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Old 01-06-2018, 10:41 AM
 
Location: East Coast
4,249 posts, read 3,722,015 times
Reputation: 6482

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
I absolutely hated that book. My book club was divided - many thought it was excellent, those of us who didn't kind of kept quiet but the consensus among the dissenters was the writing was deplorable. I judge high school writing, and if I'd read this from a high schooler, it would go in the "keep trying, and accept guidance from teachers, good luck!" pile.

It was comforting to read on Amazon that a lot of people seem to suspect the positive reviews are coerced, and the writing is awful.
I am concerned as to what I will say in this book club, as this one is made of neighbors. (I am in another book club that is more serious, and I'm fine with speaking freely.) But this neighborhood one -- the person hosting picks the book, and the woman hosting already read this book and was head over heels in love with it. One other woman said she started reading it and was loving it. So I'm not going to be able to speak as freely as I'd like.

What I find odd is how the author is selling this book as a true story, and goes so far as to write an introductory note to emphasize this. But it is not narrative nonfiction. It is a novel. Yet, he seems to want it to be both. A novel needs to stand alone, and not rely on the fact that it describes something true to entice readers. I don't understand why he didn't just write a novel that was inspired by this man's story. Instead, it seems he tried to write a narrative nonfiction, but had some issues with everything not being true, and just called it a novel, even though he wanted it to be nonfiction. It's just nutty.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:22 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,794 posts, read 2,798,999 times
Reputation: 4925
Default O tempora! O mores! O morays!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
For my neighborhood book club, I'm reading a book called Beneath a Scarlet Sky. This has taught me to be very skeptical of any book published by amazon publishing, as the quality control is nonexistent. it may as well be self-published, as I can find no evidence that any editor did anything to this manuscript. I just want to get out my red pen while reading this one. It reminds me so much of pieces I read in my writing group. (Which is to say, it needs a lot of work.)

...
Yah. I've done proofreading, copy editing & translating in my career. Several times people have asked me to look @ something they've written & asked my opinion. I always asked if I could mark up the copy they gave me.

& yet they always seemed disappointed when I found something to fix. So - before I mark up anything, I'll ask to make sure that's what the author wants. For a glance & an attaboy, no serious review is necessary - & increasingly, I'm convinced that no serious review is wanted.

I'm with you - it's beyond me how authors will improve if they seem oblivious to the very possibility. Perhaps the death of print will be a blessing after all ...
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:48 PM
 
Location: East Coast
4,249 posts, read 3,722,015 times
Reputation: 6482
Quote:
Originally Posted by southwest88 View Post
Yah. I've done proofreading, copy editing & translating in my career. Several times people have asked me to look @ something they've written & asked my opinion. I always asked if I could mark up the copy they gave me.

& yet they always seemed disappointed when I found something to fix. So - before I mark up anything, I'll ask to make sure that's what the author wants. For a glance & an attaboy, no serious review is necessary - & increasingly, I'm convinced that no serious review is wanted.

I'm with you - it's beyond me how authors will improve if they seem oblivious to the very possibility. Perhaps the death of print will be a blessing after all ...
Actually the decrease in printed books has led to a huge uptick in self-published works. Lots of authors are kindle-only, or mostly electronic, some with print-on-demand for people who insist on paper books. I am, frankly, amazed at the number of readers who base what they read on price. That is, they see that there are an almost infinite number of books available to them electronically that are either free, $0.99 or below $3 or $4. So that is all they read. To me, it's not just the monetary cost, but the cost of my time spent reading. If the book isn't very good, doesn't teach me anything, or doesn't make me think, it's not worth reading. I'd rather pay $20 for one great read than nothing for a year's worth of terrible reading.

