Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 260252 times)

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Firecat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #285 on: February 08, 2013, 02:02:47 PM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

If the rest of the book were historically accurate, I might have believed that this family had Scandinavian ancestors or something.  But it was just so bad.

After writing this post last night, I was remembering even more about this book.  A major plot point is that another nobleman comes to Eric with the story that his daughter was kidnapped at the age of 4 by Spanish pirates.  She'd now be in her teens.  Can Eric please go to Spain to rescue her?  So Eric does, and he magically finds this girl, realizing that she must be the missing English girl, because she is blonde, and no blonde people live in Spain!  So he kidnaps her and brings her back to England.  Her name - given name by English parents in the 1500's - is Eden.

There also seemed a huge religious agenda -- with whole chapters being devoted to characters converting to the Orange religion and how righteous it was, while all Purple characters were portrayed as bad in every one-dimensional way.  Then at the end, with the author bio, you learn the author is a professor at an Orange religion university!  I remember thinking, if his goal was to convert people, it backfired, because all he did was show his own ignorance and lack of research.

I would normally stop reading such a bad book, but this was so bad, it was hilarious.  I've been trying to Google and can't even find the title (it was a print book someone had left at a free library) so it really must have been bad.

Re the bolded: So the author of this story had never looked at a portrait of Catherine of Aragon? Who, despite the way she is consistently portrayed in movies/TV was a blonde Spanish princess?? It wasn't uncommon among the nobility, since most of the royal families were related to each other, often several times over. (Really, it's no wonder some of them weren't very mentally sound, considering all the inbreeding....)

Please tell me if you ever figure out the title, because I want to avoid reading it.

Although the Elizabeth and Mary living in the same house thing is possible...barely...I believe there were at least a few times when one visited the other, but I don't think it was common until Mary became Queen and Elizabeth was periodically at court until being placed under house arrest until Mary's death. So it could have been sent during one of those visits, I suppose...but given the rest of it, I'm probably giving the author way too much credit.

kglory

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #286 on: February 08, 2013, 02:16:24 PM »
But third strike?  Said protagonists were named Eric and Heather.

I know nothing about the name "Heather", but what's wrong with "Eric"? Denmark had a king Erik back in the 13th century.

I could see Eric on a Scandinavian, but don't think it was common in England at that time period.

Piratelvr1121 - totally agree with you about Wideacre!  I read it after reading some of the royal books, and wow...."VC Andrews" is exactly right.

Fair enough. I assumed that it was - with the vikings and all - but will gladly admit to knowing nothing about it :)

If the rest of the book were historically accurate, I might have believed that this family had Scandinavian ancestors or something.  But it was just so bad.

After writing this post last night, I was remembering even more about this book.  A major plot point is that another nobleman comes to Eric with the story that his daughter was kidnapped at the age of 4 by Spanish pirates.  She'd now be in her teens.  Can Eric please go to Spain to rescue her?  So Eric does, and he magically finds this girl, realizing that she must be the missing English girl, because she is blonde, and no blonde people live in Spain!  So he kidnaps her and brings her back to England.  Her name - given name by English parents in the 1500's - is Eden.

There also seemed a huge religious agenda -- with whole chapters being devoted to characters converting to the Orange religion and how righteous it was, while all Purple characters were portrayed as bad in every one-dimensional way.  Then at the end, with the author bio, you learn the author is a professor at an Orange religion university!  I remember thinking, if his goal was to convert people, it backfired, because all he did was show his own ignorance and lack of research.

I would normally stop reading such a bad book, but this was so bad, it was hilarious.  I've been trying to Google and can't even find the title (it was a print book someone had left at a free library) so it really must have been bad.

Re the bolded: So the author of this story had never looked at a portrait of Catherine of Aragon? Who, despite the way she is consistently portrayed in movies/TV was a blonde Spanish princess?? It wasn't uncommon among the nobility, since most of the royal families were related to each other, often several times over. (Really, it's no wonder some of them weren't very mentally sound, considering all the inbreeding....)

Please tell me if you ever figure out the title, because I want to avoid reading it.

Although the Elizabeth and Mary living in the same house thing is possible...barely...I believe there were at least a few times when one visited the other, but I don't think it was common until Mary became Queen and Elizabeth was periodically at court until being placed under house arrest until Mary's death. So it could have been sent during one of those visits, I suppose...but given the rest of it, I'm probably giving the author way too much credit.

Yup, that was exactly my thought!  And Isabella of Castile, Catherine's mother:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_I_of_Castile 

Mary and Elizabeth living in the same house is nothing next to how ridiculous the rest of the book gets.

Now you have me curious to find this book.....

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #287 on: February 08, 2013, 02:36:20 PM »
Really? A professor wrote that?

Whether or not it helps sell his Orangeness, it certainly doesn't sell the institution he works for.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

snowflake

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #288 on: February 08, 2013, 03:27:52 PM »
I think that I once read a romance novel set in the 19th century with heroine called Jade. I don't know how commonly the word was actually used but in historical novels it seems to be a common term for disreputable woman which might prevent an aristocratic family from using it as their daughter's name.

I remember some Regency thing where the heroine's name was something like "Bailey"

The other thing about Regencys that drives me batty is that some authors take the Pride and Prejudice incomes of "Five thousand a year" (Bingley) and "Ten Thousand a year" (Darcy) as sort of a benchmark.  No, that is supposed to be a considerable amount!  I read a series where there were there were at least half-a-dozen heiresses that had over a hundred thousand pounds a year.  The worst part was that three of them were from the same family!  It was implied that their brother was getting the whole shebang and their thousands came from the leftover cash that was just lying around.

