Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 224051 times)

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zyrs

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1890 on: April 03, 2014, 01:55:43 PM »
Weird end-of-line hyphenation, especially on ebooks.  "Sellsword" should be hyphenated "sell-sword", not "sells-word."  "Freehold" should be "free-hold" not "fre-ehold."

I would read "Sells-word" and wonder why they didn't just use "author" (the preceding is not meant to be snark, that is honestly the first thing my brain pulled up for "Sells-word".)

Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1891 on: April 03, 2014, 02:07:46 PM »
Weird end-of-line hyphenation, especially on ebooks.  "Sellsword" should be hyphenated "sell-sword", not "sells-word."  "Freehold" should be "free-hold" not "fre-ehold."

I would read "Sells-word" and wonder why they didn't just use "author" (the preceding is not meant to be snark, that is honestly the first thing my brain pulled up for "Sells-word".)
Medievaloid fantasy.  Context is everything. ;)  Hence it just being a peeve, rather than a throw-the-book-across-the-room. 
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zyrs

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1892 on: April 03, 2014, 02:15:52 PM »
Weird end-of-line hyphenation, especially on ebooks.  "Sellsword" should be hyphenated "sell-sword", not "sells-word."  "Freehold" should be "free-hold" not "fre-ehold."

I would read "Sells-word" and wonder why they didn't just use "author" (the preceding is not meant to be snark, that is honestly the first thing my brain pulled up for "Sells-word".)
Medievaloid fantasy.  Context is everything. ;)  Hence it just being a peeve, rather than a throw-the-book-across-the-room.

 :D Imagine a fight scene:

Sell-sword:  To arms, Sirrah!  I shall cleave thee cleft and twain!
Sells-word:  I find your use of possibly Medieval words to be poorly researched and overly flamboyant!  Also, I think you chose "cleft" poorly.  I do not think  it means what you think it means.
Sell-sword:  Your quill has split my sword apart!  I am undone!
Sells-word:   The pen is mightier than the sword! Yes, this has all been a set-up for a bad quotation pun.



Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1893 on: April 03, 2014, 04:38:19 PM »
Weird end-of-line hyphenation, especially on ebooks.  "Sellsword" should be hyphenated "sell-sword", not "sells-word."  "Freehold" should be "free-hold" not "fre-ehold."

I would read "Sells-word" and wonder why they didn't just use "author" (the preceding is not meant to be snark, that is honestly the first thing my brain pulled up for "Sells-word".)
Medievaloid fantasy.  Context is everything. ;)  Hence it just being a peeve, rather than a throw-the-book-across-the-room.

 :D Imagine a fight scene:

Sell-sword:  To arms, Sirrah!  I shall cleave thee cleft and twain!
Sells-word:  I find your use of possibly Medieval words to be poorly researched and overly flamboyant!  Also, I think you chose "cleft" poorly.  I do not think  it means what you think it means.
Sell-sword:  Your quill has split my sword apart!  I am undone!
Sells-word:   The pen is mightier than the sword! Yes, this has all been a set-up for a bad quotation pun.
BRAVO!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
It's true. Money can't buy happiness.  You have to turn it
into books first.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Winterlight

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1894 on: April 04, 2014, 10:10:01 AM »
*wild applause*
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Petticoats

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1895 on: April 05, 2014, 12:13:13 PM »
I just finished an infuriating literary gothic by John Boyne. I can only suppose that Boyne's success and acclaim have made editors hesitant to overrule him--or unable to (I know how little power editors actually wield in some publishing houses)--because this book really needs a thorough edit. It's got lots of anachronisms, is rife with vague descriptions ("rather nice," "rather attractive"--these say *nothing*), and has a heroine who is too stupid to live. Her motivation to stay in the house that has tried numerous times to kill her is "protecting the children." Hon, the children have outlived FOUR governesses. They don't need protecting.

Perhaps worst of all in a ghost story, he buries the scary stuff in the middle of huge long paragraphs and huge long sentences that just string together clause after clause until you feel kind of smothered and... oh wait, was that something creepy back there?

It's not awful, but it's persistently aggravating and tone-deaf, and a good editor could have made it five times better.

Oh, and the final twist, which is evidently obligatory in literary gothic fiction? Dumb. Illogical. Not scary. Just--no.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1896 on: April 05, 2014, 12:20:37 PM »
I just finished an infuriating literary gothic by John Boyne. I can only suppose that Boyne's success and acclaim have made editors hesitant to overrule him--or unable to (I know how little power editors actually wield in some publishing houses)--because this book really needs a thorough edit. It's got lots of anachronisms, is rife with vague descriptions ("rather nice," "rather attractive"--these say *nothing*), and has a heroine who is too stupid to live. Her motivation to stay in the house that has tried numerous times to kill her is "protecting the children." Hon, the children have outlived FOUR governesses. They don't need protecting.

