Too much of a good thing... (Top Ten Tuesday)

I know this is a first for me to jump into two Top Ten Tuesdays in a row, but the superb bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish came up with another topic for which I'm eager to toss around my two cents:

Top Ten Eight Trends of which I'd Like to See More/Less
Awesome picture found here!
1. MORE: Though "cowbell" should be my number one on any list of what I want more of, the first trend I can think of is Stand Alone Novels!  I feel like series, and specifically trilogies, have become the norm and I really enjoy when authors can take the time to just write a single well-told story without any to-be-continued at the end.  I can think of a number of books that have been released since I began blogging (Matched, Nightshade, Paranormalcy, The Iron King, etc) that I've avoided reading because I don't like to be in the middle of too many unfinished series at one time. I don't inherently object to series books, but I much prefer them when each entry in the series is a complete story in itself.  (A great example is Delirium - though I recently found out Lauren Oliver has a sequel in the works, the first book works perfectly fine on its own.)

2. LESS: I'm a fan of color and the first trend I can think of that's starting to wear on me is Black Covers.  I talked a bit about the Twilight-esque covers in the comments of this post, but all-in-all I'm a bit amazed how many covers tend toward such dark colors these days.  I would think that bright vivid ones would be more eye-catching but I'm always amazed when I walk into the few remaining bookstores near me and am confronted by black, black, and more black. 

3. MORE: Though I mentioned the book in a previous Top Ten Tuesday post about movies, one of my favorite books is The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  I mention it here because I think it's a great example of a Young Adult Work that Appeals to Males as well as females, and I would love to see more books in that category.

4. LESS: Along those same lines, I think the book world can afford to do with less novels about Thirteen-Year-Old Girls riding around in Limos and Drinking Martinis.  I know a lot of what I read as a young girl was very much fluff-fiction, but I seem to see lots of books these days geared at girls in which the main characters are rich socialites.  Though I understand the fun of these characters, why not decrease this trend and have more females making a difference rather than just enjoying themselves.

5. MORE: And while I'm on the subject of having more characters make a difference, my wishlist of trends definitely includes more Novels Set in the Real World.  I like dystopia as much as the next reader, but I also enjoy a good story about friendship or a classic mystery in a suburban setting. 

6. LESS: Reading should be about connecting to real life as much as it should be about escapism or daydreaming, and while I'm dreaming about more novels with realistic settings, could we also get a little less Paranormal?  For a while it was just vampires that were overdone but now it seems that werewolves, zombies, angels, demons, psychics, and ghosts have all happily joined the parade.

7. MORE: Someone once explained the supernatural trend in literature in saying that all the good "normal" stories have already been told, but if that truly is the view, I say, why not retell them?  Great stories do stand the test of time and I love the trend of Updating and Reinventing Classics.  I'm not talking about all the "And Zombies" quirk stories that, for me, fall firmly in the LESS category, but rather the young adult novel that focuses on making a classic story accessible to today's audience.  There's a wealth of source material, so really authors, what are you waiting for?

8: LESS: Just don't be one of the countless authors that's writing a Retelling or Sequel to Pride and Prejudice.  Please.  Please, please, please, can we as a literary community agree to finally leave the Bennets, Bingleys, and Darcys alone?  The original is a masterpiece and some of the new spoofs and homages have been great fun but the market is saturated and I really think we can all survive without another glimpse into the life of Denny's cousin's butler or Georgiana's friend's secret diary.  There are countless other works out there - even plenty other Austen pieces - that haven't had the abuse attention given them that Pride and Prejudice has garnered.

I think I'm going to stop this list at eight today.  As always, I love to hear your thoughts, agreements, and disagreements.  Thanks for stopping by and thanks again to The Broke and the Bookish for always hosting such a fun start to the blogging week! 

15 Response to "Too much of a good thing... (Top Ten Tuesday)"

  1. Beth D. says:
    August 2, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Did it feel like venting a little? It did for me when I did mine.

  2. Anne Bennett says:
    August 2, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    I agree with everything on your list especially books that appeal to boys. However, I am a fan of Jane Austen retellings for lighthearted escape. Though many are poorly written.

  3. lisa :) says:
    August 2, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Beth - It was rather cathartic!

    Anne - I love Austen and I've read a few of the P&P associated works, but I feel like there are so many on the market right now that I'll never read them all. It's hard to vet out which are worth reading and it would be pleasant to see authors playing with Persuasion, Emma, or Northanger Abbey more than just with P&P.

