the title, because I want to avoid reading it.

Although the Elizabeth and Mary living in the same house thing is possible...barely...I believe there were at least a few times when one visited the other, but I don't think it was common until Mary became Queen and Elizabeth was periodically at court until being placed under house arrest until Mary's death. So it could have been sent during one of those visits, I suppose...but given the rest of it, I'm probably giving the author way too much credit.

Finally found this book!  "When the Heavens Fall" by Gilbert Morris.

http://www.amazon.com/When-Heavens-Fall-Winslow-Novels/dp/1416587470/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360378549&sr=8-1&keywords=when+the+heavens+fall

I am shocked it's rated so highly on Amazon, which granted is only from 6 reviews.  Am curious if anyone else reads this book and has a better opinion than I did!

(It looks like I remembered the name wrong...Brandon is the main character, but there is an Eric.  Amazon doesn't say but I'm 100% sure the girl was Eden.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: amandaelizabeth on February 08, 2013, 09:16:55 PM
from here

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To be quite honest there have been only one or two that I read all the way through.  However the blurb in the email is worth reading.  I mean, if you have three spelling mistakes in the paragraph telling me to buy your book, what makes you think that it will attract customers. 

Good luck and let us know which are the 'good' ones
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mbbored on February 08, 2013, 11:03:58 PM
Taffeta & Hotspur
   Conn, Claudy
Lord Thurston Tarrant, known as Hotspur on the London social scene, thinks Lady Taffeta Grantham is too young and idealistic. Experience has taught him that love is found only in fairy tales and that very few women can be trusted—especially young and attractive ones.

As for Taffy, she finds the rakehell cynical and arrogant—definitely not the hero, the man of principles and romance, her heart longs for. Besides, as one of the Rogues Three, she is more concerned with social injustice than a man who could use his influence to right wrongs but shows no interest in doing so.

So why does Tarrant find himself enchanted by the beautiful and high-spirited Taffy? Why does Taffy’s sporadic gift of sight insist on showing her visions of Tarrant as a bold and passionate lover—her lover?

When the prince of flirts catches the princess of thieves in a ‘Robin Hood’ encounter gone wrong, a secret is discovered, a promise is given, and two lives will be changed in ways neither could have dreamed.

Totally just downloaded! Now I want to know where you get this free e-book list!

Well that was deliciously horrible: a Doritos locos taco for the brain.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lady Snowdon on February 09, 2013, 11:27:59 AM
I just stopped reading a book because the author set everything in West Virginia, specifically mentioning landmarks like Spruce Knob, and then offhandedly has a character thinking how wonderful it is to drive along the Continental Divide.  Which happens to be a bit further West (as in, the Rocky Mountains).  I wasn't really in to the story to begin with, and that just killed it for me. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 09, 2013, 12:00:21 PM
Taffeta & Hotspur
   Conn, Claudy
Lord Thurston Tarrant, known as Hotspur on the London social scene, thinks Lady Taffeta Grantham is too young and idealistic. Experience has taught him that love is found only in fairy tales and that very few women can be trusted—especially young and attractive ones.

As for Taffy, she finds the rakehell cynical and arrogant—definitely not the hero, the man of principles and romance, her heart longs for. Besides, as one of the Rogues Three, she is more concerned with social injustice than a man who could use his influence to right wrongs but shows no interest in doing so.

So why does Tarrant find himself enchanted by the beautiful and high-spirited Taffy? Why does Taffy’s sporadic gift of sight insist on showing her visions of Tarrant as a bold and passionate lover—her lover?

When the prince of flirts catches the princess of thieves in a ‘Robin Hood’ encounter gone wrong, a secret is discovered, a promise is given, and two lives will be changed in ways neither could have dreamed.

Totally just downloaded! Now I want to know where you get this free e-book list!

'Taffeta looked out the window as their well-sprung carriage rumbled languidly over the country road.'

Perhaps not the most immortal of opening lines...

I use BookBub, Ereads and Pixel of Ink for my freebie and low-cost Kindle books. Don't remember how I found them, except Pixel of Ink is on Facebook. The other two send me emails. BookBub also has 'Inspired Reads', for those who want Christian books (romances without graphic sex, nonfiction).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 09, 2013, 12:04:24 PM
I just stopped reading a book because the author set everything in West Virginia, specifically mentioning landmarks like Spruce Knob, and then offhandedly has a character thinking how wonderful it is to drive along the Continental Divide.  Which happens to be a bit further West (as in, the Rocky Mountains).  I wasn't really in to the story to begin with, and that just killed it for me.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Divide_of_the_Northern_Americas
Apparently, the Easter Continental Divide runs through West Virginia. Not the Great Continental Divide of the Rockies, no, but it divides whether waters run down the eastern or western side of the Appalachians.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lady Snowdon on February 09, 2013, 12:27:17 PM
I just stopped reading a book because the author set everything in West Virginia, specifically mentioning landmarks like Spruce Knob, and then offhandedly has a character thinking how wonderful it is to drive along the Continental Divide.  Which happens to be a bit further West (as in, the Rocky Mountains).  I wasn't really in to the story to begin with, and that just killed it for me.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Divide_of_the_Northern_Americas
Apparently, the Easter Continental Divide runs through West Virginia. Not the Great Continental Divide of the Rockies, no, but it divides whether waters run down the eastern or western side of the Appalachians.

You learn something new every day!  Maybe the book is only meant for those who are really into the geography of the Americas!  :P
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Luci on February 09, 2013, 04:55:27 PM
Three books will forever stand out as my loss of innocence. I thought authors were always right before I learned that the Internet is Always Right.

One was a Fanny Flagg book. Little Bobby went to St. Louis in 1938 or thereabouts and had his picture taken under the Arch, which was being built when I graduated high school in 1963. Then we got a kids' book in the school library that showed a picture on the cover of the child's bookshelf. It had a toy 57 Chevy, but the kid died in the late 30's. The very best was an early reader which stated that the dinosaurs died out because a large star hit the Earth. Not a meteorite or meteor, but a star. At least I managed to get that one pulled!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 09, 2013, 05:35:33 PM
For those who need a Taffeta update:
She is the daughter of a duke, but she and her brother are amateur highwaymen.
She rides astride.. in a riding habit...in 1813.
She is described as young, barely out of the schoolroom, and has not had her first London season...at 20.
Oh, yes, and she's psychic. On page 1, she has a vision of a naked man. Who is described in detail.

The saddest part of this mess is that the dialogue uses actual Regency slang. Which is really brain-hurty.  It's like she knows enough to know they wouldn't talk like 21st century people...but when it comes to their actions, she's just given up.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mbbored on February 09, 2013, 05:37:42 PM
For those who need a Taffeta update:
She is the daughter of a duke, but she and her brother are amateur highwaymen.
She rides astride.. in a riding habit...in 1813.
She is described as young, barely out of the schoolroom, and has not had her first London season...at 20.
Oh, yes, and she's psychic. On page 1, she has a vision of a naked man. Who is described in detail.

The saddest part of this mess is that the dialogue uses actual Regency slang. Which is really brain-hurty.  It's like she knows enough to know they wouldn't talk like 21st century people...but when it comes to their actions, she's just given up.

Let's not forget the Duke who actually says "ain't."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Luci on February 09, 2013, 06:35:55 PM
For those who need a Taffeta update:
She is the daughter of a duke, but she and her brother are amateur highwaymen.
She rides astride.. in a riding habit...in 1813.
She is described as young, barely out of the schoolroom, and has not had her first London season...at 20.
Oh, yes, and she's psychic. On page 1, she has a vision of a naked man. Who is described in detail.

The saddest part of this mess is that the dialogue uses actual Regency slang. Which is really brain-hurty.  It's like she knows enough to know they wouldn't talk like 21st century people...but when it comes to their actions, she's just given up.

Let's not forget the Duke who actually says "ain't."

"Ain't" was an acceptable contraction in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It was degraded to a vulgarism - used by the lower classes more recently, according to my grammar professors and what I have found in internet research - I don't know how to forward websites in Explorer 8. I did a bit of reading of Swift and Dickens in my college years and saw it used by them seriously, not as dialect.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 09, 2013, 06:38:03 PM
According to Wikipedia:

Quote
In the United Kingdom, ain't is generally used only by the working classes, such as those speaking the Cockney dialect, and is often considered improper speech by the middle and upper classes, in contrast to 19th century England where it was readily used in familiar speech by the educated and upper classes.

I believe that Sir Percy uses "ain't" in The Scarlet Pimpernel, as published in 1903, so it's not unbelievable.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: dawnfire on February 09, 2013, 06:42:58 PM
Taffeta & Hotspur
   Conn, Claudy
Lord Thurston Tarrant, known as Hotspur on the London social scene, thinks Lady Taffeta Grantham is too young and idealistic. Experience has taught him that love is found only in fairy tales and that very few women can be trusted—especially young and attractive ones.

As for Taffy, she finds the rakehell cynical and arrogant—definitely not the hero, the man of principles and romance, her heart longs for. Besides, as one of the Rogues Three, she is more concerned with social injustice than a man who could use his influence to right wrongs but shows no interest in doing so.

So why does Tarrant find himself enchanted by the beautiful and high-spirited Taffy? Why does Taffy’s sporadic gift of sight insist on showing her visions of Tarrant as a bold and passionate lover—her lover?

When the prince of flirts catches the princess of thieves in a ‘Robin Hood’ encounter gone wrong, a secret is discovered, a promise is given, and two lives will be changed in ways neither could have dreamed.

Totally just downloaded! Now I want to know where you get this free e-book list!

I get mine from http://www.dailyfreebooks.com/
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 09, 2013, 06:47:19 PM
Here's a rather odd peeve: you get a new ereader, and decide to download a free book just to test the machine. So, you pick what you think will be at best a forgettable fantasy/romance novel.

A month later, you've bought all of the author's ebooks, and are horrified to discover you'll have to wait for her to write new ones.  :'(
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 09, 2013, 07:19:17 PM
LOL.  Yes, that happens to me, too.  For most of them, I can resist the urge but a few authors, I just keep buying.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on February 09, 2013, 07:24:34 PM
Here's a rather odd peeve: you get a new ereader, and decide to download a free book just to test the machine. So, you pick what you think will be at best a forgettable fantasy/romance novel.

A month later, you've bought all of the author's ebooks, and are horrified to discover you'll have to wait for her to write new ones.  :'(

You can't tell us this and not share the author's name.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: alkira6 on February 09, 2013, 07:32:10 PM
Here's a rather odd peeve: you get a new ereader, and decide to download a free book just to test the machine. So, you pick what you think will be at best a forgettable fantasy/romance novel.

A month later, you've bought all of the author's ebooks, and are horrified to discover you'll have to wait for her to write new ones.  :'(

You can't tell us this and not share the author's name.

My mom has recently discovered that she has spent over $600 US since we gave her a kindle for her birthday in September. This is with a self imposed limit of not spending over $2 on an e-book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 09, 2013, 07:32:32 PM
For those who need a Taffeta update:
She is the daughter of a duke, but she and her brother are amateur highwaymen.
She rides astride.. in a riding habit...in 1813.
She is described as young, barely out of the schoolroom, and has not had her first London season...at 20.
Oh, yes, and she's psychic. On page 1, she has a vision of a naked man. Who is described in detail.

The saddest part of this mess is that the dialogue uses actual Regency slang. Which is really brain-hurty.  It's like she knows enough to know they wouldn't talk like 21st century people...but when it comes to their actions, she's just given up.

Hahaha!  Sounds like a must-read!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 09, 2013, 08:08:17 PM
Here's a rather odd peeve: you get a new ereader, and decide to download a free book just to test the machine. So, you pick what you think will be at best a forgettable fantasy/romance novel.

A month later, you've bought all of the author's ebooks, and are horrified to discover you'll have to wait for her to write new ones.  :'(

You can't tell us this and not share the author's name.

Lindsay Buroker.

Love her characters, and she's good at world-building.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on February 09, 2013, 08:17:44 PM
Thanks, Twik. I am going to look her up.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 09, 2013, 08:52:57 PM

My mom has recently discovered that she has spent over $600 US since we gave her a kindle for her birthday in September. This is with a self imposed limit of not spending over $2 on an e-book.
I've spent less than that, and I have close to 1200 books on mine-most of which I'll never have time to read, but if they're free... ::)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: artk2002 on February 09, 2013, 09:42:20 PM
According to Wikipedia:

Quote
In the United Kingdom, ain't is generally used only by the working classes, such as those speaking the Cockney dialect, and is often considered improper speech by the middle and upper classes, in contrast to 19th century England where it was readily used in familiar speech by the educated and upper classes.

I believe that Sir Percy uses "ain't" in The Scarlet Pimpernel, as published in 1903, so it's not unbelievable.

Dorothy Sayers has Lord Peter Wimsey using it in the 20s as well.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: chigger on February 10, 2013, 04:31:04 AM
Authors do love and focus on one thing.  My sister and I usually read the same books and we have an inside joke that whenever we hear the word "Uzi" we both say "Dean Koontz."

When I was younger, I read Christopher Pike and hunt the phase "starlight crystal" like Easter eggs.  Finally, he just went for it and wrote a book with that title.
[/quote

Dean Koontz--there's always a dog pet named "fur face", and the "glow from the sodium vapor steet lights."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on February 10, 2013, 07:21:57 AM
It is strange to us, but often the aristocracy had a whole slang to itself, nearly unintelligible to outsiders. For example, the "Devonshire set" in the late years of George III/early Regency had its own slang, which included baby talk, extensive use of insider nicknames and mispronunciations (yellar for yellow and cow-cumber instead of cucumber, for example). It seems very strange to us to imagine these very refined people deliberately using wrong language (and it was quite deliberate) and we would surely cry foul if a book used nicknames such as Canis (dog) for a Duke, Hary-O for a lady or Poodle for a society man.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: faithlessone on February 10, 2013, 09:32:40 AM
we would surely cry foul if a book used nicknames such as Canis (dog) for a Duke, Hary-O for a lady or Poodle for a society man.

Isn't that what they call one of the daughters in The Duchess?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 10, 2013, 11:28:30 AM
Ok, I finished Taffeta and Hotspur.
Not a particularly amusing read, but a lot of wasted potential. And some of the crudest references to Scrabble I've ever seen in a romance novel...and I didn't read too closely.
This book has the feel of one written by a committee.

But you have to read the description of the sample at the end of the book (a sample that takes up 25% of the Kindle file!)

Available in early January 2013: A young woman just coming into her powers as a white witch, hidden evil in a school for high-born orphan girls, a dashing marquis with a hidden agenda of his own.
Enjoy a sneak preview of Netherby Halls (unedited)

'Prologue: Sutton Village, England 1815'

And that's the first page. I am not turning it.

A school for high-born orphan girls? Seriously? Did such an entity ever exist?

And as for poor Taffy...at what stage did public school education for girls start in Britain? Would a daughter of a duke have been sent to boarding school in the years c. 1800-1810?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Barney girl on February 10, 2013, 12:02:20 PM
Ok, I finished Taffeta and Hotspur.
Not a particularly amusing read, but a lot of wasted potential. And some of the crudest references to Scrabble I've ever seen in a romance novel...and I didn't read too closely.
This book has the feel of one written by a committee.

But you have to read the description of the sample at the end of the book (a sample that takes up 25% of the Kindle file!)

Available in early January 2013: A young woman just coming into her powers as a white witch, hidden evil in a school for high-born orphan girls, a dashing marquis with a hidden agenda of his own.
Enjoy a sneak preview of Netherby Halls (unedited)

'Prologue: Sutton Village, England 1815'

And that's the first page. I am not turning it.

A school for high-born orphan girls? Seriously? Did such an entity ever exist?

And as for poor Taffy...at what stage did public school education for girls start in Britain? Would a daughter of a duke have been sent to boarding school in the years c. 1800-1810?

Public, as in paid for by the state, education was much later  (although there were various charitable or church run schools), but there were certainly boarding schools then. Remember Miss Pinkerton's Academy for Young Ladies in Vanity Fair.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on February 10, 2013, 01:07:47 PM
we would surely cry foul if a book used nicknames such as Canis (dog) for a Duke, Hary-O for a lady or Poodle for a society man.

Isn't that what they call one of the daughters in The Duchess?

Yep. Harriet Cavendish, who went on to marry her aunt's lover.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 10, 2013, 01:51:30 PM
I meant 'public school' in the British sense. :)
Vanity Fair wasn't published til 40 years after Taffy's supposed school girl days; and even so, did daughters of dukes attend boarding schools at that time? I thought governesses were pretty much the standard for the early 19th century for those of highest rank.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 10, 2013, 03:09:30 PM
I suppose it depends on what "high born" means.

Orphaned daughters of dukes would not likely go to boarding schools in 1815. However, remember that Jane Eyre was, if not an aristocrat, might be considered "high born" if it means "not descended from working people". And look what she got as a school! I would presume that there would be some sort of school for in Regency times for children who were not wealthy enough to be provided with home education, but were not at a social level to be sent to the workhouse or apprenticed to a trade.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 10, 2013, 05:19:25 PM
I suppose it depends on what "high born" means.

Orphaned daughters of dukes would not likely go to boarding schools in 1815. However, remember that Jane Eyre was, if not an aristocrat, might be considered "high born" if it means "not descended from working people". And look what she got as a school! I would presume that there would be some sort of school for in Regency times for children who were not wealthy enough to be provided with home education, but were not at a social level to be sent to the workhouse or apprenticed to a trade.
Well, I'd consider that there needed to be a title attached to the father of a high-born child. ;D
  I realize that even in America, an 'orphan' might be a child who had lost only one parent, but surely a surviving parent wouldn't want their child to have the label of having graduated from an orphan's school attached to them. And if the child is a true orphan, who's paying for the school? Seems like a very risky financial venture to have ONLY orphans at your school, even if you did have a wealthy benefactor.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: nuit93 on February 10, 2013, 05:24:45 PM

My mom has recently discovered that she has spent over $600 US since we gave her a kindle for her birthday in September. This is with a self imposed limit of not spending over $2 on an e-book.
I've spent less than that, and I have close to 1200 books on mine-most of which I'll never have time to read, but if they're free... ::)

I have a Nook, but I haven't bought a single book for it yet.  I did, however, go NUTS downloading stuff from the Gutenberg files.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on February 10, 2013, 07:35:18 PM
There were actually a fairly substantial number of "orphaned" children who were in fact illegitimate kids of titled/noble fathers.  If the father deigned to give any money for the child's care and education, [as I understand it] sometimes the story was given that the child was an "orphan" and a rich person had taken a "special interest" in their well-being.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Firecat on February 10, 2013, 08:32:33 PM
There were actually a fairly substantial number of "orphaned" children who were in fact illegitimate kids of titled/noble fathers.  If the father deigned to give any money for the child's care and education, [as I understand it] sometimes the story was given that the child was an "orphan" and a rich person had taken a "special interest" in their well-being.

I think I also remember reading that some wealthy young ladies who got pregnant out of wedlock would take a long trip to the European Continent, and bring the child back as a "foundling" she "adopted."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 10, 2013, 09:07:45 PM
I agree that a lot of children were probably illegitimate (even Dickens mentions that in Nicholas Nickleby). On the other hand, Dickens and Bronte also address the issue of "poor relations" - the children of your improvident cousin, say, who married for love, and then died in childbirth. You (the titled, wealthy aristocrat) don't want to throw them out to starve, but you don't want them hanging around your home, either. Presto, the solution is a boarding school, where you can take care of the problem in a "decent" manner, in as inexpensive a way as possible. I do get the idea from Jane Eyre that these schools were not a recent invention, so possibly they stretched back to Regency days.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Barney girl on February 11, 2013, 03:34:06 AM
I meant 'public school' in the British sense. :)
Vanity Fair wasn't published til 40 years after Taffy's supposed school girl days; and even so, did daughters of dukes attend boarding schools at that time? I thought governesses were pretty much the standard for the early 19th century for those of highest rank.

Sorry, that's me making assumptions.
I'd wondered whether to add in about Vanity Fair's date of publication. (particularly as I remember adding a whole chunk of it into an exam essay in school on early nineteenth century novels, then suddenly remembering it wasn't!
I'd been working been working on the assumption that Thackeray was writing relatively close in time after the period in which he set the book that he would know that such schools existed, but I'd agree with you that Public Schools in the UK sense didn't exist for girls then.

By the way, for any one interested, I read a fascinating book "Dotheboys and Beyond" at Christmas. It's initially research into the origins of Dotheboys Hall, but moves on into a general account of education for boys in the nineteenth century and how it improved with the introduction of the County Schools, which gave a much more rounded education than the public schools.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: iridaceae on February 11, 2013, 04:09:56 AM


Well, I'd consider that there needed to be a title attached to the father of a high-born child. ;D
  I realize that even in America, an 'orphan' might be a child who had lost only one parent, but surely a surviving parent wouldn't want their child to have the label of having graduated from an orphan's school attached to them. And if the child is a true orphan, who's paying for the school? Seems like a very risky financial venture to have ONLY orphans at your school, even if you did have a wealthy benefactor.

An orphan can have money.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: LifeOnPluto on February 11, 2013, 05:02:23 AM
I was reading a (traditionally published) book recently, written by a British author, and set on an island near Papua New Guinea. One of the main characters is Australian. She tells the other characters that when she was 16, she joined the "Sydney Police Department".

Ok. Firstly, there is no such thing as the "Sydney Police Department". If she was working as a cop in Sydney, she would belong to the New South Wales Police Force. Secondly, you have to be at least 18 to join. There's no way they'd admit a 16 year old. The book just lost all credibility for me at that point.

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Margo on February 11, 2013, 05:25:48 AM
There were girls boarding schools in regency times - I've recently been re-reading Jane Auten's 'Emma' and Emma's friend, Harriet Smith is at a boarding school in the village, with the owner of the school being one of the ladies who can be relied upon when Mr Woodhouse wants people to come to play cards with him of an evening.

In her description of the school, which I think is described as having about 40 pupils, Austen describes it as an 'honest, old fashioned boarding school' and makes a few digs at other schools, so I guess they were pretty common.

I would have thought that it was more likely to be  middle class girls who would go, daughters of sucessful merchants etc rather than those of the landed gentry (going back to Austen again, there's no suggestion of any of her heroines going away to school, he assumption seems to be that you either have a governess (with additional tutors for things such as music, dancing or drawing as required) or are taught by your own mother. (remember Lady Catherine de Bourg's comments about Mrs Bennett must have been a slave to her daughters' education, when told they had no governess?)

An illegitimate child might well be placed at school, by her father, to give her a better chance than if she stayed with her mother.

I would have expected that the orphaned child of an aristocrat would be more likely to have an establishment formed for her, either in her own house, or elsewhere, rather than be sent to school. Her guardian or nearest relation might well either take her to live with them, or move into her own property to care for her.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Seraphia on February 11, 2013, 08:17:14 AM
There were girls boarding schools in regency times - I've recently been re-reading Jane Auten's 'Emma' and Emma's friend, Harriet Smith is at a boarding school in the village, with the owner of the school being one of the ladies who can be relied upon when Mr Woodhouse wants people to come to play cards with him of an evening.

In her description of the school, which I think is described as having about 40 pupils, Austen describes it as an 'honest, old fashioned boarding school' and makes a few digs at other schools, so I guess they were pretty common.

I would have thought that it was more likely to be  middle class girls who would go, daughters of sucessful merchants etc rather than those of the landed gentry (going back to Austen again, there's no suggestion of any of her heroines going away to school, he assumption seems to be that you either have a governess (with additional tutors for things such as music, dancing or drawing as required) or are taught by your own mother. (remember Lady Catherine de Bourg's comments about Mrs Bennett must have been a slave to her daughters' education, when told they had no governess?)

An illegitimate child might well be placed at school, by her father, to give her a better chance than if she stayed with her mother.

I would have expected that the orphaned child of an aristocrat would be more likely to have an establishment formed for her, either in her own house, or elsewhere, rather than be sent to school. Her guardian or nearest relation might well either take her to live with them, or move into her own property to care for her.

That's not entirely true - in Persuasion, Anne was sent away to school shortly after her mother died. That's why she didn't like Bath, and where she meets her school-friend Mrs. Smith who comes into play later in the novel. Also, I remember another character (Isabella?) complaining that no children had ever had such long school holidays as the little Musgroves, so presumably they were being sent to school also.

It does seem pretty far-fetched that a school would be established solely for orphans though. At least some of them would be charitable cases, and the proprietor(ess) would have to charge pretty exorbitant rates to the other pupils to make up the difference.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 11, 2013, 10:54:04 AM
I recently read a pretty good book that nonetheless kind of peeved me by the end. It's called Napoleon's Buttons and it's non-fiction, a blend of science and history--how history has been shaped by chemistry, like the search for certain spices opening up world exploration, how plastics changed the economy, etc.. I like that sort of thing, and it's really pretty good. The conceit of the title is the idea that the tin buttons of Napoleon's soldiers' uniforms might have crumbled away in the cold Russian winter, contributing to the massive failure of that invasion. They mention this in the introduction--with lots of qualifiers and maybes and perhapses--and then they never talk about it again!

So basically, the book called Napoleon's Buttons has very little to do with Napoleon or buttons. It just irritated me because they didn't have to pick that as a title, they could have chosen a lot of other things and I would have been perfectly happy with the book. But I kept waiting for the chapter on Napoleon and the buttons, and it never came. It's like those older, small movies that release new DVD covers with a big star's face on them, even though the star was little-known when they did the movie and only appears in it for two minutes.

I vaguely remember reading another book, something about "reigning queens of England" before Elizabeth, where you really had to stretch the definition of "queen," "reigning," and "England" to make all the entries fit the title. They were all before Elizabeth I, though.  ::)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tabby Uprising on February 11, 2013, 12:35:56 PM
I recently read a pretty good book that nonetheless kind of peeved me by the end. It's called Napoleon's Buttons and it's non-fiction, a blend of science and history--how history has been shaped by chemistry, like the search for certain spices opening up world exploration, how plastics changed the economy, etc.. I like that sort of thing, and it's really pretty good. The conceit of the title is the idea that the tin buttons of Napoleon's soldiers' uniforms might have crumbled away in the cold Russian winter, contributing to the massive failure of that invasion. They mention this in the introduction--with lots of qualifiers and maybes and perhapses--and then they never talk about it again!

So basically, the book called Napoleon's Buttons has very little to do with Napoleon or buttons. It just irritated me because they didn't have to pick that as a title, they could have chosen a lot of other things and I would have been perfectly happy with the book. But I kept waiting for the chapter on Napoleon and the buttons, and it never came. It's like those older, small movies that release new DVD covers with a big star's face on them, even though the star was little-known when they did the movie and only appears in it for two minutes.

I vaguely remember reading another book, something about "reigning queens of England" before Elizabeth, where you really had to stretch the definition of "queen," "reigning," and "England" to make all the entries fit the title. They were all before Elizabeth I, though.  ::)

This book sounds fabulous (despite the button issue) and I thank you very much for sharing your peeve!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on February 11, 2013, 12:50:13 PM


Well, I'd consider that there needed to be a title attached to the father of a high-born child. ;D
  I realize that even in America, an 'orphan' might be a child who had lost only one parent, but surely a surviving parent wouldn't want their child to have the label of having graduated from an orphan's school attached to them. And if the child is a true orphan, who's paying for the school? Seems like a very risky financial venture to have ONLY orphans at your school, even if you did have a wealthy benefactor.

An orphan can have money.
But would a wealthy orphan choose- or have a guardian who chose- to send them to a school for orphans?
Seems to me that if money were no option, you could just send the child to any boarding school that had a good reputation, and have them educated along with children who weren't orphans, rather than choosing a school where all the classmates would be orphans. Orphans weren't exactly a high social status, and condemning a child to a lifetime of having to admit to being a graduate of a 'school for orphans' seems improbable, if there were the option of sending them to a school for high-born children in general...or letting them live with a guardian.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabyMama on February 11, 2013, 01:20:21 PM
I recently read a pretty good book that nonetheless kind of peeved me by the end. It's called Napoleon's Buttons and it's non-fiction, a blend of science and history--how history has been shaped by chemistry, like the search for certain spices opening up world exploration, how plastics changed the economy, etc.. I like that sort of thing, and it's really pretty good. The conceit of the title is the idea that the tin buttons of Napoleon's soldiers' uniforms might have crumbled away in the cold Russian winter, contributing to the massive failure of that invasion. They mention this in the introduction--with lots of qualifiers and maybes and perhapses--and then they never talk about it again!

This book sounds fabulous (despite the button issue) and I thank you very much for sharing your peeve!

Have you read any of Jared Diamond's books? He likes to explore similar cause and effect, how things were changed topics. I love his ideas--however, I do find him a bit wordy and a little repetitive. Mostly though I think because he picks such broad topics so can't expand/be an expert in every society/animal species/behavior/etc. so tries to stick with like examples. Or maybe it's the complexity of his voice. I enjoy John Krakauer's work as well but also find it more difficult to get engaged with his writing--while still finding it engaging, if that makes sense? Probably doesn't...:P
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redneck Gravy on February 11, 2013, 01:45:23 PM
I started a new book this morning and the top of the pages are in one size font and the bottom of the pages are in a smaller font...   (like 12 & 10 point font)

the smaller isn't to small to read, it's just SMALLER.   I flipped through the book and I don't see this happening farther into the book,  just at the beginning.
   
It's just annoying, like someone was too lazy to mark the first 20 pages or someone was too lazy to reset it, how do you miss something like this?

 ::)
 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on February 11, 2013, 02:45:00 PM
Many of my peeves have been mentioned, but for sake of getting updates:

it’s really annoying when an author gets unreasonably attached to a cliché. Such as using "that was the $64,000 question" in pretty much every book she writes, often more than once (sometimes changing the value, sometimes not).

And I’ve lost track of the number of YA series I’ve stopped reading because the very intelligent heroine makes really stupid decisions or statements 90% of the time.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Snowy Owl on February 11, 2013, 03:40:03 PM
Can I add, I have a pet peeve around hair.  Some authors seem to love their characters to have really long hair, and yet have no idea how much work it is to keep tidy or how to manage it realistically.  I like having longer hair but it is more work, it does take longer to dry and it is more difficult to manage. 

I was reading one of Mercedes Lackey's less good books and got fed up of the number of men with immaculately kept waist length silver hair and the lengthy descriptions of the things they braided into it.  Not everyone needs to want hair down to their rear and it was just infuriating to read.  The Anita Blake books are quite annoying for this too as all the men appear to have excessively long and well groomed hair. 

I also hate it when authors get things wrong that indicate a complete lack of research.  I read the first of the "Left Behind" books which had a chapter set in London.  This indicated that the authors had done no research on British police behaviour, rank structures and organisations (we don't have captains, nor do the police drive sedan cars), language and speech patterns (people working at banks in Canary Wharf are unlikely to call someone Governor) or the way pubs operate.  I know it's not a major objective of the book to paint an accurate description of London life, but it completely threw me out of the story to see such glaring errors in it which could have been corrected fairly easily. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: magicdomino on February 11, 2013, 03:50:59 PM
Can I add, I have a pet peeve around hair.  Some authors seem to love their characters to have really long hair, and yet have no idea how much work it is to keep tidy or how to manage it realistically.  I like having longer hair but it is more work, it does take longer to dry and it is more difficult to manage. 

I was reading one of Mercedes Lackey's less good books and got fed up of the number of men with immaculately kept waist length silver hair and the lengthy descriptions of the things they braided into it.  Not everyone needs to want hair down to their rear and it was just infuriating to read.  The Anita Blake books are quite annoying for this too as all the men appear to have excessively long and well groomed hair. 

My long hair is easy, but I don't try to do anything fancy with it, either.  But have you noticed that none of those men have curly, tangle-prone hair?

Elves, of course, are an exception.  They have perfect hair.  It's just part of being an elf.   ;)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on February 11, 2013, 04:14:50 PM
Oh gods, the hair thing drives me mad. Especially seeing, in lit and film, people waking up and having the brush just naturally glide through their long, thick, wavy hair. I have that sort, the very act of getting up in the morning knots it!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on February 11, 2013, 10:05:47 PM
Oh gods, the hair thing drives me mad. Especially seeing, in lit and film, people waking up and having the brush just naturally glide through their long, thick, wavy hair. I have that sort, the very act of getting up in the morning knots it!

Well, I have the long, thick, wavy hair that just lets the brush glide through in the morning. But if I cut it short, I look like a cross between a dandelion and a poodle and it takes three times as long to comb and style. So I believe in some people having thick, wavy hair that has to be long for them to do anything with it, but I agree that it gets annoying when they never have the slightest problem with their coiffure. Everyone's hair has some sort of problem attached to it, unless you have magic hair powers. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: random numbers on February 11, 2013, 11:16:23 PM


I was reading one of Mercedes Lackey's less good books and got fed up of the number of men with immaculately kept waist length silver hair and the lengthy descriptions of the things they braided into it.  Not everyone needs to want hair down to their rear and it was just infuriating to read.  The Anita Blake books are quite annoying for this too as all the men appear to have excessively long and well groomed hair. 


