Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dealing with Disappointment

by Anna Sugden

No, not writing disappointment ... not another rejection ... at least, not yet *g*.

I'm talking today about reading disappointment. Last week should have been a great reading week. Lots of travel, so plenty of uninterrupted time to focus on books. I'd deliberately saved up the new books by some of my absolute favourite authors. You know how it is, you've snapped up the latest in their series, are desperate to get stuck in, but common sense prevails and you decide to hold on until you can read the book from cover to cover.

So, what went wrong?

I didn't enjoy the books.

Reading a disappointing book is hard enough - these days, with so many books to read and so little spare time, I discard disappointing books quite quickly. If they're by new authors, I'm loathe to try them again.

But, when the book is by someone whose writing you normally love - it's a real blow. I'm deliberately not naming names, as I don't think that's fair (after all, it's only my humble opinion). I am going to share with you what didn't work. And a dilemma I have.

The first author is one who normally writes great contemporary romances with fabulous characters. She always gives them real depth, so you can empathise with them and their conflicts. This latest book, though, her characters were unappealing and seemed 2-dimensional. Honestly, I didn't really care if their conflict was resolved.

The second is an awesome romantic suspense writer, who always keeps me on the edge of my seat and who manages to surprise me with her plot twists. This book had an unappealing premise to start with, but because I loved the rest of the series, I soldiered on. Sadly, this plot was a real let-down. A lot of information dumped and repeated and no clever twists. The villain was obvious from the first mention and the denouement was weak.

Similarly, a normally entertaining writer of an amateur sleuth series slipped up in her latest. I'd actually ignored the damning reviews on this one. I have to say - sadly - the reviews were right.

The fourth was a paranormal writer whose last book was one of the best I've ever read. Great characters, atmospheric writing, wonderful descriptions and very clever adaptation of well-known themes. I'd hunted around to get this latest book as, for some reason, it was hard to find. Sadly, I wish I hadn't bothered as everything that had been so great about the last book was decidely missing in this one.

Finally, a historical author who writes entertaining stories which are incredibly satisfying, as the emotional journeys her characters take are compelling. Not this time. The ending of a satisfactory book (not bad, just not outstanding) was a total and utter cop-out! It was like she'd realised she had five more pages to go and rushed to finish the book.

The last time this happened, I was extremely grateful to the talented Rhonda Nelson and her book, The Future Widows Club, for saving me.

This time, thank goodness, my faith was restored by the next three books I read - Into The Fire by Suzanne Brockmann, Tempting Evil by Allison Brennan and The Neighbour by Lisa Gardner - thank you, thank you, Suz, Allison and Lisa!!

Now, on to my dilemma. What do I do when the next book comes out by these favoured authors? Do I rush out and buy it, hoping that this last one was an unfortunate blip? After all, you can't expect every book to be brilliant ... Or can you? Do I wait, read the reviews and talk to pals about it? Or do I give up?

What would you do?

Have you read any disappointing books, lately? Please don't name names, just tell me what you found disappointing. And what you plan to do about reading more by that author. What about the wonderful author who rescued you and whose book restored your happiness?!

65 comments:

limecello said...

?

limecello said...

Ugh - what a fitting post. I've been talking about having book ennui for a while now :X I've read probably less than a hundred books so far this year... (which is bad because when I'm in reading stride I read well over 300 a year).
I've been disappointed by a LOT of authors recently :( Sometimes, it's my mood. I won't want to read it now, but maybe in a week, I'll love it. (Others... not so much.) I'll still try another buy the author. (My loose rule is not giving up on the author until s/he publishes 3-4 bad books in a row. I mean, that's pretty hard to do, and at that point, it *is* time to give up.)
I have tons of comfort reads, but even those weren't doing it for me - but sometimes, I just need to jump around, give a book a break, or completely switch genres. :)

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on taking home the rooster. I hope you have some good jobs for him.

Anna, the timing of this post is quite a coincidence for me, as I just read such a book. It's a contemporary by a bestselling author, and I'd so looked forward to it. Only to find myself disappointed at the end. I felt as though the scenes weren't fleshed out--as though it needed one more pass to bring it up to the previous efforts.