Yes, there are absolutely authors who have no desire to improve, because they believe their writing is perfect the way it is. But, who can really argue with them if they find a sufficient number of readers who will read their work and even actually pay for it?
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:13 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,794 posts, read 2,798,999 times
Reputation: 4925
Default Caveat lector?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
Actually the decrease in printed books has led to a huge uptick in self-published works. Lots of authors are kindle-only, or mostly electronic, some with print-on-demand for people who insist on paper books. I am, frankly, amazed at the number of readers who base what they read on price. That is, they see that there are an almost infinite number of books available to them electronically that are either free, $0.99 or below $3 or $4. So that is all they read. To me, it's not just the monetary cost, but the cost of my time spent reading. If the book isn't very good, doesn't teach me anything, or doesn't make me think, it's not worth reading. I'd rather pay $20 for one great read than nothing for a year's worth of terrible reading.

Yes, there are absolutely authors who have no desire to improve, because they believe their writing is perfect the way it is. But, who can really argue with them if they find a sufficient number of readers who will read their work and even actually pay for it?
Well, the brief answer is that those of us who maintain standards can argue against a literary diet of potboilers. It goes back to the question of the unexamined life.

I read all over the spectrum - fiction, non-fiction, SF, history, science, novels, military fiction, historical fiction, classics, anything that catches my eye. I'm retired now, I can read what I please. & I do.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:09 PM
 
Location: East Coast
4,249 posts, read 3,722,015 times
Reputation: 6482
Quote:
Originally Posted by southwest88 View Post
Well, the brief answer is that those of us who maintain standards can argue against a literary diet of potboilers. It goes back to the question of the unexamined life.

I read all over the spectrum - fiction, non-fiction, SF, history, science, novels, military fiction, historical fiction, classics, anything that catches my eye. I'm retired now, I can read what I please. & I do.
The problem exists in all genres -- it's not limited to novels. I agree with maintaining standards, but if you have people who write dreck and people who happily read it, who's to say they're wrong. But if you have higher standards, generally you're going to find better books through traditionally published books -- this is not to say that there are no authors who, for whatever reason, haven't had success getting published by one of the big houses. It's just that it is so much harder to find those authors, given how much is out there. At least the books that have gone through traditional publishers have gone through a process, even though, despite that process, there are still a number of books I read that I wonder how the hell they were ever published.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:43 PM
 
1,519 posts, read 1,335,480 times
Reputation: 2183
I'm reading the book 'belonging' by toko pa turner today,it's very good.

An excerpt :
Have you ever noticed how beautiful a person is after they’ve wept? It’s as if they are made new again by the baptism of tears. Indeed, when something stuck can be released through grief, we are freeing up a greater capacity to love. Conversely, when left ungrieved, stagnation can turn into resentment, cynicism, and even violence
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
37,110 posts, read 41,246,039 times
Reputation: 45135
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in A Hurry.

A small book that packs a lot in a few pages. It's whetting my appetite to delve a little deeper into the topic.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:18 PM
 
Location: New York Area
35,034 posts, read 16,987,357 times
Reputation: 30156
I just finished Simon and Garfunkel: Old Friends : A Dual Biography by Joseph Morella, Patricia Barey. I feel it was an excellent book with information that I didn't know and glad I learned. While I wish that Art Garfunkel could have been portrayed as more of a doer rather than a taker of what Paul Simon had to offer, I implicitly believe that is true. I grew up with them and believe they had a tremendous influence in making popular music more literate and intelligent. I will return to finish Why Are Jews Liberals? by Norman Podhoretz.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:45 AM
 
4,724 posts, read 4,416,945 times
Reputation: 8481
That Simon and Garfunkel book sounds like I may need to reserve it.
I am currently reading Little House on the Prairie after finishing Little House in the Big Woods. I never read these growing up and I don't think I ever saw the tv show (though I know I heard of it all the time).
When I finish this book, I will still have more in the series so that will be nice.
I did just pick up Ordinary Grace from the library so that will be next in line. On another forum that was highly rated. (the same forum which yielded the Two Family House which I really enjoyed)
So much on my reading list.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Bellmawr, New Jersey
272 posts, read 184,085 times
Reputation: 229
The Selfish Gene currently
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