Hope every one had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday this past week. I was supposed to use the time off from school and work and life in general to catch up on some reading and get some other blog and review related stuff done. I had committed myself to it even. I was going to get a lot done. Really. The there was the matter of two year old twins who came down with the stomach flu on Turkey day and then passed it along to their two older brothers. Then the dog apparently got a sympathy case of the flu but only from one end (and not the more pleasant one of the two options.)
Then the heater stopped working on the first truly cold day of the year thus far and my internet router managed to crap out a couple of hours later. What is it about the holiday season that guarantees everything you plan to do will have to be saved up and used as a resolution for the new year? Oh well. We are all healthy again and more or less happy and I am only about 4,900 words from completing the novel I started for National Novel Writing Month. I just might do it…but I’m certainly not going to “plan” on it as I have now seen exactly how that goes!
So here goes my rant of the week as it seems every week I must find something in the literary world to complain about.
What’s up with the stream of crappy, less than acceptable books coming from A-list authors?
We all have our favorite authors and I guess we unintentionally idolize them and expect everything they put out to be up to a certain standard. I seem to be finding that with few exceptions, the first ten or so books that an author who has hit the ‘big time’ puts out are the best books they will ever put out.
I don’t know if it is the pressure they are under from the publishers to deliver work on a certain schedule or if they just start thinking they don’t have to try as hard after they have hit and kept a spot on the bestseller list, but I can tell you right now, I have been sorely disappointed with the offerings of some of the recent NYT bestsellers! Oddly, my favorite books this year have all been books that were either published independently or by a small press. Perhaps it is because without the backing of a major house they feel the need to cater more to their readers. I don’t know. What I do know, is that it seems silly to me to waste my time reading a book with a weak plot and no character development just because it is by a ‘favorite author.’
I know these books get chopped apart by the editors before they are distributed to the masses, but what the heck? Are they cutting out the best parts and leaving us with the scraps? Perhaps the publishing houses do not realize that a name is not everything. With the ability for us to sample a chapter before making a purchase, I find that I am making smarter choices. For every one of those mediocre books, there are a million other choices in something to read.
I think the authors and their editors need to come back to reality and realize how they became who they are in the first place. Your adoring fans should always be your first concern! Offer us books worth reading!