02 August 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Please, sir, may I have some more? Or not!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday question, sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish blog seems playful to me, so I think I'll join in.  The top ten trends I'd like to see more (or less) of:

1. Less -- Multiple narrators in a novel.  Particularly if they each get their own typeface because the author thinks their readers are too stupid to figure out who's being featured. 

2.  Less -- Paranormal romance, etc.  For both teens & adults.  I'm sure that there are some that are done well.  But I feel that this genre contributes more to the dumbing down of today's readers than any other. I mostly blame Twilight

3.  More -- Realistic fiction for teens/YA that is not romance- or bitch-driven.  (Gossip Girl, Clique, etc).  More like If I Stay, or Jellicoe Road.  Or even 13 Little Blue Envelopes

4.  Less -- Memoirs, celebrity or otherwise.  Most people who have written memoirs haven't lived an interesting enough life and/or aren't good enough writers to have merited writing a memoir.

5.  More -- Meaty, epic literature that speaks to the human condition, punches you in the gut, and leaves you thinking about it for days.

6.  More -- Funny travel writers with a social conscience.  Like Bill Bryson or J. Maarten Troost, who seem to know that readers who laugh are likely to remember more about what they read. 

7. More -- Books that deal with important issues without feeling like they're "issue books," particularly for teens.  I'm thinking Will Grayson, Will Grayson or My Most Excellent Year for books that might be labeled issue books for their gay characters but are really just slice of life books that feature excellent gay characters.

8.  More -- Narrative non-fiction that is written and plotted so well that it reads as smoothly as fiction.  I'm thinking Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, or maybe Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Just because you're writing a science book or a biography doesn't excuse you from writing in an engaging prose style!

9. More -- I have borrowed this one verbatim from bibliophiliac: Realistic Fiction about regular folks. 

10.  As usual, I leave this one blank.  What's the number one trend you'd like to see more or less of? 


  1. I love Will Grayson and I'm super tired of most memoirs. I get your reference to a particular author in #1 and I am having trouble with multiple narrators all over the place as well. I just read The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's wives, and sometimes I actually didn't know who was talking.


  2. LBC, I hear you about the Baba Segi Wives book. I also struggled at the beginning of most chapters to understand who was narrating. But I think I prefer the struggle to being hand fed everything. I think. I'll get back to you if it happens to much and I grow too frustrated.

  3. Missed this list somehow! Loved your thoughtful responses. Off-the-cuff, here are mine:
    Less: celebrities-turned-children's book author, paranormal stuff, non-fiction works that take 300 pages to reiterate what I already understood from the introduction, and complete second your memoirs.
    More: epistolary novels (and I do believe you're the person who introduced me to that word), women travel writers who aren't centered on love, short stories I want to read - meaning they usually have a point and aren't just edgy, depressing long essays (examples of good being Lara Vapnyar & Ron Rash)


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)