Do You Remember….

No- I’m not going to go into the lyrics of that Earth, Wind and Fire song. And some of you are probably smiling in recognition, and others are going “What’s Earth, Wind and Fire?” What I am going to talk about is: how much do we remember from the books that we read.

Never Not Reading proposed this question yesterday: After you’ve finished a book, have you forgotten the title character’s name? A few days ago, when we were all watching Jeopardy, there was a question; “Who was Templeton in Charlotte’s Web?” Now, I’ve read that book multiple times- I read it with my daughter when she was younger. But I couldn’t remember which character was Templeton. Rat- for those of you scratching your heads….

So how good is my memory towards what I read?

I routinely forget the authors. I will tell someone that I really liked a book, and then I will stumble for the authors name. So I guess this means I really don’t care if the author is male or female. But really, how bad is it that I can be amidst a book, and have absolutely no recollection of who wrote it?

Some of my blogger friends post the What did you finish, what are you reading, and what are you about to read. Yeah- I may have finished a book yesterday, but I find myself going into Goodreads or my nook to see what it was.

Is it an age thing?

Do I read too many books?

Outside of the title and author (like they count for anything) do you remember the contents of a book? I have book club this coming Tuesday. I finished the book about ten days ago (“The Guest Book” Sarah Blake- ha- didn’t even need to look that up) but I’m going to have to glance over it before I go to club, because honestly- not quite sure I remember the small strokes, or frankly, the big strokes…other then I thought it was average. That part I do remember: very average.

I’ve read 29 books this year. While a few stand out, it’s the books on opposite ends of the spectrum. I remember the books I loved, and I remember the books I hated. The ones in the middle- well- they’re kind of lost in my mind. I sort of, kind of remember the plot, but details…don’t even think about quizzing me.

I know when my daughter is reading something for school, she takes copious notes. Her books are filled with post it notes, and they’ve been taught the Cornell system for remembering things from books. Her school often requires the students to buy certain texts so that they can write notes in the margins and highlight. (Hence why Rebecca is floating around my house) So clearly, even when clinically reading a text, we still need reminders as to what’s important, who people are, what are the clues tossed in along the way…

So, I guess what I’m asking you today is: Do you remember the details from books? Do you think it’s important to remember things from books? What are the parameters? Are some books just more forgettable than others? And why can some people pull a quote out from thin air? Do you just memorize a few all purpose quotes?

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So Bad…

I love bad reviews. I don’t mean reviews that are written poorly, I mean reviews where the author really goes crazy about why they don’t like something. Nothing amuses me more than seeing someone skewer something.

What is wrong with me?

OK- here’s the thing. I try to be a positive person, and I know that if someone really hated my work, I would be crushed. So why do I take delight in reading and liking bad reviews?

Because they are more descriptive. Simple as that.

When someone likes something, they tend to say it’s good, or it’s nice, or some other meaningless adjective. Have you ever watched “Food Network Star”? Essentially it’s a reality show where a bunch of people do weekly demos in hopes of landing their own show on FoodNetwork. The mentors (most recently Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentis) have the most trouble with contestants when they are trying to describe the food they are tasting. People always revert back to yummy and tasty. OK- while that means they like it, it doesn’t show why they like it. Those are bland words: I want exciting words. I want words that conjure images, make me feel like I’m tasting the food. Well, it’s the same thing when you are reviewing books or movies. I don’t want to hear that it’s “so good”. I want to here the details.

It’s all in the details my friends.

For some reason, when something is bad, we’re able to describe the badness better. I know I do: the few times I’ve critiqued a book, I’ve had no problem explaining why I hated it, or what didn’t make sense, or whatever. The bad things stick out. Good things don’t often stick out. I can be funny (kind of, sort of) when reviewing something I don’t like- I am much better at articulating the reasons why I don’t like something.

I notice it in my book club too. When we all like a book (which is admittedly rare) the discussion is boring: we all have the same favorite scene, we think the author did most things well, blah blah are you asleep yet blah. But when it’s 50/50, and half hate and half love- well- off we go with the discussion, the argument, the fun of discussing a book. And when we all hate a book? Well, that’s discussion gold!!

So what is it about hating something that makes it so much easier to discuss? Why do people have trouble with describing why we like something? Why do we revert back to “I don’t know why, I just do?”

So, hoping at least half of you did not like this post:

Discuss…

 

Who’s Your Hero?