In the airport, after having actually been informed by the airline, via my cellphone(!), that my flight would be very delayed, I bought the prior installment in the series. I read them in HC and buy them in mass market for both my budget and my house, so it was time to buy this one anyway.

I'd been wondering whether I'd given it and its precursors too much credit, whether my disappointment in the latest one was unrealistic. But I loved the one I bought, just as I remembered doing when I first read it.

I suppose it's not unusual for a series to slump or an author to miss a step now and again. These are not luxuries, of course, that new authors have, only established ones.

But yes, I was disappointed by that book. I probably will NOT buy this latest when it comes out in paperback. I'll read the next HC and decide from there.

Lynz Pickles said...

Oooh, I hate it when that happens! A while back, I bought a book by one of my favourite fantasy authors. I'd loved her previous trilogy and was thrilled to see something new from her, but was disheartened by the new offering. It wasn't nearly as good as her previous works, and the problems in it kept jerking my focus away from the story and redirecting it to the writing problems. I'm a strong editor, and something as little as using the same word twice in a paragraph can annoy me, so major writing problems or issues with the plot really diminish my ability to enjoy a book. The worst part is that said book is only the first in a new trilogy, and based on what I've seen thus far, I've no hope that the next two books will be any better.

One of the few things I hate about being a reviewer (I review regencies for rakehell.com) is that, even if a book is horrible, I have to keep reading it. Yes, I can choose to just skim it, but I do have to go through the entire story before I can review it. I was really looking forward to one book I recently reviewed, but was incredibly disappointed by it. And the one I'm currently reading... let's just say that every now and then, you come across a book that just shouldn't have been published. It's not the author's fault, not really; the editor should never have chosen to acquire the book in the first place. So far I've managed to pass the 100-page mark in two days, and it feels like an accomplishment. To put this into perspective, I usually take between three and four hours to read a well-written book of equal length.

To cheer myself up, I usually either re-read a classic, or read something that's been recommended by someone I trust. I just received an ARC of the third book in Tessa Dare's upcoming trilogy, A Lady of Persuasion, and am depriving myself of it until I finish the bad book. Motivation, yay! And last time, I cheered myself up by going on a Suzanne Enoch spree and eventually found myself reading Stolen Kisses. Jack is, and will probably always be, my favourite reformed rogue, simply because his transformation is so perfectly written. I was so absorbed in watching Jack change that I didn't even mind the historical innacuracies.

Oh, and congrats on the GR, limecello!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Limecello.

Hi Anna,
I love Allison Brennan, too. I've been enjoying her new FBI series these past several months. You will not be disappointed when you pick these books up. I've been on a pretty good roll lately. The books were good except for one. I didn't hate it, but I didn't enjoy this book as I did her others. I was connecting with the characters, but I'm not giving up on this author. I'll probably buy her next release.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I have run into that problem before, the most recent being a favorite author suddenly seemed to be writing by "formula". It is like there had to be 3 fights, two sex scenes, one minor misunderstanding, etc. I am a die hard to the last though, I will continue to buy an author's books even if I have been disappointed. I have been known to get in moods, or perhaps the author is going through a situation I know nothing about.

Margay said...

I've been in kind of a reading slump lately myself. Writers who are usually my go-to authors haven't been able to hold my attention and much-hyped books didn't live up to the hype in my estimation.

Fortunately, I discovered YA, which is fresh and invigorating (for me, at least) and a new author or two. Hopefully, this will get me out of my reading slump.

Margay

Helen said...

Well done Limecello

Very interesting post Anna I haven't been disappointed in a book for a while thank heavens.

The last couple where a while ago and both were new to me authors but I had heard such great things about there past books and both were starting a new series (both are historical) so I bought the first books by both of these authors and neither of the books grabbed me I read them and they were OK but not great but sometimes I think it is perhaps the mood I am in so I bought the
2nd in each of these series one I read and still didn't enjoy it the other one is on the TBR pile and I bought the 3rd book in that series as well I am hoping that when I get to reading them I will enjoy them.
I have a hard time not buying books in a series and books by my favourite authors, I just gotta have then even if I don't read them for a while.

But I have read some fantastic books over the last couple of months Jeanne's Dark and Deadly is fantastic and I am reading Christine's Wicked Little Game at the moment and boy is it great I am really savouring this one.

