Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 179911 times)

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Last_Dance

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #825 on: April 27, 2013, 06:06:01 AM »
I'd hesitate to call them pet peeves, more like "things I loathe with a passion."

Books that misrepresent their genre or abruptly change gears halfway through. I just feel cheated, especially because I have yet to see it done well.

Historical inaccurancies: accidental ones are bad, willful and deliberate ones are worse and will not be forgiven. 

In-your-face modern attitudes in historical settings.

The author showing a character's goodness/"enlightment" down my throat.

Characters who don't do anything - you've probably run across them before. They are supposed to have a job or responsibilities, yet they feel like bad actors who just stroll on the stage, do or say their bit to advance the plot and then go back to waiting in the wings for their next turn. You never get the impression they're actually, you know, doing something when they're out of sight.

Taking "show don't tell" too much to heart. For example, I ran into this in a book divided in four parts: part 2 and part 3 were an extremely long flashback about the life, death and miracles of one of the main character's father. These two parts weren't very brief, either, and so I got to trudge through page and pages without actually getting nowhere. It was very frustrating and boring.

And the worst thing is, most of these pet peeves come from a single book.  ;D ;D ;D I ought to sell it, I suppose, but how can I inflict it on somebody else with a clear conscience? 
We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #826 on: April 27, 2013, 11:56:05 AM »
Go to one of those craft websites that shows artistic projects to do with books, and create something fun without having a guilty conscience about defacing a book. >:D

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #827 on: April 27, 2013, 01:42:09 PM »
I'd hesitate to call them pet peeves, more like "things I loathe with a passion."

Books that misrepresent their genre or abruptly change gears halfway through. I just feel cheated, especially because I have yet to see it done well.

Historical inaccurancies: accidental ones are bad, willful and deliberate ones are worse and will not be forgiven. 

In-your-face modern attitudes in historical settings.

The author showing a character's goodness/"enlightment" down my throat.

Characters who don't do anything - you've probably run across them before. They are supposed to have a job or responsibilities, yet they feel like bad actors who just stroll on the stage, do or say their bit to advance the plot and then go back to waiting in the wings for their next turn. You never get the impression they're actually, you know, doing something when they're out of sight.

Taking "show don't tell" too much to heart. For example, I ran into this in a book divided in four parts: part 2 and part 3 were an extremely long flashback about the life, death and miracles of one of the main character's father. These two parts weren't very brief, either, and so I got to trudge through page and pages without actually getting nowhere. It was very frustrating and boring.

And the worst thing is, most of these pet peeves come from a single book.  ;D ;D ;D I ought to sell it, I suppose, but how can I inflict it on somebody else with a clear conscience?

I feel horrible.  I thought for a moment when you said "sell it", you were referring to a publisher.   :-[
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Petticoats

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #828 on: April 27, 2013, 02:12:19 PM »

Historical inaccurancies: accidental ones are bad, willful and deliberate ones are worse and will not be forgiven. 

In-your-face modern attitudes in historical settings.


Both these are related to a development I loathe: as romance writers are under pressure from publishers to make their books hotter, a lot of characters are now displaying ridiculously anachronistic attitudes toward sex. As in, gently reared young ladies who historically speaking wouldn't have even considered having a premarital tumble (or full-fledged romance) are now happily falling into bed with a guy if they fancy him. It makes me seethe. We may not share or even like the attitudes of an older era, but it's ridiculous to pretend that they simply didn't exist--and it's such a blatant bit of retconning that it's almost insulting to the reader.

PeterM

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #829 on: April 27, 2013, 03:13:18 PM »
Both these are related to a development I loathe: as romance writers are under pressure from publishers to make their books hotter, a lot of characters are now displaying ridiculously anachronistic attitudes toward sex. As in, gently reared young ladies who historically speaking wouldn't have even considered having a premarital tumble (or full-fledged romance) are now happily falling into bed with a guy if they fancy him. It makes me seethe. We may not share or even like the attitudes of an older era, but it's ridiculous to pretend that they simply didn't exist--and it's such a blatant bit of retconning that it's almost insulting to the reader.

The other side of that, though, is that many modern stereotypes about past era's attitudes towards sex are simply incorrect. I forget who said it, but every generation feels like they were the first ones to discover sex and that they're having so much more of it than any group that came before them. This generally is not the case.

Which doesn't excuse actual incorrect portrayals of historical attitudes towards sex, of course, which I agree are legion. Just because your portrayal goes against the commonly accepted stereotype doesn't make it any more accurate than said stereotype.

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #830 on: April 27, 2013, 08:24:54 PM »
There were always ladies who were "adventurous" in sex. However, I think a lot of modern writers seem to overlook that they did not have either reliable birth control or antibiotics. We can, nowadays, with a few precautions, have sex without terrible anxiety about pregnancy or STDs. This was not the case in pre-WWII days, and while the writer can say, "well, this woman was lucky enough not to have to deal with these problems," doesn't eliminate the fact that she would have had to think about them.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Petticoats

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #831 on: April 27, 2013, 10:36:58 PM »
There were always ladies who were "adventurous" in sex. However, I think a lot of modern writers seem to overlook that they did not have either reliable birth control or antibiotics. We can, nowadays, with a few precautions, have sex without terrible anxiety about pregnancy or STDs. This was not the case in pre-WWII days, and while the writer can say, "well, this woman was lucky enough not to have to deal with these problems," doesn't eliminate the fact that she would have had to think about them.

