Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 238551 times)

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faithlessone

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #765 on: April 25, 2013, 07:10:55 AM »

Somebody earlier mentioned writers of book jackets who obviously didn't read the book - I read one earlier this year where the blurb got the name of the main character wrong. Should have taken it as a sign - it was a horrible book through and through.

And one of my favorite books as a kid had the main character's name spelled incorrectly. Still a good book.

How can a name be spelled incorrectly? I know four ways to spell "Karen" and five ways to spell "Eric", three ways to spell " Smith" and two ways to spell my last name, for instances. The common last syllable "-son" has three ways that I have seen used.

Unless it was inconsistent, it can't be wrong.


I think Iridaceae meant that whoever wrote the blurb on the book cover spelt the name wrong. Like "Lucy" from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe being spelt "Lucie". Not a misspelling in general, but a specific misspelling to this book.

MariaE

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #766 on: April 25, 2013, 07:17:08 AM »

Somebody earlier mentioned writers of book jackets who obviously didn't read the book - I read one earlier this year where the blurb got the name of the main character wrong. Should have taken it as a sign - it was a horrible book through and through.

And one of my favorite books as a kid had the main character's name spelled incorrectly. Still a good book.

How can a name be spelled incorrectly? I know four ways to spell "Karen" and five ways to spell "Eric", three ways to spell " Smith" and two ways to spell my last name, for instances. The common last syllable "-son" has three ways that I have seen used.

Unless it was inconsistent, it can't be wrong.


I think Iridaceae meant that whoever wrote the blurb on the book cover spelt the name wrong. Like "Lucy" from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe being spelt "Lucie". Not a misspelling in general, but a specific misspelling to this book.

That's how I took it as well. Or in my case "Walt" from Border Wedding was called "Will" on the dust jacket.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 08:09:26 AM by MariaE »
 
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Luci

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #767 on: April 25, 2013, 07:29:07 AM »
Aha! Dust jacket! Got it. Thanks.

Venus193

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #768 on: April 25, 2013, 08:25:25 AM »
Rereading "the great Gatsby" made me shake my head and go "what were they thinking?" - especially after seeing the preview for the new movie, the s*xual overtones and tension and illegal drinking and greed.  Who thoght that was good material for high school kids?

So true.  There is a great article titled "How Classics Create An Aliterate Society" (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/821305?uid=3739520&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102093246251) about teachers assigning the books they love that teens dislike/hate.

Based on that preview, the author of that article was a truly sad case.  He obviously didn't have teachers who could make the books accessible to kids whose minds were probably not open to them in the first place.  The Scarlet Letter -- or any of the other books mentioned -- can be a great beginning to discussions of morality, history, and how people relate to each other.

I'd better not say any more because I don't want this thread to be locked.


Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #769 on: April 25, 2013, 02:04:43 PM »
I read the free preview, and I must say I wasn't impressed with the article. The grump of "what do I have in common with X protagonist?" always strikes me as the plaint of the person with little imagination. If I read only about people I had obvious things in common with, I would have a lot of free shelf space. No scifi or fantasy, no historical fiction, nothing from cultures other than North American. So boring.
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Allyson

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #770 on: April 25, 2013, 02:15:02 PM »
Twik, I agree with you. I am starting to hate the term 'identify with' when talking about characters, as well. But then, I tend to like books with flawed characters who sometimes make bad decisions, so long as that's acknowledged by the text. I don't need to read solely about characters who would do exactly what I would. Sure, it's nice sometimes to read a book and see a moment where you think 'oh, yes, I have felt that way' but for me it's just as cool to read about a character who reacts in ways I never would. So long as the character makes sense (as in is consistent, not is logical) and is entertaining, that's much more important than them being somehow 'like me'.

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #771 on: April 25, 2013, 02:26:41 PM »
Ironically, the author starts off by assailing teachers who enjoy classical literature that they do not understand students "who are not like you".

I agree, of course, that many teachers and programs aren't good at spreading the joy of reading. I remember one of my classmates starting an interesting debate in Grade 10 about whether we should just be allowed to read the books on the curriculum, rather than studying them, which she felt was like taking their sad corpses and slowly dissecting them. But goodness, how can anyone who claims interest in the human condition not see Lear as relevant to today's toxic families? Or the Scarlet Letter as relevant to sexual morality and hypocrisy?

(On the other hand, all I got out of A Separate Peace was to be careful when climbing trees.)
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."

lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #772 on: April 25, 2013, 02:41:04 PM »
Twik, I agree with you. I am starting to hate the term 'identify with' when talking about characters, as well. But then, I tend to like books with flawed characters who sometimes make bad decisions, so long as that's acknowledged by the text. I don't need to read solely about characters who would do exactly what I would. Sure, it's nice sometimes to read a book and see a moment where you think 'oh, yes, I have felt that way' but for me it's just as cool to read about a character who reacts in ways I never would. So long as the character makes sense (as in is consistent, not is logical) and is entertaining, that's much more important than them being somehow 'like me'.

If the characters did exactly what I would, they would have made plenty of bad decisions! >:D

snowflake

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #773 on: April 25, 2013, 02:51:58 PM »
I'm not sure I agree with his reasoning that his high school education prepared him to be aliterate.  He is very upfront about the fact that he wasn't exposed much to reading in his home life.  I'd say that technically, his low-literacy household made him unable to read the Scarlet Letter.  He didn't see his parents reading or interacting with books, he was not exposed to materials that would have assisted his literacy skills.  Hence, he didn't know what to do when he was suddenly expected to stretch said skills.

I'm not saying the teachers couldn't have helped there.  They could have.  But I wouldn't suggest that we expunge algebra from our High Schools or even replace it with every-day financial accounting just because there are too many sucky elementary math curricula and parents are bad at modeling successful mathematical skills. 

I have fostered kids who came from houses where there were no books.  So I can tell you that there is a HUGE change in how they interact with books after being in a high-literacy culture.  It doesn't erase dyslexia or early developmental delays.  There is just a fundamental change in how they view the whole act of literacy.

While I rag on my parents sometimes, they did push literacy.  They pushed me to explore my interests at the library, I had child's versions of Poe, Ivanhoe, Kipling, etc. from an early age.  I loved discovering new words in Shakespeare and used them gleefully when i was 12.  I thought romantic literature (like the Scarlet Letter) as a teenager because I thought that the overblown language was "so real." (Hey, most romantic music/literature is just what life is like with raging hormones and puberty!  Am I right?)

That's not to say I didn't hate a whole lot of books in English Class.  I despised All the King's Men and really wanted Joyce to get over himself.  But reading something that you hate and that is nearly inaccessible turned out to be a great life skill for me.  In my current job I have to understand and work with lots of horrible communicators.  (They use correct grammar and spelling, but they CANNOT communicate.  Yeah, thanks James Joyce!)  So while I'd agree that it's important that kids have a healthy mix of accessible and enjoyable books, I don't think it's awful to have to read stuff you despise now and then.
 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #774 on: April 25, 2013, 02:58:31 PM »
I don't travel anywhere without a book.  I can't fall asleep without reading at least for a few minutes.  I was staying the night at a friend's place and realized, with horror, that I'd forgotten to bring my book.  So I went looking on the shelves in the room I was in and on the shelves in the office.  I ended up reading a cookbook.

As an avid reader, it is really hard to wrap my head around.
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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #775 on: April 25, 2013, 03:13:15 PM »
I remember babysitting as a teen once. When I'd got the kids to bed, I went looking for a book to read, since the TV programming was looking dire, and I'd not brought one of my own.

There were none. In the entire house (at least, the parts baby-sitters could politely access, such as the living room) there were no books, other than a phone book, and the tv guide. To me, brought up in a house full of books, that was as strange as if there were no chairs, or no plates. I think it was the first time I realized that some people just don't read.
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."

Dr. F.

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #776 on: April 25, 2013, 03:22:48 PM »
I'm an avid reader - always have been. I also hated some of the "classics" we were forced to read. The Scarlet Letter?  bleh. Dull. The Old Man and the Sea? Shoot me now. I also ran into classics I loved and continue to love - Dickens, Shakespeare, etc.

However, the WORST books I was forced to read were the ones I was supposed to be able to "relate" to, what would be called YA these days. Man, they were bad. Condescending, formulaic, an exhibition of stereotypes rather than actual characterization. I'd much rather have read more Victoriana than that.

Note: Not knocking YA lit in general at all. I was in school before it blossomed, and the choices we were forced to read were really, really awful.

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #777 on: April 25, 2013, 03:53:18 PM »
I concluded, after high school, that in modern literature, a book had a good chance of being called a classic if the protagonist ended up in a mental hospital - or at least should have.
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."

rose red

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #778 on: April 25, 2013, 04:02:49 PM »
I remember babysitting as a teen once. When I'd got the kids to bed, I went looking for a book to read, since the TV programming was looking dire, and I'd not brought one of my own.

There were none. In the entire house (at least, the parts baby-sitters could politely access, such as the living room) there were no books, other than a phone book, and the tv guide. To me, brought up in a house full of books, that was as strange as if there were no chairs, or no plates. I think it was the first time I realized that some people just don't read.

At least they have a tv guide.  A friend of the family has no reading material in their home.  No books, magazines, newspaper, etc.  As a reader, it felt really weird and off-balance to me.  This was before internet and e-readers so it's not about living a paperless life.

snowflake

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #779 on: April 25, 2013, 04:13:13 PM »
I concluded, after high school, that in modern literature, a book had a good chance of being called a classic if the protagonist ended up in a mental hospital - or at least should have.

LIKE!!!!

The one "classic" that was assigned to be cool and relevant was Catcher in the Rye.  Hated it.  Hated, hated, hated, hated it.  It didn't help that I read it right after a period where my mother should have been institutionalized and put on meds but wasn't.  To me it went into the pile of songs/books/media that was, "I'm mentally ill!  Look at how cute and eccentric I am!"  I ended up cussing at Holden saying, "You think this is CUTE??? Come live in my house and you can be deep and isolated with my mom and get her off my back!"  (In full disclosure, I had the same reaction to They Might Be Giants and some other nonsense songs of the early 90s.  So I was a little oversensitive on the issue.)

And to think I was horrified when I babysat for a family that had one bookshelf.  There were five shelves in the unit.  Half of one shelf was children's books, half of another was Chicken Soup and Erma Bombeck, and the rest was stacked with old bills.  I nearly fainted from horror.