Sunday, January 19, 2003

I loved response to a thread on a listserv regarding pet peeves in books, Mark Terry posted this eloquent, intelligent response. I wish I'd wrote it:

Subject: My anti-peeves

Anti-peeves? Oh well.'s what I like in books.

Books that tell good stories. Books with male main characters. Books with female main characters. Books with male and female main characters. Interesting characters. interesting voices. Humor. Good dialogue. Books I can get lost in. Books that make me want to keep reading. Books with cliffhanger chapter endings that make me excited to turn the page. Books that I'm so excited by their existence that I go to the bookstore as soon as possible and buy them even if I don't get around to reading them for a while. Books told in the first person and the third person. Multiple point of view books. Drama. Sadness. Happiness. Violence. Did I say violence? Let me repeat that. I don't want violence in my life, but I really do want it in my reading. Go figure. Violence. Death. Murder. Madness. Love. Sex. Romance. Sex and romance. Romance and sex. Love. Anger. Hostility. Sweetness. Books that take me to exotic places like Panama and the Congo and Greenland and Texas and Miami. Books that take place in my backyard. Did I say violence and death? Murder and mayhem? Death, destruction. The end of the world. Birth. Rebirth. Did I say sex? Let me say it again. Sex. Blue collar and white collar and pink collar and no collar. Straight people and gay people and angry people and happy people. I want to be presented an organized version of life which is entertaining and thought-provoking, but recognizably like life with all its messiness. I want, desperately, to be entertained. I want books that suck me in and won't let me go, that I think about when I'm not reading them and that I can't wait to get back to, that I'm sorry when they're over, about people who I would like to have in my life...and I guess, in a way, I do. And if I can't get that from a book, well, then I might not finish it.

Mark Terry
The author of Catfish Guru
Two Theo MacGreggor Mysteries
Medical Writer:
Mystery author:

Thank you, Mark, for sharing.

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