Thursday, July 17, 2008

At work, on our anniversary

Undead and Unworthy, by MaryJanice Davidson. Number 7 in the Queen Betsy series. I'm not entirely sure why I read these; there's more cussing than I use in my daily conversation, which is a bad influence on me. I can't really identify with the character-- she's far too ditzy; I wouldn't pick her as a friend. But it's not a terrible book-- the author mostly uses full sentences and has a good handle on commas, so one could do worse. I very strongly disliked, however, the fact that the author continues to publish short stories, the facts of which she then brings up in the next novel. I'm not entirely sure of everything that went on and, while I was able to get through alright without too much confusion, it seriously detracted from the overall experience. I see the new books out and I read them; I don't visit the author's website every day groveling for every little thing she feels like writing.

Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr. I had a hard time getting in to this one, but I persevered, only because I couldn't put my finger on a specific thing that made me want to quit. Towards half-way through, I did start to rather enjoy it, and I've just started the sequel, so we'll see how it goes. It is a bit dark, a bit sexual, but not inappropriate for some teens. I started the second one, Ink Exchange, but it was due back the next day. I'm not sure I'll get it out again-- it is about a different character, so I'm not as emotionally invested in finding out what happens. Also, the language is a bit more stilted. Fantasy authors seem to have a problem writing a pretty good book, getting some flack, and trying to use a more traditional fantasy-appropriate language, and it just doesn't fly. I don't think I'll be getting Ink Exchange again. 

Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library, by Don Borchert. I would be interested in talking with other librarians who have read this book. This little tell-all goes rather over the line. The author doesn't say he's changed the names to protect the innocent (or the guilty), but even if he has, it probably wouldn't be too difficult to identify who he's talking about if you're familiar with the patrons and workers. Yes, sometimes librarians think their patrons need to be medicated regularly and that civil service is a horribly difficult, unrewarding job, and librarians may even talk about it amongst themselves, but we would never say it to our patrons' faces.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This comment's a little dated, but I figured I'd weigh in anyway.

During the editing process of Free for All, a very pricey NY lawyer went through the book with me, page by page. A very strange ordeal, and because it is non-fiction, certain things HAVE to be absolutely true, and other things absolutely cant be.

One example: "On page four, you call your grandfather a brutal man. Is he alive? Oh, no? Good. He cant sue."

Another: "On page 117, you say this one particular librarian eats her young. You cant say that. You can say she SEEMS to eat her young. Or you can say that other people have told you she eats her young."

They peruse fiction a lot less assiduously.