I love lists, and the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish offer the perfect opportunity to put on my list-making hat and ponder important matters related to all things bookish with their feature: Top Ten Tuesdays. Today they invite us to think about the trends in publishing that we’d like to see less or more of:
- Interchangeable Magical Boyfriend Creatures. The vampire who falls in love with a high school girl. Or the werewolf who falls in love with a high school girl. Or the fallen angel, or faery, or ghost, or zombie… you get the picture.
- Misery Memoirs. I’m sure it’s cathartic to write about an awful childhood, and am outraged by some of the things people get away with, but I hate the emotionally manipulative way these books are marketed, deliberately tugging at the heartstrings with pictures of sad-eyed children, titles that all contain “Mummy” and “Daddy” and taglines about “helpless little boy/girl.”I feel this approach cheapens the very real experiences of those who wrote the books, and I also find it quite disturbing that people bulk-buy true stories about child abuse.
- Decidedly Dubious Mills and Boon titles. Things like The Greek Tycoon’s Reluctant Mistress, or The Spanish Billionaire’s Bought Bride, or Wedded for Revenge, or Blackmailed Into His Bed. I don’t read the books myself, but these titles don’t suggest healthy male-female relationships!
- Celebrity “auto”biographies and ghostwritten novels. If You Only Live Once as Katie Price suggests, why is this her fourth life story?
- Love Triangles. Call me old-fashioned, but it seems to me that if it’s not obvious which of two suitors you want to spend your life with, are you really committed enough to either?
I find it harder to think about what trends I’d like to see more of, because the best book are those that are original and stand out from the crowd. That being said, I’d like to see:
- Amazing story-telling. J. K. Rowling always amazes me by he complete mastery of her story world, her complex plot strands that she never dropped even a minor subplot.
- Dark, mysterious stories that aren’t specifically fantastical, but aren’t easily explained away either. (For example, Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger.)
- Non-romance-based stories in which the protagonist is either single all the way through, or happily settled all the way through the story.
- Page-turning adventures and mysteries. When you have no idea what is going to happen next, but just have to read “one more chapter” to find out.
- Strong, stand-alone stories. I do like some series, but many stories go on too long. I’d rather reach the end and wish for more, than get more and be disappointed or bored.