But they had the hertasi, and I remember several instances of them doing hair. And I wish they lived in my neighborhood, with the tailoring and the hair...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on February 11, 2013, 11:20:57 PM


I was reading one of Mercedes Lackey's less good books and got fed up of the number of men with immaculately kept waist length silver hair and the lengthy descriptions of the things they braided into it.  Not everyone needs to want hair down to their rear and it was just infuriating to read.  The Anita Blake books are quite annoying for this too as all the men appear to have excessively long and well groomed hair. 


But they had the hertasi, and I remember several instances of them doing hair. And I wish they lived in my neighborhood, with the tailoring and the hair...

Not to mention most of the ones who had the longest and most elaborate dos were usually mages. I wouldn't put it past some of them to use magic to keep their hair perfect. ;)

But I agree, it was more than a bit excessive. I have long hair, but it's not thick or wavy, and if I'm not careful, it tends to frizz and fluff on humid days. And it's slick, so when I do try to do anything more than just a simple braid or pony tail, everything just slides right out.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 12, 2013, 01:22:34 AM
I recently read a pretty good book that nonetheless kind of peeved me by the end. It's called Napoleon's Buttons and it's non-fiction, a blend of science and history--how history has been shaped by chemistry, like the search for certain spices opening up world exploration, how plastics changed the economy, etc.. I like that sort of thing, and it's really pretty good. The conceit of the title is the idea that the tin buttons of Napoleon's soldiers' uniforms might have crumbled away in the cold Russian winter, contributing to the massive failure of that invasion. They mention this in the introduction--with lots of qualifiers and maybes and perhapses--and then they never talk about it again!

So basically, the book called Napoleon's Buttons has very little to do with Napoleon or buttons. It just irritated me because they didn't have to pick that as a title, they could have chosen a lot of other things and I would have been perfectly happy with the book. But I kept waiting for the chapter on Napoleon and the buttons, and it never came. It's like those older, small movies that release new DVD covers with a big star's face on them, even though the star was little-known when they did the movie and only appears in it for two minutes.

That's how I feel about the English title to the first Stieg Larsson book. The literal translation of the original Swedish title is "Men Who Hate Women". I mean, yes, Lisbeth Salander has a dragon tattoo, but it's mentioned once, maybe twice in the entire book? Also, while she may be the main character of the later books, she really isn't in the first one.

I've had more than one English-speaking reader complain that the book was very different from what they had expected. Based solely on the title, I can't say I blame them.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Verloona Ti on February 12, 2013, 09:01:50 AM
Many of my peeves have been mentioned, but for sake of getting updates:

it’s really annoying when an author gets unreasonably attached to a cliché. Such as using "that was the $64,000 question" in pretty much every book she writes, often more than once (sometimes changing the value, sometimes not).



George R R Martin...sigh. The first book of GoT I read, I thought it was great. Ditto the second. Third...well, maybe the payoff will be great. Even The Two Towers falls short of FOTR and ROTK, in many reader's estimation.  Hated the 4th book so much I've never even bothered to buy vol 5.

Lots of reasons why I came to hate that set( mainly to do with the plot itself), but one was his propensity for falling in love with one word and running it into the ground. While writing volume 4, he discovered the word "jape", and promptly put it in every chapter. It's never varied with jest or  joke...Everything is a "jape".

The other word he fell in love with while writing that book is "tummy". I HATE that word anyway, but it was especially jarring having the people in this (apparent)  time period using this modern baby-talk word.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: darling on February 12, 2013, 09:19:25 AM
Many of my peeves have been mentioned, but for sake of getting updates:

it’s really annoying when an author gets unreasonably attached to a cliché. Such as using "that was the $64,000 question" in pretty much every book she writes, often more than once (sometimes changing the value, sometimes not).



George R R Martin...sigh. The first book of GoT I read, I thought it was great. Ditto the second. Third...well, maybe the payoff will be great. Even The Two Towers falls short of FOTR and ROTK, in many reader's estimation.  Hated the 4th book so much I've never even bothered to buy vol 5.

Lots of reasons why I came to hate that set( mainly to do with the plot itself), but one was his propensity for falling in love with one word and running it into the ground. While writing volume 4, he discovered the word "jape", and promptly put it in every chapter. It's never varied with jest or  joke...Everything is a "jape".

The other word he fell in love with while writing that book is "tummy". I HATE that word anyway, but it was especially jarring having the people in this (apparent)  time period using this modern baby-talk word.

Yeah, I wanted to throw book four against the wall, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I really wish that he would have stated up front that 4 and 5 are congruent to a point. I kept wondering where the heck certain characters were.

I didn't have such a problem with tummy, since it was a young girl who was saying it, but it did seem odd. Overall, I like the books, I just wish he had put the info in the introduction that 4 and 5 were covering the same time, with different characters.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 12, 2013, 09:22:20 AM
Many of my peeves have been mentioned, but for sake of getting updates:

it’s really annoying when an author gets unreasonably attached to a cliché. Such as using "that was the $64,000 question" in pretty much every book she writes, often more than once (sometimes changing the value, sometimes not).



George R R Martin...sigh. The first book of GoT I read, I thought it was great. Ditto the second. Third...well, maybe the payoff will be great. Even The Two Towers falls short of FOTR and ROTK, in many reader's estimation.  Hated the 4th book so much I've never even bothered to buy vol 5.

Lots of reasons why I came to hate that set( mainly to do with the plot itself), but one was his propensity for falling in love with one word and running it into the ground. While writing volume 4, he discovered the word "jape", and promptly put it in every chapter. It's never varied with jest or  joke...Everything is a "jape".

The other word he fell in love with while writing that book is "tummy". I HATE that word anyway, but it was especially jarring having the people in this (apparent)  time period using this modern baby-talk word.

Yeah, I wanted to throw book four against the wall, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I really wish that he would have stated up front that 4 and 5 are congruent to a point. I kept wondering where the heck certain characters were.

I didn't have such a problem with tummy, since it was a young girl who was saying it, but it did seem odd. Overall, I like the books, I just wish he had put the info in the introduction that 4 and 5 were covering the same time, with different characters.

Mine had that warning and a discussion about why he did it that way; I read my on my Kindle.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on February 12, 2013, 09:42:59 AM
Another small pet peeve: when a series is written by multiple authors (or in some cases pen names) and it’s not made clear on any pages of the book that you have that such is true.

Or when a book is part of a series, but it doesn’t make it very clear that it actually is part of a series, or which book of the series it is. I know that some authors try to claim that you can read their series in any order, but I like reading them in chronological order (or the canonical order, or publishing order, whatever)—particularly if I plan on reading the whole series!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: darling on February 12, 2013, 10:03:25 AM
Many of my peeves have been mentioned, but for sake of getting updates:

it’s really annoying when an author gets unreasonably attached to a cliché. Such as using "that was the $64,000 question" in pretty much every book she writes, often more than once (sometimes changing the value, sometimes not).



George R R Martin...sigh. The first book of GoT I read, I thought it was great. Ditto the second. Third...well, maybe the payoff will be great. Even The Two Towers falls short of FOTR and ROTK, in many reader's estimation.  Hated the 4th book so much I've never even bothered to buy vol 5.

Lots of reasons why I came to hate that set( mainly to do with the plot itself), but one was his propensity for falling in love with one word and running it into the ground. While writing volume 4, he discovered the word "jape", and promptly put it in every chapter. It's never varied with jest or  joke...Everything is a "jape".

The other word he fell in love with while writing that book is "tummy". I HATE that word anyway, but it was especially jarring having the people in this (apparent)  time period using this modern baby-talk word.

Yeah, I wanted to throw book four against the wall, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I really wish that he would have stated up front that 4 and 5 are congruent to a point. I kept wondering where the heck certain characters were.

I didn't have such a problem with tummy, since it was a young girl who was saying it, but it did seem odd. Overall, I like the books, I just wish he had put the info in the introduction that 4 and 5 were covering the same time, with different characters.

Mine had that warning and a discussion about why he did it that way; I read my on my Kindle.

The paperback had it at the end, which nearly caused that book to go flying, LOL. :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on February 12, 2013, 10:25:15 AM
Can I add, I have a pet peeve around hair.  Some authors seem to love their characters to have really long hair, and yet have no idea how much work it is to keep tidy or how to manage it realistically.  I like having longer hair but it is more work, it does take longer to dry and it is more difficult to manage. 

I was reading one of Mercedes Lackey's less good books and got fed up of the number of men with immaculately kept waist length silver hair and the lengthy descriptions of the things they braided into it.  Not everyone needs to want hair down to their rear and it was just infuriating to read.  The Anita Blake books are quite annoying for this too as all the men appear to have excessively long and well groomed hair. 

My long hair is easy, but I don't try to do anything fancy with it, either.  But have you noticed that none of those men have curly, tangle-prone hair?

Elves, of course, are an exception.  They have perfect hair.  It's just part of being an elf.   ;)

As a long curly-haired person, I just assume it's all straight hair because there's no way curls are going to be that neat without enough gel to cause an oil slick.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 12, 2013, 10:27:51 AM
Can I add, I have a pet peeve around hair.  Some authors seem to love their characters to have really long hair, and yet have no idea how much work it is to keep tidy or how to manage it realistically.  I like having longer hair but it is more work, it does take longer to dry and it is more difficult to manage. 

I was reading one of Mercedes Lackey's less good books and got fed up of the number of men with immaculately kept waist length silver hair and the lengthy descriptions of the things they braided into it.  Not everyone needs to want hair down to their rear and it was just infuriating to read.  The Anita Blake books are quite annoying for this too as all the men appear to have excessively long and well groomed hair. 

My long hair is easy, but I don't try to do anything fancy with it, either.  But have you noticed that none of those men have curly, tangle-prone hair?

Elves, of course, are an exception.  They have perfect hair.  It's just part of being an elf.   ;)

As a long curly-haired person, I just assume it's all straight hair because there's no way curls are going to be that neat without enough gel to cause an oil slick.

Ditto, Winterlight.  There is no such thing as coming my hair when it's dry.  I only ever do it if I'm going to be pulling back it right away.

Edited because I swear I speak English.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: alkira6 on February 12, 2013, 10:42:50 AM
Can I add, I have a pet peeve around hair.  Some authors seem to love their characters to have really long hair, and yet have no idea how much work it is to keep tidy or how to manage it realistically.  I like having longer hair but it is more work, it does take longer to dry and it is more difficult to manage. 

I was reading one of Mercedes Lackey's less good books and got fed up of the number of men with immaculately kept waist length silver hair and the lengthy descriptions of the things they braided into it.  Not everyone needs to want hair down to their rear and it was just infuriating to read.  The Anita Blake books are quite annoying for this too as all the men appear to have excessively long and well groomed hair. 

My long hair is easy, but I don't try to do anything fancy with it, either.  But have you noticed that none of those men have curly, tangle-prone hair?

Elves, of course, are an exception.  They have perfect hair.  It's just part of being an elf.   ;)

As a long curly-haired person, I just assume it's all straight hair because there's no way curls are going to be that neat without enough gel to cause an oil slick.

Ditto, Winterlight.  There is no such thing as coming my hair when it's dry.  I only ever do it when it's when if I'm going to be pulling back it right away.

Try having extremely tight natural AA hair that is below shoulder length when wet, hits mid back almost when straightened, and curls into a 4 inch Afro when dry.  Yeah, knots and I are intimately acquainted.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: faithlessone on February 12, 2013, 11:46:23 AM
Or when a book is part of a series, but it doesn’t make it very clear that it actually is part of a series, or which book of the series it is. I know that some authors try to claim that you can read their series in any order, but I like reading them in chronological order (or the canonical order, or publishing order, whatever)—particularly if I plan on reading the whole series!

Ugh, I had this issue with the Charlaine Harris "Sookie Stackhouse" books. The edition I bought had pictures of the covers of the others in the series in the back. I assumed that they were in order. They weren't.

I ended up reading Book 1, then book 3, then a chunk of book 7, at which point I was so confused that I looked up the correct order online. This is the sort of series where you do have to read them in order (extra characters, lots of plot and world development) so reading them out of order just made me really grumpy and spoiled the whole series (in both senses of the word).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on February 12, 2013, 12:19:32 PM
Or when a book is part of a series, but it doesn’t make it very clear that it actually is part of a series, or which book of the series it is. I know that some authors try to claim that you can read their series in any order, but I like reading them in chronological order (or the canonical order, or publishing order, whatever)—particularly if I plan on reading the whole series!

I really dislike that. I don't generally enjoy reading series, I like my stories with closure within a reasonable time and as I have to acquire most of the books I read (because my library doesn't have that good selection of the sort of books I like to read) it can get expensive or difficult to get all the books. That preference can make finding new fantasy books pretty risky, too often I learn about the series on the last page of the book. I guess most fantasy readers don't share my dislike and so it probably should be assumed that all fantasy is part of a series.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 12, 2013, 12:35:09 PM
I've taken to looking at the publishing dates for the books, when it is a series and the order isn't clear.  Unless the author is really prolific and writes more than one book in the series each year, it works out quite well.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: wolfie on February 12, 2013, 12:44:48 PM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/

that is a great website for figuring out what order books are in a series. If you like a particular author then it is also easy to see what other books they have and it shows what books will be published in the next year. I love that site.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Margo on February 12, 2013, 12:45:43 PM
I would have thought that it was more likely to be  middle class girls who would go, daughters of sucessful merchants etc rather than those of the landed gentry (going back to Austen again, there's no suggestion of any of her heroines going away to school, he assumption seems to be that you either have a governess (with additional tutors for things such as music, dancing or drawing as required) or are taught by your own mother. (remember Lady Catherine de Bourg's comments about Mrs Bennett must have been a slave to her daughters' education, when told they had no governess?)


That's not entirely true - in Persuasion, Anne was sent away to school shortly after her mother died. That's why she didn't like Bath, and where she meets her school-friend Mrs. Smith who comes into play later in the novel. Also, I remember another character (Isabella?) complaining that no children had ever had such long school holidays as the little Musgroves, so presumably they were being sent to school also.


(cut to keep the quote tree smaller)
You're absolutely right. I'd forgotten that (which is odd as 'Persuasion' is my favourite Austen!)
I think I'd mis-remembered Anne as living in Bath with her mother when Lady Eliot was dying, so was thinking of her as having been educated, but not at a boarding school. Probably an association of ideas with sick people going to Bath to take the waters. Not that it did them a lot of good. Whenever I visit Bath Abbey it strikes me how many of the memorial stones are for people who were not local. I imaigine a lot of them came to Bath for cures, without success.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on February 12, 2013, 01:06:56 PM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/

that is a great website for figuring out what order books are in a series. If you like a particular author then it is also easy to see what other books they have and it shows what books will be published in the next year. I love that site.

I love that website too. 

I know a lot of people make fun of romance novels, but I like them.  The only problem is that nowadays, it's almost impossible to find a book that's not a series or spinoffs.  Even if you can read the books in any order, I'm OCD enough to need to read in order.  I never buy/borrow a romance until I check with that website first.  Learned that lesson the hard way. 

Which brings me to my annoyance of the neverending series.  I never read those unless the author comes right out and say how many books there are (like how they said Harry Potter is seven books and that's it.  Finished.  Done.  That's all she wrote.  Goodbye.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: wolfie on February 12, 2013, 01:11:13 PM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/

that is a great website for figuring out what order books are in a series. If you like a particular author then it is also easy to see what other books they have and it shows what books will be published in the next year. I love that site.

I love that website too. 

I know a lot of people make fun of romance novels, but I like them.  The only problem is that nowadays, it's almost impossible to find a book that's not a series or spinoffs.  Even if you can read the books in any order, I'm OCD enough to need to read in order.  I never buy/borrow a romance until I check with that website first.  Learned that lesson the hard way. 

Which brings me to my annoyance of the neverending series.  I never read those unless the author comes right out and say how many books there are (like how they said Harry Potter is seven books and that's it.  Finished.  Done.  That's all she wrote.  Goodbye.)

There are series where it is just the same characters having different adventures. Those I read as they come out. Then there are series where each book is an extension of the one before it and yo won't get a payoff until the very last book is published (wheel of time, game of thrones). Those I will buy the book but I won't read until the last book is printed. I really hate having to wait at least a year to find out what happened next!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: LEMon on February 12, 2013, 03:58:55 PM
Point of view pet peeve - perpetually shifting point of view and depth of view.  One paragraph we are deep inside the hero's mind, knowing all this thoughts and feeling, and the next we are looking on the whole scene from a distant and unemotional point of view.  Drives me nuts. 

Bad writing, bad author, (whap on the nose with a rolled up newspaper), stop that.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Barney girl on February 12, 2013, 04:50:20 PM
I listened to an audiobook recently, (Bury your dead), which I chose because it was set in Quebec City, which I'd visited last year. I had a number peeves with it, such as finding it strange that all the Québécois were unaware that there was a Presbyterian church in the city, when I'd noticed it within half an hour, but what really put me off was that part of the book related to reinvestigating the murder from a previous book and deciding on a different murder. So that made it pointless going back to read the earlier book in the series and, honestly, if the killer was found with the same apparently arbitrary methods as were used in this book I'm not surprised the hero detective got it wrong.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on February 12, 2013, 08:47:42 PM
I know next to nothing about the subject material, but... isn't that a touch on the revealing side?
If we're talking about the LIW book, YES!  In Laura's day, clothes buttoned up all the way to the chin.  Opening one button on a very hot day was just permissible.  Two buttons would cause raised eyebrows on all the proper ladies of the town, and three would cause dreadful gossip over the teacups.  Wearing one's shirtwaist open ALL THE WAY DOWN was something that even wh0res didn't do.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on February 12, 2013, 08:50:49 PM
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.

I've noticed her books are kind of hit or miss.  I liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" (hated the movie) and "The Queen's Fool" but there was another one I almost gave up on...I think it was "The Wise Woman".
That one, by the time it ended, had me hating every single character.  >:(
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 12, 2013, 09:25:48 PM
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.

I've noticed her books are kind of hit or miss.  I liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" (hated the movie) and "The Queen's Fool" but there was another one I almost gave up on...I think it was "The Wise Woman".
That one, by the time it ended, had me hating every single character.  >:(

I did like "The Other Boleyn Girl", and really liked the characters of Mary, her husband, and George.  I thought I had read all her books, but apparently not, because I've never read "The Wise Woman".

Of the royal history books, the first one I read was "The Other Boleyn Girl".  After that, I've read pretty much all of them.  I couldn't figure out for the longest time why I liked "Boleyn Girl" so much more than the rest until it hit me -- it is the ONLY book where the main character has a happy ending!  I mean, it doesn't end well for Anne, but it ends well for Mary.

The White Queen (Elizabeth Woodville)?  Has a wonderful period of her  life, but doesn't end well.
The Red Queen?  Has an empty life, and I guess it ends well in her definition, but in a hollow sort of way.
The Lady of the Rivers? (Jacquetta).  Has some very cool experiences in life, but doesn't end well.
The Constant Princes? (Catherine of Aragon)  Really doesn't end well nor does most of her life go well.
The 3 queens in The Boleyn Inheritance?  Doesn't end well.
The Kingmaker's Daughter (Anne Neville)?  Doesn't end well.
The Other Queen (Mary, Queen of Scots)?  Really doesn't end well.
Queen Mary I?  Really doesn't have a good life at any part.
And even some of the side characters, like Cecily Neville -- really don't end well either.

Only Mary Boleyn, who fell off the grid of the rich and famous, had a somewhat happy ending!  (Note: I know from further research after reading the book that her true ending was probably closer to desperate poverty than to a blissful country lifestyle, so maybe she belongs in the list above too.) 

Ugh.  It really is depressing. If anything, Gregory probably wrote MORE excitement and happiness into her protagonists' lives than they really had, to make the plot better.  So the main lesson I take from this is it really would suck to be a medieval noble woman, that you have no control over your own life, and even if you start with everything going for you -- wealth, beauty, power, etc. -- that is no guarantee of anything in your life.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on February 13, 2013, 07:13:07 AM
I've enjoyed a good many of Philippa Gregory's novels, and consider that she writes well; but have started to eschew her in recent years. She seems to produce exclusively nowadays, an endless torrent of novels about British royal women from a fairly limited period. I would seem to have a more restricted appetite for queens, than many have -- I've just got sick of 'em.

She just seems to mechanistically go on and on, milking this seemingly unceasing cash-cow. I find myself wanting to shout, "For pity's sake, Philippa, make a change !  Write about something totally else, even if you make a hash of it !  How about medieval Russia, with Kievan Rus' and the Mongol threat; or the Incas; or China or Japan, very long ago -- anything, so long as it's different..."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redsoil on February 13, 2013, 08:16:27 AM
When an established author, describing how she gets ideas for her books notes that the process is something like "a rolling stone gathering moss".

Really???

Nevertheless, I'm somewhat peeved that her latest book doesn't seem to be available on Kindle.  Hardcover is on Amazon for pre-order at present.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Seraphia on February 13, 2013, 08:26:39 AM
I've enjoyed a good many of Philippa Gregory's novels, and consider that she writes well; but have started to eschew her in recent years. She seems to produce exclusively nowadays, an endless torrent of novels about British royal women from a fairly limited period. I would seem to have a more restricted appetite for queens, than many have -- I've just got sick of 'em.

She just seems to mechanistically go on and on, milking this seemingly unceasing cash-cow. I find myself wanting to shout, "For pity's sake, Philippa, make a change !  Write about something totally else, even if you make a hash of it !  How about medieval Russia, with Kievan Rus' and the Mongol threat; or the Incas; or China or Japan, very long ago -- anything, so long as it's different..."

You know, I feel the same way. I love me some Tudors, I really do. But I think I've had my fill of overly-tragic queens/princesses/noblewomen with intimate scenes on boats. And while I appreciate the difficulty of researching a new history or culture, if I'm going to read a story that borrows a bunch of stuff from her other books, I'd really like a new setting.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 13, 2013, 08:41:33 AM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabyMama on February 13, 2013, 08:45:32 AM
I've enjoyed a good many of Philippa Gregory's novels, and consider that she writes well; but have started to eschew her in recent years. She seems to produce exclusively nowadays, an endless torrent of novels about British royal women from a fairly limited period. I would seem to have a more restricted appetite for queens, than many have -- I've just got sick of 'em.

She just seems to mechanistically go on and on, milking this seemingly unceasing cash-cow. I find myself wanting to shout, "For pity's sake, Philippa, make a change !  Write about something totally else, even if you make a hash of it !  How about medieval Russia, with Kievan Rus' and the Mongol threat; or the Incas; or China or Japan, very long ago -- anything, so long as it's different..."

You know, I feel the same way. I love me some Tudors, I really do. But I think I've had my fill of overly-tragic queens/princesses/noblewomen with intimate scenes on boats. And while I appreciate the difficulty of researching a new history or culture, if I'm going to read a story that borrows a bunch of stuff from her other books, I'd really like a new setting.

They've become pretty formulaic, too. When the character meets a dashing man, I no longer wonder if it's going to work out between them, because it totally is. Beginning of book: Young, naive character describes the court setting around them. Middle of book: That character becomes embroiled in that court setting, usually part of a plot hatched by family members. Character also meets man, true love ensues, usually marriage is impossible for some reason or another. Sometimes they do get to marry but most of their love is described as passionate physical love. End: Not good for the main character.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 13, 2013, 02:26:33 PM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

YES! It's ridiculous!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on February 13, 2013, 02:59:22 PM
You know, I feel the same way. I love me some Tudors, I really do. But I think I've had my fill of overly-tragic queens/princesses/noblewomen with intimate scenes on boats. And while I appreciate the difficulty of researching a new history or culture, if I'm going to read a story that borrows a bunch of stuff from her other books, I'd really like a new setting.

Tudors, and “intimate scenes on boats” – I can’t resist doing a “commercial” for a novel series which I  love.  The Matthew Shardlake thrillers by C.J. Sansom, set in the later years of Henry VIII’s reign. I’m male, but not – I’d like to think – a misogynist; but with something of a liking for, from time to time, straightforward “shoot-‘em-up-and-torture-‘em” thrillers, as a change from romance / psychological / character-development deep stuff.

Sansom’s novel  “Sovereign”, has the hero on a sea voyage from Hull in Yorkshire, to London. Everyone on the ship, is male – “intimate scenes”, but not on the lines of same-sex scrabble-playing.  An (involuntary) traveller on the ship, is a Catholic rebel against the king, being conveyed to London, because the bumpkins up north have no idea about how to effectively torture people:  he’s being taken to the experts in the Tower of London, where they’ll be able to get out of him, all possible information about his insurgent movement.  While the ship wallows around lengthily, trying to get intact to its destination;  the rebel manages, with the aid of a confederate on board, to end his life, before he can be made to spill his guts to the authorities.  This means that when the ship gets where it’s going, “the fertilizer hits the ventilating apparatus” for everyone on board...  I find this series splendid, and hope for many more in it  – “just me”, I see it as not everyone’s cup of tea.





Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 13, 2013, 03:16:29 PM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

YES! It's ridiculous!

The reasoning is the same reason why blank cassettes had a tax on them.  It's them saying "since it's electronic, we *KNOW* you'll be pirating it, so here's a fee built-in to help us recover our losses."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 13, 2013, 03:40:32 PM
I've enjoyed a good many of Philippa Gregory's novels, and consider that she writes well; but have started to eschew her in recent years. She seems to produce exclusively nowadays, an endless torrent of novels about British royal women from a fairly limited period. I would seem to have a more restricted appetite for queens, than many have -- I've just got sick of 'em.

She just seems to mechanistically go on and on, milking this seemingly unceasing cash-cow. I find myself wanting to shout, "For pity's sake, Philippa, make a change !  Write about something totally else, even if you make a hash of it !  How about medieval Russia, with Kievan Rus' and the Mongol threat; or the Incas; or China or Japan, very long ago -- anything, so long as it's different..."

You know, I feel the same way. I love me some Tudors, I really do. But I think I've had my fill of overly-tragic queens/princesses/noblewomen with intimate scenes on boats. And while I appreciate the difficulty of researching a new history or culture, if I'm going to read a story that borrows a bunch of stuff from her other books, I'd really like a new setting.

They've become pretty formulaic, too. When the character meets a dashing man, I no longer wonder if it's going to work out between them, because it totally is. Beginning of book: Young, naive character describes the court setting around them. Middle of book: That character becomes embroiled in that court setting, usually part of a plot hatched by family members. Character also meets man, true love ensues, usually marriage is impossible for some reason or another. Sometimes they do get to marry but most of their love is described as passionate physical love. End: Not good for the main character.

Yup, I do agree with all of you.  Especially because now it seems her books all overlap the exact same time period -- so you are learning NOTHING NEW.

When "The White Queen" came out, I loved it, because it was a time in history I'd never learned about.  I didn't know what was going to happen to the characters and so it made for an fascinating story.  But she has followed it up with 3 other books about the exact same time period, each one getting more and more boring because it is literally rehashing the same material from another character's point of view.

I know, why do I keep reading, right?  The clear solution would be to stop reading,  but somehow I can't....it's like I've started a project and feel compelled to finish.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on February 13, 2013, 04:50:25 PM
I know, why do I keep reading, right?  The clear solution would be to stop reading,  but somehow I can't....it's like I've started a project and feel compelled to finish.

You’ve just described my entire current reading list, pretty much. Even for series that I’ve had the ending spoiled for me, I can’t seem to not finish them by reading the rest of the books. There are very, very few ones that hit a point where I can give up the series and not be compelled to go back to it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 13, 2013, 11:56:37 PM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

YES! It's ridiculous!

The reasoning is the same reason why blank cassettes had a tax on them.  It's them saying "since it's electronic, we *KNOW* you'll be pirating it, so here's a fee built-in to help us recover our losses."

That would make sense if ALL ebooks were more expensive than their physical counterparts. But it (fortunately) is the exception rather than the rule. Usually the ebook is cheaper or at least costs the same. It's fortunately rare that it's more expensive.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on February 14, 2013, 12:39:51 AM
I haven't bought any Finnish e-books but I've heard that they're horribly expensive here, comparable to a hardback book. I thought it was just the greediness of publishers but apparently it's mostly because of tax, paper books have a tax of 8 % but I guess that he law doesn't count e-books as books as they're taxed at 24 % so what they save on not printing doesn't really matter on the price.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: atirial on February 14, 2013, 02:26:51 AM
In the UK paperbacks are sold with VAT at 0% while ebooks are at 17.5%. However most ebooks are still cheaper.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 14, 2013, 05:27:34 AM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

YES! It's ridiculous!

The reasoning is the same reason why blank cassettes had a tax on them.  It's them saying "since it's electronic, we *KNOW* you'll be pirating it, so here's a fee built-in to help us recover our losses."

That would make sense if ALL ebooks were more expensive than their physical counterparts. But it (fortunately) is the exception rather than the rule. Usually the ebook is cheaper or at least costs the same. It's fortunately rare that it's more expensive.

Then I really don't know.  It was worth a guess, and it fit the pattern I've observed in how publishers treat consumers of electronic media.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 14, 2013, 05:42:54 AM
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.

I've noticed her books are kind of hit or miss.  I liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" (hated the movie) and "The Queen's Fool" but there was another one I almost gave up on...I think it was "The Wise Woman".
That one, by the time it ended, had me hating every single character.  >:(

I can believe it, and it made me feel like I needed to take a shower with all the incest within.  :P  Every single character was despicable
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: girlysprite on February 14, 2013, 05:44:20 AM
When you read a serie of books, and many characters and plotlines are introduced, and then left alone, and brought back 2 books later without a quick new introduction so you are left wondering 'I am supposed to know this character/about thhis event, but I don't remember anything!'
I'm looking at you, wheel of time.


As for e other Boleyn girl: Maria did inherit from her parents, so in the end she was rather well off. But then again, she died at quite a young age too. If we use her age from the book, she died in her thirties.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on February 14, 2013, 06:48:48 AM
In the UK paperbacks are sold with VAT at 0% while ebooks are at 17.5%. However most ebooks are still cheaper.

Finland's other problem with e-books is that we're such a small market with very little competition (like from Amazon) so the prices stay high. I think that most people who read a lot of e-books here do it in English, I know I do.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: snoopygirl on February 14, 2013, 06:50:07 AM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

This is one of my pet peeves as well. I want this new thriller called Gone Girl. It looks really good. Everywhere I look the paperback is cheeper then the kindle. I didn't really want another paperback as my collection is getting quite big but I am not paying more for the kindle book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Hollanda on February 14, 2013, 07:17:56 AM
Simple mistakes that should have been caught at proofreading stage. That. Drives. Me. Mad.
 
 
 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on February 14, 2013, 08:20:50 AM
When you read a serie of books, and many characters and plotlines are introduced, and then left alone, and brought back 2 books later without a quick new introduction so you are left wondering 'I am supposed to know this character/about thhis event, but I don't remember anything!' I'm looking at you, wheel of time.


As for e other Boleyn girl: Maria did inherit from her parents, so in the end she was rather well off. But then again, she died at quite a young age too. If we use her age from the book, she died in her thirties.

That was why I hated the second book in the Divergent series. There were seemingly dozens of characters and relationships and alliances introduced in the first book. That's fine, but when the second book came out a year later, several months after most people read the first one, the author didn't weave in any back story whatsoever. She kept alluding to people/events that were important in some way in the first book without explaining who/what she is talking about or why they are important. After several months, I am not going to remember the intricacies and important details of every minor character and their relationships. Example: The main character keeps berating herself for what she did to a minor character in the previous book. "I can't forgive myself for what I did to so-and-so," etc. But she doesn't say what she actually did or what that person's relationship to her was, or even WHY what she did was such a betrayal, until halfway through.

An author who is really good at weaving in backstory without beating you over the head with it is Richelle Mead.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 14, 2013, 09:41:48 AM
Well, I finished Star Trek: DS9: Bloodletter.

GOOD DEITY, was that awful.  It might have made for a decent Generic Sci-Fi novel, but it was as if he had another book he wanted to write, and just started copy/replacing names from DS9.  The only reason I kept reading was for snark factor, to give me something to complain about I guess.  It was 198 pages of nonsense, and I might have thrown the book except it's on my eReader, and I like my eReader.

My major pet peeve:  People who write to a genre, and IGNORE the genre.  If you want to write Space Guy!: The New Adventures, GO FOR IT.  But leave the setting alone.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redneck Gravy on February 14, 2013, 09:57:39 AM
Simple mistakes that should have been caught at proofreading stage. That. Drives. Me. Mad.

Absolutely!

