Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Sunday Salon (and a bookish pet peeve)

Hello to all my blogmates, I've missed you. I have to admit, though, that a week (okay, five days but sure felt like a whole week) where I could only check email on my phone was just what the doctor ordered! I wondered what exciting blog event I would miss while I was gone....would there be another author/blogger drama? Would someone get engaged? Meet a famous author? Have their bookshelves cave in on them and be rushed to the emergency room?

Oh no. I missed all the book bloggers on God's green earth signing up for Twitter. I have to admit as I got all the notifications of book bloggers following me on Twitter, I wondered which big book blogger had blogged it and started the craze....I've narrowed it down to either this one or this one. But I'm excited! I love twitter and can't wait for all the fun bookish chats we'll have! There were too few book bloggers on there before. Come follow me if you like and you can also follow Books for the Holidays.

I had a lovely Thanksgiving in the Pacific Northwest where it was chilly and it rained. Those are rare events in my neck of the woods, so I love it. I also got to see lots of family which was great.

But I'm happy to be home. I have to admit I was delighted to turn on my computer and start catching up with everyone's blogs. I'm still way behind and will be for awhile, but that's life, right?

I read two books over the week. I had hoped to read more, but quickly discovered that relatives wanted to actually, you know, talk to me. I'll save my thoughts for the reviews, but let me just say that I lovvvveeed Flirting with Forty. It will be on blog tour this week, and on as a Lifetime movie next weekend. So stay tuned for that.

Now, that does lead me to a pet peeve I have in books, which is this. I hate it when authors feel the need to compare their characters physical appearances with someone famous. Like if they tell us their general description it is insufficient for us and our poor imaginations to do the work on our own, they need to throw in stuff like..."he looked just like Hugh Jackman" or "she was a Paris Hilton look-a-like" I HATE that because then my nice little imaginary character is gone and replaced with said famous person. And I can't get it out of my head. Sadly, Jane Porter did do this (though a bit more subtley) in Flirting with Forty. I will forgive her, but it drives me a little crazy. How do you feel about this? Like it or hate it or don't care?

Happy Sunday all! And Happy Reading!

20 comments:

Meghan said...

I saw J. Kaye's post first and then joined, actually, because I had meant to a few weeks ago but the website was down. Then I saw everyone else join, which has been fun.

I don't like name-dropping either. It's like when I watch a movie - now those book characters are the actors in my head. I liked who I had before.

Lisa said...

I"ve been a member of twitter for a long time, but mz. onion is the one that spurred me to use it.

bermudaonion said...

Welcome back - glad you had a good time.

debnance said...

I'm pretty sure I joined Twitter this summer, but like most groups, I completely forgot about it until you mentioned it today.

blacklin said...

That whole name-dropping thing in books sounds like a lazy way to describe characters.

Elizabeth said...

It isn't a pet peeve of mine, but I do notice it and think it's foolish. It also really dates the book for all time.

Julie Lessman said...

Oh-oh, Amy, I guess I have some rewriting to do in the 4th book of the O'Connor Saga!! In Katie's story, which takes place at the tail end of The Roaring Twenties and into The Great Depression, I refer to a subordinate character as a "Jean Harlow lookalike." Bummer ... I guess I'll have to rethink that line, although name-dropping does not bother me in the least.

One thing that DOES bother me, however, are faces on book covers. If I had my way, all my book covers would look like Deanne Gist's, with no faces showing. It's too risky if the models don't appeal to everyone and MUCH safer to leave it to the reader's imagination, which is sooooo much better anyway!

Welcome back!

Hugs,
Julie

Scobberlotcher said...

Ah, emmm! I have committed said writer offense slightly when I wrote of my main character "It's not that I'm not decent looking, but put me next to Dave Frontella and he's James Bond and I'm Man in Elevator #2." I realized that I was toe-ing the line here and now you've gone and called it what it is. :) I do agree that writers shouldn't just hand you a movie star name and say that's what they looked like. It's cheating a bit. I think a lot of writers begin with a famous face in mind and use that as writing inspiration. I think the best, memorable characters are those with a particular tick or object, like pen-clicking or winking or a repeat word like Rainman.

Hagelrat said...

hate it, describe your character, or don't describe your character, both are fine my imagination will cope. Lazy descriptions are unforgivable though.

bermudaonion said...

I'm thrilled that you called me a big book blogger like J. Kaye!

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Interesting peeve. It never really bothered me all that much until you brought it up. Now it's gonna bug me too. Thanks a lot, Aims. (smiling)

Michelle said...

For me it was bermudaonion who got me to sign up to twitter! And I can't honestly say I'd noticed any books name-dropping, but if I ever had I'd think that would be one of the tackiest thing ever!

Dani in NC said...

I agree with Elizabeth. Using celebrity shorthand to describe a character dates your book even more. The only books where it doesn't bother me that much is in the chick lit genre. Those books already date themselves with references to technology, fashion, and TV shows. Name dropping a celebrity can't make things any worse in that case.

I've been regular user of Twitter for over a year. However, I mostly follow people who I've developed a relationship with somewhere else. I would have to be a long-time reader and commenter on someone's blog before I would consider following her on Twitter.

Luanne said...

Blame it on J Kaye!!

Michele said...

Welcome back. Glad you had a nice time. Those pesky relatives kept me from reading over the last few days too. I'm not on Twitter yet...been resising the urge.

Jennifer said...

I don't like that, either. Don't you think that really dates a book? I can keep my imaginary character mostly safe from such comparisons, but I hate having to go through the effort of doing that.

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Welcome home -- have fun catching up on all those feeds, ha ha.

I'm glad you enjoyed your visit up in our neck of the woods. But I'm here to tell you that the rain gets real old, real quick this time of year.

Oh...and yes, your pet peeve is one of mine, too. It's lacking in originality. I'd rather they describe who they are thinking of rather than naming a famous person.

Krista said...

Well, you must not have been in my neck of the north west since from what I could see out my window it was cold, but clear here! ;)
I have loved all of Jane Porter's books. It's especially fun since I'm so familiar with Seattle.
I think I liked her 2 book series Odd Mom Out and the second one better than this one. They're newer and I think she's just gotten bettter!

Donna Moore said...

Okay I am not on twitter. I guess I'll have to checkit out to see what all the talk is about. As for name dropping I so agree. I also hate it because it dates the book.

Shauna- Reading and Ruminations said...

I hope you don't mind, but I added you to the list of people I'm following on Twitter. I've been there a few months now, and it's crazy to see how it's growing with book bloggers right now. My Twitter page is here: http://twitter.com/shootingstarr7

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate hearing your thoughts.