I was reading a book review from Jessica the other day. She wrote an aside that she realized that she tends to read female protagonists. So  it got me thinking: do I read more male or female leads in books?

I’m going to go into my Nook (no Kindle here…) history for this calendar year and give you a quick count. Take 30 seconds to think about your own habits as  you imagine me counting.

Male- 8

Female- 12

Neither/Both- 8

So it would appear by my standards that I am really all over the place. I have no clear favorite, but really base my interest in a book based on the story itself. Hmmm. I’m actually surprised, because I thought for sure that I would have been leaning totally towards the female protagonist. When Jessica posed the question, my brain was screaming “Female Protagonist. Girl rule boys Drool. Of course I love female leads.” I made an assumption that because I identify as a woman, that my books would identify that as well.

Hmmmm

So let’s drill down on the numbers. My favorite book that I read this year was Amor Towles “A Gentleman in Moscow”. I mean, gentleman is in the title, so you know you’re getting a male protagonist. But it didn’t matter. Book was elegant and intelligent and I just loved going page to page reading about the life of this gentleman.

My second favorite book this year was “Daisy Jones and the Six”. I know- woman in the title, but no….the book looks at things from the perspective of different people. So yes- we hear from Daisy, but we also here from other people. There is neither an overriding masculine or feminine tone to this book: it’s just a fun, interesting read where the voices of multiple characters are sharp and clear.

After looking at my list, I do realize that when I just want to be entertained, I almost always go for female leads. There are times when I don’t want to think: I want to sit under a blanket with a mug of tea and read, and these times are female protagonist time. I want to relate on that level, I want a character like me, or like my friends. My binge books lean towards females. I’m going to bet that the majority of my summer list will contain female leads.

What about authors? Male or female? I’m counting…

20 female

7 male

It would appear that I do tend to gravitate towards female authors.

So maybe I like books that are written from the perspective of a woman, no matter what sex their main characters identify as? Maybe women write the types of stories that I want to read? Maybe women write better dialogue and I am a dialogue girl?

Who knows.

But now that the question is out there on the table, you know I’m going to overthink this too. You know I’m going to be looking at the books I read/choose and asking myself the male/female question. Is the sex of the author important when choosing a book? Is the sex of the main character important? Do I choose books based on either criteria?

So now I’m throwing it out to all of you: answer any or all of the questions that I too am pondering. But basically, how does the sex of the author or sex of the main characters affect your reading habits?

Discuss

 

Plot, Characters, Setting Oh My

TJ and I have been tossing on and off about book reviews, how you should do them and what does it mean. Shalini talked about how one bad aspect of a book can really screw you up (actually I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I totally remember my light bulb moment after I read it, so there you go…) Therefore, if you like my blog today, thank me: if you don’t, blame them…

What’s the most important aspect of a book?

Does one aspect of a book matter more?

I’ve been seriously pondering both of these questions lately. What makes a book good or bad? What makes you like a book or hate it? Can you like a bad book?

I know- threw a lot out there at you on a Monday morning. So I’m going to think about these questions from the viewpoint of the book I finished over the weekend, “Star-Crossed” by Minnie Darke. There will be spoilers, but it’s a romantic comedy, so, really.

Predictability: Ok- since I led into this, this book is pretty straightforward in that you know what’s going to happen. You may not know the details along the way, but you know exactly what the arc of this story is going to be- you can almost guess the pages of the climax and the final reveal. Does this make the book bad? Many people critique a book saying it was cliché, and therefore worthy of a lousy review. should a book be dinged because it’s predictable? Well, that depends. In this case no, because of its genre. When I picked up the book I wanted a light, easy, fun read. It’s a romantic comedy: when you decide to read one, you’re pretty much signing on for predicable: do you really want to read a rom com where the two main characters don’t end up together in the end? So yes, predictable, but I expected it. Not dinging this book for that. But another genre of book? I don’t want it to be a pat and scripted journey.

So: how important is predictability? Depends on the genre.

Plot. This kind of goes in hand with predictability. And it also depends on genre. The plot of the book I discussed was straightforward, but again- rom com. It’s supposed to be that way. But, in this case, the little details that filled in the blanks were good: I thought how the author got where she was going was interesting and fun. Our female protagonist is a low level (but rising) employee at a monthly magazine. She has a think for a guy who truly believes in horoscopes, so when she is entering the horoscope copy for layout, she sort of tweaks it so that maybe it will lead him to her. Clever, right? And along the way, we see how she has changed the patterns of other lives because of her false predictions. Even though the story was totally predictable, I enjoyed the ride the author took us on. It was light and easy and fun.