I finished a book while waiting on the mechanic today and read, "...and then he asked her to marry her."  Great scott, how did they miss that!  I hope he was asking her to marry HIM.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on February 14, 2013, 10:01:24 AM
When short stories in anthologies introduce characters that are then integrated into the series books with no further explanation. (I’m looking at you, Charlaine Harris)

Don’t get me wrong—I want to read the short stories, but they are rarely advertised in the preceding book (or the following one), and I don’t have any inclination to get every anthology published, nor do think I should have to follow the author so closely that I will miss an important part of a series if I’m not following their website/social media/whatever to let them tell me to buy an anthology.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 14, 2013, 11:30:05 AM
Simple mistakes that should have been caught at proofreading stage. That. Drives. Me. Mad.

Absolutely!

I finished a book while waiting on the mechanic today and read, "...and then he asked her to marry her."  Great scott, how did they miss that!  I hope he was asking her to marry HIM.

Like the book I reviewed an ARC of where somebody was given a "three carrot ring", and another person "whispered vial threats with the veracity of a tiger".

*Sigh*
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 14, 2013, 11:39:39 AM
Simple mistakes that should have been caught at proofreading stage. That. Drives. Me. Mad.

Absolutely!

I finished a book while waiting on the mechanic today and read, "...and then he asked her to marry her."  Great scott, how did they miss that!  I hope he was asking her to marry HIM.

Like the book I reviewed an ARC of where somebody was given a "three carrot ring", and another person "whispered vial threats with the veracity of a tiger".

*Sigh*

Was she given the ring by Bugs Bunny?

For the second, I see a tiger standing there holding a vial of deadly poison, growling, "I'll throw this! Don't doubt me, I will, if you don't do what I want!"
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on February 14, 2013, 11:47:07 AM
When short stories in anthologies introduce characters that are then integrated into the series books with no further explanation. (I’m looking at you, Charlaine Harris)

Don’t get me wrong—I want to read the short stories, but they are rarely advertised in the preceding book (or the following one), and I don’t have any inclination to get every anthology published, nor do think I should have to follow the author so closely that I will miss an important part of a series if I’m not following their website/social media/whatever to let them tell me to buy an anthology.

Yes!  You look forward to a character's book and then it comes out as a short story that doesn't have enough space for development.  And even worse if it's in an anthology with other stories you don't read because you don't follow those authors/series.  Paying full price to read one short story?  Bah!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: AnnaJane on February 14, 2013, 11:50:42 AM
I remember reading a mystery where a critical character was supposed to be from Eastern Europe, Romania, if I remember correctly. Only his dialogue didn't sound like a Romanian, he sounded like Yoda.  E.g. "Tell you I will." 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Layla Miller on February 14, 2013, 12:06:16 PM
Simple mistakes that should have been caught at proofreading stage. That. Drives. Me. Mad.

Absolutely!

I finished a book while waiting on the mechanic today and read, "...and then he asked her to marry her."  Great scott, how did they miss that!  I hope he was asking her to marry HIM.

Like the book I reviewed an ARC of where somebody was given a "three carrot ring", and another person "whispered vial threats with the veracity of a tiger".

*Sigh*

Well, in defense of the very last bit, I don't believe I've ever been lied to by a tiger.  So there's that.  ;)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Moray on February 14, 2013, 01:44:42 PM
Simple mistakes that should have been caught at proofreading stage. That. Drives. Me. Mad.

Absolutely!

I finished a book while waiting on the mechanic today and read, "...and then he asked her to marry her."  Great scott, how did they miss that!  I hope he was asking her to marry HIM.

Like the book I reviewed an ARC of where somebody was given a "three carrot ring", and another person "whispered vial threats with the veracity of a tiger".

*Sigh*

Well, in defense of the very last bit, I don't believe I've ever been lied to by a tiger.  So there's that.  ;)

Tigers are famous for their integrity and forthright nature, becoming known in many circles as the "George Washington of the Felidae family".
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ms_Cellany on February 14, 2013, 02:10:11 PM
Well, in defense of the very last bit, I don't believe I've ever been lied to by a tiger.  So there's that.  ;)

Tigers are famous for their integrity and forthright nature, becoming known in many circles as the "George Washington of the Felidae family".

"A nickel. That's how much you cost."
       -- Hobbes
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Hollanda on February 14, 2013, 03:17:39 PM
Simple mistakes that should have been caught at proofreading stage. That. Drives. Me. Mad.

Absolutely!

I finished a book while waiting on the mechanic today and read, "...and then he asked her to marry her."  Great scott, how did they miss that!  I hope he was asking her to marry HIM.

Like the book I reviewed an ARC of where somebody was given a "three carrot ring", and another person "whispered vial threats with the veracity of a tiger".

*Sigh*

Well, in defense of the very last bit, I don't believe I've ever been lied to by a tiger.  So there's that.  ;)

Tigers are famous for their integrity and forthright nature, becoming known in many circles as the "George Washington of the Felidae family".




This has just cracked me up. DH wondered what was wrong with me!!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 14, 2013, 03:20:04 PM
Regarding series books... I've gotten to the point where I usually don't even start reading a book until the whole series, or at least multiple volumes, have been published. I just can't retain the information about the plot and characters that long.

I like to wait for TV shows to be canceled before I start watching them, too... I guess that's getting kind of weird, though, to be hoping for a show's demise so I can start watching it! :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redneck Gravy on February 14, 2013, 04:29:07 PM
For the tv shows I sometimes tivo an entire season and then watch it all over a long weekend... so not weird at all to me.

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shea on February 15, 2013, 09:37:28 AM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

This is one of my pet peeves as well. I want this new thriller called Gone Girl. It looks really good. Everywhere I look the paperback is cheeper then the kindle. I didn't really want another paperback as my collection is getting quite big but I am not paying more for the kindle book.

Get the paperback, it's worth it. I couldn't tear myself away from that book. It was truly a black hole of good storytelling.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mbbored on February 15, 2013, 10:38:50 AM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

This is one of my pet peeves as well. I want this new thriller called Gone Girl. It looks really good. Everywhere I look the paperback is cheeper then the kindle. I didn't really want another paperback as my collection is getting quite big but I am not paying more for the kindle book.

Get the paperback, it's worth it. I couldn't tear myself away from that book. It was truly a black hole of good storytelling.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who did not like that book. I loathed the characters so much I didn't even finish it because I just couldn't care about their lives.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: clio917 on February 15, 2013, 11:01:47 AM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

This is one of my pet peeves as well. I want this new thriller called Gone Girl. It looks really good. Everywhere I look the paperback is cheeper then the kindle. I didn't really want another paperback as my collection is getting quite big but I am not paying more for the kindle book.

Get the paperback, it's worth it. I couldn't tear myself away from that book. It was truly a black hole of good storytelling.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who did not like that book. I loathed the characters so much I didn't even finish it because I just couldn't care about their lives.

Nope, not the only one. I couldn't finish it either. I recognized that it was very well written, but she was just too good at writing despicable characters that I just couldn't care how it ended up for them. I got about halfway through, then skipped to the last 15 pages to see how it ended. Made me hate the two characters even more.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shea on February 15, 2013, 12:33:24 PM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

This is one of my pet peeves as well. I want this new thriller called Gone Girl. It looks really good. Everywhere I look the paperback is cheeper then the kindle. I didn't really want another paperback as my collection is getting quite big but I am not paying more for the kindle book.

Get the paperback, it's worth it. I couldn't tear myself away from that book. It was truly a black hole of good storytelling.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who did not like that book. I loathed the characters so much I didn't even finish it because I just couldn't care about their lives.

Nope, not the only one. I couldn't finish it either. I recognized that it was very well written, but she was just too good at writing despicable characters that I just couldn't care how it ended up for them. I got about halfway through, then skipped to the last 15 pages to see how it ended. Made me hate the two characters even more.

I'm pretty sure you weren't supposed to like the characters. For me, it was the intricacy of the story that I thought was brilliant.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Baby Snakes on February 15, 2013, 12:38:57 PM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

This is one of my pet peeves as well. I want this new thriller called Gone Girl. It looks really good. Everywhere I look the paperback is cheeper then the kindle. I didn't really want another paperback as my collection is getting quite big but I am not paying more for the kindle book.

Get the paperback, it's worth it. I couldn't tear myself away from that book. It was truly a black hole of good storytelling.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who did not like that book. I loathed the characters so much I didn't even finish it because I just couldn't care about their lives.

Nope, not the only one. I couldn't finish it either. I recognized that it was very well written, but she was just too good at writing despicable characters that I just couldn't care how it ended up for them. I got about halfway through, then skipped to the last 15 pages to see how it ended. Made me hate the two characters even more.

I really tried to read Gone Girl and only got about half way through.  Didn't like the characters at all.  Glad to know I'm not the only one!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Tabby Uprising on February 15, 2013, 12:39:49 PM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

This is one of my pet peeves as well. I want this new thriller called Gone Girl. It looks really good. Everywhere I look the paperback is cheeper then the kindle. I didn't really want another paperback as my collection is getting quite big but I am not paying more for the kindle book.

Get the paperback, it's worth it. I couldn't tear myself away from that book. It was truly a black hole of good storytelling.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who did not like that book. I loathed the characters so much I didn't even finish it because I just couldn't care about their lives.

Nope, not the only one. I couldn't finish it either. I recognized that it was very well written, but she was just too good at writing despicable characters that I just couldn't care how it ended up for them. I got about halfway through, then skipped to the last 15 pages to see how it ended. Made me hate the two characters even more.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gone Girl, but I definitely understand your point.  (I put down Twilight after 50 pages because I hated Bella and didn't care what happened to her)  The writing is excellent and engaging in Gone Girl and I liked some of the perspective on "cool girls", but the characters aren't likeable. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on February 15, 2013, 01:37:00 PM
A pet peeve for me is some electronic book prices.  You want me to pay more for an electronic book than what I would pay if I went to the book store and bought the paperback?  I don't think so.

This is one of my pet peeves as well. I want this new thriller called Gone Girl. It looks really good. Everywhere I look the paperback is cheeper then the kindle. I didn't really want another paperback as my collection is getting quite big but I am not paying more for the kindle book.

Get the paperback, it's worth it. I couldn't tear myself away from that book. It was truly a black hole of good storytelling.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who did not like that book. I loathed the characters so much I didn't even finish it because I just couldn't care about their lives.

Nope, not the only one. I couldn't finish it either. I recognized that it was very well written, but she was just too good at writing despicable characters that I just couldn't care how it ended up for them. I got about halfway through, then skipped to the last 15 pages to see how it ended. Made me hate the two characters even more.

I really tried to read Gone Girl and only got about half way through.  Didn't like the characters at all.  Glad to know I'm not the only one!
Yep, the Eight Deadly Words: I don't care what happens to these people!

I was in my 30's before I realized that if I wasn't enjoying a book, I didn't have to finish it! ;D   I could just take it back to the library and get something else.  And now with the Nook and samples, I don't feel compelled to buy those books and finish them, either. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: zyrs on February 16, 2013, 05:43:13 AM
Simple mistakes that should have been caught at proofreading stage. That. Drives. Me. Mad.

Absolutely!

I finished a book while waiting on the mechanic today and read, "...and then he asked her to marry her."  Great scott, how did they miss that!  I hope he was asking her to marry HIM.

Like the book I reviewed an ARC of where somebody was given a "three carrot ring", and another person "whispered vial threats with the veracity of a tiger".

*Sigh*

"And I'll melt it into a glob of glass." he growled, tigerishly. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 16, 2013, 06:06:09 AM
 ;D ;D ;D

Thanks guys, you're making me feel a lot better about having had to read that .... thing. Definitely the worst written book I've ever seen - even worse than 50 Shades ;)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Nikko-chan on February 16, 2013, 06:57:26 AM
Regarding series books... I've gotten to the point where I usually don't even start reading a book until the whole series, or at least multiple volumes, have been published. I just can't retain the information about the plot and characters that long.

I like to wait for TV shows to be canceled before I start watching them, too... I guess that's getting kind of weird, though, to be hoping for a show's demise so I can start watching it! :)

I'm the same way with TV shows. Sort of. I started watching Highlander: The Series in like 2008 or something and The Sentinel in like 2010... both shows had been on in the nineties.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Library Dragon on February 17, 2013, 08:14:38 PM
Thoughtlessly changing the names of minor characters makes me gnash, grind, and grimace.  I remember that the side-kick's wife's name is Heloise, why can't the author?  When J.T. Ellison visited our library after her first book was published I begged her not to do this.  She shared that she had binders for major and minor characters, recurring or not, so she won't make that mistake.  More authors should follow her lead.

I can remember that the protagonist is an alcoholic and don't need to be reminded in every chapter (The Strain). 

Looking for eBooks...  NetGalley is a good source.  Of course I have to plug public libraries.  We have a large eBook collection.  I don't know that status of collections outside the USA, but it's worth investigating.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Julian on February 17, 2013, 08:57:42 PM
This isn't so much books, but newspapers.

One article had somebody 'scowering' the internet for love scams. 

Another article a day later was reporting on a legal case involving wills.  So-n-so died intestate, but his will stated blah blah blah.

I despair of the standard of journalism sometimes.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on February 17, 2013, 09:13:54 PM
I may have missed this, and it often occurs in books that are in the first person POV, but the heavy handedness with foreshadowing drives me insane. Or even worse, "If only I'd realized what" x thing meant, killing a future plot point.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on February 17, 2013, 10:37:12 PM
Thoughtlessly changing the names of minor characters makes me gnash, grind, and grimace.  I remember that the side-kick's wife's name is Heloise, why can't the author?  When J.T. Ellison visited our library after her first book was published I begged her not to do this.  She shared that she had binders for major and minor characters, recurring or not, so she won't make that mistake.  More authors should follow her lead.

I can remember that the protagonist is an alcoholic and don't need to be reminded in every chapter (The Strain). 
I can't help with the first (I keep the same kind of notebook, and don't like to have names too similar, to the point of not repeating the same initial letter*), but writers are advised to remind readers of key plot points like alcoholism from time to time.  "You have to remember that many readers read for only 10 minutes a day or so, and might forget from week to week." 

*Mercedes Lackey's Jouster dragon books were a particular annoyance that way.  She had 3 names that were much too similar for my taste: Kalen and Kaleth (humans) and Khaleph (dragon). She also changed the name of Kiron's brain-damaged sister twice: two different spellings only two pages apart, and a different name altogether in a subsequent book.   
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Library Dragon on February 17, 2013, 10:56:45 PM
I understand reminding, but don't beat us over the head every chapter.   IMHO A good example of HOW to do it is Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series.  Attending AA meetings and never saying anything was a part of continuing character development. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on February 18, 2013, 12:12:43 AM
I read quite a bit and I tend to like to re-read series all back-to-back, so up until recently I thought it was silly to have the first ten pages always end up being a recap of the last book(s).  Then I started on Anne McCaffrey's "Acorna" series - which I have read before, although it's been a while - and good grief!  Every single book, I have to go back and check the order the series is in because wait, did I miss a book somewhere?  They all start quite a while out from were the previous book finished, with no acknowledgement whatsoever of what happened during that time.  Then once you get twenty pages in the narration casually mentions something like "[the main character] had really been enjoying her last few months doing whatsit in the suchandsuch place, after having done [plot of the previous book]."  It's never something trivial, either - one book ends with her gradually getting interested in a particular guy, then the next book starts out with them in a committed relationship.  One book is entirely about her search for a particular hidden planet and ends with her finally finding it, then the next book starts with her having lived there for months already.  It would have been nice to have a chapter in between as denouement, like "Yay I finally made it here; I wonder how I'll fit in?"
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 18, 2013, 01:11:27 AM
I understand reminding, but don't beat us over the head every chapter.   IMHO A good example of HOW to do it is Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series.  Attending AA meetings and never saying anything was a part of continuing character development.

Exactly. Show, don't tell.

One of the worst "tellers" I've encountered was Ann M. Martin and her host of ghostwriters for the Baby-Sitter's Club Series (outing my age here, but yes, I LOVED them growing up and still reread them occasionally... they were great books to learn English from :) ). Yes, I KNOW it's a long series, but I do not need two full chapters at the start of each book describing who the girls are and how the BSC was created.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: nuit93 on February 18, 2013, 01:18:04 AM
I understand reminding, but don't beat us over the head every chapter.   IMHO A good example of HOW to do it is Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series.  Attending AA meetings and never saying anything was a part of continuing character development.

Exactly. Show, don't tell.

One of the worst "tellers" I've encountered was Ann M. Martin and her host of ghostwriters for the Baby-Sitter's Club Series (outing my age here, but yes, I LOVED them growing up and still reread them occasionally... they were great books to learn English from :) ). Yes, I KNOW it's a long series, but I do not need two full chapters at the start of each book describing who the girls are and how the BSC was created.

Did that series *ever* end?  I remember reading them in the late 1980's-early 90's.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on February 18, 2013, 01:34:40 AM
I understand reminding, but don't beat us over the head every chapter.   IMHO A good example of HOW to do it is Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series.  Attending AA meetings and never saying anything was a part of continuing character development.

Exactly. Show, don't tell.

One of the worst "tellers" I've encountered was Ann M. Martin and her host of ghostwriters for the Baby-Sitter's Club Series (outing my age here, but yes, I LOVED them growing up and still reread them occasionally... they were great books to learn English from :) ). Yes, I KNOW it's a long series, but I do not need two full chapters at the start of each book describing who the girls are and how the BSC was created.

Did that series *ever* end?  I remember reading them in the late 1980's-early 90's.

Yes and no. It ended with book 130 (I think), but then a spin-off series was created. I think it's called "Friends Forever"? Never read any of those though, but I think it involves many of the same characters.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Slartibartfast on February 18, 2013, 01:51:52 AM
I understand reminding, but don't beat us over the head every chapter.   IMHO A good example of HOW to do it is Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series.  Attending AA meetings and never saying anything was a part of continuing character development.

Exactly. Show, don't tell.

One of the worst "tellers" I've encountered was Ann M. Martin and her host of ghostwriters for the Baby-Sitter's Club Series (outing my age here, but yes, I LOVED them growing up and still reread them occasionally... they were great books to learn English from :) ). Yes, I KNOW it's a long series, but I do not need two full chapters at the start of each book describing who the girls are and how the BSC was created.

Did that series *ever* end?  I remember reading them in the late 1980's-early 90's.

Yes and no. It ended with book 130 (I think), but then a spin-off series was created. I think it's called "Friends Forever"? Never read any of those though, but I think it involves many of the same characters.

There were at least four series - the original, the "Little Sisters" series, the "Friends" series, and some super-mystery-themed ones.  I only read a few and that was as an adult (bored at my library  ;)) and found them unimpressive, but I might have liked them better as a kid.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on February 18, 2013, 02:07:14 AM
I may have missed this, and it often occurs in books that are in the first person POV, but the heavy handedness with foreshadowing drives me insane. Or even worse, "If only I'd realized what" x thing meant, killing a future plot point.

I once read a book that had a lot of foreshadowing and it was always something like "If I had only known how my life would soon shatter" and the big event would end up being on the scale of a broken nail. It was annoying.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on February 18, 2013, 03:11:48 AM
Thoughtlessly changing the names of minor characters makes me gnash, grind and grimace.
(snip)
I can remember that the protagonist is an alcoholic and don't need to be reminded in every chapter (The Strain). 
I can't help with the first (snip)... but writers are advised to remind readers of key plot points like alcoholism from time to time.  "You have to remember that many readers read for only 10 minutes a day or so, and might forget from week to week." 
I feel that the just-quoted point does have some validity in general. I have a friend who reads fiction only for a quarter-hour or so last thing each night, just before turning in. He's pretty much exhausted from the day, and admits that his memory for the content of what he's reading, is then not at its most acute. For this reason, he loathes novels with large and complicated casts / different groups of characters and "jumping-and-cutting" between the different groups.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Nora on February 18, 2013, 04:15:45 AM
I listened to an audiobook recently, (Bury your dead), which I chose because it was set in Quebec City, which I'd visited last year. I had a number peeves with it, such as finding it strange that all the Québécois were unaware that there was a Presbyterian church in the city, when I'd noticed it within half an hour, but what really put me off was that part of the book related to reinvestigating the murder from a previous book and deciding on a different murder. So that made it pointless going back to read the earlier book in the series and, honestly, if the killer was found with the same apparently arbitrary methods as were used in this book I'm not surprised the hero detective got it wrong.

That made me so angry! I loved the last book, and then she went and messed up everything with this vague do-over! I think she regretted writing out such a main character and saw it ruined the whole "three pines clique", so she scrambled for a way to write him back in. Louise Penny can go suck lemons. I'm never buying another one of her books.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 18, 2013, 04:20:11 AM
I understand reminding, but don't beat us over the head every chapter.   IMHO A good example of HOW to do it is Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series.  Attending AA meetings and never saying anything was a part of continuing character development.

Exactly. Show, don't tell.

One of the worst "tellers" I've encountered was Ann M. Martin and her host of ghostwriters for the Baby-Sitter's Club Series (outing my age here, but yes, I LOVED them growing up and still reread them occasionally... they were great books to learn English from :) ). Yes, I KNOW it's a long series, but I do not need two full chapters at the start of each book describing who the girls are and how the BSC was created.

Haha, yes!  Every book would start with pages and pages describing in depth who each girl is, what she is like, how Claudia wears cool clothes but not quite as trendy as Stacey who is from (hold your breath now!) New York, etc. 

And then as they added on more of the....what do you call them, temporary babysitters?  The one boy who  was MaryAnne's boyfriend, and then a couple of the younger girls, and another wealthy girl, and then we had to learn more about them, too!

Yup, totally showing my age with this post.  I used to read these books in junior high, at the same age that I was babysitting.  I even collected them all, buying each new one as it came out, up until maybe 50 or 60 and I just gave up.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: nuit93 on February 18, 2013, 10:34:39 AM
I understand reminding, but don't beat us over the head every chapter.   IMHO A good example of HOW to do it is Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series.  Attending AA meetings and never saying anything was a part of continuing character development.

Exactly. Show, don't tell.

One of the worst "tellers" I've encountered was Ann M. Martin and her host of ghostwriters for the Baby-Sitter's Club Series (outing my age here, but yes, I LOVED them growing up and still reread them occasionally... they were great books to learn English from :) ). Yes, I KNOW it's a long series, but I do not need two full chapters at the start of each book describing who the girls are and how the BSC was created.

Haha, yes!  Every book would start with pages and pages describing in depth who each girl is, what she is like, how Claudia wears cool clothes but not quite as trendy as Stacey who is from (hold your breath now!) New York, etc. 

And then as they added on more of the....what do you call them, temporary babysitters?  The one boy who  was MaryAnne's boyfriend, and then a couple of the younger girls, and another wealthy girl, and then we had to learn more about them, too!

Yup, totally showing my age with this post.  I used to read these books in junior high, at the same age that I was babysitting.  I even collected them all, buying each new one as it came out, up until maybe 50 or 60 and I just gave up.

Yep, I was a big collector too.  But I *always* skipped the second chapter.  I know who these people are!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on February 18, 2013, 10:52:09 AM
Reading A Dance With Dragons, and this is getting to me. I understand wanting to inject realism by having your characters actually have calls of nature, but the reason that most authors ignore it is that is slows down the action. And when you only focus on one character's bathroom habits, it gets weird. 200 pages in, and I've already read about Tyrion urinating five times.

Also, to the person who complained about George R.R. discovering words and beating them to death, he's discovered "cheeks". I've read about the conditions of everyone's buttocks in detail.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 18, 2013, 12:35:48 PM
This is kind of odd, maybe... But sometimes, I guess in an attempt to be careful and inject realism, the author will over-describe what's happening. Like, a character is making themselves a snack, and another character walks in and starts a conversation. And interspersed with the conversation is the one character getting out a knife, getting down the jar of peanut butter, opening the bread bag, etc.. Okay, fine, there's a word for that in TV at least, so your characters aren't just standing there static, talking at each other.

But then before the action can move to the next room, the one character has to wrap the bread back up, put the peanut butter away, wipe the crumbs off the counter, put the dirty knife in the sink, etc.. To the point where it gets in the way of the action and doesn't flow well. I get it, the author is picturing the scene in their heads, and there's the jar of peanut butter, sitting there open on the counter. But as a reader, I don't care about the peanut butter! I am willing to suspend disbelief and take it on faith that the peanut butter will come out okay. Unless this is some kind of plot point--the character is OCD about cleaning up, for example--I think it can be glossed over for the sake of moving things along. I have noticed recently that this bothers me, and I've tried to avoid it in my own writing now.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: wolfie on February 18, 2013, 12:42:48 PM
This is kind of odd, maybe... But sometimes, I guess in an attempt to be careful and inject realism, the author will over-describe what's happening. Like, a character is making themselves a snack, and another character walks in and starts a conversation. And interspersed with the conversation is the one character getting out a knife, getting down the jar of peanut butter, opening the bread bag, etc.. Okay, fine, there's a word for that in TV at least, so your characters aren't just standing there static, talking at each other.

But then before the action can move to the next room, the one character has to wrap the bread back up, put the peanut butter away, wipe the crumbs off the counter, put the dirty knife in the sink, etc.. To the point where it gets in the way of the action and doesn't flow well. I get it, the author is picturing the scene in their heads, and there's the jar of peanut butter, sitting there open on the counter. But as a reader, I don't care about the peanut butter! I am willing to suspend disbelief and take it on faith that the peanut butter will come out okay. Unless this is some kind of plot point--the character is OCD about cleaning up, for example--I think it can be glossed over for the sake of moving things along. I have noticed recently that this bothers me, and I've tried to avoid it in my own writing now.

And the easy way to fix that would be to say "And then he cleaned up the kitchen before they walked into the living room to discover the horrible scene of carnage".
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on February 19, 2013, 10:53:24 AM
This is kind of odd, maybe... But sometimes, I guess in an attempt to be careful and inject realism, the author will over-describe what's happening. Like, a character is making themselves a snack, and another character walks in and starts a conversation. And interspersed with the conversation is the one character getting out a knife, getting down the jar of peanut butter, opening the bread bag, etc.. Okay, fine, there's a word for that in TV at least, so your characters aren't just standing there static, talking at each other.

But then before the action can move to the next room, the one character has to wrap the bread back up, put the peanut butter away, wipe the crumbs off the counter, put the dirty knife in the sink, etc.. To the point where it gets in the way of the action and doesn't flow well. I get it, the author is picturing the scene in their heads, and there's the jar of peanut butter, sitting there open on the counter. But as a reader, I don't care about the peanut butter! I am willing to suspend disbelief and take it on faith that the peanut butter will come out okay. Unless this is some kind of plot point--the character is OCD about cleaning up, for example--I think it can be glossed over for the sake of moving things along. I have noticed recently that this bothers me, and I've tried to avoid it in my own writing now.

I regard that as poor writing myself.  Like you said, if it actually reveals something germane: person is OCD, or they are only half listening because they are more focused on eating (and miss something important that the reader can pick up on).  But otherwise, it is just adding words and padding the length.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 19, 2013, 11:23:48 AM
This is kind of odd, maybe... But sometimes, I guess in an attempt to be careful and inject realism, the author will over-describe what's happening. Like, a character is making themselves a snack, and another character walks in and starts a conversation. And interspersed with the conversation is the one character getting out a knife, getting down the jar of peanut butter, opening the bread bag, etc.. Okay, fine, there's a word for that in TV at least, so your characters aren't just standing there static, talking at each other.

But then before the action can move to the next room, the one character has to wrap the bread back up, put the peanut butter away, wipe the crumbs off the counter, put the dirty knife in the sink, etc.. To the point where it gets in the way of the action and doesn't flow well. I get it, the author is picturing the scene in their heads, and there's the jar of peanut butter, sitting there open on the counter. But as a reader, I don't care about the peanut butter! I am willing to suspend disbelief and take it on faith that the peanut butter will come out okay. Unless this is some kind of plot point--the character is OCD about cleaning up, for example--I think it can be glossed over for the sake of moving things along. I have noticed recently that this bothers me, and I've tried to avoid it in my own writing now.

I regard that as poor writing myself.  Like you said, if it actually reveals something germane: person is OCD, or they are only half listening because they are more focused on eating (and miss something important that the reader can pick up on).  But otherwise, it is just adding words and padding the length.

I definitely used to be guilty of doing it when I wrote... You think you're doing a good job with attention to detail, expecting that readers will otherwise say, "Hey, how did that mug of tea stay hot during that whole conversation?" or "Eating crackers in bed without a plate? That's going to leave a mess." But I find that when I read otherwise good stories, a lot of these added details just distract me from what's really important--the story should be interesting enough that I'm not focusing on the cup of tea, you know? But maybe people are thinking they have to do this or they're leaving plot holes or being lazy writers or something. But I think it's one of those times when it's okay to be a bit "lazy." You just have to know where to draw the line, and I admit that can be tough.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 19, 2013, 12:22:11 PM
I may have missed this, and it often occurs in books that are in the first person POV, but the heavy handedness with foreshadowing drives me insane. Or even worse, "If only I'd realized what" x thing meant, killing a future plot point.

That's one of the reasons the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie bugs me so much, is the excess foreshadowing.  There's Jack in a coffin in the beginning, black spot, nearly getting killed by the cannibals, falling into a grave, all the talk about the kraken and what it's like to be taken down by it, so by the end you're really not all that surprised by what happens to Jack or how.  ::)

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redneck Gravy on February 19, 2013, 03:29:45 PM
Wait!  what happens to Jack?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Softly Spoken on February 23, 2013, 06:42:51 PM
Exactly. Show, don't tell.

One of the worst "tellers" I've encountered was Ann M. Martin and her host of ghostwriters for the Baby-Sitter's Club Series (outing my age here, but yes, I LOVED them growing up and still reread them occasionally... they were great books to learn English from :) ). Yes, I KNOW it's a long series, but I do not need two full chapters at the start of each book describing who the girls are and how the BSC was created.

If a series is too long (and more a series of small adventures instead of one long saga) like BSC or Sweet Valley Twins (outing my age here), then each book really has to be a stand alone. The same characters but a new story. Imagine if you stumbled on #126 of a 200 book series, and didn't have the time, money and/or inclination to read #1-125. In that case, a quick recap or some smart "bread crumbs" dropped throughout the narrative should bring you up to speed if there is anything from the previous books you should know.
Sue Grafton's Alphabet series always starts with PI Kinsey Milhone giving you an intro to herself and her life. Longtime fans know to skip through those first pages and get to her new adventure.
History/recappng is a creative choice, but good writers know they need to be entertaining as well as informative. IMHO, more books suffer from what is left out than what is put in. Better to have it and not need it, than need it an not have it. ;)

ETA: My actual comment because of my blanketybank glitchy internet. :P
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redsoil on February 24, 2013, 05:48:34 AM
I think the rec. for Lindsay Buroker was on this forum - have to say I've bought all the books of "The Emporer's Edge" on Kindle, and am really enjoying them!  So thank you - I've discovered a few new authors after reading about them on EHell. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 24, 2013, 08:35:49 PM
Wait!  what happens to Jack?

The Kraken comes for the Black Pearl because Jack owes Davy Jones his soul and tried to avoid it but then he gives up, returns to the Black Pearl to help them fight it off, which they do, long enough for what's left of the crew to get into the one remaining longboat, but Elizabeth Swann kisses Jack, backing him up against the mast and then shackling him to it, giving him no choice but to fulfill the captainly duty of going down with the ship so the rest of them can get away, knowing the kraken's only after him.

(if you ask me and a friend, Jack was going to do that anyway so her trick was unnecessary.)

And so they get away from the ship, Jack gets loose from the shackles just in time to look up at the kraken and say "Hello beastie", drawing his sword and decides he's going to go down with the ship on his terms.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: TexasRanger on February 24, 2013, 09:14:27 PM
Found a new one today: Books that are actually collections of "not" so short stories that aren't clearly marked as such. The books title is just the title of ONE of the stories in the book. Words like "Anthology", "Short Stories" or "Collection" are no were on the cover, just in itty bitty print in the dust jacket. Also, no description of the other stories. The version of Clive Barker's Cabal I checked out from the library, I am looking at you.  >:(
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kimblee on February 24, 2013, 10:01:17 PM
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!

You... You.... Just broke my brain.

oww.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kimblee on February 24, 2013, 10:12:44 PM
Contemporary Romances:  Every female, no matter what her career (VP, baker, truck driver) appears to be wearing a silk shirt, skirt and high heels. I once asked my friends (who are VP's, tv camera crew people, SAHM, accountants )and none of them own a silk shirt.    ENOUGH WITH THE SILK SHIRTS!  Also, every bra is a "scrap of lace" and unhooks in the front.  I swear, too many books lose my interest because they are like mad libs with the same scenes over and over.

*scratches head*  I used to have silk shirts.  I don't think I have any now because the only ones that could handle machine washing weren't very silky, and the handwash and drycleaning ones just weren't getting cleaned.  Annoying things.

I have a silk shirt. Its very pretty. And more or less transparent, hard to have cleaned (I sympathize magicdomino) and goes with absolutely nothing in my more or less redneck hermit wardrobe.