I was too lazy to research that, but I was pretty sure the author had just ascribed the entire British Gross National Product for 1815 to one Earl's family.  Not to mention that said family was landed gentry who just sort of hung out on the land and never dabbled in trade or thought of anything other than ribbons.

There was also one woman who was not rich because her parents had been spendthrifts and it was up to she and her brother to pay back tens of thousands of pounds so they didn't bankrupt the property.  She does so by going to London for a season and having fewer dresses than anyone else.  So in other words, she saves what has to be hundreds of pounds per year instead of forgoing the Season altogether and say, NOT hiring a household full of staff, keeping an extra carriage and horses, and other expenses that are associated with keeping up two households.  (Her brother stayed in the country to manage the estate.)  I mean, that's crazy expensive today even if you don't have staff!  Of course this woman ends up with the Earl who is worth billions (after she bravely sacrifices a few dresses to pay back insurmountable debt.)

The thing is, this silliness would have been fine if the story had been good.  It wasn't a bad romance, but the author made a big deal about how tiny and frail the heroines were and how massive the heroes were.  The heroes towered over six-foot men and hand arms twice the size of others' legs.  There are several scenes where the heroine barely touches his mid-chest with the top of her head.  It made the inevitable spats and physical overpowering sound more domestic-violence than swoon-worthy.  Also, during the Scrabble scenes (all missionary) I could not breathe in sheer empathy.

I think the writer who asked me to read this eventually got it published.  I didn't read it in the published format, but I was hoping her editor at least made her switch the positions around for Scrabble.

amandaelizabeth

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #289 on: February 08, 2013, 04:07:25 PM »
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it. 

violinp

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #290 on: February 08, 2013, 04:14:10 PM »
I despise it when books make their supposedly "normal" characters into some kind of superhuman. I don't anyone who can, each and every night, go to bed at 1:00AM, get up at 4:00AM, drink a cup of coffee and be perfectly okay to face the day and fight crime.

I can go to bed at 3:00 A.M. and force myself to get up at 7:30 if I need to. However, I can't do that every day, or I'd be a raving lunatic.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Firecat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #291 on: February 08, 2013, 04:44:30 PM »
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.

Taffy?? Wow.

It is true, though, that unusual names aren't just a recent thing. Look at some of the things the Puritans named their kids, for example. After that, Taffy actually seems pretty normal...but not for Regency England...

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #292 on: February 08, 2013, 04:48:09 PM »
As a nickname, it might just be possible, if not documented.

On the other hand, Taffy being a common name for a Welshman (from Dafydd), it would have a pejorative ring for an aristocratic Englishwoman that would mean it would likely be used only by one's closest intimates.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #293 on: February 08, 2013, 05:01:32 PM »
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.

Taffy?? Wow.

It is true, though, that unusual names aren't just a recent thing. Look at some of the things the Puritans named their kids, for example. After that, Taffy actually seems pretty normal...but not for Regency England...

This  :)  It's sometimes hard to find a balance somewhere between "hard to remember" and "overdone" without stretching plausibility about baby naming quite a bit.  For a long time, over 80% of baby boys born in England shared the same five names - sometimes in the same family.  You might have a William, Will, Bill, and a Billy all actually be named "William."  Anything other than William/John/Charles/James/George was somewhat uncommon among the elite and REALLY uncommon among the masses.  When you're writing a story and you want a dashing hero you can't call him "Billy," though, so you stretch a bit.

Case in point: the heroine in my story has a rather puritanical father, so I wanted her named after one of the virtues.  "Hope" and "Chastity" and such didn't fit her personality, though, so I finally settled on her having been named "Perseverance" and deciding to go by "Vera" once she ran away from home.  "Vera" wasn't a common name in Victorian times - although it wasn't totally unheard-of - but it was pretty common to name girls after even the hard-to-pronounce virtues and I'm hoping readers will let me get away with it  ;D

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #294 on: February 08, 2013, 05:15:49 PM »
When my grandfather was a young, a common entertainment was a talent show at the local church.

One show, several girls did a skit about how they were being courted by the most charming man. One's beau was Willy; the other was Will; one was Bill, and so on. Gradually, they realized they were all seeing the same man.

Apparently, my grandfather William slunk out of church that day.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

AtraBecca

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #295 on: February 08, 2013, 05:45:57 PM »
I just hate it when someone gets something painfully wrong... David Eddings lost my respect for that scene where Ce'Nedra almost drowned and Belgarion just pushed her back to get her breathing. Sorry, it doesn't work like that...

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #296 on: February 08, 2013, 05:46:01 PM »
I read two books of a Philippa Gregory series a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to read a third.  It was the Wideacre series and it read like V.C. Andrews doing historical fiction.

I've noticed her books are kind of hit or miss.  I liked "The Other Boleyn Girl" (hated the movie) and "The Queen's Fool" but there was another one I almost gave up on...I think it was "The Wise Woman".
The Other Boleyn Girl was irritating to me, because she supposed that Mary was younger than Anne. It didn't fit well for me, and I've never read a historical work that even questioned that Mary was the older sister.

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #297 on: February 08, 2013, 05:50:52 PM »
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.
I did..just for the occasion when I need a good long laugh.  ::)

Venus193

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #298 on: February 08, 2013, 07:49:36 PM »
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.
I did..just for the occasion when I need a good long laugh.  ::)

Nicknames like that would be a huge turn-off for me if it were a modern story let alone a Regency.

mbbored

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #299 on: February 08, 2013, 08:41:30 PM »
Just appeared on my free ebook list.  A regency romance where the heroine is called Taffeta - Taffy for short.  I will not be downloading it.

I kind of want to read it for it's potential for sheer awfulness. Mind sharing the source?