Jul 18, 2016
My most recent "I'm not reading any more of this" book started on a weak note, but I stuck with it while the author rehashed the previous installment, figuring maybe I needed to know the stuff to get Book #2. Then the protagonist put himself in a situation where he was locked in without telling anyone or giving himself an emergency escape. I thought that was unwise, but as an author I know that we sometimes ignore what real people would do in order to make a story work. It's a story, after all.
The stopping point came in a scene that was clearly included only to shock the reader. The event had nothing to do with historical detail and didn't advance the plot an iota. It was simply degrading to the protagonist and uncomfortable for me to "watch." It was almost as if the author yelled from behind the page, "See how disgusting I can be? Now go tell your friends what a creative writer I am!"
Instead, I closed the book and put it in the discard pile.
Here's my question for you as readers? What does it take to make you close a book and decide you won't open it again?
Jul 11, 2016
While I was doing all that, I was still reading--I'm always reading. Last week I had four books going that were all very good. First was WILDE LAKE by Laura Lippmann. I expect great things from her, and she never disappoints. I also read a good historical, NO COMFORT FOR THE LOST, by Nancy Herriman, a woman I met at this year's Printers' Row in Chicago. Steve Hamilton's acclaimed new book, THE SECOND LIFE OF NICK MASON, is a good read, though more to John's tastes than mine. The protag didn't engage sympathy or empathy in me, so it was in the "good story" category but failed to engage much concern for Nick's future. I'm about to finish DANGEROUS PASSAGE by Lisa Harris, which is a good police procedural if a little heavy on "Will God send a man to love me?" angst. I recently started Bruce Holsinger's A BURNABLE BOOK, which isn't for those not really into medieval detail. It took me a while to get into the story, but Geoffrey Chaucer is in there, so I stuck with it, and it's becoming clearer what's going on now.
So that's my life. I write, I read, I get books ready for other people to read. It keeps me out of trouble...most days.
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