What do you like to see in the books you are reading?

I am laying on the futon and listening to the birdsong this morning. I was thinking about an article that I read yesterday that was an interview with four agents. It was in Poets and Writers and can be found here: www.pw.org/content/agents_amp_editors_qampa_four_young_literary_agents
One of the topics in the article was about finding books that readers will want to read. One of the agents was talking about yucky books and authors writing about characters that they and no one else really likes. So this got me thinking this morning. What do I like to read? What characters do I like to see in books?

For me, I don’t like to read about only powerful characters. I want them to have dimension– areas of strength and areas where they have vulnerabilities. I would like to see more general fiction about everyday people drawn realistically to illustrate their everyday heroism especially in extraordinary circumstances. I despise vapid, weak female characters. Simple, unrealistic love stories and meaningless, action plots both leave me a little cold. I like unusual ideas, new takes on old themes, and the imaginative fantastic. I want good solid writing. I want the writing to say something, challenge my ideas, and haunt me. If it is for entertainment only, I want some sparkling humor and deftly drawn quirky characters.

I like explorations into whatif. I like forays into other points of view– especially ones that put humans not at the center of the universe but rather as one voice in the cacophony. I like writing that sees things from a new perspective.

More later.

What do others like to read? What characters do you like to see in books? Or movies?