Have Fun
Helen

Terry Odell said...

I'd do what I already do. Use the library. Money is too tight to spend on disappointments. I've definitely had my share.

To be honest, I use the library for authors I love, too, when their books come out first in hard cover and I don't want to wait a year to buy it.

Tiffany Clare said...

I think authors are allowed to have a book or two that simply doesn't speak to a long time fan. I have favourite writers who have recently done exactly this to me. But because they've always been auto-buys for me, it's a good thing to go back read one of your faves by them and remember why you love them so much. If the next book fails to deliver after that, then I think it's time to read reviews before buying again.

Sally Kilpatrick said...

What a timely post. I've been chastising myself for not getting more read, but I haven't been drawn into any of the books I've picked up recently.

Maybe I've been reading too many craft books, and I'm analyzing too much. I don't know.

As to your question, I would probably either use the library as Terry said or do the cursory read in the book store to try to gauge the quality of the book. The library runs a little behind, but at mine you can reserve the books and my TBR pile is so huge, I can afford to wait.

Good luck with your conundrum and may you find more engaging books.

Sally

Janga said...

I never give up on a favorite author because of one disappointing book. I've been reading some of my autobuy authors for more than twenty years, and my loyalty is deep. Also, "disappointment" can be relative. A B read from an A author is a disappointment, although the book may be quite good. In some cases, even a disappointing book from an author tops much of what I read. But three disappointments in a row lead me to strike her/him from my autobuy list. New or new-to-me authors don't have the same grace period. If I don't like the first book, I don't buy the next unless it creates buzz and I read a library copy and love it.

Reading boards and blogs reminds me that a book I see as deeply flawed may be viewed as wonderful by another reader. Discussions with friends this week about how different the actual RITA winners were from our personal picks reminded me anew of how vastly different reader responses can be.

If I read several disappointing books in a row, I reread a keeper. Just the size of my keeper shelves fills me with hope.

Kirsten said...

Hi Anna! i've definitely had disappointments, and they seem to come in packs as well -- but that fact suggests to me that part of what is going on is that I'm not enjoying the genre, rather than the general quality being off.

This happened to me with historicals a few years ago, so I started reading contemporaries. Then it happened in contemporary and I turned to YA. (Margay, I hope you're loving it!) Now I try to skip around a little more, but know I'll probably burn out on something again, and it will force me to branch out.

I also expect a writer who is churning out 3 romances a year to write some duds. It just isn't rational to think that many stories, over a period of many years, will all be great. But for that reason I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt and try the next book. I don't expect a single bad book means the author has lost her touch.

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Anna!

Oh, this is SO frustrating, isn't it? I hate it when a writer I've always loved turns out a dud. But as Kirsten said, that's to be expected every now & then. They can't all be winners.

When I've been bitterly disappointed a time or two, however, I usually turn for comfort to one of the best--or at least one of my very favorite--romance novels available: Jenny Crusie's Welcome To Temptation. It's my version of comfort food. I don't love everything she's ever written, but I think WTT is a master work. I love it every single time.

Failing that, however, I try the library for my next fix. I don't have money to waste & if a writer burns me once she has to earn me back. :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Anna! Are you safe and sound back in England now?

Your post touched on my sentements exactly. Before Nationals, I cleaned out my TBR pile to make room for the myriad of books I planned to add to it. Trouble was I only found about five books I hadn't already read that I wanted to try. SIGH.

A while back one of my favorite historical authors wrote a trilogy that I didn't care for. Thought the writing and the stories were flat, and I didn't care for the heroine or hero at all. I vowed not to buy anymore of her books. Luckily for me about a year or so later, she came out with a whole new series of books, and I've loved everyone of them!

So, my recomendation is this...be patient. When the next one comes out...read the first chapter at the book store. If it's magic again, then you know to buy them. If not, then wait a little longer.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Lime! The Rooster's come home to his fav gal to roost! Grins. Congrats.

Anna, I know (and hate) this feeling. I'm kinda like Limecello in this one, I'll be loyal for three or four more books, if it's an auto-buy author, but after that? Library only until they get their groove back! Hahah. I've only had one author never seem to get her groove back, so I'm willing to wait 'em out. Ha!

