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post #31 of 42
I'm very picky and critical of books that I read!!

For me it has a great deal to do with how developed the Author's writing skills are!

The Author needs to be polished and mature in their writing skills. The writing in a first book is usually very basic in nature and quite immature sounding. So I'm forgiving if it's a first novel. But if the person has written a second or a third novel and their writing skills and/or level haven't improved, I won't bother with their books anymore.

Organization of the story is important. I don't like reading books that seem to jump around everywhere and doesn't seem to have a continuity of flow. Writing of that nature tends to stress me out instead of relaxing me and taking me on a journey.

Character development is hugely important. If the characters are superficial and have no substance, the story won't draw me in. A book is more than words to me: I tend to relate to the characters of a story and visualize them and the lives they are living while I'm reading. Basically I have a movie playing inside my head while I'm reading.

A good balance of detail that allows you to visualize the story but doesn't make my eyes glaze over and think "Ok...enough! Get on with the story!"
Kathy Reichs is an example of an Author that tends to go into way too much mundane and useless detail that it often seems like you are being lectured in a forensic classroom. Some detail is good, but 4 or 5 pages describing different knife blades and the types of cuts they make is just too much!

And of course the subject of the story is important to me. It doesn't matter how well written the book, if the subject is not interesting to me I won't be able to stay awake long enough to read it. There have been a number of "Best Sellers" that I thought were a complete waste of trees!
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
I
It's just how in science fictionthey talk about imaginary planets and imaginary scientific transformations and new terminology, words that are supposed to mean something while I think they are just made up lol and I get so lost in all that..I dunno I was thinking along the lines of star trek type science fiction when I say I get lost in it.
As I said, that's hard sci fi. I don't really like it, either. Try some of the authors I listed, oh and Andre Norton! She wrote a lot of books, some a little more hard sci fi - but most with a lot of fantasy theme. She was also a cat and animal lover who worked that into her stories when she could.
Ursula K. Le Guin is another who mixed sci fi and fantasy - many probably know her Earthsea trilogy.

As for Phillip K. Dick - have you read Ubik or Martian Time Slip? Those books will mess with your mind a bit (as do many of his), there was a part in Martian Time Slip where he repeats a scene that makes you think you've lost your place..
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus View Post
Books that don't have vampires that sparkle are good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post


On that subject. I don't care what the current trend is, I've read at and beyond a college level since I was 9-10. I do not want to read a book wrote for and intended for children or young adults (Twilight series, Harry Potter, etc). Too much drama, especially teeny drama, and my mind wanders off to think about more interesting things..
I must admit that I did read the books, only because I love almost anything vampyre! However, I have to agree with the sparkly vampyre thing. That is just soooo wrong on so many levels!

I enjoyed the concept of the story (human in love with a vampyre), but I found the Author's writing ability to be terribly lacking. I don't care that it was written for young adults, the writing was very unpolished and immature and sounded like it was written by someone in grade school.

My friend's daughter who is 16 said it best. She said that she felt like she was being talked down to while she was reading Twilight. For books that are written for young adults, it's not good when your target audience feels like you are questioning their intelligence through your level of writing.
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
She was also a cat and animal lover who worked that into her stories when she could.
You will have to look a little for it, but my favorite along that line is "Little Fuzzy," by H. Beam Piper. Animals that you can truly love! It lead to about 4 more books, not all of them by Piper (he committed suicide, I believe, before the third of the series was published).

"Little Fuzzy" is available for free download at the Gutenberg Project.

