Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Lesser of Two Bookish Evils

What I love about Booking Through Thursday is that it always makes me think. I generally end up waffling on (as I am sure I will do today) and find varying tangents to discuss. It makes me think out the box though and this weeks question “Which is worse… finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?” has not only made me think more about books and what I have read but also how I read.

Out of the two I don’t think I could say which is worse because of some ‘reading rules’ I have, in fact I think I may have to do a blog in the near future on reading and reviewing rules I have, though they aren’t set in stone. If I read one book I absolutely love by an author I will undoubtedly pick another of their books up but it might take me weeks, months even years for me to read another of their books or for them to write another if it’s their debut. If I couldn’t wait (very rare that that happens) and the next one was rubbish I would sadly probably write them off. There is a clause in that statement though in respect of if someone whose opinion I trust raved about another of their works I would possibly give them a second chance.

So what about an author I love who releases a dud book? Well in order to love an author I have to have read more than three/four of their books. If one of them was a dud before that the rule above would apply so they wouldn’t be an author I love. I only at present have authors like that Daphne Du Maurier, Ian McEwan, Stella Duffy, Tess Gerritsen and Susan Hill all who so far with all their varying writing styles and genres haven’t failed me once.

I do get nervous reading the next of their works though that it might be the one book by them that will really bad or put me off them (in my head for some reason I am thinking of McEwan’s ‘Saturday’ instantly which I haven’t tried yet but worries me in advance) as yet none of them have written a bad word. If one did… I would be disappointed but I would forgive them. It has happened with one author who would have made my favourite readers amount to six not five and that is Kate Atkinson whose books I love only I had a really, really hard time with ‘Behind The Scenes At The Museum’ which was the second book I read of hers after ‘Human Croquet’. I didn’t get on with ‘Behind The Scenes…’ and so much so, though I am going to try again, I was tempted not to bother with her again. Luckily three people recommended ‘Case Histories’ to me and my oneside relationship with Kate has never looked back.

So not only has today’s blog made me think about my reading in a different way its also made me look at my reading pattern (is that what you call it) as I have noticed I have quite a lot of books I have absolutely loved and either not read another word by that author yet or (like Margaret Atwood) read the second one a year or so down the line. I am thinking maybe I need to start reading the whole works of some authors such as Margaret Atwood, Anne Tyler… oooh who else? Any recommendations, what about all of you?

12 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

If I have a long-standing "relationship" with an author, it is so very heartbreaking when they write a crappy book. I think perhaps I am a little more tolerant of these authors, though, and permit them more foibles because I love them. I am stupidly loyal though, and like a sheep I keep on buying their books, bad or not. Interesting that you bring up "Saturday". I didn't love that book, but I also don't love McEwan as much as others. I didn't appreciate his subtleties.

farmlanebooks said...

I know what you mean about not reading all the books from an amazing author. When i found a great author I used to read every single one of their books, but now I don't.

Part of it is because I like knowing I still have a treat waiting for me one day, and another part is that I have so many books in my TBR that they keep getting pushed to the side.
I am going to make more of an effort to read my books over the coming months....well that is the plan, but I've probably said that before!

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

Tess Gerritsen is great. I have only read On Chesil Beach by McEwan and only finished it because it was short. It just didn't work for me at all.

Dot said...

I had the same problem with Behind The Scenes Scenes At The Museum, I think it may have been because I had to read it for A-level literature! I think that if a favourite author writes a book that you hate then really you can no longer think of them as a favourite. It is always disappointing though when an author writes an amazing book and then nothing more is published!

claire said...

I've only read Behind the Scenes at the Museum of all Kate Atkinson's, when it came out years ago, and while I didn't especially love it, I was kind of okay with it, I guess because I was still very young then and I related with the young girl protagonist (?). Not really sure why. But then I've never been compelled to touch any of her books following that. So maybe if I did read her other books I would love her?

I'm trying to read all books of my favourite authors. I have too many faves, but this year I will try to read more by Toni Morrison (only three more I haven't read), and Oscar Hijuelos (three more as well).

Btw, I love Ian McEwan, although I'm sure I won't love all of his books. I think when I love an author, I'm very easy to forgive their somewhat-duds. :D

Bluestocking said...

I can live with one bad book.

Worse

candyschultz said...

I would never give up on an author I loved. I would keep expecting something good. McEwan is at the very top and I have read everything he has written but I hated On Chesil Beach. I am still waiting for the next one though. I thought Saturday was excellent.

Kerri said...

Somebody recently lent me a Kate Atkinson. I have yet to get to it, but I'm more inspired to read it now.

megan said...

I think you should definitely read all of Margaret Atwood's stuff! I made my way through all her novels when I was in high school, and I completely adored them, one after the other.

I have to say though, everything past Oryx and Crake I can kind of take or leave - Moral Disorder I was particularly disappointed with. It just didn't capture my attention the way her other fiction had.

I love Kate Atkinson, but much prefer her Jackson Brodie novels (Case Histories, One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News) than her short stories and other writing.

Ian McEwan's Saturday is excellent, you should definitely give it a go.

candyschultz said...

Okay I am definitely going to reread Foucault as soon as the TBR pile allows. Maybe sooner. Maybe I'll start tonight.

Stella Duffy said...

When Will There Be Good News is GREAT. get back to the Atkinson! xx

candyschultz said...

yup and its all your fault. I have now put everything else aside and am rereading Foucault.