As others said, a new author doesn't have that grace period, alas. :> I figure if I don't like the first one, I'm just not one of thier "million" (The theory that there are a million people out there that will love your work, the rest, not so much.) Then if I hear buzz about book two, I'll check it out for a couple of chapters in the bookstore or get it from the library.

I've still been disappointed. One recent book got HUGE buzz, everyone loved it saying the author had returned to his roots. Um, me? Not so much. Grins.

It's always a matter of taste I guess, and timing and budget, but I think your editor has a lot to do with it to. He or she should be reading w/ a critical enough eye to not let you go to press w/ a less than stellar book.

Maybe that's passing the buck...Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW, I recently bought a hardcover by a GREAT author, whom I love. The book was a good, smooth read, but when I closed the back cover on it, I was disappointed.

It was predictable.

I figured out whodunnit and how it was going to end long, long before I got to the last page, which is usually NOT the case.

Will I give her another go? Of course. In the vast number of books he's written, there've only been three where I figured anything out. THis may be the "worst" for that, but...the bests are so good, I can only hope to be half that capable when I get his number of books under my belt! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, and THANK you Helen, for the lovely comments on Dark and Deadly! Wow.

Picture me blushing. Grins.

Nancy said...

Lynz, back when our local paper used local reviewers instead of wire service copy, I did some reviews for them. I was reading one book by a very popular historical fiction author in bed one night when the dh said, "You're not liking that book, are you?"

I said, "As a matter of fact, no, not at all. How did you know?"

"Your body language. Your shoulders are hunched and look tight."

And they were. Luckily for me, the editor didn't want to waste her limited space on unfavorable reviews, so I didn't have to write one, but I had to force myself to finish the book before I knew that.

I find your editorial comments interesting, too. I just finished a book in which the copy-editing was abominable. "eeked out" instead of "eked out," "spilt" instead of "split," "you're" instead of "your," and this was from a major publisher. I find such things very distracting. They're stoppers. And they're doubling annoying in a tpb edition I paid $15 or so for!

Nancy said...

Dianna, I used to think Dick Francis had a formula--amateur sleuth dragged into mystery, sleuth meets girl, sleuth gets the tar beaten out of him, sleuth loses girl, sleuth solves crime and gets girl. But I loved his characters so much, I didn't care. Which may be the true mark of a master. And he did write later books that deviated from that arc.

Nancy said...

Margay, I was talking to someone at dinner last night who said she reads lots of YA these days and immensely enjoys them. I'd try dipping into that pond if I weren't so miserably far behind on everything else I have to read. There are some historicals and fantasies, in particular, that look intriguing.

Nancy said...

Helen, I'm a completist, too. I hate to give up on a series, though I'm more reluctant with a series I'm already into. If I try the first one and don't like it, I tend not to go with the second. Unless the author is one whose previous work I've enjoyed.

I stopped buying the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga because the books were so massive and so far apart that I couldn't retain all the information and didn't have time to read all the priors to catch up. The final book is being written by an author he chose and will, it seems, be two books. *sigh* When Rand al'Thor, his hero, comes within sight of the mountain where the final battle will take place, I'll sit down and read the whole massive saga. Until then, keeping up is too much work.

I guess I'm sort of like limecello, too, in that an author has to do more than one book that disappoints before I give up.

Nancy said...

Jeanne wrote: He or she should be reading w/a critical enough eye to not let you go to press w/a less than stellar book.

Yeah, they should, but sometimes these authors are ones who don't get edited. Who're too "big" for that, y'know? Who can say, "If you want to reject it, I'm sure the house across the street will take it to get my name."

Which is sad, but I guess some of them have enough readers to not miss the couple of hundred they'd lose with a subpar book.

On the other hand, the flip side, if you will, there's nothing like picking up a new author and going, "Oh, wow! I can't wait until the next book."

Anna Campbell did that to me by sending me to C. S. Harris. That was my reaction to the first Robert Jordan book. My first Dick Francis. Or Dorothy L. Sayers (not going to be any more Sayers, alas).

Joan said...

Interesting post, Anna...

I guess when I notice "disappointments" from favored authors and try to figure out what the heck happened..it very often comes back to a foray into a different sub-genre i.e. someone who is a fabulous RS author and tries to write a paranormal.

No matter what the trends...if it's not your thing...you shouldn't try to write it.

