Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Monday, April 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Rewind

This week on Top Ten Tuesday (brought to you every Tuesday by The Broke and the Bookish), we get to choose any Top Ten List we missed out on or would like to revisit. I'd like to be a little peevish today, and talk about my

Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves 
1. Neat, wish-fulfillment type endings. Yes, happy endings are lovely, but when they aren't realistic and inevitable (driven by everything that came before) then happy endings grate on my nerves.
2. Main characters without flaws, unlikable qualities, or any edge at all.
3. Predictability. Life is unpredictable and so is good fiction.
4. Novels where the female protagonist goes through a wrenching divorce, returns to her hometown, and ends up with her high school boyfriend, who is just broken-in enough to be good husband material now. 
5. Characters without real jobs. And work to do when they are there.
6. Characters who have unrealistically nice apartments (think "Friends") given their occupations.
7. Novels that fail to take into account how hard and how much people IRL work--workplaces can't just be little set-pieces where characters have important conversations around the water cooler.
8. The dearth of stories and novels set in neighborhoods like Anacostia in Washington, D.C. (This allows me to invoke the wonderful Edward P. Jones, who writes about real people with really hardscrabble lives, in a realistic and empathic way. In Anacostia).
9. Movie tie-in covers. I know, it's picky of me, but I go out of my way not to buy books with movie tie-in covers.
10. Bad lies. Fiction is a continuous lie, but the writer must be an expert, practiced liar. I hate when I'm reading and something, some detail, jolts me out of that lie and makes me remember there's a writer behind it all.


Anonymous said...

And along with #5...people who have jobs, but who never seem to even show up to work! Because the plot gets so intense, there's no time for work.

Loni said...

This was one of my favourites! I will also go out of my way not to by the movie cover. I also agree with pretty much everything you said.

Me My Shelf And I said...

Oooh I also hate the perfect main character! Great TTT!

Here's Mine:Amber @ Me, My Shelf and I:
Top Ten Tuesday my Fictional Crushes

KarenSi said...

Loved your list. I hate neat endings too. There is such a thing as too perfect. Funny thing about #6, I had never really thought about it until I was reading a book today. The characters are living in London and one in particular has a lovely flat. In reality she would be lucky to get a boxroom in London on her salary.

Anonymous said...

Nice list! I really hate main characters that are one-dimensional too. If they have no flaws or a very repetitive personality, it annoys the crap out of me. I don't like movie tie-in covers either. Drives me nuts :)

Lisa said...

I completely agree with the movie tie-in covers. I can't stand them.

Katie said...

Ooh, I like your list of peeves!

I'm also annoyed by #4, and like you mentioned in #9, I also actively avoid movie tie-in covers.

My rewind list is Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes.

B said...

I agree with your whole list, especially movie cover tie ins. I hate finding a book I'm dying to read, only to see the movie cover books on the shelf.

Anonymous said...

Perfect characters bug the fire out of me. They never progress anywhere, and to me that's a waste of a book.

bibliophiliac said...

@softdrink-yeah, that's when I stop believing in the narrative!
@Loni-I think I could probably come up w/ at least ten more pet peeves.
@MeMyShelfAndI-Perfect=boring, in fiction & in life...well, in fiction, at least ;)
@Karen-Amazing how quickly a reader can figure these things out!

bibliophiliac said...

@confessions-I wonder who does buy the movie tie-in covers, since all book bloggers seem to hate them!
@Katie, Lisa-book-lovers agree: ditch the movie tie-in cover!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Of all these, I hate most predictability. Death to all books that are predictable!

Here's my post for Top Ten Tuesday, a list of the books that most intimidate me.

And I'll be part of the Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop Giveaway that begins tomorrow. I hope you will stop by my blog and enter my giveaways to try to win some great prizes.

Unknown said...

Wonderful comments, I agree with all of these.

Here's my list:

Anonymous said...

Great list. I can agree with all of those, but I especially can't stand movie tie-in covers. Ugh. They annoy me.

LBC said...

I love all your comments about characters at work. It is so much more interesting, but not at all realistic, if characters don't work.

Here is my list