News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • October 23, 2017, 09:38:15 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 866906 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

HoneyBee42

  • Member
  • Posts: 660
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3570 on: September 13, 2017, 06:11:07 AM »
Not reading, so much as reading reviews. 

I'm just going to say that if one is near-mortally offended by sex, violence, and "bad language", reading the genre known as police procedurals is probably a bad idea.  I honestly do not think that it is fair to ding the ratings of a book by giving 1 star because a police procedural novel includes sex, violence, profanity (and obscenity and vulgarity).

That's like the review I saw of Elie Wiesel's "Night" where the reviewer gave it 2 stars for being "too sad"! Now, I only gave it 2 stars as well, but that's because I just didn't care for it - I went into reading it fully expecting it to be sad considering the subject matter!!!
Right--I consider it a bit of genre awareness.  I'm not sure I would want to read a police procedural that was full of characters who were "Gosh darn it all to heck" (and for the 'reviewer' who dinged the book with one star for language, even those minced oaths should be offensive).  Violence--well, I suppose every victim could be poisoned--seriously, how can murder ever be non-violent?  But I read books in that genre because I like being taken from a crime scene to find the evidence as to who did it and have it be provable in court.  Now, contrast that with a 3-star rating in which the reviewer enjoyed the book until the end because two characters behaved in a manner contrary to their characterization throughout the rest of the book, no explanation, but that OOC behavior turned out to be the hinge on which the solution turned.

I get a lot of suggestions through BookBub, and since many times, it's my first encounter with an author, I'm always reading the less favorable reviews before I decide about downloading. There are fair dings (Kindle edition formatting is poor, making it difficult to read; characters behaving inappropriately [Regency-era heroine with premarital bedroom scenes]; the five deadly words "I don't care what happens"), but I get aggravated with the ones that take away stars for things that are reasonably expected in the given genre.

iridaceae

  • Boring in real life as well
  • Member
  • Posts: 3573
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3571 on: September 13, 2017, 06:57:57 AM »
Not reading, so much as reading reviews. 

I'm just going to say that if one is near-mortally offended by sex, violence, and "bad language", reading the genre known as police procedurals is probably a bad idea.  I honestly do not think that it is fair to ding the ratings of a book by giving 1 star because a police procedural novel includes sex, violence, profanity (and obscenity and vulgarity).

That's like the review I saw of Elie Wiesel's "Night" where the reviewer gave it 2 stars for being "too sad"! Now, I only gave it 2 stars as well, but that's because I just didn't care for it - I went into reading it fully expecting it to be sad considering the subject matter!!!

There is or was a website that rated movies in a very strict how much death/profanity/scrabble is in the movie way. They complained about the deaths in Titanic. Um. Level criticisms about the plot, etc. all you want, but the Titanic really sank. People really died.
Nothing to see here.

Luci

  • Member
  • Posts: 7626
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3572 on: September 13, 2017, 09:31:13 AM »
There are three things I look for to avoid in reviews. Explicit bedroom scenes, foul language, and really bad grammar. A review like "I don't like science fiction" and then giving 1 star because of that are pointless. Why did you read it to begin with? I'm one that reads negative reviews first. I probably have missed some really good books because of my personal guidelines, but I still have plenty to read and be enlightened by.

malfoyfan13

  • Member
  • Posts: 379
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3573 on: September 13, 2017, 11:14:18 AM »
When I read reviews I always read the 1-star ones first.  I'm looking for WHY people take the time to write a bad review.  It gives me more insight into whether a book will appeal to me, since a 5-star "awesomest book ever!" review usually doesn't.  Bad writing/nonsensical plot/poor editing is what prompts ME to write a bad review, so that's what I'm scanning for in the other readers' reviews.  I still make buying mistakes, but fewer than I used to. 

I don't like overly violent books, especially violence toward women/children, so I also look for references to violence level in reviews. 

I have to agree that it's unfair to rate a book low because of something that should be expected in the genre.  I don't read most thriller-type books because of violence, but if I did and then reviewed it, I wouldn't ding it because of that. 

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Member
  • Posts: 10073
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3574 on: September 13, 2017, 01:22:33 PM »
I do the same thing. If the one star reviews are all, "This was billed as a cozy mystery and romance novel but it's full of graphic violence and sex," that tells me something useful. If they're things like, "I only read horror novels and this wasn't a horror novel or billed as such but I'm going to tell you how much it stunk," then I know that the problem is with the reviewer and not the book.
If wisdomís ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

ladyknight1

  • Member
  • Posts: 11823
  • Not all those who wander are lost
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3575 on: September 13, 2017, 05:29:55 PM »
I just finished re-reading the 7 books in the Harry Potter series and then read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book for the first time.

