Friday, March 2, 2007

A Linguistical Need to Vent

I am desperately disappointed with book editors, not to mention my disgust with most "writers".

I consider myself an avid reader (no snickers from my family, please). I can quite easily sit down and read a 1,000 page book in a day (I read the last Harry Potter book in six hours), and I "literally" consume books (hee hee, pun intended!)

However, my last few forays to the local library have revealed quite disheartening results. I checked out a lovely looking book about a murder-mystery and tea (a fantastic combination), and was unable to bear reading more than a chapter. Shall I tell you why?

'Cause the grammar ain't so good. And the sentencers too. The book was supposed to be about upper-class people who open a tea shop! Mis-placed modifiers, dropped verbs and dangling participles! Perhaps the only mystery to the book was if the person who wrote it could actually command a passing understanding of the English language!

Now, I don't demand perfect English for all writing purposes. I understand that a certain "flavor" can be given to a character by the writing. However, narrative. should. not. be. stupid.


(The reason for my angst is the dearth of new reading material. I hate reading something that isn't recommended by a person whose taste and morals I trust, and I've run out of books I haven't already read. Is there anything more frustrating than sitting down for a nice long read, and then finding one's hopes of being carried away by a good story dashed by an illiterate editor?)

Please recommend some new books. To help, I will list some books I thoroughly enjoy (yes, I know I haven't the most refined taste - I just want decent grammar and no floozing around . . . .)

The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, The Belgariad, all of Jane Austen's novels, any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books (he wrote the Sherlock Holmes short stories), Jane Eyre, Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (and any other books in that series by Stephanie Barron), Elemental Magic series, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, the Deathgate Cycle, etc.

Hmm, I like reading a lot of fantasy and science fiction, don't I? I guess that means I don't like books about reality.


rho said...

On Books to read -- Try Sherrilyn Kenyon (I think I have the spelling right) her Dark Hunter series - she also writes a few other good series under that name - here is a link to the list and reading order

and also writes under Kinley MacGregor (once again I think I spelled it right)

and the main reason I came here is to compliment you on the red sweater you had your daughter modeling on the Knit along site. It is fantastic!!

Sue J. said...

Whenever I am faced with the same problem, which is far too often, I return to two British others I just love. My favorite author is R.F. Delderfield. The second author who often commands my interest is Catherine Cookson. Their books are well written, riveting and contain wonderful story lines. I, too, decry the degradation of current fiction. That's why I knit.

Ellen said...

I'd offer you lots of great books to read, but aside from Chron. of Narnia and Lord of the Rings, I'm not much into the fantasy/science fiction scene. I love all classics and mysteries, as well as a few bios. I love the Sherlock Holmes stories too. Have you ever read an Agatha Christie book, or care for her? I have enjoyed most of the ones I've read of hers. (Although I don't care as much for the Miss Marple stories...) -I was going to ask you, ... have you ever read the book that they're making the new movie from? Uh, what's it called? "Bridge to Teribithia", I think?? Just was wondering if it was any good. I don't know if it would interest you, but a good book that I have read several times is called "Essays of E.B. White" (by of course, E. B. White :) )

Ali said...

Have you ever read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series? Excellent, loooong series. 10,000+ pages so far.....

Suzanne said...

Hi Rachel!
Have you read any of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon? They are wonderful, well-written, fantasy-science fiction, and LONG! There are 6 or so in the series too. Start reading them and you'll be hooked!

Ann said...

Just want to say that you might want to watch out for Outlander. I was recommended the series by a friend because my interests are similar to yours. What they didn't tell me about was the, let's say, graphic nature of some scenes. But, by the time that stuff came along in the book, I just had to know what was going to happen to Jamie. If Gabaldon could have toned down the sex scenes, I would be able to recommended without hesitation.
Maybe I'm a prude, but I'm just warning you. ( I must also admit to reading every book in the series. But I bought them all used so Gabaldon never received any money from me!)
For scifi and fantasy, I enjoy short story collections. You can get some Mammoth Book collections for great prices.

Lucinda said...

I'm partial to female sci-fi writers myself. Sheri S. Tepper, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, for example.