  4. DeniseF says:
    August 2, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Great list! I am also getting tired of all the P&P retellings.

  5. Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) says:
    August 2, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    #1 Yes. I hate it when kids ask me, "Is there a sequel?" I tell them to figure out something good in their heads, "What do you think the main character is doing right now?" They rarely get that.

    #5 I prefer novels set in the real world too. When I'm tired and reading for fun, I can't imagine a land farther away than Long Island...

  6. SweetMarie83 says:
    August 2, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    I love, love, love your list! You obviously put a lot of thought into it and it's always so interesting to see what other people think, especially when they're passionate about it. I actually agree with every single point you made, and you basically said it all, so there's really nothing else for me to add! lol

  7. Lisa says:
    August 2, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    I agree with #4. It's crazy to hear about all these rich teens and the illegal stuff they do.

  8. Yvette says:
    August 2, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    I especially like your 'less' point about the retelling or sequel to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I've read a few and that's enough. The market is definitely saturated.

    I too am tired of black covers. Black covers, by the way, do not last as long as covers done in other colors. The color fades much more easily. But maybe that's a good thing. (Not for book collectors, though.)

    Great list.

  9. sarahsaysread.com says:
    August 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    AWESOME list here! I definitely agree that more YA novels should be written to appeal to both male and female readers. SO many of them now are all about weird paranormal insta-love romantic tragedies, and so obviously geared towards the teenage girls.

    And the constant sequels / spin-offs of P&P annoy me too. Just let the classic be, it's a classic for a reason!

  10. Megan says:
    August 2, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    I couldn't think of anywhere near ten things to write a decent list today, but your list makes me think I should have tried harder because I agree with nearly all of it!

    I'm tired of YA series. What a drag to love a book and its characters only to find out the end of the story is no end at all and you've got to wait a year to hear part of the rest. And every time another subpar Pride and Prejudice "sequel" gets published, I think a puppy dies somewhere. Ugh, I hate to even see them, much less *read* them.

  11. StephanieD says:
    August 2, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Gosh, am I out of it? "Thirteen-Year-Old Girls riding around in Limos and Drinking Martinis" - I had no idea there was even one book, let alone a bunch of books like this.

  12. lisa :) says:
    August 3, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Denise - I've read a couple that were decent but I can't believe how many there are these days!

    Ellen - I used to love imagining sequels for my favorite novels but I really don't mind series when each book is its own story. What irks me most is committing to a fairly lengthy novel only to have no resolution at the end. I think the best books are the ones that can tell a full story but still leave the reader wanting more. The author doesn't necessarily *have* to write more, but whether there is or is not a sequel the story should feel completed.

    SweetMarie - Thanks! That's super sweet of you! (I guess that's where your handle comes from!)

    Lisa - Yeah I haven't read much of those types of books, but they really don't appeal to me.

    Yvette - I didn't think about black covers fading, maybe if I redo this list in a few years I'll object to grayish covers. ;)

    sarahsays - I suppose the push for more girl books is because so many classics appeal to boys but chances are most young boys these days aren't reading Dickens and Stevenson and Twain...

    Megan - Hopefully no puppies are dying, but maybe since series books is listed in so many Top Tens authors or publishers may pick up a hint!

    Stephanie - It was meant as an exaggeration but I was thinking of series books like Blue Bloods, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and such. I don't know if there are really martinis and limos in any or all of them but I do feel like the (pre)teen socialite trend is one I could stand to see less of.

  13. Jen the bibliophile says:
    August 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    EVERYTHING needs more cowbell! [I love that episode:D] I agree with you on 3, 4, 7 & 8 and would love to add in LESS love triangles and LESS insta-love. They are getting absurdly annoying. *sigh* I do love these posts.

    Jen
    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  14. Laurie @ What She Read says:
    August 8, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    I love your list, Lisa, and agree with every single point! (a rarity) The last two YA books I read (really middle-reader on sentence level, but complex enough in ideas and characters for YA) would appeal to both young men and young women: Tall Story by Candy Gourley and Nothing by Janne Teller.
    Thanks so much for reminding me that you're one of the ones who loves Hurt Go Happy; I'm almost ready to start it!

    Maybe I should change my closing line from "more fail better" to "more cowbell"!

  15. carolsnotebook says:
    August 10, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Great list. And I totally agree with 4 and 8.

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