At times, I was not even certain what was the timeline, as it goes back in time on several different occasions. It was slightly off on grammar and typos. It had two interesting characters, not in the original series, but overall was not worth the read. I hope no more are allowed to be published as part of the canon.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Cherry91

  • Member
  • Posts: 611
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3576 on: September 14, 2017, 03:09:33 AM »
I just finished re-reading the 7 books in the Harry Potter series and then read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book for the first time.

At times, I was not even certain what was the timeline, as it goes back in time on several different occasions. It was slightly off on grammar and typos. It had two interesting characters, not in the original series, but overall was not worth the read. I hope no more are allowed to be published as part of the canon.

When details first started emerging online, most of the forums I was on had the same opinion - "This is fanfiction. Not even good fanfiction!"
All will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

VorFemme

  • Member
  • Posts: 13769
  • It's too darned hot! (song from Kiss Me, Kate)
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3577 on: September 14, 2017, 10:50:07 AM »
HP and the Cursed Child is still better than Twilight or Fifty Shades of Gray (tried reading a chapter of Twilight, did not finish it - watched parts of one movie, have not felt like finishing it, either).  Fifty Shades of Gray, I have been told, is "worse" in it's own way - I have decided not to even try.

To compare it to something that I have read, it's worse than the later Jean Auel books with Ayla & what's his name not talking to each other.  Gee whiz, she's invented so much already, what's the invention of "use your words" and ask me instead of just spinning in emotional whirlpools downward & inward to misery...heck, Jondalar could invent something for a change (besides the spear caster) and talk to HER first!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

ladyknight1

  • Member
  • Posts: 11823
  • Not all those who wander are lost
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3578 on: September 14, 2017, 12:48:48 PM »
Honestly, I read the entire Twilight series, and feel they were scores better than Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

faithlessone

  • Member
  • Posts: 2530
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3579 on: September 14, 2017, 01:10:22 PM »
Honestly, I read the entire Twilight series, and feel they were scores better than Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was.

Ditto.

At least the Twilight series had reasonably consistent characterisation and a plot that was fairly easy to follow, even if it was a bit stupid. Cursed Child was as if someone had seen half the Harry Potter movies, thought "My Immortal" was part of the book series, then put a bunch of plot elements on a dart board and wrote the script according to where the darts landed. I hear seeing it live is better than reading the script, but honestly I wouldn't want to watch it after reading it.

Yarnspinner

  • Member
  • Posts: 2774
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3580 on: September 18, 2017, 10:22:06 PM »
This seems petty, since I am actually enjoying the book, but it's funny how such little things can become annoying.  The book is a fairly recent novel by an author known for using tropes of 1930s and 1940s screwball comedies in her science fiction novels and stories.  And I love them.  (No matter how the heroine is described, I imagine some version of Jean Arthur and no matter how dumpy the hero is, he always looks like shaggy Cary Grant or maybe William Powell.)  BUT...maybe it's because I am "reading" this one by listening to it on CD, there are a few little things annoying me.  (And keep in mind, I am enjoying the story anyway, but some of this stuff just pulls me out of the story.)

1) The heroine has "picked up" a big problem from a minor operation.  The hero who knows a lot about this keeps trying to help her and she keeps telling him to go away even though everything he tells her is eventually proved to be true.  She is supposed to be an intelligent woman and holds an important job at a telecommunications company, but she makes so many stupid decisions( clearly to keep the plot moving) that I have to wonder how on earth she keeps her job.

2) Every time she makes it through some ordeal that she has brought on herself (and has to call on the hero for help) he says "Good girl!"  Aside from this he's a pretty good guy and an interesting character, but if the next line was that he patted her head and tossed a ball for her to chase or gave her a Scooby snack, I would not be the least bit surprised.

3) Maybe I have read too many books (or seen too many screwball comedies) but the plot is a little too comfortably familiar: bright, attractive woman is in love with bright, attractive, but clearly all wrong for her, man.  Circumstances force her into situation with bright, shabby and no where near as attractive a man who is clearly a good match. 

4) She has a family full of flakes who all interfere too much in her life and instead of saying "Give me some space" she lies by omission, uses their flakiness to get out of the situation she has gotten herself into and then complains again when they interfere. 

5) This really pulled me out of the story (and I wonder if the author is kicking herself for this now):  the gimmick in the story is an operation that opens channels between couples allowing them to experience each others emotions.  In the course of the first chapter or so, we are told how William and Kate had it done and how well it worked for Brad and Angelina not to mention other celebrity couples.  This is, of course, an alternative world where this operation can be done, but I really cannot get with the Brangelina mention. 

