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June 2016 - Posts
It won’t surprise anyone to know that I read lots of books. However, I don’t just read - I listen, too. Audiobooks became a big part of my reading life a few years ago when I discovered how much more enjoyable they made my summer hours in the yard and garden. Usually I feel like I enjoy (or don’t enjoy) a book based on the plot, pacing, characters, etc. and don’t feel like the format - paper or audio - has much to do with it. However, I think in some cases it may make more of a difference than I expect. For instance, last year one of my very favorite summer books was The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. It’s a great romantic fantasy, and I made excuses to keep doing things that allowed me to listen to it until I finished it, even replaying a part or two because I wanted to soak in every detail. Yes, I listened to it. This summer, I was so excited to start off by reading Ahdieh’s sequel: The Rose and the Dagger. However, this time I had a paper copy so I was reading and not listening, and I quickly noticed something about this author’s writing that drove me nuts - so much so that it affected my enjoyment on the book. The author writes using lots of fragments. Like this. Over and over. On every page. So so many of them. For no reason. I don’t mind a little creativity with writing style now and then, (although I think willfully random punctuation belongs more in poetry than prose) but this was so excessive that I felt it really chopped up the story. A period is to indicate a stop, so I found myself mentally stopping hundreds of times each chapter when what I really needed was just a small pause, which is more appropriately indicated by a comma. I know, I a former English teacher, this may be something that annoys only me, but annoy me it did. AND, it really made me appreciate the reader who narrated that audiobook I listened to last summer. Her seamless reading, with only pauses and not full stops, didn’t ever let me know that the author was using this crazy fragmented writing style. Had I listened to The Rose and The Dagger, it might have been one of my summer favorites again. As it was, I did still enjoy the plot and characters, but because the writing style was so frustrating for me, I found myself quibbling more with plot details than I imagine I would have had I been listening. This was an interesting learning experience for me, and I will appreciate those wonderful audiobook readers more than ever now!  
Posted by kparker  On Jun 17, 2016 at 11:31 AM 4 Comments
've finished a couple of books from my summer reading pile (which is enormous!). One of these was a pleasant surprise and one a sad disappointment. I'd been looking forward to The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas ever since I first heard about it. It's a mystery, and that is always my favorite genre, and the reviews raved about how great it is. Sadly, it did not live up to expectations. It all sounds intriguing: Tessa hasn't been back to the small Pennsylvania town where she grew up for years, not since she and her friend provided testimony that put a killer behind bars. Only now that she's back, doubts creep in about what really happened that summer, especially now that another girl is dead. It sounds promising, like a story line that would pull a reader in, except it never did for me. I had a hard time finishing it, though I did and admit the ending was at least surprising. Overall though, this was a big let down for me. The second book, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, wasn't one I was particularly excited about, and the progression of events was a little predictable, but the characters won me over and kept me happily reading 'til the end! For my readers who love a sweet romance story, this will be a hit.  Jessie has just moved to California with her dad who has remarried. It's not a situation she's happy about, and she definitely doesn't fit in. But her differences catch the eye of a classmate who communicates with her anonymously. As Jessie begins to develop feelings for her email pal, she tries to figure out who he is. She has several suspects, but who is he? Cute, fun, and with some genuine character growth too, this is a perfect summer read!
Posted by kparker  On Jun 06, 2016 at 2:07 PM 8 Comments