Characters. Do you need to like the characters? This is something I think about often. I know many people will stop reading a book, or ding it badly if they do not like the main character. Is this fair? Again- I think it depends on genre. In the book I’m using as an example, I think you must love, or really like, the two main characters. But other books? I liked “Gone Girl” even though I hated both the main characters. But they intrigued me: sometimes that’s all the hook you need.

Setting/description. How much do you need? How much is important? Ok- I do not like overly descriptive work. When someone gives me a laundry list of the designed names in a closet, and gives me intricate detail of clothing, I am starting to fall asleep. I don’t need to know everything on their kitchen counter, or every objet d’art on their shelves. I want to know the general style, the general upkeep and the colors: that’s what I need to give me a sense of the person. I need the details to be organic. I don’t like laundry lists and I don’t like details that do not matter to the story. But…I know many people who love all those details. I also think that description is a stylistic choice: some genres and stories beg for more description, others need to be sparse. In my rom com of choice, I thought the author gave us just enough so that we got the essence of the characters and where they were in life without burdening us down with minutia.

So if I were to rate “Star-Crossed” I would give it a 3.75. Though I liked all the basic elements, and the plot line was original, some of the hijinks were a little too forced. Some of the main characters traits were a little too cute. But, as far as light, summer rom com it was perfectly fine. I think genre really matters when discussing/reviewing a book: my expectations clearly change dependent upon the type of work I’m looking at. I’m currently reading “Rebecca”: there is no way I would judge it as I judge “Star-Crossed”. First big thought of the week: genre matters, and the guidelines for reviewing/discussing should be different per genre.

I think these are the most important aspects of a book, but I’m going to be playing with all things books and reading this week. If I missed something important today, I’ll more than likely hit on it at some point.

 

Read Me?

I read a blog the other day, a blogger I did not know. I was intrigued by the post because of a reference to Doris Day, who died a few weeks ago. I liked the post.

Fine.

This is what bloggers do: they read posts and like it if they find it interesting, or just to say- hey- I was here. No creeping.

Well, the next day or so, the blogger read my post (and you know my posts this week were about the spectacle called social media) so the blogger commented “Did you actually read my post?”

We all know this is a valid question. We all have the questionable likes. As told this week, the “like” is considered “important”, as is the “follow”.  The other day I had someone “like” about forty posts in 10 seconds. Wow. Speed reading record.

We also know that blogging is a game. I know some people are deeply offended when someone likes the post without reading it. I take it with a grain of salt: blogging is a microcosm of life. The same behavior I see on the mean streets of NYC are the same behaviors I see in blogworld. Maybe I’ve just become too accustomed to people just doing what gets them through the day.

But do I read every blog that I like?

The short answer is: Yes.

The long answer is more complicated.

I love books and cooking and organizing. Therefore I follow bloggers who write about these things. Do I read every word of a book review closely? No. I look at the star rating: the lower the star rating the more likely I am to read the review. I’m not a disaster queen: I find it’s very valuable to know the why as to why someone doesn’t like a book. People are usually more clear as to why they DO NOT like something. They have concrete reasons. When they like something, the reviews are more “It’s got a good beat. I can dance to it. I give it an 85.” I also like to comment on books that I’ve read- you know I’ll do anything to engage in a book discussion…

Recipes. I skim recipes. I like to cook and have a folder full of recipes on my TBC, but I skim recipes because sometimes there’s a new technique that I never thought about. Someone wrote about making pizza last night and they suggested leaving the dough out for a few hours before making. I only leave the dough out twenty minutes. Hmmmm. And sometimes people try things with food that is just so intriguing my brain goes into overdrive. (You guys all know that I’ll be having a discussion with someone in blogverse and the next thing you know I’m planning out a weeks worth of blogs- Like yesterday with Shalini and Jessica- it’s the same thought process)

Organizing tips and ideas. I skim these because it’s mainly been there, done that. I look for something that I haven’t tried, read before or thought of. But who am I kidding: organizing books and such are my porn.

If a blog is five thousand words, I’m probably skimming it. Even though as Earthwalking states that the average reader only reads 178 words, I’m usually good for 500-1000.

Speaking of Earthwalking, I read most of his posts twice this week. He’s on a roll with some deep thought and such, and his ideas are so profound I need to really look at it to get on his page. Great stuff.

