Awhile back, when this blog was still primarily about books and reading, I wrote a post called Fifty Shades of Not Happening. It was about the hype surrounding the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and how I'd decided not to hop on the bandwagon after reading a well-written, very critical review on Amazon.com.
Well, someone leant me a copy recently, so I decided to give it a go. I managed a fitting fifty pages before I threw it down in disgust. I wholeheartedly agree with that Amazon review. It's so poorly written, especially the descriptions. Take the first scene, where Anastasia goes to Grey's office for the first time: How many ways are there to say that she's underdressed? She compares her clothes to the attire of every single person that she encounters there. I get it! She's not well-dressed! She doesn't fit in! Can we move on now? Also, how many times do we need to hear her say/think Holy Crap or some derivative? Every page is littered with Holy this and Holy that. And there's no room for adjectives like "nice" and "pretty" in a book with this subject matter. The writing was clunky, uncomfortable, and frustrating. The whole experience was like trying to view an erotic photograph through a thick layer of mud. Neither of which is my thing.
My point is this: no matter how titillating the subject (and I'm sure that's the sole reason these books are best sellers) it's the author's job to write well. Please, novelists, stop underestimating the American reader. We all, writers and readers alike, can be held to a higher standard.
Rant over. Here are some other, better materials I've been exposed to lately.
Current Influences, Part 2:
(Part 1 can be viewed here: Current Influences)
What I'm reading/recently read....
The No-Cry Nap Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
Which is making me think about... creating a variety of environments and situations under which Edwin is willing to take a nap
Single in Suburbia (fiction) by Wendy Wax
Which is making me think about... why so many of us crave to be wealthy, when nearly every story written about people in that class depicts extreme unhappiness
Magazines on the NextIssue app, which gives you current and back titles of 20+ magazines every month for $9.99. I signed up for it because it wasn't much more per month than I was paying for my current subscriptions, and I'm reading almost exclusively on my iPad or Kindle now. Some of the titles included are Real Simple, InStyle, Fitness, Better Homes & Gardens, the Oprah magazine, Cooking Light and Parenting. Definitely worth the price, and better for the environment too!
What I'm watching...
Movies from my childhood, like The Lion King and Pollyanna, which give me a sense of optimism and faith in humanity (or animality, as the case may be).
What I'm listening to...
Still How Stuff Works: the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast. I LOVE it! Here's their website: http://www.howstuffworks.com