Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 243810 times)

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Redsoil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #930 on: May 13, 2013, 10:58:48 AM »
I actually liked the final Sookie Stackhouse book, in spite of the doleful reviews.  I found it (in spite of the usual startling series of events where Sookie is targetted) quite a relaxing read, and was happy to see a few loose ends tied up.  Let's face it, it's nice brain-candy!
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Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #931 on: May 13, 2013, 01:12:11 PM »
In addition to a bunch of stuff already mentioned, there is another character issue along the lines of "Mary Sue" (don't know if it also has a name) that I find really offputting. It's when the protagonist, or sometimes every major character, is just so, so, so quirky and unique.  As in "lives in a treehouse and relies on a unicycle for transportation and wears deliberately mismatched vintage clothes and makes a living writing poetry that he/she sells it at subway entrances while singing obscure opera selections and was raised in a commune in Alaska and..."  Okay, I'm exaggerating, but it does get tiring.  Interesting characters are one of the great things about fiction, but I can only suspend a certain amount of disbelief.

I know what you mean, but I'll add that even one quirky characteristic can turn me off if it's bad enough. I was reading a sci-fi book where the hero was a manly scientist/engineer who flouted convention and went his own way. No problem so far, that's half the classic sci-fi out there, though it's more rare these days. But at one point he gets hurt, not even badly, but checks himself out of the hospital against medical advice. Because as far as he's concerned, if doctors can't immediately fix what's wrong with you or replace a damaged bit in your body the way a mechanic replaces parts in an engine they're not really scientists at all and he doesn't have time for them.

Okay, then, close the book and return it to the library. I have no interest in reading about complete and utter morons, thanks much.

A. J. Orde has a wonderful rant in one of her books about this kind of thinking. I belive it's in Death for Old Time's Sake.
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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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BabyMama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #932 on: May 13, 2013, 01:37:43 PM »
I actually liked the final Sookie Stackhouse book, in spite of the doleful reviews.  I found it (in spite of the usual startling series of events where Sookie is targetted) quite a relaxing read, and was happy to see a few loose ends tied up.  Let's face it, it's nice brain-candy!

Me too. I read a lot, but when I need brain down-time, I read Charlaine Harris books. I'm not expecting great reading, but I am expecting familiar characters with an interesting (if not keep-you-up-at-night compelling) storyline and at least semilikeable/relatable characters. One thing I appreciate about her series writing is that her characters change and grow, and aren't just the exact same character over and over in slightly different situations. Her Aurora Teagarden character I think is a good example for me.
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Morticia

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #933 on: May 13, 2013, 01:53:33 PM »
I may have mentioned before that plot lines involving people being wrongfully accused are a trigger for me. The last Sookie Stackhouse has just been released, and according to the synopsis, I won't be able to read it.  Can someone who does please pm me and let me know if she ends up happily ever after, and with whom?

You don't need a pm for that. Just read all of the one star reviews! That will answer those questions pretty quickly.

Thank you very much for the pointer. Having read the spoilers, I am glad I could not read the book.
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mrs_deb

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #934 on: May 13, 2013, 06:58:12 PM »
I read a couple of books (short historical romances) by one particular author over a long period of time and liked them, so checked out a whole bunch of her other books from the library.  And now that I'm reading them one after another, I find her mannerisms to be OH SO ANNOYING.

Nobody walks.  They tap along the sidewalk, or their boots whisper to a stop.

Nobody talks.  Her soft alto or sweet soprano floats above the other women's voices. 

Nobody "says" anything.  There's a line of dialogue, and she assigns it to the speaker by having the speaker do something.  As in, "Isn't it a nice day?"  Susie ate a french fry.  "Yes, it is!"  Mary sipped her soda thirstily.