Little Fuzzy
post #35 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post


As for Phillip K. Dick - have you read Ubik or Martian Time Slip? Those books will mess with your mind a bit (as do many of his), there was a part in Martian Time Slip where he repeats a scene that makes you think you've lost your place..
No I haven't read those but I know he was really suffering from schizophrenia or some other mental illness plus he was high all the time and wrote a lot most of his stuff while he was high so I am not surprised!! The whole story around him is pretty spooky because he also died of a stroke, combined with his mental illnesses it makes me wonder what was really going on in his life. I guess we'll never know...I used to be so obsessed but then moved on to a different phase and forgot all about him. I know there was another book by him that I liked that had to do with people committing something like thought crimes and technology was used to find out what they're thinking, I can't even remember the title but I really liked it. Now that I remembered about him I am probably going to go get some more of his books...
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
I know there was another book by him that I liked that had to do with people committing something like thought crimes and technology was used to find out what they're thinking, I can't even remember the title but I really liked it. Now that I remembered about him I am probably going to go get some more of his books...
Minority Report. He has a lot of books and short stories, a good portion are not in print in the US. Check out used book stores, thrift stores, and even garage sales - as a lot of good speculative fiction never got reprinted or only got a couple printings.

As for weird events around death, check out James Tiptree Jr.. Hers was a murder suicide.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurseangel View Post
I also like exciting nonfiction - like The Hot Zone about Ebola and The Perfect Storm. I realize these are all older books, but they're some of my favorites.
Those two were excellent! I prefer nonfiction, and read a lot of true crime or biographies. Every once in a while I come across something like The Hot Zone that I recommend to everyone I know, and which causes me to look for other books on the subject, like Ebola.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Those two were excellent! I prefer nonfiction, and read a lot of true crime or biographies. Every once in a while I come across something like The Hot Zone that I recommend to everyone I know, and which causes me to look for other books on the subject, like Ebola.
One of my favorite books is one where you know exactly what's going to happen from the very beginning - a character is murdered. But it's so interesting how they get to that point. It's called A Secret History by Donna Tartt. Excellent book!
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
One of my favorite books is one where you know exactly what's going to happen from the very beginning - a character is murdered. But it's so interesting how they get to that point. It's called A Secret History by Donna Tartt. Excellent book!
I remember reading that book a few years ago.
post #40 of 42
Exactly! Thank you, now I don't have to write out my own post. My favorite author is Caleb Carr. I feel like those characters are my friends. Also, the Erast Fandorin mystery novels by Boris Akunin. Excellant!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I'm very picky and critical of books that I read!!

For me it has a great deal to do with how developed the Author's writing skills are!

The Author needs to be polished and mature in their writing skills. The writing in a first book is usually very basic in nature and quite immature sounding. So I'm forgiving if it's a first novel. But if the person has written a second or a third novel and their writing skills and/or level haven't improved, I won't bother with their books anymore.

Organization of the story is important. I don't like reading books that seem to jump around everywhere and doesn't seem to have a continuity of flow. Writing of that nature tends to stress me out instead of relaxing me and taking me on a journey.

Character development is hugely important. If the characters are superficial and have no substance, the story won't draw me in. A book is more than words to me: I tend to relate to the characters of a story and visualize them and the lives they are living while I'm reading. Basically I have a movie playing inside my head while I'm reading.

A good balance of detail that allows you to visualize the story but doesn't make my eyes glaze over and think "Ok...enough! Get on with the story!"
Kathy Reichs is an example of an Author that tends to go into way too much mundane and useless detail that it often seems like you are being lectured in a forensic classroom. Some detail is good, but 4 or 5 pages describing different knife blades and the types of cuts they make is just too much!

And of course the subject of the story is important to me. It doesn't matter how well written the book, if the subject is not interesting to me I won't be able to stay awake long enough to read it. There have been a number of "Best Sellers" that I thought were a complete waste of trees!
post #41 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
One of my favorite books is one where you know exactly what's going to happen from the very beginning - a character is murdered. But it's so interesting how they get to that point. It's called A Secret History by Donna Tartt. Excellent book!
Thanks for the recommendation, Kim! I've just ordered it.
post #42 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Thanks for the recommendation, Kim! I've just ordered it.
I hope you like it! I read it at least once a year. It's kind of...dark, maybe? But I just love the fact that you know what's going to happen but you can't figure out how it's going to get there!
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