Monday, August 21, 2006

Reading Ahead

Well, now that I've finished reading Kelley Armstrong's very entertaining "Women of the Otherworld" books, I've now started into reading some of the novels on my University reading list. Yippee! A Sweetness in the Belly is to be read first - for no other reason than the green, beige, and pink stripe format of the cover caught my eye about a hundred times when I was working at Coles. Bad memories? Nah - I loved working there. It was getting fired that sucked.

Anyway, I'm already loving it. I adore books that begin with a language or a style or a story that immediately grabs me - these books are like waking up on a Saturday, when you know that there are two days of glorious non-work, or non-school ahead of you. Here, when a book begins well, it's wonderful because I know there are at least three hundred pages of similar goodness to go.

Granted, I have come to love good books that begin more slowly, but they're more like schooldays where they start with some trepidation (because I know that there are math classes, and social studies classes, and science classes ahead), but then as I progress I find out that we have a substitute teacher in math, we're watching a movie in social studies, and science is cancelled by a fire drill. All in all, it ends as a pretty good day. Still not quite as good as waking up on a Saturday, though.

Anyway - I finished the T.A. Barron Great Tree of Avalon series, and it tried my confidence as a reviewer, at least a little. I had very good reasons for the critique I gave of it (negative), and I think I backed them up very well, but when I read the blurb sheet presented in the press kit that has quotations from Madeleine L'Engle and Lloyd Alexander (two YA authors I love and have loved since I was eight) lauding a work I dispised, it's a bit of a kick in the teeth. I want to be like L'Engle and Alexander, I think they're wonderful writers, and I certainly don't want to question their taste by hating on a book they seemed to have enjoyed. But that book was so very unpleasant to read.

It's also a blow to the ego when yet another book I reviewed badly (Od Magic, Patricia A. McKillip) ends up nominated for a major fantasy award. Again - I had good reasons for not liking it, but sometimes I feel badly about it.

I wonder, everyone else seems to have liked it - I must have missed something. Or my favourite authors like it, so who am I to say it's bad? The fear of being too superficial or unintelligent a reader to catch the positive points that so many other people seem to have gotten from a novel can be daunting. I love Madeleine L'Engle and Lloyd Alexander, but T.A. Barron, you are no L'Engle or Alexander. Not even close, in my estimation.

1 comment:

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