Monday, July 22, 2013

15-Day Book Blogger Challenge - Days 14 & 15

I am both happy and sad to say that this is the last day of April's Book Blogger Challenge.  Happy because I feel so accomplished for finishing the 15 days, and sad because it's over.  For more info on the challenge, visit April's blog Good Books and Good Wine.  (I really wanted to get Day 14 posted yesterday, but for some reason, blogger was having issues and not letting me upload pictures.  Not sure if it was blogger or my computer that was the problem, but whichever one it was, it's why I'm posting the last two days of the challenge together.)

Day 14 -  Book Deal Breakers

When I hear the term "deal breaker" in reference to books, I think about all the things that I cannot stand in books, that ruin a book I'm reading, or that would keep me from ever reading a book at all.  Here are mine:

  • Graphic violence/gore  -  I can't do graphic violence; it just grosses me out too much.  It's one of the reasons why I avoid rated-R action movies, because I spend most of the time watching from behind my fingers and feeling sick to my stomach.
  • Erotica/graphic sex  -  Smut/romance novels/Fifty Shades of Grey - just not my thing.
  • Bad/Gross things happening to children  -  I just can't handle this stuff.  I used to watch Law & Order: SVU with my friends, and the shows started having more and more terrible things happening to kids, and we stopped watching.  I don't need to read or watch that kind of stuff and have it stuck in my head.
  • Rushed/Pointless endings  -  I can't stand books that have endings that feel rushed or thrown together at the last minute, like the author ran out of ideas and decided to just wrap it up.  It makes me wonder why I bothered reading the rest of the book if it's just going to have a blah ending.
  • Disrespect for people's beliefs  -  I'm a Christian, so reading books that mock my faith always makes me uncomfortable.  But I also dislike books that mock other beliefs, no matter what they are.  I understand if you don't agree with a certain set of beliefs, but there's a huge difference between disagreeing and disrespecting.
  • Grammatical errors/bad editing  -  Super pet peeve!  Since I was a writing major in college, people used to bring me their papers to edit, and I always noticed the grammatical errors first.  I mean, I don't expect people to be perfect (I know I'm not), but publishers pay copy-editors to catch these errors, and when there are a lot in a book, it makes me think they were just sloppy.
  • Vampires/werewolves/angels/zombies  -  I'm so sick of the vampire & werewolf fad.  The fallen angels stories just feel... wrong.  And zombies are just too icky.  Yep, I said "icky".
  • Horror  -  I like to sleep at night, so these books are just not for me.
  • Whiny main characters  -  Probably my number one problem with the few chick-lit books I've read (and disliked) is that there's always a woe-is-me, my-life/relationship/job-sucks character who I can't stand.  She annoys me so much that I just don't care if her issues ever get resolved.
  • Insta-love  -  Don't authors realize that insta-love makes a story both unbelievable and boring?  Where's the slow build and the tension that make a relationship so amazing?  It's funny how much I can't stand this in books, but don't mind it so much in movies.  After all, aren't most Disney princess movies centered around insta-love?
And those are my deal breakers.  What are some of yours?

Day 15 -  Blogging Mentors

So I don't have any blogging mentors in the traditional sense of the word "mentor."  But there are a couple of bloggers that I consider an inspiration.  I started following them last year, when I was coming out of a long blogging slump, and reading their blogs made me want to get more involved with my own and with the blogging community.
  • Meghan,  Recreational Reading  -  This blog is one of the first I ever started reading.  I love the features she's created, as well as her blog's format.  She also regularly updates her blog (which I wish I was better at), so I always know that they'll be something fun to read.
  • Jamie,  The Perpetual Page-Turner  -  Jamie's blog is so much fun to read.  Besides cool book reviews (I love the post-its at the end), she's also not afraid to share stuff about herself in fun, colorful posts.  My favorite is the post she did about how to recognize her at BEA, complete with pictures of all of her BEA faces.
How about you?  If you're a blogger, do you have a mentor?  Is there another blogger out there that inspires you?

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