Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s topic is unpopular bookish opinions, and while I’m sure my list of these is infinite, most of them apply to individual books and aren’t very generalized. I’m also scared to write this post and offend my blogging buddies. (Asking forgiveness and apologizing in advance.)
Historical fiction is a lot like fantasy. On the surface, they seem like polar opposites, but I feel like historical fiction pre 1700’s has a lot in common with fantasy, and that becomes truer the farther back in time you go. Sure, they’d be low fantasy and there will never be any outright magic, but how many fantasies are inspired by actual mythology? Actual history? I love historical fiction that feels like it could be fantasy and fantasy that feels like it could have happened IRL.
Witches and Wizards don’t interest me. I realize this is tantamount to blasphemy on a blog dedicated to fantasy, but I’ve never read Harry Potter (I’m sorry okay!) have no idea which house I belong to (I probably can’t even name them all), and really have zero desire to read it beyond an academic interest in seeing what the fuss is about. I’m not saying they are bad books- I’ve never read them. I just prefer swords to spells.
On schools in general…. I’m not a fan of this trope either. Protagonist attends magic/assassin/dragon rider school. Protagonist screws up a lot and gets picked on by the rich/popular/overachieving kids, throw themselves into practice and studying and totally crush it at the final battle when they become valedictorian (or save the world). Listen- as much fun as school is, I’d sort of rather just skip to the part where they’ve graduated and use their skills to do awesome stuff. (Admittedly, I mostly enjoyed The Poppy War, but more so the second half than the first.)
Modern Writers Do It Better. There I said it. They just do. Of course, they couldn’t have done it without all those classic writers that came before, and I’m sure I’d feel differently if I had been born 200 years ago. Those writers were products of their times and societal context, and I’m in no way turning my nose up at them, but writers today are free to push boundaries as far as they like, and they are better for it. Aside from that- most classics were penned by white males, and while diversity is still a huge issue in publishing, it’s a lot better than it was even fifty years ago and books will continue to improve because of it.
I don’t mind seeing the movie first. I’ve never been that person that has to read the book first, and I’ve never really understood why this is a thing. Whether you read it first or watch it first either way you’re going into something knowing the ending. On top of that, the books usually are better. So if you see the movie and like it, just think of all you have to look forward to in the book. If you see the movie and don’t like it, you might still like the book (assuming you still want to read it). The thing is- I love seeing a big box office film in the theaters. If I wait until I’ve read the book I might not ever get to see it on the big screen. If I never see the movie at all I might never read the book.
I prefer ebooks over physical copies. I know books smell great and have fantastic covers and don’t taunt me with a percentage completed on the bottom of the page- but they take up too much space! I can’t read physical books in the dark, and I can’t carry around 400 of them in my purse.
Ambiguous endings make me insane. If I wanted to make up my own ending I’d write my own book. I want to know what the author intended. I want definitive answers and conclusions. I don’t want to be left hanging.
Ambiguous scenery is okay. Which is to say that if an author is waxing poetic about fields of heather and the blueness of the sky I’m probably skimming most of it. More blasphemy I know. The thing is- I’ve probably already formed an image in my head of what the setting looks like based on one or two sentences or general tone and vibe, and reading scenery descriptions is wasting my time. Some authors are super wordsmiths I know, but an author has to be exceptionally talented to make me appreciate words on a page just for the love of words (I’m not that reader- I like stories not words.)
Hyper-competent protagonists don’t bother me… Is it realistic when the protagonist never makes a mistake? No. Is it realistic when they singlehandedly knockout 10 other guys twice their height and size and escape unscathed? No. Does it make for a fantastic and flawed character? Probably not. But as long as I’m having fun I don’t really care. (Side note- Uhtred is incredibly flawed, just don’t expect him to lose in battle.)
Audiobooks are just okay. If I listen to a book instead of eye-reading it, I’m only going to absorb half the story. Why bother investing the hours in a book I really wanted to read and love if I’m only going to absorb half the story? I usually save audiobooks for non-fiction and memoirs, where if I only absorb half while I’m doing house chores, I don’t feel that bad about it. I will say- I think audiobooks are great for short story collections where the narrative thread I have to follow is very short. I’ve stopped listening to whole novels. I just can’t do it.
I’m sure this is far from a comprehensive list of my unpopular opinions, but that covers a lot of it. What unpopular opinions made your list? Leave me a link below!