Perhaps worst of all in a ghost story, he buries the scary stuff in the middle of huge long paragraphs and huge long sentences that just string together clause after clause until you feel kind of smothered and... oh wait, was that something creepy back there?

It's not awful, but it's persistently aggravating and tone-deaf, and a good editor could have made it five times better.

Oh, and the final twist, which is evidently obligatory in literary gothic fiction? Dumb. Illogical. Not scary. Just--no.


I had to look it up...good grief, the accolades make it sound as if this was written by the most literary of literaries.....still, I am now going to have to find it at work just to see HOW bad it is.....

Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1897 on: April 05, 2014, 12:36:06 PM »
Oh, the John Boyne plaint reminds me of a book I read about a thousand years ago.  Great writing, spooky set up...the heroine and her husband move into what is, presumably, a haunted house.  Dreadful things occur, she feels a hand touch  her shoulder, the friendly elderly neighbor brings his dog over to keep them company (SOMEONE read "The Woman in Black")...and the dog disappears after playing with a strange dog no one had seen before... and they don't know whether to tell the neighbor or not, so they don't and even though he has been a HUGE part of the novel up to this point, he is never seen or heard from again....and it all leads up to......nothing.  At some point, the heroine's husband falls down stairs and dies, or she kills him accidentally, or the spirit in the house tries to possess him to get to her....and at the end, she sees him standing in the doorway of the house and can't decide if she should return to the house with "it" or run in the opposite direction.  The end.

The best part of the book after that was the "trick" photo of the author in which she is shown to have three arms.

If you are going to write a super scary haunted house story a la The Woman In Black, your ending has to be a lot more than the heroine dithering around.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1898 on: April 05, 2014, 12:37:41 PM »
Just finished a book written completely in the second person.  I can see it was beautifully written.  Really, I can.  But the narrator sounds like a fool and the villains are unlikeable from the getgo because of the narration device...and since the "heroine" addresses the bad guys as "you" throughout, we don't know whether to believe her story at all.  And once we come to the ending......the heroine tells the bad guys what "will happen" to them....but we have no idea if what ultimately happened was because of the heroine's comments or not.

I really am angry I wasted time on this book.

Also, dear reviewers, if you are reviewing books clearly aimed at very young tweens and teens, could you PLEASE mention that there are graphic elements that some children might not be ready for?  Telling me the story is exciting and bold is very nice.  Telling me there are two or three graphic and violent scenes of forced scrabble would also help me decide if the book is appropriate for a young friend who is in the target age range but is still immature about such things as scrabble  (she becomes very embarrassed and doesn't finish books which contains those scenes).  Fortunately, I was told about the sequences ahead of time so I was able to warn her and she chose not to read the book.....but...seriously....you KNOW some tweens aren't ready for this, so MENTIONING it in a review would help.  None of us has time to read every recommended book and we rely on you to tell us.

The ONLY book I have ever read that used a second person narrator successfully was "Leaving Atlanta," a story from the POV of several children during the time of the Atlanta child murders.  The first section of the book is written from the point of view of a little girl, Tasha I think, and it's in third person.  The second part is shorter and written from the point of view of a little boy (Roderick?  I forget his name), and it's written in second person.  Finally, the third part, another longer section, is written from the point of view of a girl Octavia and is in first person.  I think that's the sequence (I might have it reversed).

It works, partly because it's not the *whole* book, partly because of the nature of the boy's part, and the author just does a stunning job.  The book itself is really well done.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1899 on: April 05, 2014, 12:42:34 PM »
Mommy Penguin, that one does sound really interesting!  Another book added to the list.  Thanks!

MommyPenguin

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1900 on: April 05, 2014, 12:45:16 PM »
Mommy Penguin, that one does sound really interesting!  Another book added to the list.  Thanks!

I led a book discussion group on it when I worked at the library, so it's good for that, too.  :)

It was pretty funny when I mentioned the book and never having heard about the Atlanta case before.  A coworker was stunned and couldn't imagine how I'd never heard of it, it had been all over the news at the time.  I pointed out that I was something like 6 months old when it happened.  She couldn't believe that somebody could be *that* young and still an adult, I guess.  :)  This was 10 years ago, of course, when I was newly out of college.

