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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Am I Fickle?

Maybe it's been my long days, but I've become increasingly disappointed with some of the fiction releasing lately. The covers are phenomenal, but the stories are so generic. Out of the seven books I've bought lately--both small and big press books, I only managed to finish one. The rest made me feel like I wasted my money. I usually don't have such bad luck with books because I research them pretty thoroughly before I buy. 

This might have more to do with me than the book though. Whenever I find myself dissatisfied with things that should make me happy, it's usually because I'm looking for something I can't yet identify. So maybe I should switch genres for a while. Maybe I should read literary, or classics, or the ingredients label on a box of cake mix.

Have you ever found yourself tired of something you normally love? (Spouses don't count.) LOL

Murray Report: I wish I had better news but Murray is still not well. Although the vet first suspected he was hacking up hookworms, he now seems to think it's kennel cough. (Like I said so in the first place.) That poor little puppy just can't catch a break. I'm starting to get a little rundown too. I feel like I'm coming down with something.

Because kennel cough is contagious, Greg has to keep Tank and Iko another week. We have not seen each other since the third week of December. I miss my boys, all of them.

You still have a chance to win a copy of Smart Budgets for Busy People by leaving a comment at TBR. I will pick a winner tomorrow. And don't worry if you already bought the book. If you win, I will substitute that book with the next one coming up. Smart Grocery Shopping.

Someone wrote me and said she bought an extra copy of Smart Budgets for her son. That just made my day. First, because she bought a second copy. And secondly because more young people need to learn how to budget. It's a tough world out there. A lot of older people are having to work much longer than they expected, which is sad on many levels. People should enjoy their retirement, not scrounge to supplement their remaining years.


Renee Miller said...

You're not fickle, Maria. Unless I am too that is. I find myself frustrated at what I see on the shelves. I can read a rehashed theme or the same tired story if the writing blows me away, but I'm having a really hard time finding new novels that are written with a distinct voice.

I bought several books over christmas too and only a couple of them were worth finishing. Chris Rothe, a Canadian author surprised me with Dirk Danger Loves Life, and I picked up Bite Me by Christopher Moore. Moore's writing isn't so shit-hot but I love the voice and I love the humor, so I continue reading.

I wish publishers would realize (and authors) the importance of working on voice and style. A great voice can get me to read even the most overdone story.

I'm sorry about Murray. Thinking positive thoughts. Poor guy and poor you guys. :(

Maria Zannini said...

You might be onto something about voice. The voice in all the books I tried was nearly nonexistent. It's like they expected me to fill it in.

I feel like those agents who tell you they're looking for something new, but they can't tell you what that is.

Angelina Rain said...

That happens to me all the time. When I notice that I haven't been enjoying something lately, then I switch it up. Sometimes you could just go for a different genre, at other times giving up reading for a few weeks altogether.


I'm so sorry to hear that Murray is still sick. The poor, poor puppy. I just want to hug the little guy. You did a great thing by giving this baby a fighting chance. I doubt he would have gotten that at the shelter.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

awww, poor murray. At least kennel cough isn't something worse.
And yeah, i also have that problem sometimes with stuff i normally like. Usually, in those cases, i'll read some nonfiction, or switch from fantasy to some hard sci-fi

Krista D. Ball said...

I get like this every so often. I've been in it for a while, where everything is just rather...blah.

For me, it's my cue to try something new. Or, go back to a favourite. Right now, I've been diving into comic books again and reading non-fiction. It's a chance to let my interest in fiction come back. Because, right now, I'm rather sick of it.

Heather said...

Maria, I'm so sorry about Murray - kennel cough is horrible, but I will send out positive energy and light a candle for a speedy recovery.

As far as becoming dissatisfied, well that happens a lot to me! ;) I don't believe I'm fickle; but maybe I am! I do the "switch your genre" thing, and I've found some wonderful books that way!

Good luck to you finding your next good read!

Maria Zannini said...

Angelina: I called the pound where I got Murray and warned them about the parvo. They didn't say, but I'm sure the puppies were put down. This was not a no-kill shelter which is one reason I adopted from them.

Sarah: The vet warned me that since Murray's immune system is compromised it might take a little longer to recover. For now I'm keeping him warm and using a humidifier.

Krista: I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one. I was feeling rather guilty about disliking so many books in a row.