My most blaring example of disappointment came a couple of years ago when a favorite writer from the late '80's early '90's came out with a new historical.

Oh. My. God.

My mouth just hung open at the amateurish attempt to write. I kept checking the copyright date to be sure it wasn't a re-issue.

The plot was ok but the execution of it? Pitiful. The characters were caricatures of themselves, the conflict unappealing, the dialouge stilted.

{shakes head} Beyond horrible.

I'm not inclined to try new stuff from this author but will seek solace in her early works instead.

For new authors? Well, I'd give them about 2-3 books to find their stride. Like Helen, I enjoy series and no matter the experience of a writer, the first book is often the "fine" one of the three. And invariably the 2nd and 3rd are like dynamite!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: amateur sleuth dragged into mystery, sleuth meets girl, sleuth gets the tar beaten out of him, sleuth loses girl, sleuth solves crime and gets girl.

OMGosh, Nancy, I spewed Diet Coke. This is SO true, but gosh he does it well, so I keep buying. Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, I was also LOL about Rob't Jordan. My DH loves his stuff, but like you, I'm not inclined to stuff all those characters into my head and try and keep them there till the next book - 3-4 years between books - and remember. Urg. No. Besides, what are there, 20 characters? Eep!

I managed to keep 'em all striaght with David Eddings, but somehow can't w/ Jordan. When Rand finally - FINALLY - gets to the mountain, I'll give it another go too.

Donna MacMeans said...

So I wrote a long post and blogger ate it. We'll try for a shorter version this time.

Anna - You're scaring me.

From a writer's standpoint - I believe the personal life of the writer tends to leak out on the pages they write. Stress, health problems, intense deadline pressures all affect the writing in the ways you describe. One would hope the editor would catch the problem - but if they're under intense deadlines pressures as well - they may just let it slide.

I believe life also affects readers and their enjoyment of particular works. This book may not be what you need right now - but it might be what someone else needs. Based on some of the plot summaries I've read from reviewers, I'm convinced that reading too quickly, or too many books in succession causes the reader to miss key plot information. I sometimes wonder if the reviewer actually read the book...or just read it way too fast.

Should you buy the next book by this author? Well, if it's me - YES! (grin). I might read a bit deeper into the new book before I commit more time and money, or I might rely more heavily on the advice of a trusted reviewer.

As Susan Elizabeth Philips said last week -- Not every book is going to appeal to every reader, but every book will appeal to somebody.

Lord, I hope so.

jo robertson said...

Great article, Anna. It IS so disappointing to find your favorite authors don't live up to your expectations.

I find myself going on what I call "kicks." I'll read a favorite author's backlist, maybe 6 or 7 books and then I get sort of full of them, so I'll switch to another writer.

I think it must be incredibly difficult to turn out the required one of two books a year and keep them the same high-quality, so I'm pretty forgiving of authors that have already proven themselves to me.

p226 said...

Hey, I read Lisa Gardner's book!

;)

Nancy said...

Jeanne, Gerri Russell's husband is supposed to let me know, via Gerri, when Rand gets within sight of the mountain, so I'll let you know. Though I'm beginning to think a safer point would be when he's actually climbing it.

For updates, http://www.dragonmount.com

Nancy said...

Hi, Tiffany--nice seeing you in DC! I agree that any author can hit a slump. Ten home runs in a row, or even five, may be a lot to ask. But it does make me more careful about the next book.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Donna said:Based on some of the plot summaries I've read from reviewers, I'm convinced that reading too quickly, or too many books in succession causes the reader to miss key plot information. I sometimes wonder if the reviewer actually read the book...or just read it way too fast.

I've thought this for some time, too, Donna.

Take JR Ward for example. I discovered a few books back, that you really can't read her fast. If I planned to read the newest release slowly over a few nights, then I was caught up in the world building she was doing as well as the romance in the plot.

Brockmann is almost the same way for me now. There are so many story threads in both their books, that to get the full impact of the story and their worlds, I need to trust the writer to take me there and sort of savor the experience. Sort of like 7 course gourmet meal. Not to be rushed.

Nancy said...

Sally, I do think reading craft books makes just falling into a novel harder. I've finally managed to just read by promising myself I'll go back and analyze later if I really like the book. Or if I really, really don't. Then maybe I can figure out my reaction and use the results to improve my own work.

