Monday, October 12, 2009


I like to read. In fact, I prefer reading books to other, newfangled methods of killing time. But I am cranky and hard to please. I like very little of the popular fiction that is currently cranked out. Here are some stars of my hit parade of rottenness:

Mysteries with cats in them, particularly if the protagonist has chats with the kitty. For some reason, books with dogs in them are not quite as bad as those that include cats. Mysteries about people with unusual occupations-- window cleaners, home handymen, opera singers, or particularly cooks. Books about cooks that include recipes are absolutely beyond the pale and should be forbidden by statute.

I also loathe books which include picturesque dialects, and that goes for Thomas Hardy and Robbie Burns too.

I dislike books that, by the time you get to page 52, are still strongly hinting at something to be revealed later which the dumb heroine is clueless about. Or some secret out of her past that will explain everything, if the author could just get the descriptions of scenery out of the way.

Too many words. Too much psychological analysis. Long descriptions of mountains, fjords, valleys, rivers, or of the music our hero is listening to or the car he is driving. Or the food. Did I mention recipes?

In self-defense, I have taken to reading biography and history, usually American history.


airforcewife said...

I always thought that the books that spend pages "evoking" feeling through environmental descriptions must have been written by people who found Willa Cather novels to be beautiful and soul searching windows on the American soul (see? I can over-write, too!).

However, in Willa Cather's defense, I think part of the reason I can't stand those books is "My Antonia" - which reminds me too much of my MIL. I hate Antonia and her co-horts with a passion.

I could read Wouk and Uris over and over again, though. Also, Sharon Kay Penman.

miriam said...

I'll have to try SKP--you speak so highly of her.