2016: What I Won't be Reading This Year

As I was rambling through magazine submission sites, I found one editor who had a list of What Not to Submit.  Among his (or was it her?) no-nos was "Stories of Kids Who Fall into Wells."  Who knew?  

But his point is well taken, and I feel that I need some entertainment in my reading this year.  Yes, fun.  I suppose some brainy readers, fresh from graduate school, delight in novels that involve intricate wordplay, obscure references and other experimental goodies-- all of which I've relished in my time.   But like over-rich dinners, a little experimentation goes a long way.  Best taken in morsels.

So, for 2016, I've decided that my reading will be, as the great Oscar says, for pleasure only.  So, here are my top three categories that won't appear on my fiction bookshelf.

1.  Little girls gone missing.  

Tales of kids who get raped, tortured, or otherwise harmed by adults is off my reading table.  If I see one more novel with this theme, I will hurl it back.  (And is it my imagination or are writers fixated on daughters, not sons?  Are no boys kidnapped? Methinks there's a Victorian sentiment working here.)

2. Marriages gone sour

I think the news is out:  many marriages are not at all happy, and in fact, rather bleak.   Many marriages end in divorce, and (surprise) these divorces are also unpleasant.   I think I'll skip reading about these for a year or so.  (It goes without saying, of course, that comic handling of this theme is always welcome.)

3. Bad Dads, Bad Husbands.  

This is almost  a corollary to (1) and (2) and not fun for many of the same reasons, including the complete predictability of the male-monster characters.  I say, bring on the Femme Fatale.  She's a lot more entertaining.

I think it's going to be a very nice year.









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