Tuesday, November 15

Preconceptions, Good vs. Evil and Complete Ambivalence

I've blogged about this before, I try not to search out reviews before starting a new book, this way I can avoid being overly influenced by other readers and yet many of the books on my TBR come from reader blog recommendations. Basically, it comes down to this, if the book is by an auto buy author I don't bother to look for or read a review, if I come across one I'll read it, but it probably wont influence me one way or another. If it's written by a hit or miss author I'll check around for a synopsis, and if it's a new to me author I'll take the recommendations of different readers that I've found have similar taste to mine. It's a little convoluted, but it works for me.

All of this is a long winded way of saying I really try to avoid having preconceptions about a book. But, sometimes this is impossible to avoid, sometimes it's the back blurb of the book that causes the preconception.

I knew I was going to like this book before I cracked the cover. I love sports related romances especially sports related romances by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I thought it was a little long, but I was finishing it at 1:00 this morning and that may have something to do with this thinking.

For the past month I've been trying to read Patti O'Shea's Through a Crimson Veil. It's the 3rd book in the Crimson City series. And for the life of me, I haven't been able to figure out why it's not working for me. She has a great writing style and I should be loving this book. Yesterday, it finally hit me--I have preconceived ideas about demons. The hero and the heroine of this book are 1/2 demon, and for me demons have always fallen under the evil category in the grand good vs. evil scheme of things. Why I should think differently about demons than say ghosts, vampires or werewolves? I have no idea. It probably has something to do with religious faith, which in and of itself becomes a little heavy for blog that talks about romance reading, kids and other occasional musing.

And this brings me to my third profound thought of the morning. I'm wondering if the best way to come at reading a book is to be completely ambivalent, not really, but it's a concept. I haven't read Mary Jo Putney in years. For some reason I completely lost interest in her historicals and I've only read one of her contemporaries, and I can honestly say it pissed me off to the point I stopped reading her altogether. Somewhere along my web hopping I heard she had written a romantic fantasy. When I saw it at the library yesterday, I picked it up, I have absolutely no idea what it's about, but I'm giving it a try.

Those are my deep thoughts of the day, have good one and happy reading.


Sam said...

It really doesn't matter if I read the review, the blurb, or if someone has raved about it - I'll love a book if it's good and that's it.
And I'll hate a book despite a glowing review or rave if it sucks, lol.
But since it's such an objective thing, I do tend to skim over reviews and just read blurbs if I'm interested in the book.
But mostly it's my mother glomming some book and sending it to me with a note stuck in it saying 'You'll Love this!'
And I loved pretty much everything up until Charlaine Harris's vampire series - and I snoozed through the whole thing. Unfortunately - because I'd brought them with me to read in Spain and I didn't have anything else so out of total boredom I wrote a whole book.
Thank you mom, Charlaine...

CindyS said...

Yes! Exactly!

For auto buy authors I will not read anything. No blurbs, no thoughts nothing. I like to go into them blind. Course that bit me in the ass when I read the last Linda Howard because I had no clue where she was going and I ended up not liking the book.

For all other books I do lean towards books that people have recommended. My friends aren't readers and the one that is is almost opposite of me. So I read the reviews and blogs of others to get a feel for a book.

That said, if all I've heard about is raves then the chances are my expectations are higher and many books can fall short. I now try to realize that someone else's keeper may only be my B read.

Pre-conceived notions can be brutal. Although some are there because it is natural. You mention Mary Jo Putney and I know she wrote a cont about a man who was once a wife beater. He ends up with the woman he once beat. I know this from the reviews etc and I have the book and have told myself I will read it but I do have a mental block about physical pain. I love dark heroes (Anne Stuart) and some have physically hurt their heroine but it was never out of anger or spite or malice. My preconceived notions will definitely play out if I ever pick up this book.

You mentioned sport books and I have pre-conceived notions about athletes also ;)


Tara Marie said...

You mention Mary Jo Putney and I know she wrote a cont about a man who was once a wife beater. He ends up with the woman he once beat.

The Burning Point, the only Mary Jo Putney contemporary I've ever read. I think the point of the story was he had changed, grew up, realized his wrong and made ammends. I could never get passed the point that she chose to trust him again. And, the hero was not a "dark hero" like Anne Stuarts.

When I read this book, MJP was still an auto buy for me, I never read a review and had no idea what the book was about. I guess that auto buy think can still bit you in the butt.

Bookwormom said...

The only demon themed books I've read were Lisa Cach's two book series, which, overall, were quite good.

I can relate to your religious issues (? correct me if I'm wrong) about demons, but for myself somehow I've been able to separate my practicing faith from things that are depicted in fiction.

ABout the new MJP- do you have it? Are you going to review it? I haven't bought her books in quite a while, but I often like her stuff...

Tara Marie said...

Amanda, I think it is a religous issue, and I've always been able to seperate myself from other books with "evil" and yet for some reason I have a harder time seperating from "demons", but I'm going to keep trying.

I started the MJP, but picked up a book at the bookstore that I really wanted to read, so it the MJP went on hold, I'll try to finish it tomorrow, and I'll definitely review it