I also admit that I often read while on mass transit, or when I am physically online at the market or such. These are times when you might not see a comment from me, or a really really badly worded one because I can’t type in those situations. I have learned to “Save” a post I want to comment on. FYI- best WordPress addition is the Save option. How deep is my reading on the fly? Depends on the post. The other day I was on line at Whole Foods and one of my blogger buddies wrote about her boyfriend cheating on her. I was in deep because the blog was so poignant and heartbreaking.

I read posts in reader, or I have been getting them in my notification field. I rarely open up the blog itself. I don’t get all the “blog stuff” that incorporates many websites. I like to read quickly and cleanly.

I do try to set aside blog reading time. I will set up an block of time strictly for reading blogs and drinking tea. I often eat breakfast or lunch at the same time. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to read. I catch up if I can, but often just can’t. That’s life. We do the best we can with what we have.

Do I remember every blog?

No.

Yes.

Here’s the thing: I actually have a decent memory, and I remember much of what I read. (makes me a great trivia partner) I just can’t always place what I know to where it came from. Sometimes I’ll get an idea from something I read, and I can’t remember what the source was. That’s the problem with reading so many varied things- they get jumbled. And I’m an analyzer: my brain takes in data, and then ideas spew out: ideas that are often only vaguely resembling the source material. I wish I knew a better way for my brain to catalogue info, but there you have it: even my brain has its limits.

So there you have it.

What are your blog reading habits?

The Bookclubs

As you may know, I belong to two book clubs: one in my building that meets monthly, and one with my tea club that meets five times a year. You also know that I set a yearly reading goal of fifty books, so my aim is to finish one book a week. We can assume that I love to read, and I love to discuss books that I’ve read

Recently I found out that two lower Manhattan book stores hold book clubs once a month.

Can you see the lightbulb flashing?

I’m considering joining these two book clubs.

One of them meets at my local Barnes and Noble and reads new and hyped books. The May selection is “Lost Roses” by the same woman who wrote “Lilac Girls”. What do I think about the book? Well, that’s a secret I’m going to share at my first book club meeting…

The other book club is at an smaller more eclectic book shop. They focus on literature in translation, and the first book is a biography about some French person. I’m fifty/fifty as to whether I start out with this book this month.

Why am I considering joining two new book clubs?

Well, that’s easy: I know I need to fill up some of my evenings. Empty nest=empty evenings. And while I do chill to a certain extent, in the beginning it will be hard to adjust to not having my daughter in the apartment. I’ve gotten used to be asked to review an essay or quiz her on something- this has been my life for twelve years- assistant to the student. At 11, I usually sit in her room with her for a few minutes. We both sip tea and discuss our day that just passed, or out day coming up. This has become our ritual. And I know come August 23, it will abruptly end. Many of my rituals will end.

The thought of not having a routine is unsettling.

I am the Queen of routine. I have routines and patterns and spreadsheets for literally everything. I need to start integrating my new routine into place before she leaves…I need to integrate in many new routines.

Can you feel me hyperventilating?

Breath. Focus. Logic.

The problem with my book clubs is that they happen to meet on consecutive evenings: first Monday of the month for one, the first Tuesday of the month for the other. Do I want to have book clubs back to back? Can I walk into one of them and ask them to change the date? No? Yeah- I guess that’s taking control to a whole new level…

The other problem is that I don’t love certain genres. I’m OK with the club that reads the hyped books: I’m probably reading them on my own anyway. But the other? I have no idea if it’s going to be a bunch on non fiction. I don’t love discussing non fiction books in book club. I mean, what do you say? She shouldn’t have done that with her life? What can you actually discuss about a biography other than reiterate what the author said in the book…And again, I can’t dictate what this club should read…

And finally- if I belong to all these book clubs, will I have time to read the books that I just want to read for my pleasure? I realize that I will have more time, but… Do I want to make my yearly reading goal 75 books?

Now I get that book clubs are just a way to hide behind the loneliness that I will experience, but we all need something to hide behind for a little while, until we get out feet back on the ground. And a book club is relatively inexpensive, and not exactly bad for you. I’m already addicted to books as it is. What’s a few more?

Jo, Meg, Beth or Amy

Last week I gave you assignment: read “Little Women”.  So now that we’re up to speed…

Ok- I really didn’t expect the six of you who haven’t read the book to go out and get a copy…but for all of us who have read it, I noticed a common theme.  Whether it was my book club or the blogverse, every woman who reads LW identifies with one of the four main characters, Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy. I think this is what makes the book universally appealing, to see your traits show up as one of the March sisters. So today, I want to know how you define the characters, and which character you think you are. (I know some were pondering this question last week)

I looked up SparkNotes to get some ideas for character description.

Meg: Oldest daughter.  Responsible. Kind. Mothers her younger sisters. Small weakness for luxury and leisure. Gentle.  Loving. Morally vigorous

Jo: Wants to be a writer. Temper. Quick tongue. Tomboy. Doesn’t like limits placed on girls and women. Hates romance. Strong willed. Impetuous.

Beth: Very quiet.  Very virtuous. Tries to please others. Musical. Sweet. Moral compass.

Amy: Youngest daughter. Artist. Adores beauty.  Materialistic. Pouter. Whiner. Can have temper. Vain.

When I first read the book a hundred years ago, I thought if myself as Beth.  But more the shy quiet Beth as opposed to the virtuous part.  I guess this is how I would define my younger self: quiet, out of the way, wanting to please others.  Thank gosh I got over the pleasing others part…

I think everyone wants to be Jo.  She is the protagonist and the strongest character in the book.  But, we can’t all be Jo…

So….how else would you describe the sisters?

Which sister are you?

Are there other literary characters that you identify with?

I know a woman who was named after Amy: were any of you named for one of these characters?

Sorry- It’s About Blogging

I read and subscribe to a lot of blogs.  This has been an unexpected pleasure of becoming a blogger- meeting people from all over the world. A           nd I enjoy reading blogs, but sometimes it gets hard, like when I was sick.  I wasn’t really reading much, except for a few light reads, so I’m playing catch up on blog reading.

Boy- WordPress does not make it easy to catch up on blogs.  Reader doesn’t include all the posts you subscribe to on a good day, much less weeks.  So I read some blogs on email (trust me- this is not a good method for me.  I currently have 65m unopened emails in my waking account.  I’m going to have to open up an email for people who are trying to reach me directly- sorry to all of you who have tried to reach me and have not received an answer) I tried searching blog names and reading blogs that way.  Again, this was not easy because you really need to have exact blog name and such in order to find it.  This was frustrating- I mean G Sandwich shouldn’t be that hard to search for…Then, if someone liked or commented on my blog, I would go back to look at their posts that way.  This was probably the best way to scroll the archives, except for the amount of times I unfollowed someone accidentally because I hit the unfollow button instead of the blog name.  Then, because it’s WordPress, I would have trouble refollowing them.  Sorry Muddling and Nana for the confusion, but I finally got you guys back on track. Side note: you have no idea how many times I read Part 6 before I read parts 1-5…

I also have this weird “fairness” thing going on in my head:  I would only read one blog from one reader at a time.  I thought it was “fair” to try to read as many of my friends as possible.  This is one of my OCD type tendencies- to get locked into a particular mindset.

But lets skip to another blog aspect: people that want you to read their blogs and follow them.  I used to do the quid pro quo thing when it came to blog follow: if someone followed me, I followed them.  I remember what it was like to be a beginning blogger and not have anyone following me- I’m willing to give anyone a chance. But then I realized that many of these blogs would get me to follow them and then unfollow me.  I mean really.  Not everyone can be as stupid as I am and keep unfollowing people as I try to read them.  So I stopped following people blindly.

Skipping again.  What about the different types of people that follow your blog?  Now, as I’m a “middle aged”, married Mom who wants to be a writer, i get all of the people that check off at least one of those boxes.  But as I am more than that, I understand followers that are cooks, organized, minimalist, movie fans, readers, photographers- because theses are all my hobbies.  And honestly, if a twenty something guy from India wants to follow me- well fine.  Maybe he has some of my interests.  But recently, a blog promoting Pilipino Women as being the best brides found it’s way to my blog.  They liked my post  about my new planner and chose to follow me.  Now, I guess if you’re in the mail order bride business you need a good planner, but I don’t know if you need to follow me, especially with my views on relationships…

And them there’s everyone’s favorite: the people who add to your comments- “Please follow me at http://www.ithinkthisisthebestwaytoattractfollowers.wordpress.com”.  For the record, if one of you reads this post before you like it and add this message, I will report you as spam if you do this to me, because as far as I’m concerned, this is SPAM.  You neither like me or my post- Do you know how to get followers?  Write well.  End of story.

Take aways?