I'd throw it away but its SOOOOO expensive (as the relitive who gave to me keeps reminding me.) It may become a purse someday.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 25, 2013, 04:30:20 PM
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!

You... You.... Just broke my brain.

oww.

1) I really want to read that fanfic.

2) As an author I do sometimes wonder how much to "spoil" a story with warnings. I mean, you can stamp the label "AU" on it, but really, all fanfic is AU, so that could mean anything from... the characters have a realistic adventure that they never have in canon, to Sherlock being a pirate captain while John is a merman crew member. And if a big part of your story is that, SHAZAM, halfway through magic comes into it, suddenly explaining all the weird things that were happening before, it can be tough to decide if you want to put that in the tags/summary/etc. or risk people being irritated when they finally see where you're going.

Thinking about the way I read stuff (fanfic and books), I would probably rather know a few more details even at the risk of spoiling things, I guess. On the other hand my mom, who normally doesn't go in for fantasy/supernatural stuff, has been sucked into a couple of books without realizing they were going to turn genre on her, and she kept reading anyway and really enjoyed them. (Of course examples escape my memory at the moment.) She wouldn't have picked them up at all if she'd known where they were going, because she would say she's "not into that."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on February 26, 2013, 09:59:41 AM
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!

You... You.... Just broke my brain.

oww.

1) I really want to read that fanfic.

2) As an author I do sometimes wonder how much to "spoil" a story with warnings. I mean, you can stamp the label "AU" on it, but really, all fanfic is AU, so that could mean anything from... the characters have a realistic adventure that they never have in canon, to Sherlock being a pirate captain while John is a merman crew member. And if a big part of your story is that, SHAZAM, halfway through magic comes into it, suddenly explaining all the weird things that were happening before, it can be tough to decide if you want to put that in the tags/summary/etc. or risk people being irritated when they finally see where you're going.

Thinking about the way I read stuff (fanfic and books), I would probably rather know a few more details even at the risk of spoiling things, I guess. On the other hand my mom, who normally doesn't go in for fantasy/supernatural stuff, has been sucked into a couple of books without realizing they were going to turn genre on her, and she kept reading anyway and really enjoyed them. (Of course examples escape my memory at the moment.) She wouldn't have picked them up at all if she'd known where they were going, because she would say she's "not into that."

That's why I like what I've seen some people do, which is specify a 'type' of AU. So, for example, the fic alkira6 mentioned would be labeled as, say, SciFi-AU or SciFiFan-AU.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: alkira6 on February 26, 2013, 11:15:22 AM
Okay, fanfiction -

I understand that it's fanfiction and that you are playing in an established world that has its own rules and canon, but please, please, please, label an AU as an AU.  I cannot begin to elaborate on how stabby it makes me to read a story and get into it and 2/3 of the way through the character just busts out with something off the wall - like wings.

Sherlock Holmes does not have a uterus and therefor cannot be pregnant with Watson's lovechild.

John Watson is not an incubus.

They do not live in a spaceship called the Baker Street.

All of this is fine and could be quite entertaining if I know that it is an AU from the begining!

You... You.... Just broke my brain.

oww.

1) I really want to read that fanfic.

2) As an author I do sometimes wonder how much to "spoil" a story with warnings. I mean, you can stamp the label "AU" on it, but really, all fanfic is AU, so that could mean anything from... the characters have a realistic adventure that they never have in canon, to Sherlock being a pirate captain while John is a merman crew member. And if a big part of your story is that, SHAZAM, halfway through magic comes into it, suddenly explaining all the weird things that were happening before, it can be tough to decide if you want to put that in the tags/summary/etc. or risk people being irritated when they finally see where you're going.

Thinking about the way I read stuff (fanfic and books), I would probably rather know a few more details even at the risk of spoiling things, I guess. On the other hand my mom, who normally doesn't go in for fantasy/supernatural stuff, has been sucked into a couple of books without realizing they were going to turn genre on her, and she kept reading anyway and really enjoyed them. (Of course examples escape my memory at the moment.) She wouldn't have picked them up at all if she'd known where they were going, because she would say she's "not into that."

That's why I like what I've seen some people do, which is specify a 'type' of AU. So, for example, the fic alkira6 mentioned would be labeled as, say, SciFi-AU or SciFiFan-AU.

For those who were curious, this is not one fanfic, just things that came out of nowhere in several that I've begun reading.  The wing one was weird but good.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on February 26, 2013, 12:38:48 PM
I may have missed this, and it often occurs in books that are in the first person POV, but the heavy handedness with foreshadowing drives me insane. Or even worse, "If only I'd realized what" x thing meant, killing a future plot point.

I read a bio that kept doing this and it drove me bazoo. We all know it ends badly- the Russian Revolution was involved! Stop telling us in every chapter!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: AfleetAlex on February 26, 2013, 01:34:09 PM
One of my pet peeves is entirely my problem (most definitely not the author's, especially with historical books) - how women behaved or were treated. I read 'Jane Eyre' in high school, and while I enjoyed it, I was deeply annoyed at how Jane still called him "Mr. Rochester" even when they were in love.  I thought she should be able to call him by his first name at that point. Still bugs me, even though it's the way things were done at the time.  ;D

Plus any heroine (i.e. main character) who is a shrinking violet or completely helpless just annoys me to no end.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Margo on February 26, 2013, 02:09:57 PM
One of my pet peeves is entirely my problem (most definitely not the author's, especially with historical books) - how women behaved or were treated. I read 'Jane Eyre' in high school, and while I enjoyed it, I was deeply annoyed at how Jane still called him "Mr. Rochester" even when they were in love.  I thought she should be able to call him by his first name at that point. Still bugs me, even though it's the way things were done at the time.  ;D

Plus any heroine (i.e. main character) who is a shrinking violet or completely helpless just annoys me to no end.
This made me smile, because I get irritated by the opposite, where books are set in a period where people were more formal, and suddenly they are using forenames and being inappropriately [for the period] informal!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on February 26, 2013, 09:55:45 PM
One of my pet peeves is entirely my problem (most definitely not the author's, especially with historical books) - how women behaved or were treated. I read 'Jane Eyre' in high school, and while I enjoyed it, I was deeply annoyed at how Jane still called him "Mr. Rochester" even when they were in love.  I thought she should be able to call him by his first name at that point. Still bugs me, even though it's the way things were done at the time.  ;D

Plus any heroine (i.e. main character) who is a shrinking violet or completely helpless just annoys me to no end.
Oh, yes.  This particularly annoys me in Robin Hood movies, for some reason.  At the climactic scene where Robin is fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham and/or Guy of Gisbourne, what does Maid Marian do?  Does she pick up whatever is handiest and heave it at the Bad Guy?  Don't be silly!  She stands there and wrings her hands and squeaks "Oh, Robin, look out!"  Even though she's been presented as a perfectly capable young woman up until then.

By contrast, one of my heroines picks up the firepoker and thwacks the villain upside the head with it.   He's been distracted by the other heroine (who is 4 years old) trying to hamstring him.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on February 26, 2013, 10:07:01 PM
Oh, yes.  This particularly annoys me in Robin Hood movies, for some reason.  At the climactic scene where Robin is fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham and/or Guy of Gisbourne, what does Maid Marian do?  Does she pick up whatever is handiest and heave it at the Bad Guy?  Don't be silly!  She stands there and wrings her hands and squeaks "Oh, Robin, look out!"  Even though she's been presented as a perfectly capable young woman up until then.

By contrast, one of my heroines picks up the firepoker and thwacks the villain upside the head with it.   He's been distracted by the other heroine (who is 4 years old) trying to hamstring him.

This can backfire though. Not with Maid Marian, who is usually shown as fairly fit in a fight, but with a heroine who obviously knows nothing about battle. In "The Chronicles of the Cheysuli", the heroine who Can Do No Wrong Because She is Just So Perfect runs into the middle of a fight with the intention of helping her husband. She instead distracts her husband (because she has no idea how to fight, and basically ran in flailing her arms and squealing) long enough for the villain to get a garrote around him. Then she picks up a handy chunk of wood and beans the villain, leading to her husband proclaiming her the most brave and helpful woman ever, and me having to pick my eyes off the floor and put them back in.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on February 26, 2013, 10:32:50 PM
Oh, yes.  This particularly annoys me in Robin Hood movies, for some reason.  At the climactic scene where Robin is fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham and/or Guy of Gisbourne, what does Maid Marian do?  Does she pick up whatever is handiest and heave it at the Bad Guy?  Don't be silly!  She stands there and wrings her hands and squeaks "Oh, Robin, look out!"  Even though she's been presented as a perfectly capable young woman up until then.

By contrast, one of my heroines picks up the firepoker and thwacks the villain upside the head with it.   He's been distracted by the other heroine (who is 4 years old) trying to hamstring him.

This can backfire though. Not with Maid Marian, who is usually shown as fairly fit in a fight, but with a heroine who obviously knows nothing about battle. In "The Chronicles of the Cheysuli", the heroine who Can Do No Wrong Because She is Just So Perfect runs into the middle of a fight with the intention of helping her husband. She instead distracts her husband (because she has no idea how to fight, and basically ran in flailing her arms and squealing) long enough for the villain to get a garrote around him. Then she picks up a handy chunk of wood and beans the villain, leading to her husband proclaiming her the most brave and helpful woman ever, and me having to pick my eyes off the floor and put them back in.
Well, Linnora and Ashla aren't distracting Our Hero, because the Bad Guy has him tied to a chair.  And when Linnora realizes what she's done, she's terrified that he'll be angry because it's the husband's job to fight off the bad guys.

But I can certainly see how flailing and screaming wouldn't particularly help.   
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on February 27, 2013, 04:48:13 AM
I may have missed this, and it often occurs in books that are in the first person POV, but the heavy handedness with foreshadowing drives me insane. Or even worse, "If only I'd realized what" x thing meant, killing a future plot point.

I read a bio that kept doing this and it drove me bazoo. We all know it ends badly- the Russian Revolution was involved! Stop telling us in every chapter!
Ogden Nash, long ago, had something apposite to say about this literary vice:

"Personally, I don't care whether an author was educated at night school or day school,
 So long as they don't belong to the H.I.B.K. school --
 A tendency to which too many writers of fiction are prone:
 Namely, the Had I But Known."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 27, 2013, 05:44:16 AM
One of my pet peeves is entirely my problem (most definitely not the author's, especially with historical books) - how women behaved or were treated. I read 'Jane Eyre' in high school, and while I enjoyed it, I was deeply annoyed at how Jane still called him "Mr. Rochester" even when they were in love.  I thought she should be able to call him by his first name at that point. Still bugs me, even though it's the way things were done at the time.  ;D

Plus any heroine (i.e. main character) who is a shrinking violet or completely helpless just annoys me to no end.
Oh, yes.  This particularly annoys me in Robin Hood movies, for some reason.  At the climactic scene where Robin is fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham and/or Guy of Gisbourne, what does Maid Marian do?  Does she pick up whatever is handiest and heave it at the Bad Guy?  Don't be silly!  She stands there and wrings her hands and squeaks "Oh, Robin, look out!"  Even though she's been presented as a perfectly capable young woman up until then.

By contrast, one of my heroines picks up the firepoker and thwacks the villain upside the head with it.   He's been distracted by the other heroine (who is 4 years old) trying to hamstring him.

That is one thing that drives me up the wall about Princess Buttercup in Princess Bride. I love that movie, but I just cannot stand her. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on February 27, 2013, 06:21:50 AM
One of my pet peeves is entirely my problem (most definitely not the author's, especially with historical books) - how women behaved or were treated. I read 'Jane Eyre' in high school, and while I enjoyed it, I was deeply annoyed at how Jane still called him "Mr. Rochester" even when they were in love.  I thought she should be able to call him by his first name at that point. Still bugs me, even though it's the way things were done at the time.  ;D

Plus any heroine (i.e. main character) who is a shrinking violet or completely helpless just annoys me to no end.
Oh, yes.  This particularly annoys me in Robin Hood movies, for some reason.  At the climactic scene where Robin is fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham and/or Guy of Gisbourne, what does Maid Marian do?  Does she pick up whatever is handiest and heave it at the Bad Guy?  Don't be silly!  She stands there and wrings her hands and squeaks "Oh, Robin, look out!"  Even though she's been presented as a perfectly capable young woman up until then.

By contrast, one of my heroines picks up the firepoker and thwacks the villain upside the head with it.   He's been distracted by the other heroine (who is 4 years old) trying to hamstring him.

That is one thing that drives me up the wall about Princess Buttercup in Princess Bride. I love that movie, but I just cannot stand her. 

Well, she is supposed to be the exaggerated version of the trope, so I guess the author was successful.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Verloona Ti on February 27, 2013, 07:45:23 AM
One of my pet peeves is entirely my problem (most definitely not the author's, especially with historical books) - how women behaved or were treated. I read 'Jane Eyre' in high school, and while I enjoyed it, I was deeply annoyed at how Jane still called him "Mr. Rochester" even when they were in love.  I thought she should be able to call him by his first name at that point. Still bugs me, even though it's the way things were done at the time.  ;D

Plus any heroine (i.e. main character) who is a shrinking violet or completely helpless just annoys me to no end.
Oh, yes.  This particularly annoys me in Robin Hood movies, for some reason.  At the climactic scene where Robin is fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham and/or Guy of Gisbourne, what does Maid Marian do?  Does she pick up whatever is handiest and heave it at the Bad Guy?  Don't be silly!  She stands there and wrings her hands and squeaks "Oh, Robin, look out!"  Even though she's been presented as a perfectly capable young woman up until then.



Bwahahaha! Reminds me of the Robin Hood television series from the UK. Judy Trott was Maid Marian, in her green clothes  with her long flowing-yet-curly red hair, she made an exquisite MM...But whenever she was supposed to run, she'd bend her arms up at the elbow and sort of shuffle/jog/trot  (trott?) instead of run. This looked absolutely hilarious.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kiara on February 27, 2013, 08:04:47 AM
One of my pet peeves is entirely my problem (most definitely not the author's, especially with historical books) - how women behaved or were treated. I read 'Jane Eyre' in high school, and while I enjoyed it, I was deeply annoyed at how Jane still called him "Mr. Rochester" even when they were in love.  I thought she should be able to call him by his first name at that point. Still bugs me, even though it's the way things were done at the time.  ;D

Plus any heroine (i.e. main character) who is a shrinking violet or completely helpless just annoys me to no end.
Oh, yes.  This particularly annoys me in Robin Hood movies, for some reason.  At the climactic scene where Robin is fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham and/or Guy of Gisbourne, what does Maid Marian do?  Does she pick up whatever is handiest and heave it at the Bad Guy?  Don't be silly!  She stands there and wrings her hands and squeaks "Oh, Robin, look out!"  Even though she's been presented as a perfectly capable young woman up until then.

Slightly off topic, because it's from a movie, but the above is one of the reasons I love the movie Bourne Legacy.  Because in the end, the heroine scientist chick is the one who gets the bad guy, by smacking him over the head and making him crash his motorcycle. 

I also love the fact that she's never really a love interest in the movie.  YAY.  (You can honestly read their relationship either way.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Giggity on February 27, 2013, 08:23:56 AM
I may have missed this, and it often occurs in books that are in the first person POV, but the heavy handedness with foreshadowing drives me insane. Or even worse, "If only I'd realized what" x thing meant, killing a future plot point.

I read a bio that kept doing this and it drove me bazoo. We all know it ends badly- the Russian Revolution was involved! Stop telling us in every chapter!
Ogden Nash, long ago, had something apposite to say about this literary vice:

"Personally, I don't care whether an author was educated at night school or day school,
 So long as they don't belong to the H.I.B.K. school --
 A tendency to which too many writers of fiction are prone:
 Namely, the Had I But Known."

Mel Starr's Hugh de Singleton medieval-mystery series does this hugely. Grrrrrrr.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on February 27, 2013, 10:18:26 AM
I may have missed this, and it often occurs in books that are in the first person POV, but the heavy handedness with foreshadowing drives me insane. Or even worse, "If only I'd realized what" x thing meant, killing a future plot point.

I read a bio that kept doing this and it drove me bazoo. We all know it ends badly- the Russian Revolution was involved! Stop telling us in every chapter!
Ogden Nash, long ago, had something apposite to say about this literary vice:

"Personally, I don't care whether an author was educated at night school or day school,
 So long as they don't belong to the H.I.B.K. school --
 A tendency to which too many writers of fiction are prone:
 Namely, the Had I But Known."

Mel Starr's Hugh de Singleton medieval-mystery series does this hugely. Grrrrrrr.

For my tastes, medieval-mystery series have been totally done to death anyway. Thanks for the tip-off about this one, hitherto unheard-of by me, and definitely to avoid.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on February 27, 2013, 10:50:07 AM
Ogden Nash, long ago, had something apposite to say about this literary vice:

"Personally, I don't care whether an author was educated at night school or day school,
 So long as they don't belong to the H.I.B.K. school --
 A tendency to which too many writers of fiction are prone:
 Namely, the Had I But Known."

Snipping the quote tree. :)

And yes! This is what I had in mind. I've actually stopped reading books I was otherwise enjoying when I got to that phrase of doom. In my experience, and I'm sure there are exceptions, when an author uses that phrase, the quality of the story goes downhill.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lilfox on February 27, 2013, 12:52:46 PM
To be fair, I'm only about 60 pages into this book, but this trope is making it very hard to get into:
We are introduced to the hero, who is 200 yrs old but well preserved and urbane.
He meets a 20 yr old who is the spitting image of a former unrequited love so, naturally, beautiful, delicate, and feisty (in order of importance to him).
They spend two days together because... It's a plot point I guess.
Then she changes her mind about a major life altering decision because now she loves him.
After two days, with no showing or even much telling.

Now that is lazy writing.  I can only hope the story is why this book is considered a sci fi classic, cuz it's not character development.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: magicdomino on February 27, 2013, 12:57:10 PM
To be fair, I'm only about 60 pages into this book, but this trope is making it very hard to get into:
We are introduced to the hero, who is 200 yrs old but well preserved and urbane.
He meets a 20 yr old who is the spitting image of a former unrequited love so, naturally, beautiful, delicate, and feisty (in order of importance to him).
They spend two days together because... It's a plot point I guess.
Then she changes her mind about a major life altering decision because now she loves him.
After two days, with no showing or even much telling.

Now that is lazy writing.  I can only hope the story is why this book is considered a sci fi classic, cuz it's not character development.

Heinlein?  He seemed to have a thing for old men and young women.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: random numbers on February 27, 2013, 12:58:14 PM
To be fair, I'm only about 60 pages into this book, but this trope is making it very hard to get into:
We are introduced to the hero, who is 200 yrs old but well preserved and urbane.
He meets a 20 yr old who is the spitting image of a former unrequited love so, naturally, beautiful, delicate, and feisty (in order of importance to him).
They spend two days together because... It's a plot point I guess.
Then she changes her mind about a major life altering decision because now she loves him.
After two days, with no showing or even much telling.

Now that is lazy writing.  I can only hope the story is why this book is considered a sci fi classic, cuz it's not character development.

Can I ask what the title is? Or author?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on February 27, 2013, 01:10:20 PM
To be fair, I'm only about 60 pages into this book, but this trope is making it very hard to get into:
We are introduced to the hero, who is 200 yrs old but well preserved and urbane.
He meets a 20 yr old who is the spitting image of a former unrequited love so, naturally, beautiful, delicate, and feisty (in order of importance to him).
They spend two days together because... It's a plot point I guess.
Then she changes her mind about a major life altering decision because now she loves him.
After two days, with no showing or even much telling.

Now that is lazy writing.  I can only hope the story is why this book is considered a sci fi classic, cuz it's not character development.

Heinlein?  He seemed to have a thing for old men and young women.

A strange phenomenon that happens to a surprising number of male writers as they get older.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Sara Crewe on February 27, 2013, 03:16:26 PM


A strange phenomenon that happens to a surprising number of male writers as they get older.

If you really want a jaw dropping example of this, try John Ringo.  If you google 'oh, John Ringo, no', you can get lists of similar books.

Unfortunately, he's a good writer (at least until he acquired the dreaded co-author in the last of the series) which is why I've actually read all of said stories more than once.

Of course, he also politely engaged with the original posters which helps.

http://hradzka.livejournal.com/194753.html?thread=760769

Warning: the above thread may have triggers for s*xual assault and violence
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 27, 2013, 03:28:56 PM
To be fair, I'm only about 60 pages into this book, but this trope is making it very hard to get into:
We are introduced to the hero, who is 200 yrs old but well preserved and urbane.
He meets a 20 yr old who is the spitting image of a former unrequited love so, naturally, beautiful, delicate, and feisty (in order of importance to him).
They spend two days together because... It's a plot point I guess.
Then she changes her mind about a major life altering decision because now she loves him.
After two days, with no showing or even much telling.

Now that is lazy writing.  I can only hope the story is why this book is considered a sci fi classic, cuz it's not character development.

Snerk. On a different note, I used to think all those stories/shows where the descendant looks exactly like their ancestor (played by the same actor, if TV/movie) were just exaggerated to convey the supernatural situation. Then I found a picture of my great-great grandfather, who looks very, very similar to one of my cousins. Granted the guy has a big bushy beard, and if you shaved it off and stood them side by side I'm not saying they'd look like clones. But, my ancestor had a pretty common name and I was looking through a lot of photos without knowing if they were the right guy, and when I came across this one I was like, crud monkeys, it's Cousin Bob. And I'm usually pretty bad at recognizing stuff like that.

So a few months ago that might have been a fiction peeve of mine, but now I realize it apparently is kinda true, that strong family resemblances can last through several generations.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on February 27, 2013, 03:35:11 PM
Snerk. On a different note, I used to think all those stories/shows where the descendant looks exactly like their ancestor (played by the same actor, if TV/movie) were just exaggerated to convey the supernatural situation. Then I found a picture of my great-great grandfather, who looks very, very similar to one of my cousins. Granted the guy has a big bushy beard, and if you shaved it off and stood them side by side I'm not saying they'd look like clones. But, my ancestor had a pretty common name and I was looking through a lot of photos without knowing if they were the right guy, and when I came across this one I was like, crud monkeys, it's Cousin Bob. And I'm usually pretty bad at recognizing stuff like that.

So a few months ago that might have been a fiction peeve of mine, but now I realize it apparently is kinda true, that strong family resemblances can last through several generations.

Heck, I've seen people get up in arms because characters looks eerily like their parents. I can understand when everybody's kids all look exactly like them, but as someone who's 30 years and 50 lbs from being her mother's clone, I can't exactly say 'that doesn't happen'.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lilfox on February 27, 2013, 03:37:56 PM
To be fair, I'm only about 60 pages into this book, but this trope is making it very hard to get into:
We are introduced to the hero, who is 200 yrs old but well preserved and urbane.
He meets a 20 yr old who is the spitting image of a former unrequited love so, naturally, beautiful, delicate, and feisty (in order of importance to him).
They spend two days together because... It's a plot point I guess.
Then she changes her mind about a major life altering decision because now she loves him.
After two days, with no showing or even much telling.

Now that is lazy writing.  I can only hope the story is why this book is considered a sci fi classic, cuz it's not character development.

Can I ask what the title is? Or author?

Whoops, I forgot to include it:  Ringworld by Larry Niven, 1970.

What I am enjoying is learning what different sci fi authors thought would be the technology of the future.  Niven includes hyperdrives and (effectively) transporters, but the spaceships are hand flown.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Softly Spoken on February 27, 2013, 07:39:31 PM
Re: PPs about ineffective female heroines - one of my favorite books of all time is Dealing with Dragons (http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Dragons-Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles/dp/015204566X) by Patricia C. Wrede. Before Shrek or Brave was even a glimmer in someone's eye, Wrede's character Cimorene was the ultimate anti-princess: she'd rather fence and make cherries jubilee than learn how to embroider and curtsy just right. To get out of marrying a total loser, she runs away and hires herself as a dragon's princess instead of waiting for one to carry her off. Wrede has lots of fun turning the traditional fairy tale world on it's head. ;D

Re: Characters doing unrealistic things / dumb male authors. I like to read romance novels but these days most of them tick me the ehell off. Two of the worst things:
1) The bad boy worship and some male authors apparent, um, "small equipment complex." I am sick of troubled bad boys that need fixing. And guys that are total jerks to the girls and ...yet...they-they can't resist him *swoon* and find him 'fascinating.' UUGGGH! >:( Then there is this crummy series, a pulpy cowboy series with this white guy raised by native americans so he's the western equivalent of a superhero. He literally ends up sleeping with every girl he meets. The good girls, the villianess, the girl working the bar. They all want him, they all throw themselves at him, and they all have to tell him how big it is! ::) Barf. He (or rather the author) is also a one-trick pony in bed. All the scenes read the same with a slightly different physical description of the girl he happens to be doing at the time. And they go south on him but he never reciprocates? Bull pucky! :P

2) The girl is never. ever. ever. strong.  >:( Even in books where the guy is attracted to a girl because of her confidence and strength, she is always so surprised that such an awesome guy would possibly want her. Once, just once, I want to read a girl pulling a Han Solo and when a guy is going on and on about how great she is just say "Yes, I know." ;D Guess I'll have to write it myself because every romance heroine I've read so far comes with her self-esteem surgically removed and implanted as a symbiote in her love interest. ::) Feh!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: flowersintheattic on February 27, 2013, 08:02:26 PM
Re: PPs about ineffective female heroines - one of my favorite books of all time is Dealing with Dragons (http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Dragons-Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles/dp/015204566X) by Patricia C. Wrede. Before Shrek or Brave was even a glimmer in someone's eye, Wrede's character Cimorene was the ultimate anti-princess: she'd rather fence and make cherries jubilee than learn how to embroider and curtsy just right. To get out of marrying a total loser, she runs away and hires herself as a dragon's princess instead of waiting for one to carry her off. Wrede has lots of fun turning the traditional fairy tale world on it's head. ;D

I love Love LOVE the Dealing with Dragons books. It's nice to know other people also appreciate them. I always wanted to be just like Cimorene, but unfortunately, I was blonde and short. I had to settle for being quite a bit like Alianora.  ;)

My biggest pet peeve in books (that hasn't been mentioned yet) is when I get the feeling that the writer got too attached to the characters, and thus no harm can befall them. It reminds of me of the movie Stranger than Fiction, where Emma Thompson couldn't kill off Will Farrell, even thought Dustin Hoffman insisted the book would be a masterpiece if she did.

The worst example of it I can think of is "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. The book is presented as somewhat realistic, but when the four main characters do a raid of a government building, with death being almost certain. But somehow, and if I remember correctly, it's largely glossed over beyond one of the guards being sympathetic to their cause, they all survive. It's not that I dislike any of the main characters involved, but the end made me feel like she just couldn't bring herself to kill one of them, so she sort of just magicked them out of the situation.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: kglory on February 27, 2013, 09:18:21 PM
One of my pet peeves is entirely my problem (most definitely not the author's, especially with historical books) - how women behaved or were treated. I read 'Jane Eyre' in high school, and while I enjoyed it, I was deeply annoyed at how Jane still called him "Mr. Rochester" even when they were in love.  I thought she should be able to call him by his first name at that point. Still bugs me, even though it's the way things were done at the time.  ;D

Plus any heroine (i.e. main character) who is a shrinking violet or completely helpless just annoys me to no end.

It's been over 15 years since I read Jane Eyre, and I remember hating it the first time, so I'm not out to defend the book!

But as far as the forms of address, wouldn't the reverse also be true for the time -- i.e., he should be calling her "Miss Eyre" just as she should be calling him "Mr. Rochester"?

If he didn't, maybe it's because they were not social equals.  But I know from the Jane Austen books that men also showed respect for women by calling them Miss so-and-so as opposed to their given first name.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on February 27, 2013, 09:26:12 PM
Jane was also being very careful to keep the proper distance between herself and Mr Rochester, to avoid people gossiping that she had become his mistress before marriage. That is why she kept her duties as governess, refused his gifts, etc.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Softly Spoken on February 27, 2013, 10:32:19 PM
Re: PPs about ineffective female heroines - one of my favorite books of all time is Dealing with Dragons (http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Dragons-Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles/dp/015204566X) by Patricia C. Wrede. Before Shrek or Brave was even a glimmer in someone's eye, Wrede's character Cimorene was the ultimate anti-princess: she'd rather fence and make cherries jubilee than learn how to embroider and curtsy just right. To get out of marrying a total loser, she runs away and hires herself as a dragon's princess instead of waiting for one to carry her off. Wrede has lots of fun turning the traditional fairy tale world on it's head. ;D

I love Love LOVE the Dealing with Dragons books. It's nice to know other people also appreciate them. I always wanted to be just like Cimorene, but unfortunately, I was blonde and short. I had to settle for being quite a bit like Alianora.  ;)

My biggest pet peeve in books (that hasn't been mentioned yet) is when I get the feeling that the writer got too attached to the characters, and thus no harm can befall them. It reminds of me of the movie Stranger than Fiction, where Emma Thompson couldn't kill off Will Farrell, even thought Dustin Hoffman insisted the book would be a masterpiece if she did.

The worst example of it I can think of is "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. The book is presented as somewhat realistic, but when the four main characters do a raid of a government building, with death being almost certain. But somehow, and if I remember correctly, it's largely glossed over beyond one of the guards being sympathetic to their cause, they all survive. It's not that I dislike any of the main characters involved, but the end made me feel like she just couldn't bring herself to kill one of them, so she sort of just magicked them out of the situation.

Heehee yup that's me too: Cimorene attitude in an Alianora body! ;D (I love the line in the book about looking up at princes through your eyelashes. :-*)

I agree about how the "miraculous escapes" of some characters really challenge your suspension of disbelief. However I often find myself exasperated by the opposite - deaths that come too quick, too easy, too soon and (IMHO) to the wrong character. I read a book rooting for everyone to survive - I think death (of anything more than an "extra") is actually fairly rare outside of supernatural, horror/suspense and murder mysteries. I find deaths of characters I am just getting into quite jarring...and also somewhat annoying if I invest time and attention into someone who is essentially a "throw away." I also think an author (especially one who writes a long series) can get lazy and end up just automatically killing every villian the hero fights. Sometimes it makes sense in the context of the story and how dangerous the setting is, but other times you feel the author is just overplaying to our/their personal sense of justice or maybe even working through some issues. ::)

I read serial mysteries expecting just about anyone outside of the recurring characters to end up dead any second. Saves me some aggravation. :P

Death needs to be done right. Sometimes it is painfully clear when an author uses death to mean something and further the plot, and when they just got lazy or bored with a character and decided to kill them off. I also hate death as a "save-the-shoddy-storyline" move. Also, when any story has a supernatural element, I am just as annoyed by too-easy resurrections that take away from the emotional impact of the loss of a character. And I really hate lazy (or complete lack of :o) explanations of why/how a character came back to life, because it shows a fundamental weakness in basic world-building.

If you can't explain the rules of your world, or justify why you are breaking the rules you already established, don't just do it anyway and hope your loyal readers won't notice. We notice. We always notice. >:(
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: SheltieMom on February 27, 2013, 10:36:42 PM
To be fair, I'm only about 60 pages into this book, but this trope is making it very hard to get into:
We are introduced to the hero, who is 200 yrs old but well preserved and urbane.
He meets a 20 yr old who is the spitting image of a former unrequited love so, naturally, beautiful, delicate, and feisty (in order of importance to him).
They spend two days together because... It's a plot point I guess.
Then she changes her mind about a major life altering decision because now she loves him.
After two days, with no showing or even much telling.

Now that is lazy writing.  I can only hope the story is why this book is considered a sci fi classic, cuz it's not character development.

Can I ask what the title is? Or author?

Whoops, I forgot to include it:  Ringworld by Larry Niven, 1970.

What I am enjoying is learning what different sci fi authors thought would be the technology of the future.  Niven includes hyperdrives and (effectively) transporters, but the spaceships are hand flown.

Please don't give up on it. There's a lot of stuff you'll learn later! I don't really recommend the sequels. (Ringworld Engineers and The Ringworld Throne) Every two or three years I go back and read The Tales of Known Space, and all the novels that go with them. Niven's been a favorite of mine since the 70's. (I was just wondering what to read next. Thank you!)