Now, I really am enjoying this wackiness otherwise, but these little things are making me grit my teeth more and more. 

zyrs

  • Member
  • Posts: 2031
  • spiffily male.
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3581 on: September 19, 2017, 07:42:10 AM »
  I'm not sure I would want to read a police procedural that was full of characters who were "Gosh darn it all to heck"

I once was asked to critique a book about gangs, murders,violence and drugs by the person who wrote it.  The worst swearing ni the book was basically; "Golly gee wilikers."  This was someone as they were dying from a gunshot wound.  That and the fact that the entire plot of the book was that some gangs happened and then they all saw some woman walking down the street (from the description the author) and talked to her and she told them some inspirational sentence and they all decided to stop being in gangs, dealing drugs and murdering each other and all went down the straight and narrow path - the end made it so I worried about being honest

Writer of Wrongs

  • Member
  • Posts: 311
  • Mysteries, Thrillers & Whodunits, Oh My!
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3582 on: September 19, 2017, 08:28:54 AM »
Not reading, so much as reading reviews. 

I'm just going to say that if one is near-mortally offended by sex, violence, and "bad language", reading the genre known as police procedurals is probably a bad idea.  I honestly do not think that it is fair to ding the ratings of a book by giving 1 star because a police procedural novel includes sex, violence, profanity (and obscenity and vulgarity).

That's like the review I saw of Elie Wiesel's "Night" where the reviewer gave it 2 stars for being "too sad"! Now, I only gave it 2 stars as well, but that's because I just didn't care for it - I went into reading it fully expecting it to be sad considering the subject matter!!!

There is or was a website that rated movies in a very strict how much death/profanity/scrabble is in the movie way. They complained about the deaths in Titanic. Um. Level criticisms about the plot, etc. all you want, but the Titanic really sank. People really died.



I looked at one of those sites once, not long after the first Guy Ritchie-produced Sherlock Holmes movie, starring Robert Downey Jr., was released. The site criticized the movie for having Holmes use drugs, and, IIRC, fighting. I wondered if they'd ever read Doyle, because yeah, Holmes was not a paragon of moral virtue. He used cocaine, and I seem to remember a mention of his boxing days. I never looked at that review website again.   ::)
Some day, I hope to get paid to kill people. Now, I just do it for fun.

Reika

  • Member
  • Posts: 3172
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3583 on: September 19, 2017, 12:00:02 PM »
Not reading, so much as reading reviews. 

I'm just going to say that if one is near-mortally offended by sex, violence, and "bad language", reading the genre known as police procedurals is probably a bad idea.  I honestly do not think that it is fair to ding the ratings of a book by giving 1 star because a police procedural novel includes sex, violence, profanity (and obscenity and vulgarity).

That's like the review I saw of Elie Wiesel's "Night" where the reviewer gave it 2 stars for being "too sad"! Now, I only gave it 2 stars as well, but that's because I just didn't care for it - I went into reading it fully expecting it to be sad considering the subject matter!!!

There is or was a website that rated movies in a very strict how much death/profanity/scrabble is in the movie way. They complained about the deaths in Titanic. Um. Level criticisms about the plot, etc. all you want, but the Titanic really sank. People really died.



I looked at one of those sites once, not long after the first Guy Ritchie-produced Sherlock Holmes movie, starring Robert Downey Jr., was released. The site criticized the movie for having Holmes use drugs, and, IIRC, fighting. I wondered if they'd ever read Doyle, because yeah, Holmes was not a paragon of moral virtue. He used cocaine, and I seem to remember a mention of his boxing days. I never looked at that review website again.   ::)

I write fanfic, I label mine as mature for a reason: violence, adult language, various adult situations, sexy times, etc. I've still gotten the odd review complaining about that and I don't write in light hearted, fluffy settings either. So I dunno what they think they're getting into.

As for Sherlock Holmes, while it's been a long time since I read any of the stories, I do remember that he used drugs (couldn't remember if it was cocaine or not) because they helped sharpen his mind and that he wasn't afraid to get into a dust up if necessary.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Member
  • Posts: 10073
Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #3584 on: September 19, 2017, 06:26:48 PM »
5) This really pulled me out of the story (and I wonder if the author is kicking herself for this now):  the gimmick in the story is an operation that opens channels between couples allowing them to experience each others emotions.  In the course of the first chapter or so, we are told how William and Kate had it done and how well it worked for Brad and Angelina not to mention other celebrity couples.  This is, of course, an alternative world where this operation can be done, but I really cannot get with the Brangelina mention. 

I read a mystery where a sharp bit of editing occurred between the hardback and paperback editions. There was a line to the effect of how the character would have stayed married to Prince Charles and kept all the money and perks instead of divorcing him like Diana did, even if he did have have a tampon fetish. It was in the hardback edition but vanished from the paperback- because Diana died not long after the hardback came out. I'm guessing they decided it wasn't tactful to leave that in.
If wisdomís ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls