Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is ‘Favourite Book Settings’, but I ended up missing last week, talking about Bookish Pet Peeves, so decided to share it this week instead because you all know I love any opportunity to be salty. Today is actually the first day of my new job, and it was my 30th birthday over the weekend, so apologies that I’ve been very slow to blog hop and reply to comments but I will be making an effort to go blog hopping this weekend!
Mid-series cover changes
An oldie but goldie, and a problem that, thankfully, I haven’t seen as much of in recent years! I think YA is particularly guilty of this, and there seemed to be a spate of this going around in the 2010s where the covers would change for the final book in a trilogy, and it was so frustrating having a mismatched series on your shelf. Granted some people don’t care about that kind of thing at all, but it’s so aesthetically satisfying when a series matches.
People who have Thoughts™ about what other people do with their books
Some of us like to keep our books pristine, some of us like to write in them and break the spines. As long as someone isn’t doing anything to your copy of a book, why is it your business what someone else does with theirs? Let people scribble and rip and break if that’s what improves their reading experience! There are so many actual problems in the world, I don’t think someone dog-earing their pages is an issue.
How every book is enemies-to-lovers—even when it isn’t
The only reason enemies-to-lovers isn’t one of my favourite tropes is because it’s very rarely done well. I love a proper slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance done over a long series, where there’s time for the characters to actually be enemies, then reluctant allies, then friends, then lovers. Telling me something is enemies-to-lovers when it’s just two people glaring at each other over their work desk ain’t it.
The [insert mediocre white man here]’s Wife/Mistress/Lover/Daughter/Aunt/Niece etc.
This is the kind of title that’s rampant in historical fiction – and it clearly works, which is why it keeps happening – but man it’s boring.
When audiobook narrators have accents that make no sense
There are so many amazing audiobook narrators out there – Kate Reading in Marie Brennan’s The Memoirs of Lady Trent; Steve West in Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer; Helen Duff in Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor; Moira Quirk in Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth – but there’s no doubt that there are others who aren’t quite as good. The narrators who baffle me, though, are the narrators who sound nothing like I imagine the characters to sound. The best example of this for me is the narrator of the Grisha trilogy audiobooks, who narrates the entire story in her American accent even though Ravka is essentially a fantasy Russia. Why tho?
The ‘audiobooks aren’t real reading’ argument
Not only is this an incredibly ableist take, it’s also such a weird hill to die on. I imagine people who think this are the same people who don’t actually use audiobooks, so why even stick your nose into the business of people that do? I genuinely don’t get it.
When celebrity authors overcrowd the Middle Grade market
Looking at you, David Walliams. The Guardian published a really interesting article on the prevalence of celebrity authors in children’s publishing that’s worth a read if you have a moment – I can’t believe how full of himself David Baddiel is to think his success as an author has nothing to do with his celebrity. Many celebrities are famous because they are creative people, and can therefore write a good story, but it’s so clear that so many of them are just a shameless money grab and children who read deserve better. There are so many fantastic Middle Grade authors who deserve far more attention.
The lack of ebooks for US books in the UK
I don’t have enough room to pre-order a physical copy of every book I’d like to read, which is why I’m glad I have my kindle, but so often a book I’m interested in isn’t even available as an ebook in the UK and it’s so frustrating. I haven’t been able to read any of the Rick Riordan Presents books yet because I can’t get my hands on the ebooks. It’s a real bummer.
Inaccurate comp titles
I’m still bummed that Fireheart Tiger wasn’t for me, especially when describing it as ‘Howl’s Moving Castle meets The Goblin Emperor‘ means it should have been for me. I totally get why comp titles are useful, but when they’re inaccurate I think they do more harm than good!
When people condemn problematic characters as if they’re a stand-in for the author
There’s been so much discourse around ‘problematic’ characters lately, especially over on book Twitter, and so many conversations seem to be happening between people who don’t seem to get that authors aren’t their characters and vice versa. I’ve got some news for you: Authors can write toxic people without believing that their readers should be toxic people. I love to see positive representation – especially for people who don’t get it often – but at the end of the day I want novels to be a story, not a lesson, and we shouldn’t expect them to hold our hands.