Also, if you enjoy his works, you might also try his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle. They are both great writers on their own, but when they work together, you get something really special. I highly recommend Lucifer's Hammer, although it will make you want to start hoarding food....
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on February 28, 2013, 12:58:57 AM

Re: Characters doing unrealistic things / dumb male authors. I like to read romance novels but these days most of them tick me the ehell off. Two of the worst things:
1) The bad boy worship and some male authors apparent, um, "small equipment complex." I am sick of troubled bad boys that need fixing. And guys that are total jerks to the girls and ...yet...they-they can't resist him *swoon* and find him 'fascinating.' UUGGGH! >:( Then there is this crummy series, a pulpy cowboy series with this white guy raised by native americans so he's the western equivalent of a superhero. He literally ends up sleeping with every girl he meets. The good girls, the villianess, the girl working the bar. They all want him, they all throw themselves at him, and they all have to tell him how big it is! ::) Barf. He (or rather the author) is also a one-trick pony in bed. All the scenes read the same with a slightly different physical description of the girl he happens to be doing at the time. And they go south on him but he never reciprocates? Bull pucky! :P

2) The girl is never. ever. ever. strong.  >:( Even in books where the guy is attracted to a girl because of her confidence and strength, she is always so surprised that such an awesome guy would possibly want her. Once, just once, I want to read a girl pulling a Han Solo and when a guy is going on and on about how great she is just say "Yes, I know." ;D Guess I'll have to write it myself because every romance heroine I've read so far comes with her self-esteem surgically removed and implanted as a symbiote in her love interest. ::) Feh!

I don't think that the book in the first example is a romance novel, I think that definition requires the HEA.  Just having sex with lots of people doesn't really qualify (well it might make you happy ever after but not really in the romance novel way).

For number two, Alyssa Locke in Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series (she's in many of them, her HEA is in Gone Too Far) has some issues but her belief in her professional abilities isn't one of them. There's also Teri Howe in her Over The Edge who has self-esteem issues but not about being a really good pilot. For less serious romantic suspense there's Tara Janzen with her slightly silly secret agent type series with some pretty strong heroines. I do think that characters in romance novels (both male and female) require some sort of weakness or vulnerability to be interesting, completely strong characters tend to be a bit boring to me.

There's also the "strong" heroine who seems to manifest mostly in the belief that even if you have a team of professionals looking for the horribly violent serial killer, it would be weakness not to stay in the safe place the professionals told you to stay in and that you would regret the rest of your life not doing something (no matter how stupid or ineffective) and so the best course of action is to go look for the killer in an abandoned mine. By yourself, without telling anyone where you've gone. I hate books where that leads to a miraculous rescue by the hero and capture of the killer instead of the heroine dead where nobody will ever find her body (not that I want the heroine dead but it seems like the more likely outcome).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Softly Spoken on February 28, 2013, 01:54:11 AM

Re: Characters doing unrealistic things / dumb male authors. I like to read romance novels but these days most of them tick me the ehell off. Two of the worst things:
1) The bad boy worship and some male authors apparent, um, "small equipment complex." I am sick of troubled bad boys that need fixing. And guys that are total jerks to the girls and ...yet...they-they can't resist him *swoon* and find him 'fascinating.' UUGGGH! >:( Then there is this crummy series, a pulpy cowboy series with this white guy raised by native americans so he's the western equivalent of a superhero. He literally ends up sleeping with every girl he meets. The good girls, the villianess, the girl working the bar. They all want him, they all throw themselves at him, and they all have to tell him how big it is! ::) Barf. He (or rather the author) is also a one-trick pony in bed. All the scenes read the same with a slightly different physical description of the girl he happens to be doing at the time. And they go south on him but he never reciprocates? Bull pucky! :P

2) The girl is never. ever. ever. strong.  >:( Even in books where the guy is attracted to a girl because of her confidence and strength, she is always so surprised that such an awesome guy would possibly want her. Once, just once, I want to read a girl pulling a Han Solo and when a guy is going on and on about how great she is just say "Yes, I know." ;D Guess I'll have to write it myself because every romance heroine I've read so far comes with her self-esteem surgically removed and implanted as a symbiote in her love interest. ::) Feh!

I don't think that the book in the first example is a romance novel, I think that definition requires the HEA.  Just having sex with lots of people doesn't really qualify (well it might make you happy ever after but not really in the romance novel way).

For number two, Alyssa Locke in Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series (she's in many of them, her HEA is in Gone Too Far) has some issues but her belief in her professional abilities isn't one of them. There's also Teri Howe in her Over The Edge who has self-esteem issues but not about being a really good pilot. For less serious romantic suspense there's Tara Janzen with her slightly silly secret agent type series with some pretty strong heroines. I do think that characters in romance novels (both male and female) require some sort of weakness or vulnerability to be interesting, completely strong characters tend to be a bit boring to me.

There's also the "strong" heroine who seems to manifest mostly in the belief that even if you have a team of professionals looking for the horribly violent serial killer, it would be weakness not to stay in the safe place the professionals told you to stay in and that you would regret the rest of your life not doing something (no matter how stupid or ineffective) and so the best course of action is to go look for the killer in an abandoned mine. By yourself, without telling anyone where you've gone. I hate books where that leads to a miraculous rescue by the hero and capture of the killer instead of the heroine dead where nobody will ever find her body (not that I want the heroine dead but it seems like the more likely outcome).
Okay I'll admit the cowboy series I mentioned was more adventure than romance but in order to not make him a total jerk they always played up this tragic thing where he was cheated out of his HEA and lost the only girl he ever loved...and so drowns his sorrow in other women...I guess? Whatever. ::)

I love flawed characters too, my complaint is that most of romance heroines I've read have the same flaw of low self-esteem that always comes up in relation to the guy. That is why I loathed Bella about two paragraphs into Twilight - it's that whiny boohooing over how no one could possibly be interested in you blah blah blah. We all have insecurities but 1) realistically it ebbs and flows and 2) we don't let them consume us or define us.

Re: the bolded. Arrrgh! I KNOW!! Also, you notice how many more "amateur" female detectives there are than male? If they're male, they're "special consultants." ::) I swear I'm not on a feminist rant tonight, but I am really annoyed that when a girl, even a professional like a PI or FBI or whatever, does the whole going-off-on-their-own-to-follow-a-hunch-and-maybe-meet-the-killer she's stupid and a ridiculous girl who is in over her head (barring notable exceptions like Silence of the Lambs) - but when a guy does it he's brave and a rebel who plays by his own rules? I would actually rather read about a girl having a lousy love life than read about her making obvious, idiotic suicidal mistakes like that on the job.

...but I was just thinking...if they didn't push there would be no story. We don't really want to read about every proceeding slowing and carefully by the book, do we?  ;)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on February 28, 2013, 02:04:11 AM
I don't really count Twilight as a romance novel either, though I'm not sure what it is.

I read some book that I can't remember but really liked that had the traditional killer on the loose and the hero who was some sort of cop or agent or something told the heroine that she should stay in the safe place and lock the door and the heroine said something like "Of course I will, do you think that I'm an idiot?" It was very refreshing :) though I guess that it may kill the suspense plot a bit, if all you do is wait at home for the police to do their work.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Carotte on February 28, 2013, 05:41:31 AM
I just finished one that I could have lived without ever opening. Not really bad but really, just meh. For 9/10 of it at least the heroine was good, not afraid, stands her ground, not really stupid, a good role-model I would say, given her situation. The twist at the end 'oh no, the good guy is actually the bad guy, no one could have guessed!' and 'oh, he's completely lunatic and thinks he's from another time and a supernatural being' made my eyes roll. I saw it coming from the middle of the book.
But that the smart and brave girl decide to end up with the guy she fell in love with, and who spent all his time telling her she will be miserable with him, and it's not a life for her, and he doesn't do 'love', is just irritating.

And I was given this book to read under false pretences :( (I was told it was some kind fantasy/fiction)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Nikko-chan on February 28, 2013, 05:46:18 AM
In this one book I read (i believe i mentioned it on here before, about how misunderstandings kept happening throughout the book) the Lady of the House wasn't even a Lady at all, before they were married! She told him she was a Lady but she wasn't. Her husband did some snooping and found her father and the other "Lady" who was a former uh... worker of a certain industry. Also, the girl he married wasn't a worker in this industry so no reason to take on the title of Lady other than to lie to him about her parentage so she could marry a rich man and have a life of luxury I guess...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Margo on February 28, 2013, 07:41:16 AM

I read some book that I can't remember but really liked that had the traditional killer on the loose and the hero who was some sort of cop or agent or something told the heroine that she should stay in the safe place and lock the door and the heroine said something like "Of course I will, do you think that I'm an idiot?" It was very refreshing :) though I guess that it may kill the suspense plot a bit, if all you do is wait at home for the police to do their work.

There's a nice but in Dorothy L Sayers' 'Gaudy Night' where Harriet Vane takes time to stop & call back to *check* whether the phone call summoning her to the dark garden was genuine, and also arranges some back up, before going, having had conversations about how people never, ever do this... (Of course, from a plot perspective it helped to set up a nice red herring, which I suppose is one way of getting round the risk of making the plot boring by making your characters and situations more realistic.)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Thuringwethyl on February 28, 2013, 12:46:51 PM
Re: PPs about ineffective female heroines - one of my favorite books of all time is Dealing with Dragons (http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Dragons-Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles/dp/015204566X) by Patricia C. Wrede. Before Shrek or Brave was even a glimmer in someone's eye, Wrede's character Cimorene was the ultimate anti-princess: she'd rather fence and make cherries jubilee than learn how to embroider and curtsy just right. To get out of marrying a total loser, she runs away and hires herself as a dragon's princess instead of waiting for one to carry her off. Wrede has lots of fun turning the traditional fairy tale world on it's head. ;D

I loved the Dealing with Dragons books too! Although I liked the first two better than the last ones..
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on February 28, 2013, 12:59:53 PM
Re: PPs about ineffective female heroines - one of my favorite books of all time is Dealing with Dragons (http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Dragons-Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles/dp/015204566X) by Patricia C. Wrede. Before Shrek or Brave was even a glimmer in someone's eye, Wrede's character Cimorene was the ultimate anti-princess: she'd rather fence and make cherries jubilee than learn how to embroider and curtsy just right. To get out of marrying a total loser, she runs away and hires herself as a dragon's princess instead of waiting for one to carry her off. Wrede has lots of fun turning the traditional fairy tale world on it's head. ;D

I loved the Dealing with Dragons books too! Although I liked the first two better than the last ones..

I love all of them. In fact, I've made a deal with my mother that if she tries to read the first one I'll try some 'Heralds of Valdemar' book she bought for me.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on February 28, 2013, 01:02:51 PM
I love all of them. In fact, I've made a deal with my mother that if she tries to read the first one I'll try some 'Heralds of Valdemar' book she bought for me.

"Heralds of Valdemar" can be really hit or miss. The very early ones were quite good, then the ones she wrote with her husband went downhill (to me anyway). The newest series, Foundation (I think that's what it's called), has been surprisingly good after the dross she'd been putting out.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on February 28, 2013, 01:14:07 PM
I love all of them. In fact, I've made a deal with my mother that if she tries to read the first one I'll try some 'Heralds of Valdemar' book she bought for me.

"Heralds of Valdemar" can be really hit or miss. The very early ones were quite good, then the ones she wrote with her husband went downhill (to me anyway). The newest series, Foundation (I think that's what it's called), has been surprisingly good after the dross she'd been putting out.

See, I've read a few of them, but I honestly have no interest in this particular story(one with the pyrokinetic). My mom thinks I'll love it though. Meanwhile, she rolls her eyes when I say the 'Dragon' series is right up her alley (deconstructed/altered fairytales). So, compromise.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on February 28, 2013, 01:15:59 PM

See, I've read a few of them, but I honestly have no interest in this particular story(one with the pyrokinetic). My mom thinks I'll love it though. Meanwhile, she rolls her eyes when I say the 'Dragon' series is right up her alley (deconstructed/altered fairytales). So, compromise.

Ah, the one with the pyro is a little troubling in spots.

Though I may check out the Dealing with Dragon series now. :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on February 28, 2013, 01:24:25 PM
I love all of them. In fact, I've made a deal with my mother that if she tries to read the first one I'll try some 'Heralds of Valdemar' book she bought for me.

"Heralds of Valdemar" can be really hit or miss. The very early ones were quite good, then the ones she wrote with her husband went downhill (to me anyway). The newest series, Foundation (I think that's what it's called), has been surprisingly good after the dross she'd been putting out.

I read the Arrows trilogy (Talia) and thought they were just OK. Nothing great but not unreadable. Which books do you recommend from the series?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on February 28, 2013, 01:34:26 PM
You know what I hate?  When two people start to fall in love, but one (or both) are currently dating someone.  But it's OK!  They are abusive jerks and evil golddiggers!  Yet, the hero/heroine fight their feelings and stay with the jerks because...I don't know why.  I also don't know why they are with jerks in the first place.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elisabunny on February 28, 2013, 02:25:04 PM

I agree about how the "miraculous escapes" of some characters really challenge your suspension of disbelief. However I often find myself exasperated by the opposite - deaths that come too quick, too easy, too soon and (IMHO) to the wrong character. I read a book rooting for everyone to survive - I think death (of anything more than an "extra") is actually fairly rare outside of supernatural, horror/suspense and murder mysteries. I find deaths of characters I am just getting into quite jarring...and also somewhat annoying if I invest time and attention into someone who is essentially a "throw away." I also think an author (especially one who writes a long series) can get lazy and end up just automatically killing every villian the hero fights. Sometimes it makes sense in the context of the story and how dangerous the setting is, but other times you feel the author is just overplaying to our/their personal sense of justice or maybe even working through some issues. ::)

I read serial mysteries expecting just about anyone outside of the recurring characters to end up dead any second. Saves me some aggravation. :P

Death needs to be done right. Sometimes it is painfully clear when an author uses death to mean something and further the plot, and when they just got lazy or bored with a character and decided to kill them off. I also hate death as a "save-the-shoddy-storyline" move. Also, when any story has a supernatural element, I am just as annoyed by too-easy resurrections that take away from the emotional impact of the loss of a character. And I really hate lazy (or complete lack of :o) explanations of why/how a character came back to life, because it shows a fundamental weakness in basic world-building.

If you can't explain the rules of your world, or justify why you are breaking the rules you already established, don't just do it anyway and hope your loyal readers won't notice. We notice. We always notice. >:(

The worst "death done badly" I've read was a YA series about the aftereffects of the moon changing its orbit (I think the first is titled Life as We Know It).  While death and distruction is expected in dystopian fiction, some characters died in such random, out-of-the-blue ways, it was pretty obvious that the author just wanted them out gone so the plot could move forward the way she had envisioned.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: snowflake on February 28, 2013, 02:42:49 PM
I think I am going to start selling screensavers for writers that say things like,

"Playing hard to get does not in itself make me a strong woman."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Grancalla on February 28, 2013, 02:47:11 PM

I agree about how the "miraculous escapes" of some characters really challenge your suspension of disbelief. However I often find myself exasperated by the opposite - deaths that come too quick, too easy, too soon and (IMHO) to the wrong character. I read a book rooting for everyone to survive - I think death (of anything more than an "extra") is actually fairly rare outside of supernatural, horror/suspense and murder mysteries. I find deaths of characters I am just getting into quite jarring...and also somewhat annoying if I invest time and attention into someone who is essentially a "throw away." I also think an author (especially one who writes a long series) can get lazy and end up just automatically killing every villian the hero fights. Sometimes it makes sense in the context of the story and how dangerous the setting is, but other times you feel the author is just overplaying to our/their personal sense of justice or maybe even working through some issues. ::)

I read serial mysteries expecting just about anyone outside of the recurring characters to end up dead any second. Saves me some aggravation. :P

Death needs to be done right. Sometimes it is painfully clear when an author uses death to mean something and further the plot, and when they just got lazy or bored with a character and decided to kill them off. I also hate death as a "save-the-shoddy-storyline" move. Also, when any story has a supernatural element, I am just as annoyed by too-easy resurrections that take away from the emotional impact of the loss of a character. And I really hate lazy (or complete lack of :o) explanations of why/how a character came back to life, because it shows a fundamental weakness in basic world-building.

If you can't explain the rules of your world, or justify why you are breaking the rules you already established, don't just do it anyway and hope your loyal readers won't notice. We notice. We always notice. >:(

The worst "death done badly" I've read was a YA series about the aftereffects of the moon changing its orbit (I think the first is titled Life as We Know It).  While death and distruction is expected in dystopian fiction, some characters died in such random, out-of-the-blue ways, it was pretty obvious that the author just wanted them out gone so the plot could move forward the way she had envisioned.

What about when the character(s)' death serves no real purpose, not even getting the plot going?

I read a sci-fi novel several years ago (don't remember the title, but I probably still have it), that was about an archaeological team studying a planet to determine why the intelligent species that had lived there had gone extinct. That was actually quite interesting (it turned out that the species had become pathologically obsessed with genetic purity and rooting out mutations, to the point where "shares" in good genetic lines was used as currency. They died out due to massive inbreeding.) There were hints of political upheaval back at the home planet, but the story was mainly about the mission.
Until the last chapter, in which the main character tells us that the ship that was supposed to come get them at the end of their mission never came, their supplies and fuel ran out, everyone else is dead, and he soon will be, too. He's leaving a record of their mission and what they found, but it's unlikey anyone will find it. Just... why? Did I miss something? I must have.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: magicdomino on February 28, 2013, 05:34:20 PM

What about when the character(s)' death serves no real purpose, not even getting the plot going?

I read a sci-fi novel several years ago (don't remember the title, but I probably still have it), that was about an archaeological team studying a planet to determine why the intelligent species that had lived there had gone extinct. That was actually quite interesting (it turned out that the species had become pathologically obsessed with genetic purity and rooting out mutations, to the point where "shares" in good genetic lines was used as currency. They died out due to massive inbreeding.) There were hints of political upheaval back at the home planet, but the story was mainly about the mission.
Until the last chapter, in which the main character tells us that the ship that was supposed to come get them at the end of their mission never came, their supplies and fuel ran out, everyone else is dead, and he soon will be, too. He's leaving a record of their mission and what they found, but it's unlikely anyone will find it. Just... why? Did I miss something? I must have.

My guess is that it was an ironic twist.  While humans are researching how an intelligent alien species managed to exterminate themselves, humans at home did the same thing.  The aliens did it through obsessing about their genetic lines, humans did it through a segment of the population that insists on killing the rest of the population, as well as each other.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: dawnfire on February 28, 2013, 05:57:02 PM
I love all of them. In fact, I've made a deal with my mother that if she tries to read the first one I'll try some 'Heralds of Valdemar' book she bought for me.

"Heralds of Valdemar" can be really hit or miss. The very early ones were quite good, then the ones she wrote with her husband went downhill (to me anyway). The newest series, Foundation (I think that's what it's called), has been surprisingly good after the dross she'd been putting out.

I read the Arrows trilogy (Talia) and thought they were just OK. Nothing great but not unreadable. Which books do you recommend from the series?

i would recommend the Mage winds followed by mage storm
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: artk2002 on February 28, 2013, 06:17:30 PM
Also, if you enjoy his works, you might also try his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle. They are both great writers on their own, but when they work together, you get something really special. I highly recommend Lucifer's Hammer, although it will make you want to start hoarding food....

Niven is excellent on the scientific basis of his writing. "The Integral Trees" was technically accurate, but put me to sleep as a story. I agree that his collaborations are better. I'm a big fan of the Dreampark series.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on February 28, 2013, 06:22:17 PM
i would recommend the Mage winds followed by mage storm

I liked the Mage Winds, I was kind of so-so with Mage Storm. The two with Alberich (Exile's Honor, Exile's Valor) were very good. I liked the one about Skif ( Take a Thief ), but the problem is she came up with yet another version of his background.

I'm really enjoying the current Collegium series which takes place when the Collegium is starting to become what readers are familiar with in the "Modern Day Valdemar". Except Misty went sports nuts a few times.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shea on February 28, 2013, 06:32:33 PM

What about when the character(s)' death serves no real purpose, not even getting the plot going?

I read a sci-fi novel several years ago (don't remember the title, but I probably still have it), that was about an archaeological team studying a planet to determine why the intelligent species that had lived there had gone extinct. That was actually quite interesting (it turned out that the species had become pathologically obsessed with genetic purity and rooting out mutations, to the point where "shares" in good genetic lines was used as currency. They died out due to massive inbreeding.) There were hints of political upheaval back at the home planet, but the story was mainly about the mission.
Until the last chapter, in which the main character tells us that the ship that was supposed to come get them at the end of their mission never came, their supplies and fuel ran out, everyone else is dead, and he soon will be, too. He's leaving a record of their mission and what they found, but it's unlikely anyone will find it. Just... why? Did I miss something? I must have.

My guess is that it was an ironic twist.  While humans are researching how an intelligent alien species managed to exterminate themselves, humans at home did the same thing.  The aliens did it through obsessing about their genetic lines, humans did it through a segment of the population that insists on killing the rest of the population, as well as each other.

Yeah, that actually sounds like an interesting book. Do you remember the title, Grancalla?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on February 28, 2013, 08:30:59 PM
I love all of them. In fact, I've made a deal with my mother that if she tries to read the first one I'll try some 'Heralds of Valdemar' book she bought for me.

"Heralds of Valdemar" can be really hit or miss. The very early ones were quite good, then the ones she wrote with her husband went downhill (to me anyway). The newest series, Foundation (I think that's what it's called), has been surprisingly good after the dross she'd been putting out.

I read the Arrows trilogy (Talia) and thought they were just OK. Nothing great but not unreadable. Which books do you recommend from the series?
I don't recommend the Last Herald Mage books.  (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Price, and Magic's Somethingorother)  I never wanted to reach into a book and slap the hero silly more than I did with Herald Vanyel. Honestly.  Three books of "Oh, boohoohoo, the Only Love Of My Life died and I will never be happy again." ::)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on February 28, 2013, 09:31:06 PM
I don't recommend the Last Herald Mage books.  (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Price, and Magic's Somethingorother)  I never wanted to reach into a book and slap the hero silly more than I did with Herald Vanyel. Honestly.  Three books of "Oh, boohoohoo, the Only Love Of My Life died and I will never be happy again." ::)

Yeah, now that I think about it. I loved that trilogy when I was an angsty brooding teen, but as an adult, I have to agree.

Though not Heralds of Valdemar, but in the same world, I strongly suggest the Vows and Honor, it was originally a series of stories in Sword and Sorceress, then became a duology, and all of the stories are now in one book. Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and Oathblood.

Lackey really shone with those, making fun of all sorts of tropes.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Grancalla on February 28, 2013, 09:55:14 PM

What about when the character(s)' death serves no real purpose, not even getting the plot going?

I read a sci-fi novel several years ago (don't remember the title, but I probably still have it), that was about an archaeological team studying a planet to determine why the intelligent species that had lived there had gone extinct. That was actually quite interesting (it turned out that the species had become pathologically obsessed with genetic purity and rooting out mutations, to the point where "shares" in good genetic lines was used as currency. They died out due to massive inbreeding.) There were hints of political upheaval back at the home planet, but the story was mainly about the mission.
Until the last chapter, in which the main character tells us that the ship that was supposed to come get them at the end of their mission never came, their supplies and fuel ran out, everyone else is dead, and he soon will be, too. He's leaving a record of their mission and what they found, but it's unlikely anyone will find it. Just... why? Did I miss something? I must have.

My guess is that it was an ironic twist.  While humans are researching how an intelligent alien species managed to exterminate themselves, humans at home did the same thing.  The aliens did it through obsessing about their genetic lines, humans did it through a segment of the population that insists on killing the rest of the population, as well as each other.

Yeah, that actually sounds like an interesting book. Do you remember the title, Grancalla?

Dangit. I went rooting around in my bookshelves looking for it, but no dice. Either it was a library book, or it's stashed in the attic. This is gonna bother mw, now...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on February 28, 2013, 10:12:33 PM
I don't recommend the Last Herald Mage books.  (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Price, and Magic's Somethingorother)  I never wanted to reach into a book and slap the hero silly more than I did with Herald Vanyel. Honestly.  Three books of "Oh, boohoohoo, the Only Love Of My Life died and I will never be happy again." ::)

Yeah, now that I think about it. I loved that trilogy when I was an angsty brooding teen, but as an adult, I have to agree.

Though not Heralds of Valdemar, but in the same world, I strongly suggest the Vows and Honor, it was originally a series of stories in Sword and Sorceress, then became a duology, and all of the stories are now in one book. Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and Oathblood.

Lackey really shone with those, making fun of all sorts of tropes.

I remember Kethry and Tarma from Sword and Sorceress! She had some really good stories with them. I think I will look the books up as well. I see a large book order in my future.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Corvid on February 28, 2013, 11:12:44 PM
This is kind of odd, maybe... But sometimes, I guess in an attempt to be careful and inject realism, the author will over-describe what's happening. Like, a character is making themselves a snack, and another character walks in and starts a conversation. And interspersed with the conversation is the one character getting out a knife, getting down the jar of peanut butter, opening the bread bag, etc.. Okay, fine, there's a word for that in TV at least, so your characters aren't just standing there static, talking at each other.

The author of one light little e-series I've been reading has the annoying habit of describing the meal preparation in excruciating detail every time the main character decides to fix a meal, which is often.  It's even worse than it sounds because not only does the main character never make anything particularly complex or gourmet, she tends to make the same basic dinners again and again.  Really, I don't need to read in detail, over and over, how she put together the salad or the baked potatoes, I really don't.  This is all in the first person too.  "I scrubbed the potatoes, then rubbed them with butter and salted them lightly, wrapped them in aluminum foil, and popped them in the oven next to the chicken.  Then I washed the lettuce and set it to drain while I chopped the tomatoes and green peppers for the salad."  That's not a direct quote, but you get my drift.  And I'm not exaggerating, either.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ereine on March 01, 2013, 03:01:20 AM
In this one book I read (i believe i mentioned it on here before, about how misunderstandings kept happening throughout the book) the Lady of the House wasn't even a Lady at all, before they were married! She told him she was a Lady but she wasn't. Her husband did some snooping and found her father and the other "Lady" who was a former uh... worker of a certain industry. Also, the girl he married wasn't a worker in this industry so no reason to take on the title of Lady other than to lie to him about her parentage so she could marry a rich man and have a life of luxury I guess...

That sounds like a free e-book I just read. In that book the girl's father was a baronet so I think that author was just confused about titles and thought that baronet's daughters were ladies (I'm reading another book at the moment in which the author seems to think that an earl's granddaughter is a lady as are bastards). I think that it can be seen as justifiable artistic license as it allowed the heroine claim a good birth without actually revealing who her father was. As for the other lady, I think that she was actually one, she was from a well-born family, a former friend of the hero's mother (if it was the same book, something like Duke's Inconvenient wife) and almost married the hero's father until a scandal forced her into prostitution (or rather, becoming a courtesan).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on March 01, 2013, 11:05:42 AM
I mentioned above how I hate sloppy historical research, and I just remembered another example.  This was supposedly nonfiction, based on the author's real experiences.

Except, almost right at the very beginning, she talks about visiting Mount Vernon, and being intimidated by the enormous beds and the cavernous bedrooms.  Well, at the time, I had also just visited Mt. Vernon.  By today's standards, the beds were tiny.  They didn't have king size.  They had beds that would just hold an occupant, but you shouldn't toss or turn much because there was barely an inch to spare.

So I am thinking, either you are the size of a mouse, or you are making up this part.  And if you are making up this minor part, why should I believe anything else that you claim happened to you (hauntings, ghosts, possession)?  And if you are only mouse sized, your problems exceed the paranormal.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 01, 2013, 11:42:07 AM
Snerk. On a different note, I used to think all those stories/shows where the descendant looks exactly like their ancestor (played by the same actor, if TV/movie) were just exaggerated to convey the supernatural situation. Then I found a picture of my great-great grandfather, who looks very, very similar to one of my cousins. Granted the guy has a big bushy beard, and if you shaved it off and stood them side by side I'm not saying they'd look like clones. But, my ancestor had a pretty common name and I was looking through a lot of photos without knowing if they were the right guy, and when I came across this one I was like, crud monkeys, it's Cousin Bob. And I'm usually pretty bad at recognizing stuff like that.

So a few months ago that might have been a fiction peeve of mine, but now I realize it apparently is kinda true, that strong family resemblances can last through several generations.

Heck, I've seen people get up in arms because characters looks eerily like their parents. I can understand when everybody's kids all look exactly like them, but as someone who's 30 years and 50 lbs from being her mother's clone, I can't exactly say 'that doesn't happen'.

My middle son is almost the spitting image of my dh.  The only difference between the two is that MS has hazel eyes and freckles that he inherited from me, whereas DH has blue eyes and no freckles.  There's a picture of my DH as a child, in b&w and he looks exactly like MS.   Also, MIL tells me that DH is a spitting image of his father.  Apparently those genes are quite strong.  2 of our 3 boys have blue eyes, but that's also partly because there's just a lot of blue eyed genes in their makeup.  My father had blue eyes and both of DH's parents were blue eyed.  Also my father has blonde hair, DH's bio-father had blonde hair and MIL says her hair was blonde when she was a child.  So the fact that we have 3 blondies is no surprise, though the youngest has a hint of red from me. :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on March 01, 2013, 11:48:44 AM
I mentioned above how I hate sloppy historical research, and I just remembered another example.  This was supposedly nonfiction, based on the author's real experiences.

Except, almost right at the very beginning, she talks about visiting Mount Vernon, and being intimidated by the enormous beds and the cavernous bedrooms.  Well, at the time, I had also just visited Mt. Vernon.  By today's standards, the beds were tiny.  They didn't have king size.  They had beds that would just hold an occupant, but you shouldn't toss or turn much because there was barely an inch to spare.

So I am thinking, either you are the size of a mouse, or you are making up this part.  And if you are making up this minor part, why should I believe anything else that you claim happened to you (hauntings, ghosts, possession)?  And if you are only mouse sized, your problems exceed the paranormal.

Sounds like the author visited some stately houses and decided to extrapolate. Nice.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Leafy on March 01, 2013, 07:42:30 PM
When a male author tries to write a female main character but gets bogged down with male stereotypes of women. A book I read a long time ago (another one of those amateur sleuth ones) did this. I could not work out why the main female character would suddenly start screaming at the men in her life when nothing had happened. She always apologised later and took the blame for being 'unreasonable' or something similar. The second time it happened I thought "What the heck is going on?" and that was when I noticed it was a male author. I did not try another of his books.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 04, 2013, 09:26:33 AM

What about when the character(s)' death serves no real purpose, not even getting the plot going?

I read a sci-fi novel several years ago (don't remember the title, but I probably still have it), that was about an archaeological team studying a planet to determine why the intelligent species that had lived there had gone extinct. That was actually quite interesting (it turned out that the species had become pathologically obsessed with genetic purity and rooting out mutations, to the point where "shares" in good genetic lines was used as currency. They died out due to massive inbreeding.) There were hints of political upheaval back at the home planet, but the story was mainly about the mission.
Until the last chapter, in which the main character tells us that the ship that was supposed to come get them at the end of their mission never came, their supplies and fuel ran out, everyone else is dead, and he soon will be, too. He's leaving a record of their mission and what they found, but it's unlikely anyone will find it. Just... why? Did I miss something? I must have.

My guess is that it was an ironic twist.  While humans are researching how an intelligent alien species managed to exterminate themselves, humans at home did the same thing.  The aliens did it through obsessing about their genetic lines, humans did it through a segment of the population that insists on killing the rest of the population, as well as each other.

I once read a book of short sci-fi stories by different authors, and every single one had some kind of ironic twist at the end. I don't recall that being the point of the collection, at least. Individually each story was good and thought-provoking, but by the time I was halfway through the book, I was just like, "Okay, what's the twist going to be here? They're dead and this is just a recording? No, wait, the bartender is really a Martian. Or, it's all just a simulation to test whether you should really become an astronaut. Yawn." It was really annoying because I wasn't reading each story for itself anymore, I was trying to figure out what the twist was going to be, and sometimes the twist ended up being much more conventional than I had wildly hoped for. Hard to fault the authors for that, I guess...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elisabunny on March 13, 2013, 02:54:25 PM
The stupid questions thread reminded me of this one:

Amish romances that insist on throwing Amish words into conversations.  Keep in mind, the people involved are not speaking English to outsiders, in which case it does make sense that they might interject Amish words.  No, they are Amish speaking their own language to each other!  There is no good reason to translate part of the conversation but not all of it.  And no, I don't think the author showing off that she (usually a she) knows some of the dialect is a good reason.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 13, 2013, 03:16:17 PM
The stupid questions thread reminded me of this one:

Amish romances that insist on throwing Amish words into conversations.  Keep in mind, the people involved are not speaking English to outsiders, in which case it does make sense that they might interject Amish words.  No, they are Amish speaking their own language to each other!  There is no good reason to translate part of the conversation but not all of it.  And no, I don't think the author showing off that she (usually a she) knows some of the dialect is a good reason.

If I think too much about almost any "translation" convention in fiction, I start to get a headache.  :P Like, why do Russian characters in a movie, who are speaking Russian to each other, but actually English for the audience, speak with a Russian accent? They wouldn't hear each other as having an accent (unless they were from different parts of Russia, I guess).
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lilfox on March 13, 2013, 04:26:34 PM
I've come across several books lately guilty of inserting foreign words into dialogue that you assume is taking place in the foreign language anyway.   My guess is that the author thinks the foreign word/phrase is more precise or means something a little different than the English translation but it's still annoying to constantly have to figure it out from context.  Particularly if the meaning being conveyed IS different than the English translation.