The couple who are interested in each other but don't want to admit it?  They constantly tell themselves that they're immune to the other person's charms.  "Oh Michael, how nice to see you."  She would not look in his deep blue eyes, she would not.  "You too, Diane!"  His heart throbbed unwillingly at her soft alto.  "How are you today?"  Should anyone be that handsome?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH

Good thing I didn't BUY these darn books  ;D.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #935 on: May 13, 2013, 07:01:32 PM »
"That sounds very annoying."  Diane made a mental note to not buy any of that author's books.
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ica171

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #936 on: May 13, 2013, 07:02:01 PM »
I read a couple of books (short historical romances) by one particular author over a long period of time and liked them, so checked out a whole bunch of her other books from the library.  And now that I'm reading them one after another, I find her mannerisms to be OH SO ANNOYING.

Nobody walks.  They tap along the sidewalk, or their boots whisper to a stop.

Nobody talks.  Her soft alto or sweet soprano floats above the other women's voices. 

Nobody "says" anything.  There's a line of dialogue, and she assigns it to the speaker by having the speaker do something.  As in, "Isn't it a nice day?"  Susie ate a french fry.  "Yes, it is!"  Mary sipped her soda thirstily.

The couple who are interested in each other but don't want to admit it?  They constantly tell themselves that they're immune to the other person's charms.  "Oh Michael, how nice to see you."  She would not look in his deep blue eyes, she would not.  "You too, Diane!"  His heart throbbed unwillingly at her soft alto.  "How are you today?"  Should anyone be that handsome?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH

Good thing I didn't BUY these darn books  ;D.

I try not to read a lot of one author I like for this reason--I don't want to notice their bad habits! If I pick up on one of those in a book it's pretty much done for me. There's been more than one book where I had to take a long break for it because everybody said everything. It was always "blah blah," Bob said. "Well, la di da," Sue said. "I see," Bob said. Always so and so said, always after the thing they said.

Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #937 on: May 13, 2013, 10:16:09 PM »
I read a couple of books (short historical romances) by one particular author over a long period of time and liked them, so checked out a whole bunch of her other books from the library.  And now that I'm reading them one after another, I find her mannerisms to be OH SO ANNOYING.

Nobody walks.  They tap along the sidewalk, or their boots whisper to a stop.

Nobody talks.  Her soft alto or sweet soprano floats above the other women's voices. 

Nobody "says" anything.  There's a line of dialogue, and she assigns it to the speaker by having the speaker do something.  As in, "Isn't it a nice day?"  Susie ate a french fry.  "Yes, it is!"  Mary sipped her soda thirstily.

The couple who are interested in each other but don't want to admit it?  They constantly tell themselves that they're immune to the other person's charms.  "Oh Michael, how nice to see you."  She would not look in his deep blue eyes, she would not.  "You too, Diane!"  His heart throbbed unwillingly at her soft alto.  "How are you today?"  Should anyone be that handsome?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH

Good thing I didn't BUY these darn books  ;D .

I try not to read a lot of one author I like for this reason--I don't want to notice their bad habits! If I pick up on one of those in a book it's pretty much done for me. There's been more than one book where I had to take a long break for it because everybody said everything. It was always "blah blah," Bob said. "Well, la di da," Sue said. "I see," Bob said. Always so and so said, always after the thing they said.
And equally irritating, the long strings of dialog where there are no markers whatsoever for a full page or more about who is saying what!  If I have to back up to the last 'Bob said, "Oh, really?"' two pages ago and count paragraphs to figure out who just made that plot-turning revelation, I get very annoyed. Throw some business in once in a while!

Some schools of writing say to use descriptive verbs instead of 'said.'  "I know that!" Sue snapped.  "I thought you would," Bob sighed.  Others call those "said bookisms" and say to use 'said' most of the time, that a reader's eyes just brush right over them.  Still others say not to use anything at all, like the author that Mrs. Deb was complaining about.

 
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ica171

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #938 on: May 13, 2013, 10:26:13 PM »
Personally I prefer a combination of the three. Sometimes people really do just say things. Sometimes they snap or sigh or groan or yell. Sometimes whatever they're doing while they're talking is relevant or interesting. Mix it up a little.

mrs_deb

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #939 on: May 13, 2013, 10:35:47 PM »
It's probably just because I've read so many in a row that I'm noticing these things.  I will say, however, that nobody in their right mind thinks that the sound that boots make can reasonably be described as "whisper to a stop".

