Sunday, January 15, 2012

Open-minded Reading

To say that my reading tastes are eclectic might be the understatement of 2012. My week began with  Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry (creepy good book, by the way), took a turn through Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants (for the 900th time), and ended up in a Regency-era vampire romance by Colleen Gleason. For completely different reasons, I enjoyed them all. I was challenged and entertained.

And that brings up an interesting subject: literary snobbery. You know what I'm talking about. There are those who wouldn't dream of stooping low enough to read commercial fiction, much less romance, or fantasy, or sci fi, or young adult, or fill in the blank. The truth as I see it, is good, solid writing can be found in any genre of fiction, just as the opposite is also true.

That is my first criteria for what constitutes a good book. It must be well written. Sure the plot doesn't hurt. It certainly makes it more entertaining. But if the dialogue is wooden and unnatural, the text riddled with cliche, or it contains pages of background information when we'd rather follow the breadcrumbs, then, at least in my mind, it can't be classified as a good book. It tells me the writer was rushed or maybe even a little lazy. So maybe I'm a bit of a book snob, too. How about you?

Are you a book snob? Have you fallen victim to literary snobbery? Has your writing?

I'd love to hear from you.

4 comments:

  1. I really like the synopsis of who you are. As for the WIP, if you start rambling and want a change from fiction; you can read some of my memoir and don't be afraid to be objective. I appreciate honesty. It makes for a better writer. Please keep in mind, this is my first attempt.

    Best of luck with everything in your life.

    Suzannesan
    http://suzannehill1978.com

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  2. Suzannesan, thanks for reading and leaving our OFFICIAL first comment! We are forever grateful.

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  3. Hi Melissa! Great topic. For me, it's all about the story. If I'm immediately pulled into the characters' story, I can overlook technical flaws. That said, if I struggle too much with the writing, it pulls me out of the story and I stop reading.

    I read mostly genre fiction--mystery/crime, romantic suspense, single title romance, and women's fiction. I'm a big Joshilyn Jackson fan, and some would consder her work literary. I try not to get too hung up on the labels.

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    1. Joshilyn Jackson is a great example(I'm crazy about her too!). I'm also talking about people who think it is beneath them to read romance, young adult or any type of genre fiction, really. I think labels hold tremendous weight with people like that.

      All books have the potential for greatness, regardless of the genre. And, of course, a good book is always a fusion of exciting plot, great characters, and good writing.

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