But then this happens: The current book takes place in Thailand (of the future, no less) and the author sticks in Thai phrases every other spoken sentence.  And I'm left thinking, okay that character is feeling "joy" or maybe "happiness" or "contentment" since I have no idea what the Thai phrase really means.  So how is that more precise to the non-Thai-speaking reader??
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mandycorn on March 13, 2013, 05:35:25 PM
Oh, I have one. When authors write long strings of dialog without indicating who is speaking. I sometimes have to go back and count to figure out who's saying what, but then they'll throw in a second line by the same character, which messes up the count but couldn't possibly come from the other character!

Grr. I don't need "Tom said" and "Mary replied" on every line, but toss them in occasionally!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on March 13, 2013, 05:42:48 PM
The stupid questions thread reminded me of this one:

Amish romances that insist on throwing Amish words into conversations.  Keep in mind, the people involved are not speaking English to outsiders, in which case it does make sense that they might interject Amish words.  No, they are Amish speaking their own language to each other!  There is no good reason to translate part of the conversation but not all of it.  And no, I don't think the author showing off that she (usually a she) knows some of the dialect is a good reason.
I always thought, in those dialogues, that the characters were speaking in English, but including the occasional Pennsylvania Dutch word. I always thought that sort of dialogue was hokey enough, until I met a Hispanic woman who really DID include the occasional Spanish word as she was speaking English. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on March 13, 2013, 06:15:29 PM
I don't like it when an author spell out a foreign word, say a Chinese or Japanese character, phonically.  Spelling in English doesn't get the pronouncation across and I have no idea what word they are trying to say. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: dawnfire on March 13, 2013, 06:53:34 PM
The stupid questions thread reminded me of this one:

Amish romances that insist on throwing Amish words into conversations.  Keep in mind, the people involved are not speaking English to outsiders, in which case it does make sense that they might interject Amish words.  No, they are Amish speaking their own language to each other!  There is no good reason to translate part of the conversation but not all of it.  And no, I don't think the author showing off that she (usually a she) knows some of the dialect is a good reason.
I always thought, in those dialogues, that the characters were speaking in English, but including the occasional Pennsylvania Dutch word. I always thought that sort of dialogue was hokey enough, until I met a Hispanic woman who really DID include the occasional Spanish word as she was speaking English.

My mum used to do that when talking with her sisters. They all spoke 4 languages (2 central pacific languages, English and Cantonese) fluently and had developed a pidgin language of their own.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: PeterM on March 14, 2013, 02:19:35 AM
Oh, I have one. When authors write long strings of dialog without indicating who is speaking. I sometimes have to go back and count to figure out who's saying what, but then they'll throw in a second line by the same character, which messes up the count but couldn't possibly come from the other character!

Grr. I don't need "Tom said" and "Mary replied" on every line, but toss them in occasionally!

I did that once in awhile back when I was a fanfic-writin' man, but it was never anything important to the plot. Just having fun with characters shooting the breeze and busting each other's... butts. I get a kick out of that sort of writing when it's done well, but I'll surely admit it's annoying when it's not.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on March 14, 2013, 02:57:44 AM
The stupid questions thread reminded me of this one:

Amish romances that insist on throwing Amish words into conversations.  Keep in mind, the people involved are not speaking English to outsiders, in which case it does make sense that they might interject Amish words.  No, they are Amish speaking their own language to each other!  There is no good reason to translate part of the conversation but not all of it.  And no, I don't think the author showing off that she (usually a she) knows some of the dialect is a good reason.
I always thought, in those dialogues, that the characters were speaking in English, but including the occasional Pennsylvania Dutch word. I always thought that sort of dialogue was hokey enough, until I met a Hispanic woman who really DID include the occasional Spanish word as she was speaking English.

My sisters and I are fluent in English and Danish, but Danish is our native language. We may speak either English or Danish when together, but almost always add the occasional word in the other language. It's just second nature to us now :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Queen of Clubs on March 14, 2013, 06:01:35 AM
If I think too much about almost any "translation" convention in fiction, I start to get a headache.  :P Like, why do Russian characters in a movie, who are speaking Russian to each other, but actually English for the audience, speak with a Russian accent? They wouldn't hear each other as having an accent (unless they were from different parts of Russia, I guess).

There was a British comedy series called "'Allo, 'Allo" that played with this.  It was set during WW2, mainly in a French cafe, and featured French, German and English characters who all spoke English but with the appropriate accent.  The English characters (two airmen) couldn't understand French or German, so would profess complete ignorance of what other characters were saying.  The French Resistance leader would translate for them - using a French accent when she was talking to the other French characters, but adopting a cut glass English accent when speaking to the airmen.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redsoil on March 14, 2013, 06:09:33 AM
I do like "'Allo, 'Allo" - it's a typically British spoof, and just nicely ridiculous!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: #borecore on March 14, 2013, 08:11:07 AM
When a male author tries to write a female main character but gets bogged down with male stereotypes of women. A book I read a long time ago (another one of those amateur sleuth ones) did this. I could not work out why the main female character would suddenly start screaming at the men in her life when nothing had happened. She always apologised later and took the blame for being 'unreasonable' or something similar. The second time it happened I thought "What the heck is going on?" and that was when I noticed it was a male author. I did not try another of his books.

This is high on my list, too.

I may have mentioned it here before, but I read a book like this once, where I said to myself, "This writer is such a MAN! Can't write reasonable female characters to save his life! Why write a book with 90% women from a first-person perspective??"

The author, named Michael, was a woman. Sometimes people just can't write good characters.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lysistrata on March 14, 2013, 10:20:42 AM
When a male author tries to write a female main character but gets bogged down with male stereotypes of women. A book I read a long time ago (another one of those amateur sleuth ones) did this. I could not work out why the main female character would suddenly start screaming at the men in her life when nothing had happened. She always apologised later and took the blame for being 'unreasonable' or something similar. The second time it happened I thought "What the heck is going on?" and that was when I noticed it was a male author. I did not try another of his books.

This is high on my list, too.

I may have mentioned it here before, but I read a book like this once, where I said to myself, "This writer is such a MAN! Can't write reasonable female characters to save his life! Why write a book with 90% women from a first-person perspective??"

The author, named Michael, was a woman. Sometimes people just can't write good characters.

Would this by any chance be Mermaids In The Basement by Michael Lee West? I spent the whole time reading that thinking the same thing, only realizing the author was a woman at the end while glancing at the little "about the author" blurb. It was really difficult for me to finish that book because the characters were written so poorly that I just didn't care about any of them.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: mbbored on March 14, 2013, 11:00:32 AM
Along the lines of using foreign languages, I was reading a book set in the current South Carolina low country. One character was an elderly African American woman who supposedly spoke Gullah. Gullah is a real language, with strong influences from a number of African languages as well as English. This character's dialogue, however, was written phonetically in this horribly stereotypical "Mammy" language, which is NOT Gullah.

I stopped reading the book and I never do that.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: #borecore on March 14, 2013, 11:35:56 AM
When a male author tries to write a female main character but gets bogged down with male stereotypes of women. A book I read a long time ago (another one of those amateur sleuth ones) did this. I could not work out why the main female character would suddenly start screaming at the men in her life when nothing had happened. She always apologised later and took the blame for being 'unreasonable' or something similar. The second time it happened I thought "What the heck is going on?" and that was when I noticed it was a male author. I did not try another of his books.

This is high on my list, too.

I may have mentioned it here before, but I read a book like this once, where I said to myself, "This writer is such a MAN! Can't write reasonable female characters to save his life! Why write a book with 90% women from a first-person perspective??"

The author, named Michael, was a woman. Sometimes people just can't write good characters.

Would this by any chance be Mermaids In The Basement by Michael Lee West? I spent the whole time reading that thinking the same thing, only realizing the author was a woman at the end while glancing at the little "about the author" blurb. It was really difficult for me to finish that book because the characters were written so poorly that I just didn't care about any of them.

Oh my gosh! Yes!

I read a publisher's advance and spent years hoping that it never made it to the public market.
It was atrocious, but I guess now I know someone thought it was good enough to sell. Sorry!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on March 14, 2013, 11:54:45 AM
When a male author tries to write a female main character but gets bogged down with male stereotypes of women. A book I read a long time ago (another one of those amateur sleuth ones) did this. I could not work out why the main female character would suddenly start screaming at the men in her life when nothing had happened. She always apologised later and took the blame for being 'unreasonable' or something similar. The second time it happened I thought "What the heck is going on?" and that was when I noticed it was a male author. I did not try another of his books.

This is high on my list, too.

I may have mentioned it here before, but I read a book like this once, where I said to myself, "This writer is such a MAN! Can't write reasonable female characters to save his life! Why write a book with 90% women from a first-person perspective??"

The author, named Michael, was a woman. Sometimes people just can't write good characters.

Anne Bishop is the same way. Her female characters are always irrational and PMSy in the cliche way.

Another pet peeve- overuse of words. Bishop is a serial offender- her characters always speak "too softly" or "croon" as a sign of anger. Croon is especially egregious here because I end up with a Frank Sinatra earworm and a flashback to a Miss Silver mystery in which one character says, "It is nice to reflect that whatever else he has done, he has never crooned."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 14, 2013, 12:24:55 PM
Oh, I have one. When authors write long strings of dialog without indicating who is speaking. I sometimes have to go back and count to figure out who's saying what, but then they'll throw in a second line by the same character, which messes up the count but couldn't possibly come from the other character!

Grr. I don't need "Tom said" and "Mary replied" on every line, but toss them in occasionally!

I did that once in awhile back when I was a fanfic-writin' man, but it was never anything important to the plot. Just having fun with characters shooting the breeze and busting each other's... butts. I get a kick out of that sort of writing when it's done well, but I'll surely admit it's annoying when it's not.

POD to both of these. When done well they can be fun and dynamic, but you have to make it really clear from the word choice who's speaking, and I HATE when the author gives one character two lines of dialog in a row, that look exactly like lines of dialog from separate people, thus messing everything up.  >:( Reading a story should not be so much work, I think.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shalamar on March 14, 2013, 12:34:19 PM
Quote
"croon" as a sign of anger

The heck?  Who "croons" when they're angry?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 14, 2013, 12:53:37 PM
Quote
"croon" as a sign of anger

The heck?  Who "croons" when they're angry?

I must admit it brings up some funny imagery, as I too picture someone bursting into a Frank Sinatra-style song... Like a rap battle, but with lounge music?

However, I feel like I've seen it before occasionally in a similar context. I just looked it up on Merriam-Webster online. Most of the definitions are about singing or speaking softly, but one says it's "chiefly Scottish" and synonymous with "bellow" or "boom" (if I'm interpreting it correctly). Knowing that, I could see someone using it to mean "angry yelling," I suppose.

I like learning new slang and uses for words. Though if there's too many in one story, it becomes too much work for me, and I'm likely to put it aside. Probably not the author's fault, though, if they're using the words correctly for their culture.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on March 14, 2013, 06:56:27 PM
Quote
"croon" as a sign of anger

The heck?  Who "croons" when they're angry?

Every male in her Black Jewels books, it seems. And from context, she's not using it to mean shouting, because it's always combined with them speaking too softly.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: amandaelizabeth on March 14, 2013, 08:39:36 PM
Crooning coming from someone who is very angry would not be confused with someone crooning sweet nothings in your ear.  The best person who I have heard croon in anger is Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin. You know when he gets quiet and mean and ends his sentence with 'Dearie'.  Only my cat can do it better, after yowling very loudly he gets quieter and quieter and could be mistaken for purring but the hearer knows better and keeps their fingers well clear.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Morrigan on March 14, 2013, 09:35:27 PM
Quote
"croon" as a sign of anger

The heck?  Who "croons" when they're angry?

Every male in her Black Jewels books, it seems. And from context, she's not using it to mean shouting, because it's always combined with them speaking too softly.

She's my favorite author.  But if Janelle every says something in her 'midnight voice' again...

Saeten croons.  Along with Daemon.  Usually when they're about to either talk to Janelle or when someone's in 'trouble'.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: baglady on March 14, 2013, 11:13:17 PM
Quote
Got a couple of fanfic-related ones.

1. If they were in High School. 
No.  Everybody seems to be doing it, and nobody does it well.  These are totally different characters, probably classmates of the author, who just happen to have the names of fandom characters tacked on.  They rarely resemble the characters they are supposed to be.

I saw this in a "House" fanfic, of all things. The age spread among the main characters in "House" was almost 20 years, but somehow they managed to be high-school students together. Did I mention I saw this fic in the "House" MST community -- where bad fanfics get the "Mystery Science Theater" treatment?

I don't consider the AU label a requirement for any and all out-of-canon stories -- only the ones that really are in a totally different world from that of the show/movie. I remember a couple of excellent "House' fanfics set in ancient Rome and the U.S. Civil War. Those are AU. Fics in which he's still a doctor in New Jersey but married to Wilson? Not AU.

Quote
When authors write long strings of dialog without indicating who is speaking. I sometimes have to go back and count to figure out who's saying what, but then they'll throw in a second line by the same character, which messes up the count but couldn't possibly come from the other character!

Grr. I don't need "Tom said" and "Mary replied" on every line, but toss them in occasionally!

One of my favorite fanfic writers has done some good all-dialogue stories (no description, no attribution), and I've also attempted a couple. They are very tricky to write, but a well-done all-dialogue story is a pleasure to read.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: violinp on March 14, 2013, 11:16:00 PM
Quote
"croon" as a sign of anger

The heck?  Who "croons" when they're angry?

Every male in her Black Jewels books, it seems. And from context, she's not using it to mean shouting, because it's always combined with them speaking too softly.

She's my favorite author.  But if Janelle every says something in her 'midnight voice' again...

Saeten croons.  Along with Daemon.  Usually when they're about to either talk to Janelle or when someone's in 'trouble'.

See, I would call that a whisper or hiss. Croon is what people do for a lover or a little child.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Betelnut on March 15, 2013, 09:27:50 AM
Quote
"croon" as a sign of anger

The heck?  Who "croons" when they're angry?

Every male in her Black Jewels books, it seems. And from context, she's not using it to mean shouting, because it's always combined with them speaking too softly.

She's my favorite author.  But if Janelle every says something in her 'midnight voice' again...

Saeten croons.  Along with Daemon.  Usually when they're about to either talk to Janelle or when someone's in 'trouble'.

See, I would call that a whisper or hiss. Croon is what people do for a lover or a little child.

That's why it is so creepy when done by someone who is out to hurt you.  Just imagine someone saying, "I'm coming to get you" in a croon.  Very scary but moreso in a movie than on the page.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on March 16, 2013, 11:28:39 AM

I saw this in a "House" fanfic, of all things. The age spread among the main characters in "House" was almost 20 years, but somehow they managed to be high-school students together. Did I mention I saw this fic in the "House" MST community -- where bad fanfics get the "Mystery Science Theater" treatment?

Oh. My. Word.
HOUSE wasn't House in high school. Prior to his injury and drug addiction, he HAD to be a totally different person.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Betelnut on March 18, 2013, 09:41:16 AM
Thinking that you are reading book 3 in a trilogy and realizing, as you get close to the end of the book, no, there are going to be more books.  Yes, I'm happy that the series is continuing but I thought it was a trilogy!  (Wild Rains Chronicle, by Robin Hobb--ALL of her series have been trilogies before!)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 18, 2013, 10:38:39 AM
Thinking that you are reading book 3 in a trilogy and realizing, as you get close to the end of the book, no, there are going to be more books.  Yes, I'm happy that the series is continuing but I thought it was a trilogy!  (Wild Rains Chronicle, by Robin Hobb--ALL of her series have been trilogies before!)

Yes, that happened to my friend with, I think, Eragon? She was reading the third book, assuming that was going to be the end, then realized there was actually going to be a fourth book, which was nowhere close to being available yet.

My friend and I got into a young adult series that had twelve (small) books--it was a really fascinating premise and pretty well executed. But as we started to get into the last few books, we started to wonder how they were going to wrap everything up in the time they had available. Turns out... they didn't! I think one big villain was defeated, but the twelfth book ended with the heroes still on their quest to defeat the other bigger, badder villain, and permanently cut off from returning home. It was pretty depressing, actually. And, it doesn't seem like the story was ever continued anywhere--it's like the author (or publisher) just got tired of it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on March 18, 2013, 11:15:44 AM
Thinking that you are reading book 3 in a trilogy and realizing, as you get close to the end of the book, no, there are going to be more books.  Yes, I'm happy that the series is continuing but I thought it was a trilogy!  (Wild Rains Chronicle, by Robin Hobb--ALL of her series have been trilogies before!)

Yes, that happened to my friend with, I think, Eragon? She was reading the third book, assuming that was going to be the end, then realized there was actually going to be a fourth book, which was nowhere close to being available yet.

My friend and I got into a young adult series that had twelve (small) books--it was a really fascinating premise and pretty well executed. But as we started to get into the last few books, we started to wonder how they were going to wrap everything up in the time they had available. Turns out... they didn't! I think one big villain was defeated, but the twelfth book ended with the heroes still on their quest to defeat the other bigger, badder villain, and permanently cut off from returning home. It was pretty depressing, actually. And, it doesn't seem like the story was ever continued anywhere--it's like the author (or publisher) just got tired of it.

This is how the Pretty Little Liar series is. It was supposed to end, and actually was wrapped up pretty neatly, with the 8th book. I guess the publishing house decided the series was still profitable, because there are now 14 books out, with a 15th being release shortly. The series has a silly and unbelievable premise to begin with, but each book that is released is just sillier and more unbelievable than the last. I'm still reading them because they are highly addictive and very quick to read :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on March 18, 2013, 01:10:09 PM
That reminds me of The Vampire Diaries.  A trilogy in the early 90's and I thought it ended really well with a bittersweet ending.  Then a 4th book came out.  Ok, that's fine even though I didn't think it was necessary.  It was like a visit with old friends. 

Almost twenty years later, the author continue it.  I didn't even bother reading after hearing some bad things about the new books.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 18, 2013, 01:34:35 PM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: alkira6 on March 18, 2013, 01:45:10 PM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

That was done on purpose so that she could definately say "No, sorry, all tied up, read the last book."  I found the ending dissapointing myself. Not because it tied up all the ends, but because it read like a fangirl rushed "And they all lived happily ever after" type ending.  Also, camping, too much camping.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 18, 2013, 02:41:28 PM
That reminds me of The Vampire Diaries.  A trilogy in the early 90's and I thought it ended really well with a bittersweet ending.  Then a 4th book came out.  Ok, that's fine even though I didn't think it was necessary.  It was like a visit with old friends. 

Almost twenty years later, the author continue it.  I didn't even bother reading after hearing some bad things about the new books.

This is an interesting point because I love the TV show, but apparently they changed a lot of things from the books, and are adding a lot of mythology that wasn't in the books at all. I have the books, but now I'm not sure if I even want to read them, because it sounds like I'll just get confused. Of course a lot of things change when adaptations are made, but in this case it seems like the show has become a different beast in its own right with new books based on the (differing) premise of the TV show, but still called Vampire Diaries. Actually I kind of like it when that happens--to me that's an indication that people really want to play in your universe and make it their own--but on the other hand it can be rather confusing to wade through all the different incarnations.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: violinp on March 18, 2013, 02:48:17 PM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

That was done on purpose so that she could definately say "No, sorry, all tied up, read the last book."  I found the ending dissapointing myself. Not because it tied up all the ends, but because it read like a fangirl rushed "And they all lived happily ever after" type ending.  Also, camping, too much camping.

Rowling wrote the epilogue years before the last books were written (she'd said, I think, around Order of the Phoenix time, that she had the last chapter of what would be Deathly Hallows already written), so I think it was just too much of a tone change from the comparative darkness of the rest of the book for a lot of people. I loved it, but I understand why many people get annoyed or irritated by it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: PeterM on March 18, 2013, 03:03:30 PM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

I got a shiny nickel says there'll be more Harry Potter books within, say, ten years. I could be wrong - lord knows Rowling doesn't need the money - but I think there will be. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, if she sticks to fleshing out the world and the history rather than making it "Harry Potter and the Threat That's Even Worse Than Voldemort!"
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Shea on March 18, 2013, 06:47:15 PM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

That was done on purpose so that she could definately say "No, sorry, all tied up, read the last book."  I found the ending dissapointing myself. Not because it tied up all the ends, but because it read like a fangirl rushed "And they all lived happily ever after" type ending.  Also, camping, too much camping.

There's a reason a fan nickname for the last book is Harry Potter and the Very Long Camping Trip >:D.

I didn't mind all the camping, but that's probably because my tolerance for epics was shaped by reading The Lord of the Rings at a very young age (walking, walking, walking, running, walking, riding, fighting, riding, walking, walking, walking...)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 18, 2013, 07:09:39 PM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

That was done on purpose so that she could definately say "No, sorry, all tied up, read the last book."  I found the ending dissapointing myself. Not because it tied up all the ends, but because it read like a fangirl rushed "And they all lived happily ever after" type ending.  Also, camping, too much camping.

Rowling wrote the epilogue years before the last books were written (she'd said, I think, around Order of the Phoenix time, that she had the last chapter of what would be Deathly Hallows already written), so I think it was just too much of a tone change from the comparative darkness of the rest of the book for a lot of people. I loved it, but I understand why many people get annoyed or irritated by it.

I saw a discussion between Daniel Radcliffe and J.K. Rowling saying she went through a dark period I think during Prisoner of Azkaban where she was tempted to kill Ron, but changed her mind because she had originally meant for him to last through the series.    I do like the epilogue, as it didn't bother me and it was kinda nice seeing where they ended up.

And I wouldn't be upset if she did write little spinoffs in the future about different characters.  I'd be curious to hear how Teddy Lupin turned out.  Though without Voldemort it might be tough to come up with much for major conflict unless it's a character-driven story.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Luci on March 19, 2013, 12:51:09 AM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

That was done on purpose so that she could definately say "No, sorry, all tied up, read the last book."  I found the ending dissapointing myself. Not because it tied up all the ends, but because it read like a fangirl rushed "And they all lived happily ever after" type ending.  Also, camping, too much camping.

There's a reason a fan nickname for the last book is Harry Potter and the Very Long Camping Trip >:D.

I didn't mind all the camping, but that's probably because my tolerance for epics was shaped by reading The Lord of the Rings at a very young age (walking, walking, walking, running, walking, riding, fighting, riding, walking, walking, walking...)

And poems and walking and songs and...............I read them when I was in college, so 1963-1966 but before we got married. I read all four books, and really thought nothing stood up to the sweet and simple and adventurous The Hobbit.

One of the few clutters I regret parting with. Sigh.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on March 19, 2013, 06:02:34 AM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

I got a shiny nickel says there'll be more Harry Potter books within, say, ten years. I could be wrong - lord knows Rowling doesn't need the money - but I think there will be. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, if she sticks to fleshing out the world and the history rather than making it "Harry Potter and the Threat That's Even Worse Than Voldemort!"

I concur here. Read and enjoyed the Potter books, though was never an ardent fan. I took the most pleasure, in the crazy and intricate world built by Rowling; more than in the IMO "identikit" and hackneyed titanic-struggle-between-good-and-evil-with-the-world's-fate-at-stake, or the character-interplay-and-development aspect.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on March 19, 2013, 08:32:38 AM
That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

I got a shiny nickel says there'll be more Harry Potter books within, say, ten years. I could be wrong - lord knows Rowling doesn't need the money - but I think there will be. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, if she sticks to fleshing out the world and the history rather than making it "Harry Potter and the Threat That's Even Worse Than Voldemort!"

I concur here. Read and enjoyed the Potter books, though was never an ardent fan. I took the most pleasure, in the crazy and intricate world built by Rowling; more than in the IMO "identikit" and hackneyed titanic-struggle-between-good-and-evil-with-the-world's-fate-at-stake, or the character-interplay-and-development aspect.

I loved the first books - they were intricate, quirky and the reader explored an amazing world with Harry. However, once the world was mostly fleshed out and the titanic struggle became the center issue, I thought they started getting worse. The angsty teenager Harry was also annoying and shows up at around the same time, so it was a double blow. I have only vague memories of the last book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 19, 2013, 10:31:37 AM
Somewhat on the subject of Harry Potter, I think it's interesting (or perhaps inevitable) how one big success in publishing begets about a billion "knock-offs." Although children's books, and fantasy in particular, were certainly not dead or disrespected before Harry Potter came along, I don't think anyone thought of them as potential blockbusters. Post-Harry Potter, there are tons of children's fantasy series--I rarely see stand-alones anymore, and it's much more likely to find a big, colorful display of them at the bookstore, often unsubtly marked as "Looking for something to read after Harry Potter?"

Same with Twilight--there are now so many teen supernatural romances that they actually have a labeled section for it at my local chain bookstore, whereas not too long ago it was sort of the "weird" little subsection you didn't want to be seen in.

I actually don't consider this a pet peeve, I think it's kind of cool, because I tend to like books in those genres. :) Of course they vary a lot in quality, and I always wonder how many were fully-fleshed-out ideas that publishers are now receptive to, and how many were whipped up in focus group meetings...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: CoryanderX on March 19, 2013, 01:10:54 PM
My pet peeve: When the entire book is about making you loathe a particular character, who's built up more and more as the most ridiculously awful, horrid, gratuitously mean person alive, and then at the climax, the protagonist finally has the chance to get revenge, or at the very least tell the person how unbelievably terrible they are...

And then right as the protagonist is about to FINALLY unleash some karma, they look into the villain's eyes and they realize that the villain only acts so awful because they're scared and pathetic, and telling them off won't really make the protagonist feel any better, and really the protagonist just feels sorry for them. So she just lets them go without so much as a single expletive. Often without the villain even realizing that they were in trouble.

I hate this so much. Real life (as these forums can attest) is full of having to swallow your irritation and accept that awful people are going to be awful and there's not much you can do about it. But if I've let my silly beach book spend 200 pages manipulating me into hating a character with all of my heart, I want it to end with some kind of satisfying consequences for them. Not a moral lecture about how it's better to just forgive someone who spends their life going out of their way to cause pain and suffering to others for no reason, because, you know, maybe their marriage is having some problems or something. And if you would enjoy getting revenge on that person, well, that would make you just as terrible as they are! Exactly equally terrible.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redwing on March 19, 2013, 01:36:29 PM
My pet peeve: When the entire book is about making you loathe a particular character, who's built up more and more as the most ridiculously awful, horrid, gratuitously mean person alive, and then at the climax, the protagonist finally has the chance to get revenge, or at the very least tell the person how unbelievably terrible they are...

And then right as the protagonist is about to FINALLY unleash some karma, they look into the villain's eyes and they realize that the villain only acts so awful because they're scared and pathetic, and telling them off won't really make the protagonist feel any better, and really the protagonist just feels sorry for them. So she just lets them go without so much as a single expletive. Often without the villain even realizing that they were in trouble.

I hate this so much. Real life (as these forums can attest) is full of having to swallow your irritation and accept that awful people are going to be awful and there's not much you can do about it. But if I've let my silly beach book spend 200 pages manipulating me into hating a character with all of my heart, I want it to end with some kind of satisfying consequences for them. Not a moral lecture about how it's better to just forgive someone who spends their life going out of their way to cause pain and suffering to others for no reason, because, you know, maybe their marriage is having some problems or something. And if you would enjoy getting revenge on that person, well, that would make you just as terrible as they are! Exactly equally terrible.

I am so with you on this one.  I feel manipulated and I don't like that feeling.  If there is a reason the person is horrible than give me some back story before you spring it on me at the end!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: snowflake on March 19, 2013, 01:53:15 PM
My pet peeve: When the entire book is about making you loathe a particular character, who's built up more and more as the most ridiculously awful, horrid, gratuitously mean person alive, and then at the climax, the protagonist finally has the chance to get revenge, or at the very least tell the person how unbelievably terrible they are...

And then right as the protagonist is about to FINALLY unleash some karma, they look into the villain's eyes and they realize that the villain only acts so awful because they're scared and pathetic, and telling them off won't really make the protagonist feel any better, and really the protagonist just feels sorry for them. So she just lets them go without so much as a single expletive. Often without the villain even realizing that they were in trouble.

I hate this so much. Real life (as these forums can attest) is full of having to swallow your irritation and accept that awful people are going to be awful and there's not much you can do about it. But if I've let my silly beach book spend 200 pages manipulating me into hating a character with all of my heart, I want it to end with some kind of satisfying consequences for them. Not a moral lecture about how it's better to just forgive someone who spends their life going out of their way to cause pain and suffering to others for no reason, because, you know, maybe their marriage is having some problems or something. And if you would enjoy getting revenge on that person, well, that would make you just as terrible as they are! Exactly equally terrible.

Just as a spin off, I hate it when a book builds up loathing of a character by having said character commit crimes against humanity and then try and make them sympathetic by throwing in some trauma in their past.  I just read something where the villain had a rapey streak.  He preyed on men with low self-esteem sexually even when they said they didn't want to be with him anymore.  Towards the end it is revealed that he was molested so apparently it's alright!   

Um no.  Even though that's sad and all, I don't like seeing someone torture and abuse for two decades and then walk off scot-free.  Oh, and have a story-book wedding because there was a self-sacrificing woman who "loved him enough" and is going to heal him on their country estate (after the men he preyed on marry their sweethearts who are going to love the trauma away.)

I guess that makes me Judgy McJudgersons and just not bleeding heart enough according to the author.  But dude, I was really sort of hoping it was going to end with the self-sacrificing woman giving him a lesson of a different sort.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on March 19, 2013, 04:46:03 PM

That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

I got a shiny nickel says there'll be more Harry Potter books within, say, ten years. I could be wrong - lord knows Rowling doesn't need the money - but I think there will be. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, if she sticks to fleshing out the world and the history rather than making it "Harry Potter and the Threat That's Even Worse Than Voldemort!"

I concur here. Read and enjoyed the Potter books, though was never an ardent fan. I took the most pleasure, in the crazy and intricate world built by Rowling; more than in the IMO "identikit" and hackneyed titanic-struggle-between-good-and-evil-with-the-world's-fate-at-stake, or the character-interplay-and-development aspect.

I loved the first books - they were intricate, quirky and the reader explored an amazing world with Harry. However, once the world was mostly fleshed out and the titanic struggle became the center issue, I thought they started getting worse. The angsty teenager Harry was also annoying and shows up at around the same time, so it was a double blow. I have only vague memories of the last book.

And as time went on, the books not only started getting worse, they got -- in the main -- longer. I have to feel that the execution of the series is, basically, messy. I don't hold the austere view which some do, that any literary offering has to be a brief-and-spare masterpiece of jeweller's / watchmaker's minimalist precision, or else it's rubbish -- there is a place in literature for discursive-and-waffly works -- but "Potter" in the later books, just seemed to go off lengthily in all kinds of pointless blind-alley directions. I gather that Rowling has claimed that she had the entire content meticulously in mind, from a very early date: in this, frankly I don't believe her.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: LEMon on March 19, 2013, 06:50:27 PM

That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

I got a shiny nickel says there'll be more Harry Potter books within, say, ten years. I could be wrong - lord knows Rowling doesn't need the money - but I think there will be. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, if she sticks to fleshing out the world and the history rather than making it "Harry Potter and the Threat That's Even Worse Than Voldemort!"

I concur here. Read and enjoyed the Potter books, though was never an ardent fan. I took the most pleasure, in the crazy and intricate world built by Rowling; more than in the IMO "identikit" and hackneyed titanic-struggle-between-good-and-evil-with-the-world's-fate-at-stake, or the character-interplay-and-development aspect.

I loved the first books - they were intricate, quirky and the reader explored an amazing world with Harry. However, once the world was mostly fleshed out and the titanic struggle became the center issue, I thought they started getting worse. The angsty teenager Harry was also annoying and shows up at around the same time, so it was a double blow. I have only vague memories of the last book.

And as time went on, the books not only started getting worse, they got -- in the main -- longer. I have to feel that the execution of the series is, basically, messy. I don't hold the austere view which some do, that any literary offering has to be a brief-and-spare masterpiece of jeweller's / watchmaker's minimalist precision, or else it's rubbish -- there is a place in literature for discursive-and-waffly works -- but "Potter" in the later books, just seemed to go off lengthily in all kinds of pointless blind-alley directions. I gather that Rowling has claimed that she had the entire content meticulously in mind, from a very early date: in this, frankly I don't believe her.
Sounds like how my stories grow: I get the base idea, then as time passes, the characters do other neat things in my mind, which lead to other neat things.  Then I have to remember what the real story is.  She just didn't cut out the extras.

Though by the final book, everyone was used to how big the last was and that the next would be larger.  But, come on already, enough camping.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on March 19, 2013, 07:04:14 PM

That makes me glad for series like Harry Potter that had a well defined end to the series with an author that would not add any more to the series once it was done.