Layla Miller

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #940 on: May 13, 2013, 11:12:22 PM »
Personally I prefer a combination of the three. Sometimes people really do just say things. Sometimes they snap or sigh or groan or yell. Sometimes whatever they're doing while they're talking is relevant or interesting. Mix it up a little.

I'm just happy when people use speech verbs.  I cringe whenever I read something like:

"Hello," she walked into the room.

Unless she's using interpretive dance, that just doesn't work!
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cwm

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #941 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:40 AM »
I have to start out saying that if a story is good enough, I'll muddle through a LOT of junk. That being said, if the main character's motives change halfway through the book with no apparent motive, that's a big problem.

Also, grammar and spelling issues. If I can find five errors within the first ten pages, someone hasn't done their job and I'm not giving this any more of my time.

I don't mind genres changing midway through, as long as it's not completely jarring.

As for fanfiction, the grammar and spelling kills everything for me, more than anything else. And formatting. I realize that some things are beyond what the author can control (if the website it's hosted on changes everything without them knowing), but I've seen some stories that are literally one long paragraph. No breaks whatsoever, with just back to back quotation marks. Sorry, at that point, I don't care how good the concept is, I'm done.

Another thing along the same vein of page lickers is page folders. People who fold the corner of the page down to mark their spots. Or fold the book open somewhere. Folding open isn't so bad, but the page folders are terrible. I'm slightly OCD and even the corners that get accicdentally folded over during normal wear and tear bother me, I can't fathom why someone would purposely do that. It's mind-boggling.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #942 on: May 14, 2013, 12:20:59 PM »
I went to a writing conference a few years back and one of the literary agents there said she generally gives a submission three passes for grammatical mistakes before she gives up.  If the writer can get her hooked on the story before she hits the third mistake, she'll probably keep reading, but otherwise she rejects it.  Apparently she's received a handful of books submitted which hit the three mistake limit in the first sentence.  :o

Tia2

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #943 on: May 14, 2013, 02:48:01 PM »
Okay, I am someone who LIKES magical realism and a vague wash of the supernatural in my reading...so I have to know which book this is.  I'm going to ask up front--is it The Accursed by Oates?That is on my reading list.  But if not, I would love to know the title.  Thank you!

It's not by Oates, and I'm sorry, but I do not have recall of the title.  I was visiting my family in another province and left the book there (with full disclosure!).  Will try to remember to ask about the title next time I'm in touch.

FTR, I sometimes like a bit of the supernatural in my reading as well.  I just like to know that's what I'm getting. :)

That's okay!  If you find out, just let us know.  I DO understand about starting a book under the impression you are getting one thing and find out it is something else completely.  I know I have started what I believed were true supernatural/horror novels only to discover half way through that it's the old aliens from outer space bait and switcheroo.

I actually got caught by one going the other way.  The author is well known for his military science fiction, aliens had invaded, everything was proceeding as expected, at which point the plan to destroy the invaders turned out to be the vampires (wait, what?) riding up to the mother ship on the outside of the shuttles because they don't need to breathe and using their super powered abilities to save the world.  I must admit, the sudden switch to supernatural as opposed to alien invasion (although they were aliens, it wasn't a trick) was a bit startling.

Reika

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #944 on: May 14, 2013, 08:09:26 PM »

I actually got caught by one going the other way.  The author is well known for his military science fiction, aliens had invaded, everything was proceeding as expected, at which point the plan to destroy the invaders turned out to be the vampires (wait, what?) riding up to the mother ship on the outside of the shuttles because they don't need to breathe and using their super powered abilities to save the world.  I must admit, the sudden switch to supernatural as opposed to alien invasion (although they were aliens, it wasn't a trick) was a bit startling.

David Weber, right? I remember that story, and while I read it to the end because it was well written, that was one of the few times I felt the genre change to be startling.

I just encountered another pet peeve. When an author suddenly changes (or removes) a drawback of what a certain group of people can do. I'm looking at you L.E. Modesitt Jr. with your Imager series. I'm still reading it because the story is interesting and I'm hoping you'll have a decent explanation.