Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Observations on bookish things #3

Observations on bookish things

Hello! How did you go with my last bookish observations? Sassy enough for you? I'll try to be less sassy in today's post but hey, it might be fun to be sassy. I hardly ever unleash that side of me. I tend to err on the side of caution. Let's see what today brings.

5 stars

Here's the thing. Reviews are for readers. I'm sure you've heard that a lot. It really is. It's to tell a reader about a book. What someone liked or didn't like. Tropes. Triggers, etc., etc. Even spoilers which some readers like and look for. Authors appreciate reviews because it helps boost visibility of the books. But do they read the reviews? Should they read the reviews? Eh, that's debatable. Some authors might read them because they can learn from them about what readers like or don't like and they can tailor their next book to be more inline with those things. Others might read positive reviews to pull out quotes for teasers and promo material. But here's the thing when leaving a review, for the love of all that is good, do not tag authors for one or two star reviews. They don't need that kind of negativity in their life. Yes, I know some authors post 1-star reviews as a laugh or as a promo thing, like those 1-star reviews complaining there's too much sex in a book. Hey, I'm all for that kind of book. One-click. But yeah, no, don't tag them. If an author cares enough to know, they can look it up. They have access to the internet too. On the flip side, if it's a 5-star review, by all means tag them and give them a lift to their day when they see someone loved their book. It could make their day. Who knows, they may even use a line or two in your review as a quote. That has happened to me with my reviews numerous times.

Contact us

And following on from the above topic. Contacting authors. I will often write a message to an author via email or Facebook to let them know how much I've enjoyed their work or if I've loved a particular book. I've even written to an author letting them know how happy I am to have discovered their books and plan on reading all of them. It's okay to write to authors to give them positive news. But please, please do not write them and rip them a new one, or rip their book apart, or tell them how they can do better, or complain about how long it takes for them to release a book, or just list all the things you don't like. They do not need to hear that. They do not need to that kind of negativity in their life. They are already doing the best they can, putting out the best books they can, and releasing their books as soon as they can. Believe me, no author sits there thinking: hmmm... I'll just release a crap book, why don't I? Or intentionally make readers wait years for the next book. If there's a delay, there is ALWAYS a reason and it's usually a good reason. No author would delay a book release if they didn't have to whether it's life getting in the way or they are wanting to polish the book so the readers get the best book possible. And you know what? Most authors are very apologetic about delaying a book and tend to post about it on social media to explain why. Go follow them on social media if you want to be kept up to date. Or sign up for their newsletter. Just know, they are humans too, with their own lives, feelings, and desires. Treat them with the same respect and care that you would any other human being you care for and respect. That's basic human decency. 

Woman hand out rejected

On other trends or tropes that seem popular right now. I think this particular one was made popular by those reading apps where you have to pay by chapter to read. They post a really LONG excerpt to suck you in and then you have to start to pay to read more. I talked about it in more detail in my first bookish post. Anyway, before I blocked most of those ads on my feed (I got sick of them flooding my feed) I read a couple of them. And then I was seeing a lot of people asking in groups for the books along the lines of what was posted in those ads and people were responding saying they are only available on the ads. I guess the popularity of that particular trope and the fact that so many people were asking for it piqued authors' interest. After all, a lot of authors write to market and they write what readers what to read. Hey, that's what sells books!! So I'm seeing more and more of those books being published. What books are these you ask? Why, it's the rejected mates trope. It's basically where the heroine (usually weak and neglected) turns out to be the mate of the alpha or the alpha's son. Said alpha rejects her and may or may not throw her out of the pack. These are usually shifter stories. Then the heroine either leaves the pack and finds another pack and mates with other alphas in the new pack or she slinks around in the background of the existing pack while continuing to be looked down upon and abused and watching her mate frolicking with another female of his choice. At some point the original alpha mate comes to his senses and tries to get the heroine back. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. It all sounds very tragic and I often wonder (1) how can it be a fated mate story if the mate is rejected, (2) how can it be a fated mate story if the mate can go off and find another mate? Isn't the mate bond supposed to be unbreakable? and (3) how can there be a happy ever after with all that going on? All the blurbs of the books I've read for the rejected mates trope seem to revolve around those lines. I guess that is what readers want. It just sounds like a lot of angst and drama. It's not something I'm interested in because the whole rejection concept does not work for me. I've never read any stories with this trope and I doubt I will.

Prison bars

Another trope that didn't get much traction but is sort of floating around is prison romance. A few years ago a group of authors got together and all decided to write prison romance stories. In these stories, the plot is basically where the heroine gets thrown into prison either for something she did or she was wrongly accused. In prison, she meets the heroes who are also inmates of the prison and potentially a warden or two. She then gets into a relationship with these men or man. It depends on whether it is a reverse harem or just an M/F romance. Sometimes it's some kind of reform school/prison scenario where the students/inmates are all truants of some sort and need rehabilitation. The whole concept of prison doesn't work for me either though I do not object to it nearly as much as the rejected mates trope. Still, it has not caught my interest and I haven't tried any prison romance. Every now and then I see a new prison romance pop up but it's not as popular a trope as rejected mates, or even monsters and orcs which are all the rage right now. There does, however, seem to be a surge of alien prison fated mates romances out there. I haven't read them but if you're interested in them a simple surge on Amazon will give you lots of choices, I'm sure.

