Free week here at 4F, 1H and I have been trying to figure out where all my reading time had gone, and finding out that I may be wasting the time I now have.
Waiting for grandkids gave me a lot of reading time. Waiting outside of school, in carpool lines, at bus stops, at soccer fields gave me loads of time, but I am doing much less of that now.
Waiting in doctors’ offices gave me a long time to read. I carry big purses that books or a reader can slide into, but my medical people, especially those in my GP’s office, have been quite good lately about getting me in and out. Even the lab in the building never makes me wait long any more.
With the kids not around much and fewer people in at all, my daily housework has been cut, I have had time to do long-term cleaning and am still in the decluttering battle, but with certain energy/joint limitations, the only upside is that I have more time to read.
I often read YA and have mentioned that my grandson and I recommend books to each other. I picked up an interesting one some time back at the perpetual sale at my local library. I started to read it, and it was quite good. The hero of the book was a boy just my grandson’s age, which always helps to keep a kid interested. However, I realized that the book was the second in a series, so I put it aside and reserved the first installment from the library.
And have I been disappointed!
It contains two stories: how the boy’s unusual situation came to be, and how his stories continue, and both are complete snoozes.I have no idea why, since the premise is really good.
In the first book, both situations are drawn out and repetitive. I can often see where plots is headed, but with this one, if a kid can’t see what is happening, I don’t think the kid is ready for a chapter book!
The book has a few anachronisms, as well. It drives me crazy when a writer doesn’t do simple research. and The main story is set in the English countryside. The boy is well-traveled, but from a country on the Continent. However, the village and its way of life suggest a small American mid-west town and most of the people ‘talk’ like late 18th-early 20th century Americans. A very few characters are confusingly written with bad Cockney or Scottish accents, yet they still refer to ‘miles-per-hour’ and use other non-European phrases, with the exception of a few choice items or colors with no reference point. I had to go running to a dictionary myself to find out to what the writer was referring and I doubt any kid is going to simply not skip over the word and have no idea as to what was being mentioned, even though most clues, personalities, facial features, animals, etc., are monotonously described over and over.
I will read the second one, but I don’t know how this one was published as is, and why indeed, the author was given the chance at the second one. I am glad he was, however.
When I was young, I felt that I needed to finish a book no matter what. I still usually plod through, but do you give up on books? I have put some down that I felt the need to finish because they were written by people I knew, and forced myself through them. But a few, I simply could not, even after several tries. When I do plod through them, I scan-read.
My husband took a speed-reading course before we met. He gets through things quickly, and I can see his head move slightly, back and forth, while he reads. Fortunately, he reads non-fiction. I detest scanning or speed-reading, since I do love to savor the way a great writer creates worlds and writes in prose or even just cleverly. When you scan through and just pick up the story, you lose the writer’s style. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I wanted to do with this one, and some others.
[Do you know the Woody Allen lines: “I took a speed-reading course. I finished ‘War and Peace’ in 3 hours. It was about Russia.”? My mother, not a Woody Allen fan but a big reader and sometime writer, loved this!]
With all there is to read, and with such a long TBR or wish-list, (books in bad taste, against your principles, etc., not included), do you still stick out an annoying book to the end?
Have you read a series that you are surprised that further installments far out-shine the first book?