Nancy said...

Kirsten, I found your comment about disappointments coming in packs interesting. I sometimes find that when I read something that's the "hot trend" and seems to be every third book on the shelf.

Nancy said...

Another author I read for the first time, just last year, was Jessica Andersen. I love her Nightkeeper series, and she'll be back next month to talk about the new one, Skykeepers (#3).

It's paranormal but it's different, though not so different as to be off-putting. It could easily go on the SFF shelves, except it has more sex than those genres usually do. It's a great mix of my two favorite genres.

I'd looked at the first book, The Nightkeepers, a couple of times but hadn't committed. Then it was a giveaway at National, and I took that to be a sign. So I read it, was really annoyed there wasn't another, and then discovered I had to wait only 3 weeks for book 2, The Dawnkeepers.

Since then, however, a blinkin' YEAR for the next one.

Though I have to admit finding a new author who has a big backlist is very, very bad for getting things done.

And Joanie is threatening me, so I have to Get Things Done. *g*

Nancy said...

Donna, I also think life plays a role. I sometimes read very quickly--though that's usually a sign the book didn't grab me at the get-go--and fast reading does lead to missing information. If I like the book in general, I'll go back and hunt, to see if I actually missed it.

And I've read reviews of books and found them baffling because they don't seem to reflect the book I read.

Nancy said...

Janga, you make a good point about differing tastes. I also have keeper shelves straining under the weight. And I really need to prune the romance shelves. I haven't done that in a long, long time. Or the SFF shelves, because there are books stacked in front of the ones shelved upright. *sigh*

Claudia Dain said...

Oh, yes, this has happened to me. It's like a death, and I mourn appropriately.

I usually give the author a break and decide everyone is allowed a few near misses. Not every book can hit the right pitch at perfect volume, at least to my ear. Others may find that book pitch perfect. How else to explain why my wallbanger is someone else's keeper of all time?

Cassondra said...

Oh, yeah.

Recently I've had a whole string of books which, when I closed their last pages, I gave it a little toss to the side and said, "meh." That's a rotten feeling. It was as though by the end of the book the author was just tired and it sort of dropped off. No smile. No desire to flip it open and start it all over and take the ride again.

But I look at these books and think, "if I had to produce three or four books per year, could I make me smile at the end of every one?" And I'm afraid that the answer would be no. It's a high calling and a difficult one.

And I sort of agree with what Kirsten said too. Sometimes when that's happening, I need to switch genres. Or even sub-genres. Maybe I need to pick up some romantic comedy instead of suspense. It could EASILY be me and my state of mind and life at the time.

Still...with so little time to read, it's rotten to not have that smile after the last page. I try, now, to judge the mood and state of mind I'm in before I pick up the book to start it. If it's been a bad week, I don't want a lot of angst. And to read something angsty at that point probably isn't fair to the book or the author.

catslady said...

I really hate when a book just ends like you mentioned. I'm thinking all these deadlines mess with the creative flow. I think some of the greatest books that I've read are the first time book of the heart ones. I can't imagine writing under deadline but that's the way it is.

If it's an author I love I would give her another chance but after two - nope.

jo robertson said...

Such interesting comments today!

Limecello, love the "book ennui" comment.

Lynz Pickles, you've given new meaning to the term hell. Hell is having to complete the reading of a really, truly bad book!

jo robertson said...

Dianna, I think it's so true about a reader being in a certain "mood."

When I started JD Robb's "In Death" series, I started in the middle, and really, did NOT like the characters or the story.

I KNOW! Sheer heresy!!

Anyway, a couple of years later, I started the series again with the first book, "Naked in Death." I love these books (although I don't read anything else by Roberts) and I think in this series, at least, her writing reaches the genius level.

jo robertson said...

Margay, I think reading in a new genre or sub-genre will invigorate the reader. I've done the same thing when I've found historical romance (one of my faves) static. Then I'll switch to romantic suspense, or contemporary literary fiction.

Estella said...

So far I have not chosen any disappointing books---keeping my fingers crossed.

Virginia said...

Congrats lime on nabbing the rooster!

