Friday, June 26, 2009

List of reasons people put a book down

I thought you might be interested to see the list of responses to my question about what makes you put a book down.

Lots of long paragraphs of description
Don't care about or can't relate to the main character
Slow moving
Too much detail
Unbelievable happenings or circumtances
Bad language
Not hooked by page 50
Insulting the reader's intelligence
Boring plot that doesn't move forward
Can't relate to characters
Villian is stupid or one-dimensional
Poor writing

So for us authors I should assume that what makes a good book for a reader is

Fast paced, interesting plot that has a point
Deep fascinating characters (including the villain)
Just enough description to make you feel as though you're there, but not too much
Main characters that are human with human desires and flaws that people can relate to
A story grounded in reality (unless it's a Sci Fi!)
Don't tell the reader. Let the reader see what's going on

And I would add
A solid theme that is interwoven throughout the story
The main character should have a main goal he or she is trying to achieve
Conflict--there should be conflict and tension on every page

Now, can you think of books you have read that have all these elements? Please don't list mine. I'm not looking for accolades. But I'm really interested in hearing from you what books you consider your all time favorites.


  1. Donita K. Paul's Dragon Keeper Chronicles, and the book I'm reading right now, Auralia's Colors, are the best fantasy books I have ever read. There are of course events that are not realistic because it is fantasy. But even though characters may have special powers or dress, talk, and live differently, you can still relate to them. The stories are adventurous, funny, and thrilling, and there is some mystery as to what is going on, while you can still grasp onto the plot.
    I also love Jane Austen's books. They were written in the 1700s and 1800s, but the characters still seem real and some of their problems we still face today.
    I love a lot of modern day fiction books, too. The story needs to move along well, but not to the point of leaving things out. I love when they bring in new characters but still keep the originals. There is a trilogy by Ray Blackston called Flabbergasted, A Delirious Summer, and Lost in Rooville. That is the best example. In the second book the main character is different from the first book, and there are other new characters, but they keep all from the first book, too. In the third book they go to australia, and of course meet many new people, but the author managed to keep all the characters in the story. I loved it so much more because of that. Blink by Ted Dekker and The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall are entirely different from each other, but I really enjoyed both of them because it is more than a story. They help you to learn a lesson, which most of the books I read do, but these 2 especially are lessons about God and life that really have deep meaning.

  2. Some of my all time favorite books are:

    Most recently, Stealing Home by Allsion Pittman.

    I love The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series by Susan Wittig Albert. May not be grounded in reality as it has talking animals but that is one of the things I love about this series. :)

    Also love The Gresham Chronicles by Lawana Blackwell.

    And I know you said not to list your books but The Falcon and the Sparrow was a book I really enjoyed and one of the very few books I read where I really could relate to the main character.

    Courting Trouble by Deeanne Gist was an also excellent book.

    So there is my list. :)

  3. Julie Klassen's The Lady of Milkweed Manor

    Lynn Austin's Hidden Places

    Kim Vogel Sawyer's My Heart Remembers

    Lynn Austin's Eve's Daughters (among many others)

    Tamera Alexander's The Inheritance (and her other many books)

    Gilbert Morris's Edge of Honor

    And like the above blogger mentioned The Falcon and Sparrow and The Redemption. (I just can't help it, they are some of the best books I have read!:)

    So there's my list, though there are many more, it would just take too long to list them all!

  4. Wow, you all have listed some fabulous books. I've heard nothing but good things about Donita Paul's books, and of course I love Jane Austen. I also have enjoyed Deanna Gist's and Tamera Alexander's books. My husband loves Ted Dekker. All excellent books by excellent authors. Thank you for sharing your favorites!

  5. My favorite book by someone other than Mrs. Tyndall is Alexandre Dumas's "The Three Musketeers." Even though you don't get to know each individual character too well, there are countless conspiracies, betrayals, and conflicts of interest that keep you on your toes and wondering who to root for.

  6. Terri Blackstock, "Last Light" series, "Newpointe 911" series, and "Double Minds." Also, Linda Lee Chaikin "Silk House," "Trade Winds," and "The Buccaneers." DiAnn Mills "Texas Legacy," and "Breach of Trust." The last ones I can think of is Deeanne Gist "A Bride Most Begrudging," "The Measure of a Lady," and "A Bride in the Bargain."

    These are all some of my favorite books that I can think of!