I got a shiny nickel says there'll be more Harry Potter books within, say, ten years. I could be wrong - lord knows Rowling doesn't need the money - but I think there will be. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, if she sticks to fleshing out the world and the history rather than making it "Harry Potter and the Threat That's Even Worse Than Voldemort!"

I concur here. Read and enjoyed the Potter books, though was never an ardent fan. I took the most pleasure, in the crazy and intricate world built by Rowling; more than in the IMO "identikit" and hackneyed titanic-struggle-between-good-and-evil-with-the-world's-fate-at-stake, or the character-interplay-and-development aspect.

I loved the first books - they were intricate, quirky and the reader explored an amazing world with Harry. However, once the world was mostly fleshed out and the titanic struggle became the center issue, I thought they started getting worse. The angsty teenager Harry was also annoying and shows up at around the same time, so it was a double blow. I have only vague memories of the last book.

And as time went on, the books not only started getting worse, they got -- in the main -- longer. I have to feel that the execution of the series is, basically, messy. I don't hold the austere view which some do, that any literary offering has to be a brief-and-spare masterpiece of jeweller's / watchmaker's minimalist precision, or else it's rubbish -- there is a place in literature for discursive-and-waffly works -- but "Potter" in the later books, just seemed to go off lengthily in all kinds of pointless blind-alley directions. I gather that Rowling has claimed that she had the entire content meticulously in mind, from a very early date: in this, frankly I don't believe her.

I believe her just as much as I believe George Lucas when he said that he had the entire Stars Wars trilogy/hexalogy/ennealogy in mind. Because that little incest side plot really added to character development.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: cabbageweevil on March 19, 2013, 07:37:09 PM
And as time went on, the books not only started getting worse, they got -- in the main -- longer. I have to feel that the execution of the series is, basically, messy. I don't hold the austere view which some do, that any literary offering has to be a brief-and-spare masterpiece of jeweller's / watchmaker's minimalist precision, or else it's rubbish -- there is a place in literature for discursive-and-waffly works -- but "Potter" in the later books, just seemed to go off lengthily in all kinds of pointless blind-alley directions. I gather that Rowling has claimed that she had the entire content meticulously in mind, from a very early date: in this, frankly I don't believe her.

I believe her just as much as I believe George Lucas when he said that he had the entire Stars Wars trilogy/hexalogy/ennealogy in mind. Because that little incest side plot really added to character development.

Writers have to safeguard their livelihood, I suppose, and present it in the best light; sometimes, though, willing suspension of disbelief on the customers' part, gets a bit strained.

And Le Mon writes:
"...she just didn't cut out the extras. Though by the final book, everyone was used to how big the last was and that the next would be larger. But come on already, enough camping."

Enough of that stuff, amen ! Regardless of the splendour of the whole -- thank heaven that it was indeed limited to seven books.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on March 19, 2013, 10:51:18 PM


I believe her just as much as I believe George Lucas when he said that he had the entire Stars Wars trilogy/hexalogy/ennealogy in mind. Because that little incest side plot really added to character development.
I remember reading an interview with Lucas in which he stated that he'd made Leia younger than Luke so she could be a love interest for both Luke and Han.
I remember this so clearly because everyone I mentioned it to at the time (c. 1979) said, 'Leia is YOUNGER than Luke?'
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: zyrs on March 20, 2013, 12:51:22 AM
I remember reading an interview with Lucas in which he stated that he'd made Leia younger than Luke so she could be a love interest for both Luke and Han.
I remember this so clearly because everyone I mentioned it to at the time (c. 1979) said, 'Leia is YOUNGER than Luke?'

She certainly didn't seem so.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: twiggy on March 20, 2013, 01:15:49 AM
I remember reading an interview with Lucas in which he stated that he'd made Leia younger than Luke so she could be a love interest for both Luke and Han.
I remember this so clearly because everyone I mentioned it to at the time (c. 1979) said, 'Leia is YOUNGER than Luke?'

She certainly didn't seem so.

I'm pretty sure they were twins, so I guess Leia could be younger,  but not by much
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 20, 2013, 05:26:00 AM
I thought they were twins.  It's been a while since I saw the third installment of the prequels but I'm pretty sure someone says that Padme had twins, a boy and a girl.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: HoneyBee42 on March 20, 2013, 06:36:43 AM
Well, they *became* twins, but in the early scripts of what became episode IV, Luke was stated to be 20, Leia 16.  I saw Star Wars the first time in '77, and there is *no way* that I believe that the whole arc of stories was in George's mind at that time.

On Harry Potter, I can believe that she had a pretty good idea of the final confrontation between Harry & Voldemort, but not so much the "how to get there" from book 1.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Margo on March 20, 2013, 07:11:51 AM
Well, they *became* twins, but in the early scripts of what became episode IV, Luke was stated to be 20, Leia 16.  I saw Star Wars the first time in '77, and there is *no way* that I believe that the whole arc of stories was in George's mind at that time.

On Harry Potter, I can believe that she had a pretty good idea of the final confrontation between Harry & Voldemort, but not so much the "how to get there" from book 1.

I belive that she had the main story in her mind, and probably most of the main plot points. Having heard a lot of writers talk about how they write, I do believe that there are those who do have very clear, long term plans, just as there are others who don't write in that way. 
I went to a talk by Rowling a couple of weeks ago - she mentione dthat she has no intention of writing other Potter books - she deliberately tied up the loose ends and wanted a firm, happy ending ("I know not everyone liked the epilogue, but I wanted to be clear that it had ended. My Characters, My rules")  She mentioned that she didn't think prequels were generally successful so she didn't see her self doing those.

She did mention she is currently working on a (non-Potter) children's story although it's in the very early stages.
I agree that the later books could have used some firm editing.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on March 20, 2013, 10:53:10 AM
I remember reading an interview with Lucas in which he stated that he'd made Leia younger than Luke so she could be a love interest for both Luke and Han.
I remember this so clearly because everyone I mentioned it to at the time (c. 1979) said, 'Leia is YOUNGER than Luke?'

She certainly didn't seem so.

I'm pretty sure they were twins, so I guess Leia could be younger,  but not by much
The interview was after Star Wars, but before Empire or Return. No one at that time knew they were siblings. So I do doubt that Lucas had worked that detail out in advance, otherwise it's really odd that he would call Leia a love interest for Luke.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Betelnut on March 20, 2013, 11:35:22 AM
To be fair to Robin Hobb (from my original post), the Wild Rains Chronicles never said anywhere that is was going to be a trilogy.  I just assumed that based on the previous books that she wrote.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 20, 2013, 09:43:49 PM
My biggest HP related pet peeve is with the last movie, the scene where Harry says "Let's finish this the way it started! Together!" then puts his arms around Voldemort's neck and throws them both off the cliff.

WHY????? That makes absolutely no sense, did NOT happen in the book and was just plain stupid!  Well I have a theory as to why.  They wanted to make use of the 3D effects.  That and having Voldemort dissolve into ashes.  I guess the thinking was that he was basically soulless since all the horcruxes had been destroyed but still...I really wish they hadn't made it 3D because it seems to make movies so dark when you watch them without 3D.  We have the movies on blu-ray but not 3D blu-ray since we don't have a 3D tv and some scenes are so dark you can't make out what's what.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redwing on March 21, 2013, 07:39:05 AM
My biggest HP related pet peeve is with the last movie, the scene where Harry says "Let's finish this the way it started! Together!" then puts his arms around Voldemort's neck and throws them both off the cliff.

WHY????? That makes absolutely no sense, did NOT happen in the book and was just plain stupid!  Well I have a theory as to why.  They wanted to make use of the 3D effects.  That and having Voldemort dissolve into ashes.  I guess the thinking was that he was basically soulless since all the horcruxes had been destroyed but still...I really wish they hadn't made it 3D because it seems to make movies so dark when you watch them without 3D.  We have the movies on blu-ray but not 3D blu-ray since we don't have a 3D tv and some scenes are so dark you can't make out what's what.

I am such a Potter-phile that I very rarely criticise something in the books.  The movies, though, are another story.  I hated the way the did the final battle in Deathly Hallows.  Everything about it was wrong. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 21, 2013, 08:03:19 AM
It's been a while since I read the book but I had that feeling too, it just felt like they were just out to utilize the 3D effects.    Though my favorite parts are when Molly says to Bellatrix "Not my daughter, you b****!!* and Neville beheading Nagini. :)

And before everything really gets started, Prof. McGonagall casting the piertotom locamotor spell and saying "I've always wanted to use that spell!" :D
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Luci on March 21, 2013, 08:08:20 AM


I am such a Potter-phile that I very rarely criticise something in the books.  The movies, though, are another story.  I hated the way the did the final battle in Deathly Hallows.  Everything about it was wrong.

This is why I never see a movie of a book I loved - except of course To Kill a Mockingbird.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RebeccainGA on March 21, 2013, 08:12:32 AM


I am such a Potter-phile that I very rarely criticise something in the books.  The movies, though, are another story.  I hated the way the did the final battle in Deathly Hallows.  Everything about it was wrong.

This is why I never see a movie of a book I loved - except of course To Kill a Mockingbird.

I loved the books. Loved the movies. Had to separate them as totally different things about movie three. They were, and will always be, two loosely related but wholly separate forms of entertainment.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redwing on March 21, 2013, 08:23:35 AM


I am such a Potter-phile that I very rarely criticise something in the books.  The movies, though, are another story.  I hated the way the did the final battle in Deathly Hallows.  Everything about it was wrong.

This is why I never see a movie of a book I loved - except of course To Kill a Mockingbird.

I loved the books. Loved the movies. Had to separate them as totally different things about movie three. They were, and will always be, two loosely related but wholly separate forms of entertainment.

Have to clarify that for the most part, I loved the movies, too.  But that final battle was extremely disappointing to me.  I didn't like Harry and Voldemort falling off the precipice and spinning around as they did.  In particular it irritates me that no one was in the courtyard with Harry and Voldemort at the end.  That made it seem, I don't know the word I want, perhaps anti-climactic, that the rest of them didn't seem the end.  That and the Malfoy's running from the castle.

And I agree, the film of To Kill a Mockingbird was the best adaptation of a book I've ever seen.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 21, 2013, 08:30:20 AM
I love the books and the movies of Harry Potter, and I did like most of part 2 of Deathly Hallows, but that one bit with Harry and Voldemort really irritated the snot out of me. 

And now I know why Voldemort's demise bugged me.  It seemed anticlimatic for him to just dissolve into ashes.   I was expecting him to die the way other people did when "Avada kedavra" was cast.  Also, Bellatrix LeStrange's death...again, dissolving into flakes. Why?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redwing on March 21, 2013, 08:58:33 AM

And now I know why Voldemort's demise bugged me.  It seemed anticlimatic for him to just dissolve into ashes.   I was expecting him to die the way other people did when "Avada kedavra" was cast.  Also, Bellatrix LeStrange's death...again, dissolving into flakes. Why?

Exactly!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 21, 2013, 09:08:42 AM
I'm re-reading Half Blood Prince again because the last time we watched the movie DH, who hasn't read any of the books, was perplexed as to why Harry was not disciplined at all or even reprimanded for casting Septusumpra on Malfoy and was allowed to wander freely about the castle grounds. 

I couldn't remember what really happened, so I'm re-reading.

Now I think I need to re-read Deathly Hallows, or at least the end of it, to refresh myself on how  Bellatrix and Voldmort actually died.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Redwing on March 21, 2013, 09:25:36 AM
I'm re-reading Half Blood Prince again because the last time we watched the movie DH, who hasn't read any of the books, was perplexed as to why Harry was not disciplined at all or even reprimanded for casting Septusumpra on Malfoy and was allowed to wander freely about the castle grounds. 

I couldn't remember what really happened, so I'm re-reading.

Now I think I need to re-read Deathly Hallows, or at least the end of it, to refresh myself on how  Bellatrix and Voldmort actually died.

You don't even want to know how many times I've read the whole series.  My daughter, too. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on March 21, 2013, 10:21:07 AM
I can't watch the HP movies. At all. I'm a nitpicker, a lover of the books, and I just can't stand the inaccuracies. I will spend days ranting about them. It started fine, but at movie three it started going downhill fast. Thankfully my family realized this about movie six and stop forcing me to see them with them.

On the other hand, The Hobbit is all but my Bible and I am in love with 'An Unexpected Journey'. There were changes yes, but really I feel like they expanded the narrative from great to 'Holy Hedgemuffins!'

Although I did have trouble with the end, but that was just because my dad missed it and I had to try and explain where they were left off to someone whose only seen the cartoon movie.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: ica171 on March 21, 2013, 10:46:51 AM
Well, they *became* twins, but in the early scripts of what became episode IV, Luke was stated to be 20, Leia 16.  I saw Star Wars the first time in '77, and there is *no way* that I believe that the whole arc of stories was in George's mind at that time.

On Harry Potter, I can believe that she had a pretty good idea of the final confrontation between Harry & Voldemort, but not so much the "how to get there" from book 1.

I belive that she had the main story in her mind, and probably most of the main plot points. Having heard a lot of writers talk about how they write, I do believe that there are those who do have very clear, long term plans, just as there are others who don't write in that way. 
I went to a talk by Rowling a couple of weeks ago - she mentione dthat she has no intention of writing other Potter books - she deliberately tied up the loose ends and wanted a firm, happy ending ("I know not everyone liked the epilogue, but I wanted to be clear that it had ended. My Characters, My rules")  She mentioned that she didn't think prequels were generally successful so she didn't see her self doing those.

She did mention she is currently working on a (non-Potter) children's story although it's in the very early stages.
I agree that the later books could have used some firm editing.

Pantsers (as in, fly by the seat of your pants) vs. plotters. I think there must be a hybrid of the two as well.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on March 21, 2013, 11:33:37 AM
Pantsers (as in, fly by the seat of your pants) vs. plotters. I think there must be a hybrid of the two as well.
And there are authors who start with a plan, then make changes and forget that the changes weren't part of the original plan.
I once told a friend that I had been writing a novel, but I hadn't worked on it in months. She wanted to read it anyway. When she'd finished, she asked me if I'd intended to imply that the main character was gay. I replied with a surprised NO...until I re-read the draft again and realized that yes, I HAD included that scene that raised that possibility. I'd just forgotten about it entirely, as, in the intervening months, I'd come up with a totally different plot line.   
I think Rowling probably had the same experiences...she had an idea where everything was going, but as she thought about it, and wrote it in her head at odd moments, it evolved and she forgot she hadn't planned it to be that way from the very beginning.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 21, 2013, 11:36:49 AM
I do think the Potter movies were very well cast.  They picked great kids to play the students, though the only one that didn't fit my image of the character was Dolores Umbridge. The actress didn't look as toadlike as I imagined, though she was a great actress. 

As for Rowling, I read that the girl that was cast as Luna, Evanna Lynch, shaped how she wrote Luna in the later books.  Though I don't think in that character's instance it was a bad thing but then I adore Luna Lovegood in both books and movies.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on March 21, 2013, 07:58:14 PM
I went to a talk by Rowling a couple of weeks ago - she mentione dthat she has no intention of writing other Potter books - she deliberately tied up the loose ends and wanted a firm, happy ending ("I know not everyone liked the epilogue, but I wanted to be clear that it had ended. My Characters, My rules")  She mentioned that she didn't think prequels were generally successful so she didn't see her self doing those.

She did mention she is currently working on a (non-Potter) children's story although it's in the very early stages.
I agree that the later books could have used some firm editing.
Once authors get to the point in a writing career where Rowling was in the middle of the series, they can say "NO EDITING" and make it stick. The first book, maybe even up to the third, the editor can say "I'd like to see these changes" and if the author wants to make the sale, she might go along.  If not, she has to have a pretty compelling reason why not.  "I can't cut out the scene where X happens, because it has major consequences in later books of the series."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: KenveeB on March 21, 2013, 10:34:05 PM
On the other hand, The Hobbit is all but my Bible and I am in love with 'An Unexpected Journey'. There were changes yes, but really I feel like they expanded the narrative from great to 'Holy Hedgemuffins!'

I liked it, because I didn't feel like they so much changed The Hobbit book as included stuff that wasn't in the book because Bilbo didn't see it. So it still feels like the same story, just fresh perspectives.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Venus193 on March 22, 2013, 09:50:31 AM
Once authors get to the point in a writing career where Rowling was in the middle of the series, they can say "NO EDITING" and make it stick. The first book, maybe even up to the third, the editor can say "I'd like to see these changes" and if the author wants to make the sale, she might go along.  If not, she has to have a pretty compelling reason why not.  "I can't cut out the scene where X happens, because it has major consequences in later books of the series."

I don't know whether she did that or not but I've seen examples of authors who became popular enough so that their publishing houses decide to save money by not editing them because they think their fans will buy the book anyway.  This does nothing positive for the author in the long term.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kariachi on March 22, 2013, 11:50:49 AM
Once authors get to the point in a writing career where Rowling was in the middle of the series, they can say "NO EDITING" and make it stick. The first book, maybe even up to the third, the editor can say "I'd like to see these changes" and if the author wants to make the sale, she might go along.  If not, she has to have a pretty compelling reason why not.  "I can't cut out the scene where X happens, because it has major consequences in later books of the series."

I don't know whether she did that or not but I've seen examples of authors who became popular enough so that their publishing houses decide to save money by not editing them because they think their fans will buy the book anyway.  This does nothing positive for the author in the long term.

Also, it alienates possible new fans. My mom hasn't touched one writer(can't remember who) since she made me read their work. I got two chapters in, put it down, and only picked it up again to point out all the grammar errors she'd missed in her fan-ish fury. Given that that's our worse pet peeve*...


*She's actually recommended that I publish something on Kindle 'cause she can count on me to spread proper grammar and spelling.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on March 22, 2013, 03:09:02 PM
Once authors get to the point in a writing career where Rowling was in the middle of the series, they can say "NO EDITING" and make it stick. The first book, maybe even up to the third, the editor can say "I'd like to see these changes" and if the author wants to make the sale, she might go along.  If not, she has to have a pretty compelling reason why not.  "I can't cut out the scene where X happens, because it has major consequences in later books of the series."

Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton are both Horrible Warnings for people who believe they can do without a good editor. Along with the perils of falling in love with your characters, but that's a whole other rant.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on March 22, 2013, 10:53:53 PM
]Once authors get to the point in a writing career where Rowling was in the middle of the series, they can say "NO EDITING" and make it stick. The first book, maybe even up to the third, the editor can say "I'd like to see these changes" and if the author wants to make the sale, she might go along.  If not, she has to have a pretty compelling reason why not.  "I can't cut out the scene where X happens, because it has major consequences in later books of the series."

I actually stopped reading Stephen King for the longest time because of that. And he was my absolute most favorite author for years. Then I read one of his books, not sure which one now because of how far back that was, and thought to myself, "Wow, I can't believe they actually published this. Did anyone actually read it? It's garbage."

What brought me back to reading his stuff again was when he resumed the Dark Tower series.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: AnnaJ on March 22, 2013, 11:48:15 PM
  I actually stopped reading Stephen King for the longest time because of that. And he was my absolute most favorite author for years. Then I read one of his books, not sure which one now because of how far back that was, and thought to myself, "Wow, I can't believe they actually published this. Did anyone actually read it? It's garbage."

What brought me back to reading his stuff again was when he resumed the Dark Tower series.

I read all of his books up to It, when I realized I wasn't enjoying his writing at all and haven't read him since.  I've been thinking about getting 11/22/63 - have you read it?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on March 23, 2013, 02:08:19 AM
  I actually stopped reading Stephen King for the longest time because of that. And he was my absolute most favorite author for years. Then I read one of his books, not sure which one now because of how far back that was, and thought to myself, "Wow, I can't believe they actually published this. Did anyone actually read it? It's garbage."

What brought me back to reading his stuff again was when he resumed the Dark Tower series.

I read all of his books up to It, when I realized I wasn't enjoying his writing at all and haven't read him since.  I've been thinking about getting 11/22/63 - have you read it?

I am NOT a fan of Stephen King's earlier work at all, but I absolutely adored both "Under the Dome" and "11/22/63". Couldn't put them down!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: rose red on March 23, 2013, 09:01:51 AM
I am NOT a fan of Stephen King's earlier work at all, but I absolutely adored both "Under the Dome" and "11/22/63". Couldn't put them down!

I have a copy of Under the Dome, but never got around to reading it.  I saw a commercial for the movie (mini-series?) and thought about reading it before it aired, but that thing is a big old monster.  My problem is that I like to read a book in one sitting so I'm trying to work up to it.  I don't think I'll be able to in one sitting, but maybe during a three day weekend will make it feel like one sitting.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on March 23, 2013, 09:02:12 AM

I read all of his books up to It, when I realized I wasn't enjoying his writing at all and haven't read him since.  I've been thinking about getting 11/22/63 - have you read it?

I haven't read that one since I'm not a fan of time travel stories. Now that I think about it, I haven't read all that much of his stuff outside of the Dark Tower series. Cell was interesting, but went too much into weirdness, but From A Buick 8 was entertaining.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on March 23, 2013, 09:26:59 AM
I am NOT a fan of Stephen King's earlier work at all, but I absolutely adored both "Under the Dome" and "11/22/63". Couldn't put them down!

I have a copy of Under the Dome, but never got around to reading it.  I saw a commercial for the movie (mini-series?) and thought about reading it before it aired, but that thing is a big old monster.  My problem is that I like to read a book in one sitting so I'm trying to work up to it.  I don't think I'll be able to in one sitting, but maybe during a three day weekend will make it feel like one sitting.

It is a behemoth of a book - I completely agree with you there. I started Sunday afternoon, which was a huge mistake. I ended up getting to bed late Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and being "late" to work Monday and Tuesday (I don't have set times, but like to be at work at 8am - just a personal preference though, so I don't get in trouble for being late) because I kept having to read "just one more chapter". I finally finished Tuesday night.

In other words - saving it for a three-day weekend sounds like an excellent idea. I wish I still had my first read of it ahead of me.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 26, 2013, 09:49:04 AM
After doing some reading this weekend I came up with two.

1) Fiction. Really interesting story that was told from a child's point of view, but with serious things going on around her. At many points it was cute and clever. However, there were some important things that I felt like I was supposed to understand--like who the kid's biological parents were, what happened to the villain at the end, etc.--but didn't, because the kid could only convey what she heard and saw, and the adults tended to ping looks at each other in an attempt to be discreet. Great for the kid, not so much the reader. I'm not very good at reading between the lines.

2) Non-fiction. I was reading a book that relied heavily on illustrations. And the illustrations were not located next to the text that discussed them. This bothers me in a lot of books. These were black-and-white drawings that were embedded in the text, and they all seemed to be at least two pages away from the text describing them--like I'm reading the text and have to constantly turn a page, or two, forward to the figure, then back to the text. They always seem to be after the text describing them. I'd much rather have them before. Like, "Here's the figure. Now let me describe what you should notice in it." But most non-fiction books I read seem to be more like, "Here's a text description of an abstract phenomenon. Got it? Okay, now here's a picture of what you should have been imagining from the text."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MonteCristo on March 26, 2013, 10:55:16 AM
Advertisements: The trilogy I just finished reading was rather enjoyable (Rho Agenda) but in the second and especially the third book, the author started using brand names a lot, and in really weird ways.  For instance, a female agent always refered to her handgun as a Heckler and Koch.  I'm actually kind of into guns, and I've only ever heard people say HK.  Another time while two guys are fighting they mentioned that one guys stomps on the other guys face with his "redwing" boots.  And every single time someone boots up a computer they mention the windows logon screen.  It started getting a bit ridiculous.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on March 26, 2013, 01:40:40 PM
Advertisements: The trilogy I just finished reading was rather enjoyable (Rho Agenda) but in the second and especially the third book, the author started using brand names a lot, and in really weird ways.  For instance, a female agent always refered to her handgun as a Heckler and Koch.  I'm actually kind of into guns, and I've only ever heard people say HK.  Another time while two guys are fighting they mentioned that one guys stomps on the other guys face with his "redwing" boots.  And every single time someone boots up a computer they mention the windows logon screen.  It started getting a bit ridiculous.

I'll admit, even I'm guilty of referring to the booting up as showing the Windows screen.  But yeah, the others are annoying.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Mental Magpie on March 26, 2013, 05:36:07 PM
Advertisements: The trilogy I just finished reading was rather enjoyable (Rho Agenda) but in the second and especially the third book, the author started using brand names a lot, and in really weird ways.  For instance, a female agent always refered to her handgun as a Heckler and Koch.  I'm actually kind of into guns, and I've only ever heard people say HK.  Another time while two guys are fighting they mentioned that one guys stomps on the other guys face with his "redwing" boots.  And every single time someone boots up a computer they mention the windows logon screen.  It started getting a bit ridiculous.

I'll admit, even I'm guilty of referring to the booting up as showing the Windows screen.  But yeah, the others are annoying.

Once or twice wouldn't bother me, but continuously makes it seem like a deliberate product placement ad and would be way too overboard.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on March 26, 2013, 10:02:59 PM
Advertisements: The trilogy I just finished reading was rather enjoyable (Rho Agenda) but in the second and especially the third book, the author started using brand names a lot, and in really weird ways.  For instance, a female agent always refered to her handgun as a Heckler and Koch.  I'm actually kind of into guns, and I've only ever heard people say HK.  Another time while two guys are fighting they mentioned that one guys stomps on the other guys face with his "redwing" boots.  And every single time someone boots up a computer they mention the windows logon screen.  It started getting a bit ridiculous.

I'll admit, even I'm guilty of referring to the booting up as showing the Windows screen.  But yeah, the others are annoying.

Once or twice wouldn't bother me, but continuously makes it seem like a deliberate product placement ad and would be way too overboard.

I hate the product placement as well. Worse was the first book in a series that kept referring to the protagonist’s phone, clearly intending for it to be iPhone-esque, but calling it an X-Phone or something. I think the author dropped some Ferragamo and other expensive brand names in as well. I didn’t continue the series, though.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Allyson on March 27, 2013, 05:36:35 PM
This comes up in other media, too, and I remember it aggravating me in books even years ago. Extremely cliche and overdone baby names. If I never read about another pregnant woman during a crisis who names her baby 'Hope' I will be a happy woman. Also having all the babies born be named after people. Sure, some of this is fine, but it is now done *so* much that I would love it if the main characters didn't name their kid a virtue name, a meaningful name, or after a mentor or grandfather. But rather just picked a name they liked the sound of. It'd be refreshing.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ms_Cellany on March 27, 2013, 05:46:53 PM
"Two Dogs Fighting? I'd give my right arm to be called Two Dogs FIGHTING..."
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: KenveeB on March 27, 2013, 07:04:10 PM
This comes up in other media, too, and I remember it aggravating me in books even years ago. Extremely cliche and overdone baby names. If I never read about another pregnant woman during a crisis who names her baby 'Hope' I will be a happy woman. Also having all the babies born be named after people. Sure, some of this is fine, but it is now done *so* much that I would love it if the main characters didn't name their kid a virtue name, a meaningful name, or after a mentor or grandfather. But rather just picked a name they liked the sound of. It'd be refreshing.

Like in the Anne of Green Gables books, where every single child is named after someone in Anne's life? Not even her husband's, but Anne's alone.  ::)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: nuit93 on March 27, 2013, 07:34:48 PM
This comes up in other media, too, and I remember it aggravating me in books even years ago. Extremely cliche and overdone baby names. If I never read about another pregnant woman during a crisis who names her baby 'Hope' I will be a happy woman. Also having all the babies born be named after people. Sure, some of this is fine, but it is now done *so* much that I would love it if the main characters didn't name their kid a virtue name, a meaningful name, or after a mentor or grandfather. But rather just picked a name they liked the sound of. It'd be refreshing.

Like in the Anne of Green Gables books, where every single child is named after someone in Anne's life? Not even her husband's, but Anne's alone.  ::)

Wait, even her first baby (Joyce)?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Allyson on March 27, 2013, 07:39:20 PM
Joy(ce) had the first cliche though, of a virtue name. :) I see why authors do those things, but I've seen it so often now that it fails to resonate at all with me as anything more than 'oh this again'. Which is not the emotional response they want. ;)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: KenveeB on March 27, 2013, 07:46:57 PM
This comes up in other media, too, and I remember it aggravating me in books even years ago. Extremely cliche and overdone baby names. If I never read about another pregnant woman during a crisis who names her baby 'Hope' I will be a happy woman. Also having all the babies born be named after people. Sure, some of this is fine, but it is now done *so* much that I would love it if the main characters didn't name their kid a virtue name, a meaningful name, or after a mentor or grandfather. But rather just picked a name they liked the sound of. It'd be refreshing.

Like in the Anne of Green Gables books, where every single child is named after someone in Anne's life? Not even her husband's, but Anne's alone.  ::)

Wait, even her first baby (Joyce)?

All living children, sorry. It didn't strike me until I was reading through Rainbow Valley and more and more children are getting named. The only one not named after a member of Anne's family is Jem, who was named in part after a mutual friend. She even names a child after herself, but there isn't a single one named for Gil's mother or grandfather or anything! It was very annoying.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lilfox on April 02, 2013, 11:17:13 PM
Current book is reminding me of another.  Maybe I'm just getting picky these days but this particular thing seems really lazy to me.

So, the main character is a Larry Sue.  Not perfect, but flawed just the right amount and in the right "accessible, identifiable" ways (you can hear the agent pitching him).  That's not the problem.  The problem is that every other character is only written for what insights they can offer about him.  When one minor character was introduced, he was described in a couple of paragraphs and then the authors (two of them) spent two pages outlining what this guy thought of Larry Sue (almost a full psych profile, that level of detail).  Sorry, but I don't for a minute buy that the minor character, described as self-involved mind you, spent that much time pondering the wonder that is Larry Sue and his stoic-yet-personable attitude towards life.  Another major character got a bit more personality but again most of his point-of-view commentary is about Larry.  The three female characters have zero depth so far, existing only to check necessary diversity boxes (one is black!).  I can only assume we'll find out what they think about Larry in due course.

Also Larry Sue, who was tragically widowed in the first 50 pages, is now (after an appropriate length of time) involved with his previously platonic, though raging hot, coworker.  And he stole a promotion from her, but she was okay with it (I guess since any fallout is never mentioned) because he was more qualified.  He is, after all, Larry Sue.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Reika on April 03, 2013, 05:00:12 AM
I was reading a post-apocalyptic novel, but had to stop about a third of the way through because supposed military characters didn't act anything like the supposedly elite unit they were reputed to be. They all acted like immature teenagers, not grown people. A civilian specialist that they brought on acted like a petulant teen. I was dealing with it because otherwise the story was interesting.

This might sound silly, but the final deal breaker for me was how all the military characters kept going "Hooah!" at the end of what seemed like every other conversation, no matter how short.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 03, 2013, 11:10:30 AM
This is more of a "book" than a "reading" pet peeve. I'm reading a paperback right now, which I received new, where the binding (?) is so STIFF I can barely hold the book open to read it! It's really annoying. Usually I hold a book with one hand off to one side (no idea why, I just started noticing this) but with this one I've had to use both hands to hold it open, thus positioning it in the center of my lap--a completely different posture for reading that I don't find as comfortable. I've tried cracking the spine (I don't mind if my books get somewhat dinged up) but then all of a sudden it's really flexible and won't crack.  ::) I seriously end up spending more time thinking about this, than the subject of the book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RebeccainGA on April 03, 2013, 01:00:19 PM
This is more of a "book" than a "reading" pet peeve. I'm reading a paperback right now, which I received new, where the binding (?) is so STIFF I can barely hold the book open to read it! It's really annoying. Usually I hold a book with one hand off to one side (no idea why, I just started noticing this) but with this one I've had to use both hands to hold it open, thus positioning it in the center of my lap--a completely different posture for reading that I don't find as comfortable. I've tried cracking the spine (I don't mind if my books get somewhat dinged up) but then all of a sudden it's really flexible and won't crack.  ::) I seriously end up spending more time thinking about this, than the subject of the book.
I got one of those a few years ago - it was an oversize (not the trade paperbacks in the size you can get at the grocery store and such) and it was exactly that annoying - too bendy to crack the spine, too stiff to open well. I accidentally left it in my very hot car all day, and the next day - was readable. You might want to try that - or freezing it, then immediately trying to crack the spine. Goofy, but we do what we must....

(it was, incidentally, the last straw that pushed me to an ereader!)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 03, 2013, 01:11:52 PM
That's one thing I like about ereaders vs. paper books.  I tend to like to lie on my side when I read and with a regular book you have to usually always keep a hand on it to keep your spot.  :)

I still read regular books when I feel like reading in the tub because I just don't trust myself with my Kindle in the tub.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lady Snowdon on April 03, 2013, 05:41:40 PM
I was reading an ebook and had to stop so I could laugh and groan at the same time.  Paragraphs starting with "She pulled open the window, and dappled sunlight streamed through while the stars shone in the moonlit sky" just should not happen. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Yarnspinner on April 03, 2013, 06:12:50 PM
Probably mean spirited of me.  There is an author who has published a series of ghost legends and tales of true hauntings in various states.  Cannot remember the author's name, but the imprint is one that isn't too particular about who they publish and may be a vanity press.