To answer your question yes the last series my favourite author wrote, I was very disapointed in it. I think it was more the setting of the book reather then the book itself. It was a totally different type of setting then what she usually wrote.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, I'm really fond of the In Death series too. I wasn't at first, but then really liked it and have burned through all of them. Waiting for the new one in November...

Nancy said...

Claudia, it's very true that one reader's wallbanger is another's keeper. One of the books I taught last semester had been extremely popular with students in two previous classes. The students in this last class almost unanimously loathed it.

Go figure!

Nancy said...

Catslady, authors have lives, too, and I sometimes wonder if that's what happened--if a crisis of some kind erupted, and the book had to go forward or lose its slot.

Nancy said...

Estella, it's great that you've never had a disappointing book. I hope the trend continues!

Nancy said...

Virginia, I'm sometimes thrown if I pick up a book by a familiar author and it's not the same kind of thing or, as you note, a similar setting to what I'm used to.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, I seem to read in batches--loads of historical romance, for example, and then I want something different. So I'll read SF of fantasy in big chunks until I want something different from that. I do think that plays a part in reactions to books.

Nancy said...

Uh, that's SF OR fantasy. Sheesh!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

If you think about it all romances, thrillers, etc are formula, but there are many authors that manage to make you not see the formula.

Louisa Cornell said...

Way to go Lime! Keep him busy. I think he got way too much relaxation in while the rest of us were frantically enjoying the conference!

Interesting post, Anna, and very timely. I have picked up a couple of books by new authors over the past few years that were really highly touted only to find them very disappointing. When a love story involves two characters I don't like very much at the beginning and then at the end I STILL hate the heroine, but like the hero enough to think "He needs to dump her. He can do better!" well I am not crazy about taking a risk on that author again. But I did and the second book underwhelmed me, but for different reasons. Haven't read the third one yet, but I will because I can see the skill this author has. I just think she hasn't hit on a story idea that appeals to me, but I hope she will.

I try really hard to give someone the benefit of the doubt because God knows I would want someone to do that for me.

That said, I must say that the Banditas NEVER disappoint me. I know I can count on all of you for a really great read! And so can my Mom. She STOLE a number of my Bandita books when she dropped my nephew off to pet sit for me. She has already read several of them and had nothing but rave reviews for all of you. I'm glad I got my autographed copies at the conference because I have a feeling I'm not getting my original copies back!

Now if one of my favorite authors who has been at this for a while disappoints me I will give their next one a read and maybe the next, but they have to work far harder to redeem themselves than a debut author. That's just the way I am!

Nancy said...

p226, Lisa Gardner is very popular. What did you like about the book?

Nancy said...

Louisa, stealin' books is a fightin' offense around here. *g*

p226 said...

p226, Lisa Gardner is very popular. What did you like about the book?..

That I was in it.

Suzanne Welsh said...

LOL, Louisa on the mom stealing your books. It was the reverse when I was living close to my mom. She finally laid down the law...."WAIT until I've READ it first!!!"

jo robertson said...

Yeah, Jeanne, me too, and another new one in February. That gal can really turn them out. And while some are slightly better than others, IMO, they never disappoint.

And honestly, when my hero and heroine get married, I'm so done with that. But she manages to eek out another level to Roarke and Eve's romantic saga with every book.

Nancy said...

p226, you were in Lisa Gardner's book? How cool! Which book?

I'm guessing you liked the portrayal. :-)

Nancy said...

Suz, do you read faster than your mom? We the geek readers can read a mass market paperback and leave it looking new, a skill acquired from years of handling comic books.

Works well if you want to take a quick look at someone else's new book.

Nancy said...

Jo, I'm thinkin' it's time I start on J.D. Robb. Remind me which is the first book?

p226 said...

Her latest. The Neighbor. The one in this blog. I have a mention in the book and a big paragraph in the credits.

Nancy said...

p226 wrote: Her latest. The Neighbor. The one in this blog. I have a mention in the book and a big paragraph in the credits.

Very excellent! It's nice to open a book and know someone credited.

jo robertson said...

WTG, P226. That's a nice compliment!

The first one in the series is "Naked in Death," Nancy. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

BTW, I'm murder on paperbacks. They really look like they've been read and reread and . . . so I have to buy one to destroy and one as a keeper of my faves.