Heather: Thanks, Heather. He's suffered so much. I just want him to get better soon.

broken biro said...

What you need, Maria, is a lending library! But I guess you're a bit geographically remote for that? But it's certainly freshens things up to switch genres for a bit.

p.s. paw puppy dawg!

KarenG said...

This happens to me a lot. It's like eating an apple when what you really wanted was a cucumber. Nothing wrong with the apple but it didn't make your heart sing like the cucumber, all sliced and lightly salted would have. (I relate everything to food LOL).

Maria Zannini said...

Broken Biro: If only I had a library nearby. :sigh:

KarenG: That's exactly what I was thinking! Sometimes I'll eat and feel so dissatisfied because it wasn't what I wanted.

Anonymous said...

I'm such a mood reader that if something isn't working I'll set it aside and move on to something else, different author, genre, whatever. If the story still doesn't work when I try it the second time around it is usually out the door. But even that is only something I've given myself permission to do in the last year or so. I think that comes from the fact the more I learn about writing the less I'm willing to wade through. You certainly aren't alone in the feeling!

Poor, poor fur baby! Continuing to send positive thoughts for the little guy. And {hugs} Maria. You must be exhausted trying to keep on top of it all. I imagine you'll have to do a major disinfect clean before the other dogs can come home too. I wish I was close enough to give you a respite. Wishing for a speedy recovery so your family can come home!

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I've also been a little disappointed in books lately. Maybe it's because I get so little time to read for pleasure that I want a book to knock my socks off.

I'm happy and sad for you about Murray. Happy that he's not on death's door, sad that he now has kennel cough. I know that cough, oh yes.

Shelley Munro said...

I've actually had good luck with my reading recently and found new to me authors to read. I haven't been reading as much paranormal/urban fantasy on the whole. That seems like all the same to me at present. Have you tried swapping genres? That usually works for me.

Poor Murray. Good thoughts winging your way?

Mike Keyton said...

Ref 'Fickle' we're awash with crap, Maria. No to ways about it. I'd do something drastic - Read Gogol's short stories, Kafka's Metamorphosis, or Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obsure. Like your instincts might be suggesting, dive right out your comfort zone.
Ref Murray, if the poor tyke pulls through you'll have a bond that will last a life time

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: Thanks. If you were here, I'd take you up on your offer. :)

I actually bought a disinfectant especially made for parvo and kennel cough. I've been spraying religiously and will redouble my efforts before the boys come back.

Barbara: Did you have to deal with kennel cough? It's so heart wrenching to see them cough out their little lungs.

Shelley/Mike: I've decided to take a break from fiction all together. I'm sure the publishing economy won't crumble if I take a buying hiatus for a few weeks. If it does, you can blame me. ;)

jackie b central texas said...

My taste is all over the spectrum and yet invariably paranormal genre wins out follwed closely by a good contemporary romance suspense thriller. Fickle you are not but like movies that have been released in the past year the books have better "cover" or "trailers" than story substance so they do seem to be less enjoyable than others have enjoyed spending time with.

Murray is due a break but you are past due Maria, being 24/7 caregiver no matter to what is too much for one person. It will be so nice when the little one's immune system gets stronger and the longer he hangs in there the sooner that will hopefully take place so you both get much needed rest!

Take care and like all the others pulling for Murray my thoughts and prayers are with you both daily.

Angela Brown said...

I wouldn't say you're fickle. Though I've always been a fantasy/paranormal reader, for a while, I was heavy into some urban lit. But I got my fill and was done with reading it.

Perhaps what you need to read is something different...OR do like Brooke Johnson and write what you really want to read :-)

Heck, I'd read it too.

Marianne Arkins said...

When I feel that way about reading, I tend to return to some of my "keepers". I know I'll enjoy them, and sometimes it'll get me back on track. Discontent tends to feed on itself, so I get crankier and crankier, and I don't think I give new books a fair shake when I feel that way. My keeper shelf cleanses the palate, so to speak.

POOR Murray! When Dakota had kennel cough it broke my heart. I can only imagine how awful it must be for a puppy. Hang in there...

Jenny Schwartz said...

Poor Murray. Poor you. Poor everyone, including Tank and Iko who probably want home and mom. Oh yeah, poor Greg, too. LOL. Dog obsessed. Murray sounds like such a fighter.