Sorry, independent author.  To the best recollection of locals hereabouts, local historical figure never lived at the family homestead because he was a) in college then b) teaching in another state and then c) enlisted in the army to fight the British and d) was executed.  He might have visited briefly, but he never lived in that house for more than a few days.

Nor did he pal around with the "famous miitary figure" whose body is buried on the grounds.  The "famous military figure" is named Captain John Smith but if you had bothered to read the grave marker, you would have noticed the the paragraph saying that Captain John Smith is a RACEHORSE that belonged to the family who purchased and lived on the property in the 1930s.  While it is possible they are palling around in the afterlife, they did not know each other personally in real life, no matter how much you might wish it.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 03, 2013, 09:40:38 PM
Probably mean spirited of me.  There is an author who has published a series of ghost legends and tales of true hauntings in various states.  Cannot remember the author's name, but the imprint is one that isn't too particular about who they publish and may be a vanity press.

Sorry, independent author.  To the best recollection of locals hereabouts, local historical figure never lived at the family homestead because he was a) in college then b) teaching in another state and then c) enlisted in the army to fight the British and d) was executed.  He might have visited briefly, but he never lived in that house for more than a few days.

Nor did he pal around with the "famous miitary figure" whose body is buried on the grounds.  The "famous military figure" is named Captain John Smith but if you had bothered to read the grave marker, you would have noticed the the paragraph saying that Captain John Smith is a RACEHORSE that belonged to the family who purchased and lived on the property in the 1930s.  While it is possible they are palling around in the afterlife, they did not know each other personally in real life, no matter how much you might wish it.

Haha!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MerryCat on April 03, 2013, 09:58:19 PM
I was reading an ebook and had to stop so I could laugh and groan at the same time.  Paragraphs starting with "She pulled open the window, and dappled sunlight streamed through while the stars shone in the moonlit sky" just should not happen.

Is that an actual quote? And if so, which book is this? Are you sure it isn't a parody? Either way, I absolutely need to have it. It sounds utterly hilarious.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Kiara on April 04, 2013, 08:33:37 AM
I was reading an ebook and had to stop so I could laugh and groan at the same time.  Paragraphs starting with "She pulled open the window, and dappled sunlight streamed through while the stars shone in the moonlit sky" just should not happen.

*blink*

*blink*

I suddenly feel so much better about my small writing abilities.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: whatsanenigma on April 04, 2013, 09:19:27 AM
I was reading an ebook and had to stop so I could laugh and groan at the same time.  Paragraphs starting with "She pulled open the window, and dappled sunlight streamed through while the stars shone in the moonlit sky" just should not happen.

Is that an actual quote? And if so, which book is this? Are you sure it isn't a parody? Either way, I absolutely need to have it. It sounds utterly hilarious.

Maybe it's a science fiction book? I could imagine an author writing that if somehow on that invented world, where the sky can somehow be both sunlit and moonlit at the same time.  Or maybe it's a clunky attempt to say that this person always opens the window (maybe every time she is upset, or something) regardless of if it is daytime or nighttime. 

I don't think, however, that either of these is the case  :)

And I agree with the complaints about the construction of paperbacks.  They are so stiff sometimes, and sometimes when you finally get to a point where they can open to be readable comfortably...the pages start becoming detached.  I know paperbacks are cheaper than hardbacks for a reason, but come on, seriously, they can't use better glue or something?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 04, 2013, 09:22:50 AM
This is more of a "book" than a "reading" pet peeve. I'm reading a paperback right now, which I received new, where the binding (?) is so STIFF I can barely hold the book open to read it! It's really annoying. Usually I hold a book with one hand off to one side (no idea why, I just started noticing this) but with this one I've had to use both hands to hold it open, thus positioning it in the center of my lap--a completely different posture for reading that I don't find as comfortable. I've tried cracking the spine (I don't mind if my books get somewhat dinged up) but then all of a sudden it's really flexible and won't crack.  ::) I seriously end up spending more time thinking about this, than the subject of the book.
I got one of those a few years ago - it was an oversize (not the trade paperbacks in the size you can get at the grocery store and such) and it was exactly that annoying - too bendy to crack the spine, too stiff to open well. I accidentally left it in my very hot car all day, and the next day - was readable. You might want to try that - or freezing it, then immediately trying to crack the spine. Goofy, but we do what we must....

(it was, incidentally, the last straw that pushed me to an ereader!)

I tried freezing it! I pulled the book out of the freezer this morning and cracked the spine finally. I think I may have been overly enthusiastic, though, because now it looks like it's about to fall apart.  ::) Oh well, I wasn't going to regift it or anything.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Thipu1 on April 04, 2013, 04:48:23 PM
Probably mean spirited of me.  There is an author who has published a series of ghost legends and tales of true hauntings in various states.  Cannot remember the author's name, but the imprint is one that isn't too particular about who they publish and may be a vanity press.

Sorry, independent author.  To the best recollection of locals hereabouts, local historical figure never lived at the family homestead because he was a) in college then b) teaching in another state and then c) enlisted in the army to fight the British and d) was executed.  He might have visited briefly, but he never lived in that house for more than a few days.

Nor did he pal around with the "famous miitary figure" whose body is buried on the grounds.  The "famous military figure" is named Captain John Smith but if you had bothered to read the grave
marker, you would have noticed the the paragraph saying that Captain John Smith is a RACEHORSE that belonged to the family who purchased and lived on the property in the 1930s.  While it is
possible they are palling around in the afterlife, they did not know each other personally in real life, no matter how much you might wish it.

I may be going back a looong long time but, could the author possible be Hans Holtzer? He was notorious for this sort of 'psychic' exploration and was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Library Dragon on April 05, 2013, 02:52:45 AM
Is it the Jeffrey ghost series? 

***

I just finished a library/cat mystery.  I really don't need to know every time the protagonist emptied the kitty litter.  Please! I'm trying to eat lunch here!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lady Snowdon on April 05, 2013, 05:47:42 AM
I was reading an ebook and had to stop so I could laugh and groan at the same time.  Paragraphs starting with "She pulled open the window, and dappled sunlight streamed through while the stars shone in the moonlit sky" just should not happen.

Is that an actual quote? And if so, which book is this? Are you sure it isn't a parody? Either way, I absolutely need to have it. It sounds utterly hilarious.

It's a Kindle ebook called Anathema, part of the Song of Eloh series by Megg Jensen.  I got it slightly wrong above.  The actual quote is "Johna pushed open the door, strode across the room and threw open the shutters.  The dappled sunlight streamed in as the clouds floated over the moonlit night sky.".  According to my Kindle, it's Location 1214-1220.  I'm almost positive it's not a parody, because it happens almost halfway through the book. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: daen on April 05, 2013, 08:27:29 AM
I was reading an ebook and had to stop so I could laugh and groan at the same time.  Paragraphs starting with "She pulled open the window, and dappled sunlight streamed through while the stars shone in the moonlit sky" just should not happen.

Is that an actual quote? And if so, which book is this? Are you sure it isn't a parody? Either way, I absolutely need to have it. It sounds utterly hilarious.

It's a Kindle ebook called Anathema, part of the Song of Eloh series by Megg Jensen.  I got it slightly wrong above.  The actual quote is "Johna pushed open the door, strode across the room and threw open the shutters.  The dappled sunlight streamed in as the clouds floated over the moonlit night sky.".  According to my Kindle, it's Location 1214-1220.  I'm almost positive it's not a parody, because it happens almost halfway through the book. 

I was about to give that a pass for merely being a brain skip followed by bad editing - moonlit/sunlit are quite close.  But once you get to "moonlit night" in there... yeah. That's less forgivable.
Amusing, though.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RebeccainGA on April 08, 2013, 09:47:20 AM
I tried freezing it! I pulled the book out of the freezer this morning and cracked the spine finally. I think I may have been overly enthusiastic, though, because now it looks like it's about to fall apart.  ::) Oh well, I wasn't going to regift it or anything.

Glad it worked!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on April 08, 2013, 10:55:01 AM
Lars Brownworth seems to think that "devastatingly" is the only adverb that can describe beautiful and that no woman is beautiful without being devastatingly so.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on April 08, 2013, 12:08:06 PM
I was reading an ebook and had to stop so I could laugh and groan at the same time.  Paragraphs starting with "She pulled open the window, and dappled sunlight streamed through while the stars shone in the moonlit sky" just should not happen.

Is that an actual quote? And if so, which book is this? Are you sure it isn't a parody? Either way, I absolutely need to have it. It sounds utterly hilarious.

It's a Kindle ebook called Anathema, part of the Song of Eloh series by Megg Jensen.  I got it slightly wrong above.  The actual quote is "Johna pushed open the door, strode across the room and threw open the shutters.  The dappled sunlight streamed in as the clouds floated over the moonlit night sky.".  According to my Kindle, it's Location 1214-1220.  I'm almost positive it's not a parody, because it happens almost halfway through the book.

Love it. It's sort of like the purple prose took on a life of its own.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 09, 2013, 08:52:58 AM
Lars Brownworth seems to think that "devastatingly" is the only adverb that can describe beautiful and that no woman is beautiful without being devastatingly so.

As a hobby writer I find myself getting stuck on certain words, too, which this thread has now made me more aware of! For example, my characters always seem to "chide" each other, maybe occasionally "admonish." They never "rebuke" each other. I need them to "rebuke" each other more, that sounds so much more epic and biblical. They could at least "reprimand" or "reproach." Maybe even occasionally "castigate" if they're really mad. But no, whenever I get in the situation, all I can think of is "chide," or "admonish." And I only think of the latter because I like to use the noun "admonition."

Writers are weird.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Calistoga on April 09, 2013, 09:16:57 AM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on April 09, 2013, 09:28:46 AM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

Oh eHell YES.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Baby Snakes on April 09, 2013, 09:29:51 AM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I also cannot stand dust jackets - I take them off and put them away until I'm done with the book.  With my Kindle, it's not an issue anymore!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 09, 2013, 10:15:26 AM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

My neice is about to complete her master's in naval archaelogy. I found two thrift store books (Ballard's The Discovery of the Titanic and Pickford's Lost Treasure Ships of the 20th Century) that were in fair shape. I damp-wiped the dust jackets and covered them, and they're quite nice now for a graduation present.

Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Luci on April 09, 2013, 10:54:45 AM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

Oh eHell YES.

I also cannot stand dust jackets - I take them off and put them away until I'm done with the book.  With my Kindle, it's not an issue anymore!

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

My neice is about to complete her master's in naval archaelogy. I found two thrift store books (Ballard's The Discovery of the Titanic and Pickford's Lost Treasure Ships of the 20th Century) that were in fair shape. I damp-wiped the dust jackets and covered them, and they're quite nice now for a graduation present.

I love them! The decorating shows say to toss them, but they have so much information on them and the art is usually good, and sometimes humorously inappropriate to the book!

I bought covers when I was a librarian, and now I just cover my reference book dust jackets with clear Contact.

I would do what Ms_Cellany did in that situation!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: lady_disdain on April 09, 2013, 12:44:20 PM
Lars Brownworth seems to think that "devastatingly" is the only adverb that can describe beautiful and that no woman is beautiful without being devastatingly so.

As a hobby writer I find myself getting stuck on certain words, too, which this thread has now made me more aware of! For example, my characters always seem to "chide" each other, maybe occasionally "admonish." They never "rebuke" each other. I need them to "rebuke" each other more, that sounds so much more epic and biblical. They could at least "reprimand" or "reproach." Maybe even occasionally "castigate" if they're really mad. But no, whenever I get in the situation, all I can think of is "chide," or "admonish." And I only think of the latter because I like to use the noun "admonition."

Writers are weird.

Very true - and that is where a good editor comes in.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Pioneer on April 09, 2013, 01:00:01 PM
I have a reading pet peeve.  When I am enjoying an article in a magazine and it ends with the phrase, "for more information about Enjoyable Article, go to www dot whatever."  If I wanted to research on the computer, I would not have purchased your magazine!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: #borecore on April 09, 2013, 01:25:09 PM
I have a reading pet peeve.  When I am enjoying an article in a magazine and it ends with the phrase, "for more information about Enjoyable Article, go to www dot whatever."  If I wanted to research on the computer, I would not have purchased your magazine!

I am really puzzled about why this would bother you (not saying it shouldn't). Books and magazinws have, for decades at least, included suggestions for further reading, be it books, journals or essays in whatever format, or addresses to write to for more information.

I admit, an expired or inaccurate address isn't exactly helpful, but otherwise this seems in the reader's best interest -- there's only so much space on a page.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on April 09, 2013, 11:33:24 PM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

I hate books wrapped in mylar :( It's the worst thing about buying second hand books. I always remove it the minute those books enter my house. Please make sure your friends actually like it before you give them a mylar-covered book as a present. I'd be removing the mylar as soon as you left the house.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 10, 2013, 10:46:57 AM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

I hate books wrapped in mylar :( It's the worst thing about buying second hand books. I always remove it the minute those books enter my house. Please make sure your friends actually like it before you give them a mylar-covered book as a present. I'd be removing the mylar as soon as you left the house.

I'm curious - what do you dislike about it?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on April 10, 2013, 11:36:52 AM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

I hate books wrapped in mylar :( It's the worst thing about buying second hand books. I always remove it the minute those books enter my house. Please make sure your friends actually like it before you give them a mylar-covered book as a present. I'd be removing the mylar as soon as you left the house.

I'm curious - what do you dislike about it?

Mostly I just really, really, really don't like the way it looks. Guess I prefer my books au natural ;)

I don't mind dust jackets - they're handy for keeping my place ;) - but mylar covered dust jackets? Just plain ugly! :(
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: BabyMama on April 10, 2013, 11:52:37 AM
I'm re-reading A Song of Ice and Fire for the gazillionth time today and it made me think of this thread (someone mentioned George RR Martin's discovery of "tummy" bugged them.) Wait until he discovers "wroth" and "nuncle." People in A Dance With Dragons are wroth over everything. :P
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on April 10, 2013, 12:04:26 PM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

I hate books wrapped in mylar :( It's the worst thing about buying second hand books. I always remove it the minute those books enter my house. Please make sure your friends actually like it before you give them a mylar-covered book as a present. I'd be removing the mylar as soon as you left the house.

I'm curious - what do you dislike about it?

Mostly I just really, really, really don't like the way it looks. Guess I prefer my books au natural ;)

I don't mind dust jackets - they're handy for keeping my place ;) - but mylar covered dust jackets? Just plain ugly! :(

Not so much ugly as... tacky.  Like they're perpetually shrink wrapped.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 10, 2013, 12:12:07 PM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

I hate books wrapped in mylar :( It's the worst thing about buying second hand books. I always remove it the minute those books enter my house. Please make sure your friends actually like it before you give them a mylar-covered book as a present. I'd be removing the mylar as soon as you left the house.

I'm curious - what do you dislike about it?

Mostly I just really, really, really don't like the way it looks. Guess I prefer my books au natural ;)

I don't mind dust jackets - they're handy for keeping my place ;) - but mylar covered dust jackets? Just plain ugly! :(

Not so much ugly as... tacky.  Like they're perpetually shrink wrapped.

Hunh.  Never thought of that. I think it makes them look fancier and more professional, because it gives it more heft. I also like not having to worry about tearing the jacket, espeically on oversized books.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MariaE on April 10, 2013, 12:18:14 PM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

I hate books wrapped in mylar :( It's the worst thing about buying second hand books. I always remove it the minute those books enter my house. Please make sure your friends actually like it before you give them a mylar-covered book as a present. I'd be removing the mylar as soon as you left the house.

I'm curious - what do you dislike about it?

Mostly I just really, really, really don't like the way it looks. Guess I prefer my books au natural ;)

I don't mind dust jackets - they're handy for keeping my place ;) - but mylar covered dust jackets? Just plain ugly! :(

Not so much ugly as... tacky.  Like they're perpetually shrink wrapped.

Hunh.  Never thought of that. I think it makes them look fancier and more professional, because it gives it more heft. I also like not having to worry about tearing the jacket, espeically on oversized books.

Agreed, Diane, although in my case it's tacky as well as ugly.

Ms_Cellany, had you only said you wrapped your own books I probably wouldn't have thought to comment. I just think it's a shame to do it for presents. Worst case (if I couldn't get the mylar off without damaging the book) I'd end up donating it (if I discovered in time) or throwing it out (if I didn't). I definitely don't think it makes them look neither fancier nor more professional. Exactly the opposite in fact. In my head they look like left-overs from a school library.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on April 10, 2013, 12:30:03 PM
This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but dust jackets. I hate dust jackets. So much I hate them.

I bought a roll of paper-backed mylar from a library supply site (http://www.demco.com/goto?PNHM30&intcmp=CN_M30), and cover the dust jackets of books I want to keep or those I give as presents. 

I hate books wrapped in mylar :( It's the worst thing about buying second hand books. I always remove it the minute those books enter my house. Please make sure your friends actually like it before you give them a mylar-covered book as a present. I'd be removing the mylar as soon as you left the house.

I'm curious - what do you dislike about it?

Mostly I just really, really, really don't like the way it looks. Guess I prefer my books au natural ;)

I don't mind dust jackets - they're handy for keeping my place ;) - but mylar covered dust jackets? Just plain ugly! :(

Not so much ugly as... tacky.  Like they're perpetually shrink wrapped.

Hunh.  Never thought of that. I think it makes them look fancier and more professional, because it gives it more heft. I also like not having to worry about tearing the jacket, espeically on oversized books.

Agreed, Diane, although in my case it's tacky as well as ugly.

Ms_Cellany, had you only said you wrapped your own books I probably wouldn't have thought to comment. I just think it's a shame to do it for presents. Worst case (if I couldn't get the mylar off without damaging the book) I'd end up donating it (if I discovered in time) or throwing it out (if I didn't). I definitely don't think it makes them look neither fancier nor more professional. Exactly the opposite in fact. In my head they look like left-overs from a school library.

YES!  I'd been trying to figure out where I'd seen them most often, and that's it exactly!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: MerryCat on April 10, 2013, 12:55:37 PM
Not a full on Peeve, exactly, but a little annoyance :)

You know how some short story anthologies (Sword and Sorceress, etc) sometimes have authors that regularly write the continuing adventures of the same characters for them? For most part I do enjoy that, because the characters are like familiar friends you're catching up on.

But it can become rather annoying if the stories can't stand stand alone without continual reference to what happened in previous books. Because sometimes you come back to an anthology after a long break, or you can't find all the books in order, or you've just decided to pick up the latest book in an anthology series you haven't read before.

I think short stories should be self-contained little bite-sized chunks of narrative that you can finish quickly over a coffee break or a ten minute bus ride. They can be about characters you already know, but each story should be complete on its own. If you have to have read the previous stories for this one to make sense, or if the author has to basically recap the previous stories at the start of each new one, then perhaps the author should consider just stitching them together and making a novel out of them.

Done right, I love these sorts of stories. I'm just a little annoyed right now because I bought a new book from a series I haven't read before and three out of three stories so far have either assumed that you've read the earlier parts of the story or had detailed recaps and/or exposition on what had happened previously.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 10, 2013, 01:08:10 PM
When books of a series aren't clearly stated that it's some kind of off-shoot or spinoff.  I read James Patterson's Maximum Ride books and just got confused as all get out. 

In one book she and the other genetically engineered kids are fighting against some lab or school (been a while since I've read them)

In another they meet up with Max's mom, stay a while with her, Max and another boy Fang end up getting it on, she has babies and then they hatch and it is never ever mentioned again.  Never hear about the babies at all, like they never existed.  A big lipped alligator moment.

DH says "But that was just a side plot/spinoff!"

I used to like his style of writing but I think these days he's using kids as ghostwriters and not even bothering to edit their work.  I read Witches and Wizards at the suggestion of a former friend.  He swore it was the best book ever.   

I pushed to the end as I'm one of those "I hope there's a good payoff" kinds but I didn't like it at all. 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Amanita on April 10, 2013, 01:50:38 PM
Yeah, Witch and Wizard was just so farfetched- I'm sorry, but I can't suspend my disbelief that much.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 10, 2013, 02:53:31 PM
Funny/sad thing is that the guy who recommended it to me had aspirations of being a screenwriter.  If he thought that was great writing and a good story, I must remember to not see any movies where he's the screenwriter.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 10, 2013, 03:01:17 PM
I find it irritating when a book jacket doesn't make it clear which order the books in a series should be read, when there is, in fact, an order. Some authors put nice, clear numbers on the spines of the books; others make you hunt for the phrase "the thrilling third book in the series!" on the back; and still others say nothing at all about the order, but you get the feeling there was an earlier book, so you have to go online or something and look it up. My friend ended up reading the second "Shiver" book first because she couldn't tell from looking at it that it wasn't the first. I mean, yeah, not the worst thing in the world of course, but it just seems unnecessarily user-unfriendly. If it's a book series I know nothing about, I'm not usually willing to do that much work to figure out where to start.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on April 10, 2013, 03:09:55 PM
Funny/sad thing is that the guy who recommended it to me had aspirations of being a screenwriter.  If he thought that was great writing and a good story, I must remember to not see any movies where he's the screenwriter.

Cynical Twik thinks he'll probably be a big hit in Hollywood.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on April 10, 2013, 03:34:50 PM
I find it irritating when a book jacket doesn't make it clear which order the books in a series should be read, when there is, in fact, an order. Some authors put nice, clear numbers on the spines of the books; others make you hunt for the phrase "the thrilling third book in the series!" on the back; and still others say nothing at all about the order, but you get the feeling there was an earlier book, so you have to go online or something and look it up. My friend ended up reading the second "Shiver" book first because she couldn't tell from looking at it that it wasn't the first. I mean, yeah, not the worst thing in the world of course, but it just seems unnecessarily user-unfriendly. If it's a book series I know nothing about, I'm not usually willing to do that much work to figure out where to start.

That's one of the reasons I love goodreads.com so much. It makes it really easy to see all the books in a series and their order. :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 10, 2013, 03:37:53 PM
Funny/sad thing is that the guy who recommended it to me had aspirations of being a screenwriter.  If he thought that was great writing and a good story, I must remember to not see any movies where he's the screenwriter.

Cynical Twik thinks he'll probably be a big hit in Hollywood.

Knowing the ideas he had, he'd get along well with Michael Bay.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: blahblahblah on April 10, 2013, 03:46:50 PM
I LOVE MYLAR-COVERED BOOKS. :D :D :D

In fact, if I'm shopping for a used book online, I'll try to make sure to find one that says "ex-library copy" because then it's more likely to come with mylar.

Quote
In my head they look like left-overs from a school library.
That's why I like them, I think. I love the association with the library. I don't really care about my books looking professional or neat. Old, soft, used library books all the way! :)
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Elfmama on April 10, 2013, 10:05:40 PM
Yeah, Witch and Wizard was just so farfetched- I'm sorry, but I can't suspend my disbelief that much.
There's suspending disbelief and then there's hanging it by the neck until dead...
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Nikko-chan on April 10, 2013, 11:37:47 PM
Yeah, Witch and Wizard was just so farfetched- I'm sorry, but I can't suspend my disbelief that much.
There's suspending disbelief and then there's hanging it by the neck until dead...

Elfmama I think I want that quote on a T-shirt! :D
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 11, 2013, 09:17:30 PM
Not much annoys me more than JA fiction that talks down to kids.  "Oh they won't notice how little effort I put into this plot and writing!"  ::) 

I think that's one thing I enjoyed about the Potter series and the Hunger Games.  Both series were aimed at the YA group but didn't write down to them and as such both series are enjoyed greatly by adults, too.   They knew can handle a lot more than some people think they can.   Like the deaths of beloved characters like Dobby and Fred.  Or the idea of kids fighting to the death for the entertainment of others.

Or maybe it's just that J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins are just better writers for that genre than James Patterson is.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Jocelyn on April 11, 2013, 09:29:19 PM
Dobby dies?
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Lady Snowdon on April 11, 2013, 09:59:38 PM
Gack!  I'm rapidly jumping on the "incorrect food/drink/mannerisms for a particular era" bandwagon.  In this current book I'm reading, an aristocratic family in London in the year 1667 is celebrating Christmas Eve, by eating: clove-studded turkey, artichoke bottoms, spinach tarts, potatoes, almond cheesecake and pumpkin pie.  My brain is going crazy insisting that you wouldn't really stud your turkey with cloves, since they were so expensive at that point.  Modern day cream cheese wasn't invented until 1928.  Pumpkins were around at that time, but they weren't real popular, I don't believe.  Plus, everyone talks in "modern" English except for the swearing, when they abruptly revert to saying "Od's fish" and "God's blood".  It's very jarring!
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Nikko-chan on April 11, 2013, 10:04:45 PM
Gack!  I'm rapidly jumping on the "incorrect food/drink/mannerisms for a particular era" bandwagon.  In this current book I'm reading, an aristocratic family in London in the year 1667 is celebrating Christmas Eve, by eating: clove-studded turkey, artichoke bottoms, spinach tarts, potatoes, almond cheesecake and pumpkin pie.  My brain is going crazy insisting that you wouldn't really stud your turkey with cloves, since they were so expensive at that point.  Modern day cream cheese wasn't invented until 1928.  Pumpkins were around at that time, but they weren't real popular, I don't believe.  Plus, everyone talks in "modern" English except for the swearing, when they abruptly revert to saying "Od's fish" and "God's blood".  It's very jarring!

What is this book? I ask so that if I come across it I don't pick it up.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on April 11, 2013, 10:14:36 PM
I'm pretty sure that a family in London would not be eating turkey, either, unless they were wildly iconoclastic in their dietary preferences. While some turkeys  may have been imported from the Americas by that time and made it to market, the traditional English feast poultry was the goose. Even in Conan Doyle's day they were raised and sold to Londoners for Christmas dinner (ref. "The Blue Carbuncle" for details).

With respect to the suspect almond cheesecake, according to www.cheesecake.com (who should know, I suppose):

 "As the Romans expanded their empire, they brought cheesecake recipes to the Europeans. Great Britain and Eastern Europe began experimenting with ways to put their own unique spin on cheesecake. In each country of Europe, the recipes started taking on different cultural shapes, using ingredients native to each region. In 1545, the first cookbook was printed. It described the cheesecake as a flour-based sweet food. Even Henry VIII’s chef did his part to shape the cheesecake recipe. Apparently, his chef cut up cheese into very small pieces and soaked those pieces in milk for three hours. Then, he strained the mixture and added eggs, butter and sugar."

However, that's irrelevant, as everyone knows the traditional English Christmas was the pudding, usually of the plum (actually, raisin) variety. I suspect the author was describing his/her family's own traditional dinner, or at least one that s/he would like to have, rather than one for the period.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Margo on April 12, 2013, 06:38:42 AM
Yes, I was thinking that cheesecake wasn't anachronistic (although it would be different to the cheesecake we're used to) and if they were aristocrats they might easily have cheesecake as well as plum pudding, but the Turkey and cloves are just wrong, the pumpkin pie is highly unlikely, and neither artichokes nor spinach would be in season in late December...

(clove studded turkey doesn't sound very nice to me, either, but that's a separate issue!)

I've heard quite a few authors who have written both adult and children's books that writing for children is harder as children pay much closer attention and are far more likely to notice when you get things wrong or leave things out.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 07:17:57 AM
D'oh! Yes, of course, the author (and I) overlooked that something like spinach would not be in season for Christmas, and isn't something that could be preserved easily before refrigeration.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 12, 2013, 07:21:47 AM
Dobby dies?

Oops, sorry, I'll spoiler that out.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: RebeccainGA on April 12, 2013, 09:11:39 AM
Or maybe it's just that J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins are just better writers for that genre than James Patterson is.

Don't you mean Gabrielle Charbonnet? I am fully convinced that at this point James Patterson just writes a plot outline on a cocktail napkin and hires someone else to write it, while he shoots the inane promos for TV. No human can put out that much content, in so many genres, that all read so differently, and manage to keep up his promo schedule. He's the Thomas Kinkade of literature.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: darling on April 12, 2013, 09:30:20 AM
D'oh! Yes, of course, the author (and I) overlooked that something like spinach would not be in season for Christmas, and isn't something that could be preserved easily before refrigeration.

Well... if they have a hothouse, they may be able to grown veggies and fruit out of season.

Clove studded turkey sounds AWFUL...

One of my favorite authors seems to have gone off her rocker lately. Nearly every heroine she writes now looks like the author, thing have spun off into supernatural-type situations, and I am about ready to just stop reading anything new from her. It's such a shame, too, because I enjoyed her historical romances. I just can't take the new stuff.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 09:45:33 AM
I don't think even a hothouse in the 17th century would have provided fresh spinach (although I could be wrong). I recall watching a documentary series on cooking on an English Victorian estate, and trying to get fresh vegetables, even in the 19th century, was a real struggle in the winter. Most of the cooking involved root vegetables, which were much more easily stored.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Thipu1 on April 12, 2013, 09:48:18 AM
I LOVE MYLAR-COVERED BOOKS. :D :D :D

In fact, if I'm shopping for a used book online, I'll try to make sure to find one that says "ex-library copy" because then it's more likely to come with mylar.

Quote
In my head they look like left-overs from a school library.
That's why I like them, I think. I love the association with the library. I don't really care about my books looking professional or neat. Old, soft, used library books all the way! :)

I love old, soft, used books.  I call them 'story books'.  This isn't because they contain stories.  It's because the book carries the story of where it has been and who owned it in the past. 



Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Calistoga on April 12, 2013, 10:25:13 AM
I'm re-reading A Song of Ice and Fire for the gazillionth time today and it made me think of this thread (someone mentioned George RR Martin's discovery of "tummy" bugged them.) Wait until he discovers "wroth" and "nuncle." People in A Dance With Dragons are wroth over everything. :P

I'm reading a Dance with Dragons right now and...yes. People are wroth and have wroth. You can always tell when he finds a new name/word.

In one book, it was Tansy. Before that book, NO ONE was named Tansy, then out of nowhere, 3 different Tansy's showed up...then never again.

I about screamed when I found the Entire Family Named Walder.

And last night I noticed that he's apparently found Quenton as a name, because he just added a Quentyn and a Quenton.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 12, 2013, 10:55:37 AM
Or maybe it's just that J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins are just better writers for that genre than James Patterson is.

Don't you mean Gabrielle Charbonnet? I am fully convinced that at this point James Patterson just writes a plot outline on a cocktail napkin and hires someone else to write it, while he shoots the inane promos for TV. No human can put out that much content, in so many genres, that all read so differently, and manage to keep up his promo schedule. He's the Thomas Kinkade of literature.

I've suspected the same thing. I think he does have ghost writers because Witch and Wizard was written in such an amateur way, it read like bad fanfiction.  And his commercials are painful to watch, aren't they? 
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 11:09:23 AM
I mentioned my current fave fantasy author, Lindsay Buroker. She does have one favourite word - "ecumenical" - which she uses to mean, I gather "eclectic" or "covering a wide area of interests". Unfortunately, to me, I can't separate it from its religous meaning, so when she mentions that an assassin had an "ecumenical" education, I visualize him participating in the Council of Churches.

I know that the word *does* have a non-religious meaning, but it's so rarely used that way, it's rather jarring when Buroker pulls it out about five times a book.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Winterlight on April 12, 2013, 11:20:31 AM
I don't think even a hothouse in the 17th century would have provided fresh spinach (although I could be wrong). I recall watching a documentary series on cooking on an English Victorian estate, and trying to get fresh vegetables, even in the 19th century, was a real struggle in the winter. Most of the cooking involved root vegetables, which were much more easily stored.

I ran this past a historian friend and he said that it was highly unlikely they'd bother with something like spinach. If you had a hothouse then you were growing either exotics like pineapples for prestige or medicinal plants. There's no real return on investment for spinach. As for preserving it, the only option was pickling and that would not work for spinach because it would disintegrate.

Also, potatoes and pumpkins are New World, so pretty unlikely choices. Turnips, yes. Potatoes, no.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik on April 12, 2013, 11:27:59 AM
Well, there would have been enough time by mid-1600s to get potatoes and pumpkins to Britain.

Apparently, the French were cooking pumpkin pies by that time: http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/PieHistory/PumpkinPie.htm.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Calistoga on April 12, 2013, 11:46:25 AM
I was reading one of the early books in the Wheel of Time series, and it made reference to someone walking "Like they were on a treadmill".

I had to hope that this was like...some kind of grain pressing thing that you had a donkey walk on, otherwise it was a very out of place reference.
Title: Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
Post by: Twik o