I saw in a post that some church in the US has people burning what they call "demon" books. So you know, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. Anyway, a very clever author decided that it would be a good marketing move and being rather tongue in cheek to poke the beast and commented on their that she wrote steamy demon romance, so they should buy her books and burn them too. Then she left them the buy links to her books for their easy reference. I thought that was funny, cheeky, and ballsy. I'm quite curious what kind of response she got for that. 


Do you have any specific locations that you love reading about? Where, if a book is set there, you're more likely to read it? I love books set in Minnesota where Steve is from and I love books set in Alaska for no apparent reason. Okay, Minnesota is obvious because I've been there numerous times and I love it there. I recently read a couple of books that were set there and I felt particularly connected to the story because I knew the city they were talking about. One of them was a sports romance and they went to the Mall of America. That mall is a frequent jaunt of ours. We go when we need to buy something. We go when we are craving A&W root bear floats. We go when we have nothing better to do and just want to wander around and look a pretty things. It's such a great mall and it's so huge we get plenty of exercise wandering around. As for Alaska, I don't know. I think it's the fact that it's so cold and inhospitable there and it takes a certain type of people to live and thrive there. People with grit and strength and tenacity. I admire them for making a life in a hostile environment.


Have you guys watched the new Reacher TV series on Amazon Prime that came out a few months ago? It's so good. Run, don't walk to watch it. It's based on the first book of the Jack Reacher series Killing Floor by Lee Child. It follows very closely to the book right down to a lot of the dialogue, I'm told. There are some discrepancies too, like the kind of shoes he wears, but hey, they are shoes. I'm not going to nit pick over shoes. My Steve has read the book and he says it is a good representation of the book. Two things, this TV series has revived book sales and last I checked (could have changed now) the book was sitting in the top 100 on the Amazon charts. Pretty fantastic for such an old book. Also, the guy who plays Reacher, Alan Ritchson is ripped. He's also very tall. I think he would pretty much fit the image of just about every over 6', ripped hero there is out there in Romancelandia. I'm glad I've got him as a visual because I've always struggled to visualise heroes that are described like that. Hoo boy! He is scrumptious. Pretty much going to use his body in my imagination and just replace his head with whatever the author describes. Heh heh heh.

Text messages

How do you feel about books with text messages or tweets in them? My first experience of that was a book that was conducted almost entirely of tweets between the hero and heroine and it got me hooked. It's such a sweet book and I still think of it fondly. The ending just about broke my heart. Ever since then I've been hooked on stories where there were lots of text messages between the hero and heroine and I get a big kick out of those messages when I read them in the stories. Most recently, I read this fantastic romantic suspense where the heroine is kidnapped and thrown into a deep hole. Before that, she manages to steal the kidnappers phone. The kidnapper gets a text on the phone and she texts the person back asking for help. That series of texts going back and forth while the hero tries to decide if it's a prank or a legit call for help had me at the edge of my seat. This book is fantastic and I loved every minute of it. If you know of any more books that have lots of text messages in them, let me know. I'll want to read them. They are totally my jam.

Finally for today, what is it with these illustrated faceless people book covers? I'm seeing a lot of them in new romantic comedy books, but I think they were popular at one time for chick lit too. They are certainly making a huge comeback right now with romcoms and maybe it's just me but I find these faceless people creepy. I don't think seeing faceless people on book covers is going to entice me to take a closer look or to buy the book. Put a hunky hero on the cover and I'll take a second and a third look, thank you very much.

Right, I think that's about it from me this time round. Turns out, I have a lot to say about a lot of things. I hope you're enjoying these observations into bookish things. I do try to keep them mostly on track with bookish things. I think I say bookish to give myself some leeway. Happy reading.

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  1. Not sure I approve of burning books in any way, shape or form. After all, we've all seen where that can lead to.
    Faceless covers. I've seen a lot of illustrated covers, although most of them do have faces, or are in silhouette. From what I've seen from author's, it's because they can't find a photo or model to resemble the hero or heroine. I hate it when someone is described as blonde and the cover model is dark haired for example.
    And I really dislike those veiny covers

    1. Yeah, I'm with you on the burning books, but conservative churches are strange beasts. As for that author advertising her demon books, I don't even remember who it was, but I can't remember if she burned her book or not.

      What do you mean by veiny covers?

    2. Where they show all their veins. I couldn't find an example though I was sure I had a Kaylea Cross, whose books I love, had a similar cover. I'm now wondering if it was updated

    3. Oh, you mean like on their arms and such? Heh, I don't mind them. I don't really pay that much attention to those things so they are not a big no-no for me.