Booking through Thursday – Writing or Riveting

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme in which we answer a question about books or reading.

What’s more important: Good writing? Or a good story?

(Of course, a book should have BOTH, but…)

Yes, a book should have both, but…
It doesn’t help that the story is great if the prose is dismal, and it doesn’t help if the writing is great if the story is uninteresting. So, I guess the difference comes when the one thing is great and the other is passable.

Through the years I’ve figured out a few facts about myself. One of the is that I’m an action driven reader. If the story doesn’t grab my attention a book will never get top marks from me, however luminous the prose is. Sometimes I read a book, and I can gush about the language to anyone willing to listen (mostly Kristin), but if there’s something lacking in the story it still won’t be a favorite. On the other hand, a wonderful story with language good enough not to annoy me, might get top marks. That usually means that the prose is good, but not good enough to deserve special attention when I read.

The best reading experiences are when both the language and the writing is great. Thinking back to last year I can remember at least three books that had it all: Among Others by Jo Walton, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

So, yes, both is better. But if I have to choose between two evils, passable language and great story.

Bokbilde XXIX – frå Stines notater

Stines notater: Bokbilde XXIX.

I want to do this again one day soon. Sitting on a bench in a park reading a good book. Summer, come, come!

Ulicam: The girl with 7 horses

Georgeous photoseries at Ulicam by Ulrika Kestere. Go there and take a look.

Ulicam: The girl with 7 horses.


Time(ish)

I found this over at Token Skeptic.

If you don’t get it you should read up on Doctor Who.

Saturday Snapshot – Nice

A good friend of ours flew of to Nice today. There’s snow outside and we’ve love to be going to Nice instead. I guess I just have to look at some pictures that I took when we visited in in April/May 2009. Almost three years ago, doesn’t feel that long.

Our hotel.

Narrow streets.

Art - at the Chagall Museum

Mosaic

Harbour

Evening

At The Promenade des Anglais

Saturday snapshotThis meme is hosted by Alyce from At Home With Books

To participate in Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken. Photos can be old or new, and can be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. All Alyce asks is that you don’t post random photos that you find online.

Book Beginnings on Friday – Surface Detail

Book Beginnings on Friday is a bookish meme sponsored by Katy at A Few More Pages.

Here’s what you do: share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments section . Include the title and author so we know what you’re reading. Then, if you are so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line, and if you liked or did not like that sentence. Link-up each week at Katy’s place.

Iain M. Banks write long science fiction novels, so it’s always a bit daunting to start a new one by him. Surface Detail has been sitting in Mount TBR for a while, but I joined a few reading challenges for 2012, put it on the list so I should get my act together and start reading it. I’m just about halfway through and enjoying myself, like I’ve always done when reading one of his books.

It begins thusly (Sorry, I’ve overdosed on Big Bang Theory and couldn’t resist. Thusly is now a part of my vocabulary.):

“This one might be trouble.”

She heard one of them say this, only ten or so metres away in the darkness. Even over her fear, the sheer naked terror of being hunted, she felt a shiver of excitement, of something like triumph, when she realised they were talking about her. Yes, she thought, she would be trouble, she already was trouble.

Good beginning. Don’t you think?

Booking through Thursday – Skipping

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme in which we answer a question about books or reading.

I saw this article the other day that asked, “Are you ashamed of skipping parts of books?” Which, naturally, made me want to ask all of YOU.

Do you skip ahead in a book? Do you feel badly about it when you do?

I sometimes do skip ahead, for a few different reasons.

Descriptions of how people look tend to make me impatient. I really don’t care about that kind of information, at least not when it takes more than two sentences, so I skip it.

Relationship angst, loves me, loves me not…. – aaaargh!!!! Skip.

When a book is really exciting I tend to skip ahead because I can’t wait to see what happens. At those times skipping is really a sort of compliment to the book.

I don’t feel bad about skipping. I don’t do it that much, and when I do it makes me happier with a book than I would otherwise have been.

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