Yes, this. PeterM, I'm not saying that no gently reared 19th-century lady ever had premarital sex. But the attitude would have most likely been very different--she would have had to weigh a lot of risks and not take it lightly. When I see gently reared 19th-century maidens in books these days who seem to find it no big deal to decide on the spur of the moment to have sex in a box at the opera or a gardener's shed with any attractive fellow who catches their eye, I call BS.

lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #832 on: April 27, 2013, 11:53:52 PM »
There were always ladies who were "adventurous" in sex. However, I think a lot of modern writers seem to overlook that they did not have either reliable birth control or antibiotics. We can, nowadays, with a few precautions, have sex without terrible anxiety about pregnancy or STDs. This was not the case in pre-WWII days, and while the writer can say, "well, this woman was lucky enough not to have to deal with these problems," doesn't eliminate the fact that she would have had to think about them.

Yes, this. PeterM, I'm not saying that no gently reared 19th-century lady ever had premarital sex. But the attitude would have most likely been very different--she would have had to weigh a lot of risks and not take it lightly. When I see gently reared 19th-century maidens in books these days who seem to find it no big deal to decide on the spur of the moment to have sex in a box at the opera or a gardener's shed with any attractive fellow who catches their eye, I call BS.

True and married women had a lot more freedom to sleep around, once there was an heir and if they observed a certain amount of discreetness. However, the readership today is fine with premarital sex but would frown heavily on a heroine who was cheating her husband.

But some writers seem to just want the pretty clothes, balls and some elegant habits, not the reality of the era (specially the uglier or inconvenient sides). Forks, anyone?

VorFemme

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #833 on: April 28, 2013, 12:33:06 AM »
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).

But not everyone is lucky enough to start reading book #1 - they find a later book on the new book shelf and have to go back to get "the rest of the story".

Not me - I got my greedy little hands on books 1-5 at one fell swoop......and have picked up the rest as they are available.......but the description could get a little shorter, over time.....
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #834 on: April 28, 2013, 12:54:45 AM »
There were always ladies who were "adventurous" in sex. However, I think a lot of modern writers seem to overlook that they did not have either reliable birth control or antibiotics. We can, nowadays, with a few precautions, have sex without terrible anxiety about pregnancy or STDs. This was not the case in pre-WWII days, and while the writer can say, "well, this woman was lucky enough not to have to deal with these problems," doesn't eliminate the fact that she would have had to think about them.

Yes, this. PeterM, I'm not saying that no gently reared 19th-century lady ever had premarital sex. But the attitude would have most likely been very different--she would have had to weigh a lot of risks and not take it lightly. When I see gently reared 19th-century maidens in books these days who seem to find it no big deal to decide on the spur of the moment to have sex in a box at the opera or a gardener's shed with any attractive fellow who catches their eye, I call BS.

True and married women had a lot more freedom to sleep around, once there was an heir and if they observed a certain amount of discreetness. However, the readership today is fine with premarital sex but would frown heavily on a heroine who was cheating her husband.

But some writers seem to just want the pretty clothes, balls and some elegant habits, not the reality of the era (specially the uglier or inconvenient sides). Forks, anyone?

Well, there were some pretty erotic books written in those days, and women who went far on the sexual prowess. But there would have been a big difference in the mentality as well as motality between, say, Nell Gwynne and a 21st century college student.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

VorFemme

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #835 on: April 28, 2013, 12:59:12 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....)

Actually - a king of England and his wife had that agreement, as they were very pious.  I'm sure that it frustrated the you-know-what out of his advisors, nobles, and subjects.

Which is how his heir and the next king came to be a distant cousin from Normandy......and a man born out of wedlock......William the Conqueror.  I cannot recollect the names of the king & queen at the moment.....and it was 1000 something rather than 1200 something.

But his wife fell in with the celibacy for religious reasons - not because she was a feminist.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #836 on: April 28, 2013, 01:05:58 AM »
I think you're thinking of Edward the Confessor. There was the unfortunate Harald between him and William, but yes, his lack of a direct heir caused some seroius problems.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

VorFemme

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #837 on: April 28, 2013, 01:06:56 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.

(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.

And she's way too tall compared to Almonzo......
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

parrot_girl

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #838 on: April 28, 2013, 02:24:22 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.

(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.

And she's way too tall compared to Almonzo......

And missing about a metre of hair down her back. Also, she wouldn't have had her hair down, surely?

Thipu1

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #839 on: April 28, 2013, 02:21:28 PM »
Go to one of those craft websites that shows artistic projects to do with books, and create something fun without having a guilty conscience about defacing a book. >:D
.

The only project I saw in this genre that I liked was making a Christmas tree out of an old Reader's Digest.  The others just make me feel a little sick.