Thursday, March 31, 2016

Have I become too picky?

Did some really outstanding books spoil me for the average good books? Does reading too much too fast change my view on literature?

Since my last post I've read 10 published books and none of them was worth a blogpost. There was not one bad book among them, I rated them 3 or 4 stars, and I'm sure that some time ago I would have liked them better.

I don't think I made bad choices. Outstanding books are rare. My expectations are high, maybe too high now.

Am I really asking too much?

An outstandig novel needs a good story, an intelligent plot without logical gaps, even if it is placed in a non-existent futuristic world. The plot needs enough twists and surprises to keep me turning the pages in anticipation and longing for the next opportunity to continue when I'm forced to do something else.
I want to read about well-developed characters I can relate to and with whom I can suffer, fear and/or rejoice. I want to know what's going on in their mind. I want life-like dialogues and believable behavior.

But all that is not enough. In addition I want it to be written in a unique outstanding writing style. All these above mentioned 3 and 4 star books are well-written in a way that flows smoothly, doesn't distract from the story, but isn't exceptional, just kind of unremarkable. I love writing with a wow-effect.

Who am I to judge English writing?

I'm just an avid reader. I can't name any criteria why a specific writing is better than others. There's just this feeling when the language reaches my soul, when I want to linger on a phrase because of its beauty, when feelings are expressed the way I feel, when people or situations are fully described in a few sentences...

I don't think I'm asking too much 

There are authors who have got the talent to write the way I love it.
Sometimes it's pure luck when I find one of them.
Probably they are to blame for my actual selectiveness.

This month I had the pleasure to beta-read Chris Brown's new book (I absolutely need to read his first one in this series, Dirty Tiger!)

On Goodreads I met some outstanding writers. I don't think I would have chosen their books in a book store or on amazon.

The first one I discovered was Peter Rosch. His challenging writing in never-ending complex sentences made me translate his book But I love you.

Then there's Mark Matthews. His dark novels about addiction make me experience what his characters go through.

Michael Lewis captured me with a short story. His skillful writing shows in both his untypical  love stories.

The voice of Anthony Vicino's blog made me read all his work although in a genre I don't normally read.

Will Patching is another highly talented author who combines psychological insight with thrilling action.

Looking outside the bestseller lists
All these authors and many more are not (yet) on the bestseller lists. I'm lucky (and proud) I have the pleasure knowing them and I'll continue browsing Goodreads for others.

Amidst all the average books out there, there are some jewels. We just have to find them.