Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Things I Hate

Ronni wanted to know what "introspective navel-gazing" was. I thought I had given my list of things in books that I really, really dislike (by way of explaining why I may damn some books with faint praise), but must not have. So, here it is. I will never be wild about any books that include:

  1. Talking animals. Sorry, Bryan Jacques. I have trouble with this.
  2. Dialects. It's hard to do this well. Again, apologies about Redwall.
  3. Quirky, dysfunctional people. Children never ask for this, and these are the books that always win Newbery awards. One exception: So B. It by Sarah Weeks.
  4. Southern Books. Too often they combine 2 and 3. If they don't, they're okay.
  5. Introspective navel-gazing. Again, this wins awards. Any time the main character spends way too much time contemplating their place in the universe, it makes for boring reading. Even if I like it (big fan of Jane Eyre), it's hard to get students to read it.
  6. Obscenity. Don't care if it's realistic. We don't let the children swear at school. They don't need to read words they would get suspended for saying.
  7. Blood and Gore. Students love this, so this is entirely personal. I'd prefer a good psychological thriller. Rarely done well.

Needless to say, if anyone ever writes a novel in verse about cursing, psychopathic serial killer bunnies who live in Alabama and spend a lot of time discussing their tortured childhoods, I won't buy it.

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