  1. I’m still catching up on Don’t feel bad if I missed something.  I’m getting there.
  2. Don’t follow me and them unfollow me
  3. Don’t ask me to read your blog without giving me a compelling reason for me to read it

Choice A or Choice B

I recently got a letter from author Jessica Knoll.  I also received one from author Curtis Sittenfield.  No, not real, stamped in an envelope real, but rather a generic email sent via Goodreads.

Dear Waking,

Hope you enjoyed my last book.  I just wrote a new one.

Love,

Best Selling Author

So, here’s the question: do emails such as this work as a marketing tool?  Upon receiving this email, does one get all aflutter and immediately put the tome on their TBR?  Or does the email go directly to the symbolic trashcan?

Which brings us to the next question: How do we choose the books that we read?

I am a hands on sort of girl.  I love trolling around bookstores- the real brick and mortar ones.  I love to walk the aisles, look at the covers, read the blurbs. The blurbs are very important to me- I can usually get a pretty good idea if it’s a book that would interest me, and if it’s the type of book I’m in the mood for. I peruse the staff favorites, the new and notable, the best sellers.  I find most of my new reads in this decidedly old fashioned method.

Another way I find new books is the newer age Amazon.  I punch in a book that I enjoyed, and I scroll down to the section that shows other books similar in style and/or genre.  And then I go back to the blurb method- I read the paragraph summary.  I also check the star rating- I like to see a solid “4”.  While we’re in this paragraph, let’s chat about the recent headline that Amazon reviews should be further reviewed.  How can one trust a review?  I try to use common sense:  too many 5’s is a red flag that something is a plant.  I almost never give out a 5 star review: there are practically no books that I consider perfect.  I am also wary of too many 1’s.  Really?  The book was that bad?  I look for books that have the majority of their reviews somewhere in the middle.  That seems more reasonable.

So, since many of my blog friends are reviewers, you’re thinking:  Does she read reviews.  Yes.  I do read reviews, BUT I am really careful of the reviewer because I don’t like spoilers.  Basically, I want to know if something was good, bad or indifferent- I don’t want to be told the story- I want the story to unfold naturally.  But, I am an avid reader of reviews AFTER I have read a book.  I love to see what someone thought was important, or interesting, or worthless.  I like reviews because I like the discussion aspect of a book (as evidenced by my participation in two book clubs, and being always open to talking about a book)

My yearly reading goal is 50 books, about a book a week.  But here’s an odd little fact: I have a relatively short TBR.  I think I have about 5 books on my Goodreads TBR, and maybe three or four pages ripped from the NY Times or magazines.  If I like a book enough to jot it down,  I read it fairly quickly.  I get excited when I find a book that interests me, and just want to get on with it.  I know this is a departure from the average avid reader.

So, because it’s Friday, and I am not looking forward the weekend because I have family obligations, I am hoping you all make my weekend better by telling me your methods of choosing books.

Do you read marketing emails?

Blurbs?

Recommendations from friends?

Reviews?

Throw a dart?

Also: how long is your TBR?

 

 

 

Definition: Good

I feel like I’m working with the whole chicken/egg dilemma today.  My original thesis was, ‘does a book need to be good to be important’.  And then I thought, well, what makes a book ‘good’?  And the more I thought about it, the more intertwined the ideas became.  So how do I broach this topic?  Do I want to broach this topic?

Let’s start with an example.  I recently read “Origin” by Dan Brown and “The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin.  I did not consider these books to be particularly well written.  I thought there were plot inconsistencies and gaps that brought me out of the story.  I thought some of the dialogue was tedious and repetitive.  I thought the characters were a little too stereotypical, yet behaved in illogical ways.  I did not think these books could be defined as good.

But…

Both of these books left me thinking about them after I had read them.  I wrote a post about the main plot line of “The Immortalists” because it was so thought provoking.  I have discussed these books with people and journaled about them.  I have spent more time talking about these books than books that I labeled ‘good’.  I think I’m going to remember these books. So, doesn’t that make them good?

Now think about this: can you think a book is good yet not like it?  Can you like a book but think it’s not good?  Or are like and good too intertwined?

I know there are books that I thought were well written but I did not like. (Handmaids Tale)  And if I thought about it I’m sure I could find a book that I thoroughly enjoyed yet no one would ever call it a good book (my novel).  But how many people differentiate?

So. here’s todays thought points:

  1. What makes a book good
  2. What makes a book important
  3. Do you think of these things when you are reading

Yes.  I am asking you to write my blog for me this morning because I am in a quandary.  What do we look for in a book, and why.

Discuss: