Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 255640 times)

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Fliss

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1875 on: March 21, 2014, 04:57:56 AM »

It's also why the Brits were so confused about the Australian Aboriginals. Here was an entire continent of black people that should have made great slaves by their thinking.

But they didn't. It confused them greatly.

For about 20 minutes.

Then someone shrugged and reached for their musket.
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1876 on: March 21, 2014, 09:13:56 AM »
A quotation  from Seneca, is apposite: Qui mori didicit servire dedidicit -- he who has learnt to die, has learnt how not to be a slave.  I came upon said quote, in one of the IMO splendid Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser: wherein Fraser's appalling and totally amoral, yet rather engaging, anti-hero Harry Flashman, gets involved against his will, in the by then illegal transatlantic slave trade. (Not that Flashman gives much of a dingdangity about the suffering of the victims -- he's primarily worried about how to extricate himself from the mess he's got into.)

Firecat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1877 on: March 21, 2014, 09:32:48 AM »
A quotation  from Seneca, is apposite: Qui mori didicit servire dedidicit -- he who has learnt to die, has learnt how not to be a slave.  I came upon said quote, in one of the IMO splendid Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser: wherein Fraser's appalling and totally amoral, yet rather engaging, anti-hero Harry Flashman, gets involved against his will, in the by then illegal transatlantic slave trade. (Not that Flashman gives much of a dingdangity about the suffering of the victims -- he's primarily worried about how to extricate himself from the mess he's got into.)

Isn't that what Flashman is pretty much always worried about  ;D?

Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1878 on: March 21, 2014, 10:26:18 AM »
Is it okay to just nominate a nonfiction author for his entire body of work?  I speak of Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, Mastery, The Art of Seduction and currently The Fiftieth Law.  The latter is written in conjunction with rapper 50 Cents.  The rapper was so impressed with The 48 Laws that he wanted to rewrite them for an urban, hip hop crowd.  Or something like that.

What I am going to say next I am saying as carefully as possible.    Every year we order at least ten copies of that book.  Then, about mid year, we order ten more and ten more after that.  (I just ordered three new copies of each book yesterday because all of ours are--once again--missing.)  I always wondered WHY anyone would steal a book based on Machiavelli's "The Prince," which was nothing but a satire of the leadership of the time.  (Or so I was taught in college).

Then I read an article on Greene and in the article it mentions that his books are praised to the skies by rappers, their record producers and many others inside the rap and hip hop business. 

Which explains why so many very young men without library cards keep asking for that book and why, sorry to say, so many of them probably keep leaving  "forgetting" to check the books out.   

Should it bother me as much as it does that so many young men (and women--my BOSS has a copy) read what was intended as satire as a way to make it to the top...by being manipulative, vicious, lying, and so forth?

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1879 on: March 21, 2014, 02:38:40 PM »
A quotation  from Seneca, is apposite: Qui mori didicit servire dedidicit -- he who has learnt to die, has learnt how not to be a slave.  I came upon said quote, in one of the IMO splendid Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser: wherein Fraser's appalling and totally amoral, yet rather engaging, anti-hero Harry Flashman, gets involved against his will, in the by then illegal transatlantic slave trade. (Not that Flashman gives much of a dingdangity about the suffering of the victims -- he's primarily worried about how to extricate himself from the mess he's got into.)

Isn't that what Flashman is pretty much always worried about  ;D?

For sure, he isn't Mr. Altruism -- in fact he behaves like a total louse toward other people, at least 95% of the time.  It's just hard for the reader, however, not to like him a little bit: with these his supposed memoirs rendered as brutally honest about himself -- and with his coming across as very bright, and highly perceptive and insightful in a cynical way, in commenting on political and social matters of his day.

Firecat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1880 on: March 21, 2014, 02:42:01 PM »
A quotation  from Seneca, is apposite: Qui mori didicit servire dedidicit -- he who has learnt to die, has learnt how not to be a slave.  I came upon said quote, in one of the IMO splendid Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser: wherein Fraser's appalling and totally amoral, yet rather engaging, anti-hero Harry Flashman, gets involved against his will, in the by then illegal transatlantic slave trade. (Not that Flashman gives much of a dingdangity about the suffering of the victims -- he's primarily worried about how to extricate himself from the mess he's got into.)

Isn't that what Flashman is pretty much always worried about  ;D?

For sure, he isn't Mr. Altruism -- in fact he behaves like a total louse toward other people, at least 95% of the time.  It's just hard for the reader, however, not to like him a little bit: with these his supposed memoirs rendered as brutally honest about himself -- and with his coming across as very bright, and highly perceptive and insightful in a cynical way, in commenting on political and social matters of his day.

Oh, I know - Flashman is actually pretty engaging, and he's not trying to fool himself into thinking he's better than he is.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1881 on: March 21, 2014, 02:43:07 PM »
Is it okay to just nominate a nonfiction author for his entire body of work?  I speak of Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, Mastery, The Art of Seduction and currently The Fiftieth Law.  The latter is written in conjunction with rapper 50 Cents.  The rapper was so impressed with The 48 Laws that he wanted to rewrite them for an urban, hip hop crowd.  Or something like that.

What I am going to say next I am saying as carefully as possible.    Every year we order at least ten copies of that book.  Then, about mid year, we order ten more and ten more after that.  (I just ordered three new copies of each book yesterday because all of ours are--once again--missing.)  I always wondered WHY anyone would steal a book based on Machiavelli's "The Prince," which was nothing but a satire of the leadership of the time.  (Or so I was taught in college).

Then I read an article on Greene and in the article it mentions that his books are praised to the skies by rappers, their record producers and many others inside the rap and hip hop business. 

Which explains why so many very young men without library cards keep asking for that book and why, sorry to say, so many of them probably keep leaving  "forgetting" to check the books out.   

Should it bother me as much as it does that so many young men (and women--my BOSS has a copy) read what was intended as satire as a way to make it to the top...by being manipulative, vicious, lying, and so forth?

It doesn't really surprise me, honestly. I've come across quite a few folks who seem unable to truly grasp the satire in a published work...or satire.  Or heck, even sarcasm.
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starry diadem

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1882 on: March 23, 2014, 04:05:22 AM »
I've just caught up on this and the Austen conversation had me grinning.  A couple of years ago I discovered Austen fanfic and it's been a source of endless amusement ever since. Don't get me wrong - I'm not decrying fanfic, since I write it myself, but the lack of any sort of research on the part of the writers ensures I spend most of my time either laughing or doing this:  :o

I dug out an LJ post I made at the time, some of which I reproduce here. Sorry for the length. Believe me, I cut this down by about half!  A few gems:

(a) Language was formal. It isn't easy to get the speech patterns and cadences right, but Darcy calls her his 'dearest, loveliest Elizabeth'. He would not call her  "baby", "sweetie" or (Diety help me) "sweet-pea".
 
(b) British towns and cities such as  London, which has grown up in a higgledy-piggledy fashion over the last two or three thousand years, are not laid out in blocks. Please take a look at any London street-map for visual proof.

(c) Sweet as it is for Mr Darcy to read his children bed-time stories, he really wouldn't be reading them Dickens. Jane wrote the first version of P&P in 1796, and it was published 17 years later, after revision, in 1813. If we take 1813 as the date of the novel's action, and allowing the Darcys a decade to produce their children so that he's reading the bedside tales in, say, 1823, then it would only be kind of him to have included the nine-year-old Charles Dickens in his audience.

(d) Elizabeth, taken to the Opera House by Mr Darcy would not be watching Puccini's La Boheme.  P&P is set in c1813,  La Boheme premiered in 1896.
 
(e) Divorce was not only really, really hard to get (almost impossible if you were a woman wanting to divorce her husband) and astronomically expensive – it involved a civil trial, an ecclesiastical trial and if either party ever wanted to marry again, an Act of ruddy Parliament – but it meant social ruin for both parties. It's not like today where you can pop down to the solicitors and file for a quick no-faulter. It just wasn't done. So even if Caroline Bingley persuades Darcy to divorce Elizabeth, the subsequent scandal would make him unmarriagable for years. Elizabeth would be unmarriageable for life.

But the real delights are the way that no one understands how the British aristocracy works (including a lot of Brits!) but a few tips there:
(a) You can't bequeath a title in your will. It's not quite the same as your second best watch. Lord X can't disinherit his son and pass the title on to someone else. He can pass on all the unentailed property, but the title and the entailed estates and property attached to it go to Lord X Junior, no matter how much you want him to leave the title to Mr Darcy.

(b) by all means have Elizabeth be the widow of William Cavendish, Fourth Earl of Saffron Walden but  her title would NOT be Lady Elizabeth Cavendish. She isn't the daughter of an earl, or marquess or duke. She would be Lady Saffron Walden. When William died childless (he was a cad so don't feel sorry for him) Elizabeth **cannot inherit his title**. She becomes the dowager Lady Saffron Walden when William’s heir (brother, nephew, cousin or whoever) inherits and marries. When she marries Mr Darcy, she loses the title and becomes, simply, Mrs Darcy.

(c) But the reverse holds true. If Lady Mary Cavendish marries Mr Smith, she doesn’t become Mrs Smith. She remains Lady Mary.

(d) Yes, it is true that most noblemen have several titles. A Duke will also probably own a marquessate and an earldom or two, a viscountcy and a few baronies. The full panoply of these titles will be listed on all official documents (wills, for example). But no, you can't arbitrarily call him or his wife by these lower titles – for one thing, his son will be using the next title down (as a courtesy) and his grandson the next one down from that. So please stop calling her the Duchess of X in one paragraph and Countess Y in the next when what you mean is the same woman. She's the Duchess. Full stop.

