Tuesday, July 19, 2011

As you know, Bob, you like to read

I'm reading Five Odd Honors, the last book in Jane Lindskold's latest trilogy which started with Thirteen Orphans, and am distressed. The entire series has needed tightening, writing-wise--way too much chattiness and wishy-washyness of word choice and as-you-know-Bob-itis. I feel certain that the phrase "or whatever" should not appear nearly so much in fiction as it does in real life, especially when not in dialogue. Now in the third book, there's an as-you-know-Bob of such proportions that we've actually got one character telling a second character about the events in that second character's history. And it's not as if the second character has amnesia or anything. He was there, and he remembers. And we already got this information in a previous book. I can think of at least two other ways this could have been handled. I've been extremely fond of Jane Lindskold's books up until now, and so I'm deeply distressed by this. (There was also the issue early in the first book of a character saying she knew instantly that a particular person was Chinese, and then went on to describe his clothes and said she couldn't see his face--but that could have been the character's own problems, of which she had many.) I'm still interested in the story, and I'll still buy her next book, but I'm going to be a lot more wary about it, and that saddens me.

Nursing gives me a ton of time for reading...or would if I didn't have a toddler trying to climb up my knees all the time...which is one of its few advantages. For me, I mean. I've gotten through a bunch of books of Eric's, and several new ones of my own. I'm finding it difficult to get through the nonfiction reading I want to finish, though. I think it's because fiction is comfort reading for me, and the newborn months require a lot of comforting. I feel like a bit of a wuss, but that's the way it is. I also feel a bit like Rory from "Gilmore Girls," in that I have three or four books open at any given time now. Right now there's Women and Gender in Islam in the nursery, and Mirage (about Napoleon's expedition to Egypt) in the bathroom, and Five Odd Honors floating. Perhaps my real problem is that I don't like to focus.

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