Petticoats

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1901 on: April 05, 2014, 03:28:54 PM »
I just finished an infuriating literary gothic by John Boyne. I can only suppose that Boyne's success and acclaim have made editors hesitant to overrule him--or unable to (I know how little power editors actually wield in some publishing houses)--because this book really needs a thorough edit. It's got lots of anachronisms, is rife with vague descriptions ("rather nice," "rather attractive"--these say *nothing*), and has a heroine who is too stupid to live. Her motivation to stay in the house that has tried numerous times to kill her is "protecting the children." Hon, the children have outlived FOUR governesses. They don't need protecting.

Perhaps worst of all in a ghost story, he buries the scary stuff in the middle of huge long paragraphs and huge long sentences that just string together clause after clause until you feel kind of smothered and... oh wait, was that something creepy back there?

It's not awful, but it's persistently aggravating and tone-deaf, and a good editor could have made it five times better.

Oh, and the final twist, which is evidently obligatory in literary gothic fiction? Dumb. Illogical. Not scary. Just--no.


I had to look it up...good grief, the accolades make it sound as if this was written by the most literary of literaries.....still, I am now going to have to find it at work just to see HOW bad it is.....

Keep a pencil handy. I consider it sacrilege to write in books, but the only way I made it through this one was scribbling "IDIOT" and "srsly?" and a "rather" tally in the margins.

Perhaps my favorite anachronism is when the heroine is described as opening her dress to look at the ghostly damage infilcted on her stomach. It's 1867. She would have to open/remove her dress, unfasten and push down her crinoline and/or underpetticoat(s), remove/open her corset cover, remove her corset, and hike up her chemise before she could lay eyes on her stomach.

The thing is, there are some good bits there. But they aren't effective because of all of the things that get in their way.

melicious

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1902 on: April 05, 2014, 06:55:44 PM »
Just finished a book written completely in the second person.  I can see it was beautifully written.  Really, I can.  But the narrator sounds like a fool and the villains are unlikeable from the getgo because of the narration device...and since the "heroine" addresses the bad guys as "you" throughout, we don't know whether to believe her story at all.  And once we come to the ending......the heroine tells the bad guys what "will happen" to them....but we have no idea if what ultimately happened was because of the heroine's comments or not.

I really am angry I wasted time on this book.

Also, dear reviewers, if you are reviewing books clearly aimed at very young tweens and teens, could you PLEASE mention that there are graphic elements that some children might not be ready for?  Telling me the story is exciting and bold is very nice.  Telling me there are two or three graphic and violent scenes of forced scrabble would also help me decide if the book is appropriate for a young friend who is in the target age range but is still immature about such things as scrabble  (she becomes very embarrassed and doesn't finish books which contains those scenes).  Fortunately, I was told about the sequences ahead of time so I was able to warn her and she chose not to read the book.....but...seriously....you KNOW some tweens aren't ready for this, so MENTIONING it in a review would help.  None of us has time to read every recommended book and we rely on you to tell us.

The ONLY book I have ever read that used a second person narrator successfully was "Leaving Atlanta," a story from the POV of several children during the time of the Atlanta child murders.  The first section of the book is written from the point of view of a little girl, Tasha I think, and it's in third person.  The second part is shorter and written from the point of view of a little boy (Roderick?  I forget his name), and it's written in second person.  Finally, the third part, another longer section, is written from the point of view of a girl Octavia and is in first person.  I think that's the sequence (I might have it reversed).

It works, partly because it's not the *whole* book, partly because of the nature of the boy's part, and the author just does a stunning job.  The book itself is really well done.

That was written by Tayari Jones. She IS a fantastic writer. I told her as much on Twitter, and she thanked me!

AnnaJ

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1903 on: April 05, 2014, 08:14:28 PM »
Weird end-of-line hyphenation, especially on ebooks.  "Sellsword" should be hyphenated "sell-sword", not "sells-word."  "Freehold" should be "free-hold" not "fre-ehold."

A long time ago I was skim-reading a novel - not bad enough to stop but not good enough to spend a lot of time on - and got caught up in a weird end-of-line hyphenation, the word broke at the-rapist.  I stopped rather stunned and wondered how I had missed such a important event in the plot and who did it involve and why was it in a murder mystery...then my brain caught up and I realized it was therapist.  The up side is that I never misspell the word.

andi

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1904 on: April 05, 2014, 08:46:03 PM »
When you think you're downloading a whole e-book in a series, but it's really just a 50 page or so "backstory". I was very sad when I turned a page in book 4 to what I thoght was a new chapter, only to find it was the first page of the first book.