(e) Lady Lucas would sign her name as Lady Lucas, not as Lady Phyllis Lucas unless she is also the daughter of an earl, or marquess or duke as well as being wife to Sir William. But given that Sir William was a minor tradesman knighted for shop-keeping services, then she almost certainly wasn't. And if she had been, Miss Austen would have told us (the way she signalled that Lady Catherine was, and by extension, so was Mr Darcy's mother). And she would be unlikely to sign herself as Lady Lucas, much less Lady Phyllis Lucas, in a letter to her daughter. The Regency period was formal, but not so formal that Charlotte can't call her Mamma.


And you know, despite the things that make me laugh, I *still* love reading Austen fanfic!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 10:39:39 AM by starry diadem »
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Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1883 on: March 23, 2014, 12:40:57 PM »
(e) Divorce was not only really, really hard to get (almost impossible if you were a woman wanting to divorce her husband) and astronomically expensive – it involved a civil trial, an ecclesiastical trial and if either party ever wanted to marry again, an Act of ruddy Parliament – but it meant social ruin for both parties. It's not like today where you can pop down to the solicitors and file for a quick no-faulter. It just wasn't done. So even if Caroline Bingley persuades Darcy to divorce Elizabeth, the subsequent scandal would make him unmarriagable for years. Elizabeth would be unmarriageable for life.
And if a woman announced to her husband that she wanted a divorce, that action in and of itself proved that she was mentally unstable, and Husband would be perfectly justified in bundling her off to the insane asylum, or locking her in the attic, or confining her in some other way.  He would incur no social condemnation whatsoever for this; on the contrary, the neighbors would all pity him for being burdened with such a wife. 
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1884 on: March 26, 2014, 03:13:02 PM »
(c) Sweet as it is for Mr Darcy to read his children bed-time stories, he really wouldn't be reading them Dickens. Jane wrote the first version of P&P in 1796, and it was published 17 years later, after revision, in 1813. If we take 1813 as the date of the novel's action, and allowing the Darcys a decade to produce their children so that he's reading the bedside tales in, say, 1823, then it would only be kind of him to have included the nine-year-old Charles Dickens in his audience.

(d) Elizabeth, taken to the Opera House by Mr Darcy would not be watching Puccini's La Boheme.  P&P is set in c1813,  La Boheme premiered in 1896.
 

That is one of my bugaboos.  How hard is it to google Dickens and find out when he was born?

I have written of this one book before (and probably in this very thread) about the young lady who was waltzing to a Strauss waltz in colonial America, circa 1760. 
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Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1885 on: March 26, 2014, 03:28:22 PM »
Is it okay to just nominate a nonfiction author for his entire body of work?  I speak of Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, Mastery, The Art of Seduction and currently The Fiftieth Law.  The latter is written in conjunction with rapper 50 Cents.  The rapper was so impressed with The 48 Laws that he wanted to rewrite them for an urban, hip hop crowd.  Or something like that.

What I am going to say next I am saying as carefully as possible.    Every year we order at least ten copies of that book.  Then, about mid year, we order ten more and ten more after that.  (I just ordered three new copies of each book yesterday because all of ours are--once again--missing.)  I always wondered WHY anyone would steal a book based on Machiavelli's "The Prince," which was nothing but a satire of the leadership of the time.  (Or so I was taught in college).

Then I read an article on Greene and in the article it mentions that his books are praised to the skies by rappers, their record producers and many others inside the rap and hip hop business. 

Which explains why so many very young men without library cards keep asking for that book and why, sorry to say, so many of them probably keep leaving  "forgetting" to check the books out.   

Should it bother me as much as it does that so many young men (and women--my BOSS has a copy) read what was intended as satire as a way to make it to the top...by being manipulative, vicious, lying, and so forth?

Yes, it should bother you. But you're talking about a milieu that has already decided that amorality is the best way to live. I doubt the book will be the worst thing they come across.
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cass2591

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1886 on: March 26, 2014, 06:12:35 PM »
I am not aware of the book but stereotyping rappers as amoral is a gross generalization and the topic ends here because I don't want any "but what about..." examples of how bad rap is and how they're corrupting our youth.



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Yarnspinner

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1887 on: March 28, 2014, 10:23:51 AM »
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. 

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1888 on: March 28, 2014, 01:25:02 PM »
Speaking of POV, it used to annoy the snot outta me when I'd read a fanfiction that read like a choose your own adventure.  Since I usually read POTC fanfics I'll make up an example.

"You see him across the gangplank, swaggering towards the side of his ship, and you think "Ugh, how uncivilized and yet you can't help but finding him attractive."

Hated that form of storytelling.
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Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1889 on: April 03, 2014, 01:46:39 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."
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