When I'm dissatisfied with everything, I know I'm tired. Probably not easy with Murray, but try to catch some extra sleep.

Sending good vibes your way. Take care of yourself as well as the little fighter :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: My old standbys are historicals, but even they didn't get me out of my slump.

Angela: When I read your comment something clicked. I know why nothing has fulfilled me lately. It's because I knew what would happen next. There were no surprises. I might as well have written them myself. Question do I stop being such a mind reader? :)

Jenny: It's a very unhappy house. Today Murray has barely taken interest in anything. He eat and drinks, but he has no joy. Poor baby.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I read a lot of different genres so if I read a book in one that didn't quite do it for me, I would read in another genre. But you're right, lately it seems like books are less original. It's a shame.

Maria Zannini said...

Nicole: I'm hoping it's just the stress of a sick puppy that's made me hard to please. Time will tell.

Sarita said...

I am keeping you and Murray in my thoughts and prayers. This must be so tiring for all of you. Sending hugs and hoping all is soon well!

Clarissa Draper said...

First of all, I'm so sorry about Murray. I hope he recovers soon so that the family can be back together again.

As to your reading dilemma, you are not alone. I feel the same way about a lot of books.

LD Masterson said...

I know this is a dumb question, but can some form of kennal cough be transmitted to humans? As exhausted as I know you must be, your resistance has got to be low.

Still praying for some relief for both of you.

And, yes, if I'm unhappy with me or something in my life, I'm less likely to enjoy things I normally like.

Or maybe it's the books.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarita: Worse than the fatigue is the depression. I know I'm making headway, but he's been sick so long. It's wearing me down.


Clarissa: I am surprised to discover I'm not alone about my book slump. It's never hit me this hard.

BTW, you WON the drawing for Smart Budgets for Busy People.


Linda: That's a very smart question. I wanted to know too. All I could discover was one site said yes. Another said no. And the third said, maybe. So your guess is as good as mine.

Shirley Wells said...

Poor Murray. So sorry to hear he has kennel cough now. That's horrid and he certainly doesn't need that on top of everything else. He sounds a real fighter though. Sending lots of good thoughts for him - and you!

I'm not sure if it's me, but I go through phases when I hate every book I pick up. At the moment (I hardly dare say this), I'm loving every book I pick up.

Dee said...

Everyone needs to change it up once in a while to keep things from getting boring. I agree that a change in genres might spice things up a little. I personally have stopped reading night and day and turned to video games. But don't do as I do...

Hugs and prayers that poor Murray will finally get better. Hang in there.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

My dogs for years have all been rescue dogs and pound puppies. It's rare that one DIDN'T have it.

Maria Zannini said...

Shirley: I think I'm just hypersensitive what with everything going on. I'll give it a rest until Murray is better and I'll bet my attitude will improve.

Dee: I'm not much of a game player but maybe movies are a better alternative to books right now.

Barbara: This is our 14th rescue so far and we have never had a case of Parvo or kennel cough. How can one puppy be so unlucky? Poor kid. I don't want to over-react but I don't want to under-react either--not with him still recovering from his near death experience.

Heather B. Moore said...

Sorry that Murray is still struggling :-(

I'm in a reading rut now too. Maybe I need to dig deeper on my to-read list!

Rosie Lane said...

I am terrible for reading myself into a rut. I killed fantasy for myself for a decade, only starting again when I discovered contemporary and urban fantasy. I still can't read high fantasy now. I've tried to be careful not to do the same thing with other genres and vary genres but urban fantasy has come perilously close. I'm reading more crime and romance to break things up a bit. It's a very strange feeling reading Georgette Heyer straight after Mike Carey. Took a while to switch mindset, that one.

Maria Zannini said...

Heather: I've taken up old movies from the 30s and 40s. That seems to help my mood.

Rosie: LOL. That would be a bit of a shock to the system.

Cathy in AK said...

I think we all go through burnout, even on things we normally believe we can't get enough of. Mixing it up is helpful. If I'm in a reading rut in fiction, I'll often look for a NF that sounds interesting. Learned some fun things about Queen Victoria and Albert and also the NY World's Fair that way : )

Positive thoughts your way for Murray. I hope you and all of your boys can be together soon!