(Is that a good thing?)
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
I started reading Agatha Christie's books when I was 10, and it's been my dream to write like her ever since. Every single book of hers was a bestseller, and she still ties with Will Shakespeare for the title of Author Who Sold The Most Books (and no, J.K. Rowling doesn't come close).
So imagine my surprise when, listening to the audio book version of "Elephants don't forget", I found myself mentally red-pencilling all the echo words and fact-repetitions. While the puzzle itself is sound enough, the writing could have done with a good full edit. Certainly my two murder mystery cozies, Murder @ Play and Murder @ Work, read heaps better than "Elephants don't forget".
OK, so perhaps a fairer test would have been pitching myself against "A Murder Is Announced" or "And then there were none"... but I'll leave that to my readers. :-)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I've just discovered Linda Howard. As in, her books, not her murdered body in my library, LOL. "Kiss me while I sleep" is a perfect example of what a romance book should be, in my not so humble opinion.
It has all the elements:
- thriller-like pace
- high stakes that mean something to every individual
- no-nonsense romance
- erotic sex
- no graphic violence
- no sickly sweet "ahhhh" moments (you will not find anything remotely like "she put her head on his bronze chest, and they spoke about her feelings till dawn").
Ok, it might not win The Booker. But I'd read Linda Howard rather than J.m. Coetzee any day.
Friday, March 05, 2010
If you only read one non-fiction book this year, make it Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers - the Story of Success". It poses many challenging questions, such as:
- Why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential?
- What contributes more to a child's achievement: their IQ or culture, circumstance, timing, birth and luck?
- Why were the best hockey players born in January?
You'll be amazed at the answers!
Some reviewers question the scientific validity of the author's findings, saying that his theories are too "out there" (e.g., that coming from a rice-growing culture helps you be a good maths student) but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the easy anecdotal narrative of the book, nor should it prevent you from drawing your own conclusions about your unique recipe for success.